How to Advertise on Instagram

Having an active presence on Instagram is essential for brands that want to be discovered. Majority of Instagram’s young users use social media in search of new trends, information and trendy topics. If you consider the fact that Instagram has over 500 million active daily users, you will realize that time and resources spent on Instagram are worth the investment.

Instagram currently boasts of a much higher engagement rate than most popular social media networks available. One of the things you will discover if you are an active user is that every post you put out there definitely attracts some form of engagement; either a like, comment or share. The engagement rate on Instagram is much higher than that of Facebook and Twitter put together.

Instagram business accounts offer additional tools to brands for tracking and monitoring the performance of their posts. This helps brands create better positions and target their posts for effective reach and engagement from Instagram users. The Instagram Business account is free and open to all who see the need for that extra something in driving their brand’s advertising.

Despite all the benefits mentioned above, there is still so much more for brands on Instagram. Advertising on Instagram gives brands the opportunity to leverage Instagram’s massive user base, high engagement rate and powerful advertising tools to grow their brand’s awareness and profits. This post delves into details on Instagram Advertising and how it can be of benefit to your brand.

What we’ll cover in this post:

  • Instagram Advertising
  • Why Instagram Advertising is Important for your Business
  • The Instagram Link Problem and Solutions
  • Choosing an Objective for your Instagram Ad
  • Planning for your Budget
  • The Ad Set Level
  • Targeting Options on Instagram
  • Instagram Ads Placement
  • Types of Instagram Ads
  • Creating your Instagram Ads
  • Conclusion

Instagram Advertising

Instagram advertising is a powerful marketing tool for both product-based and service-based businesses to find, connect and engage new customers. For a successful Instagram ad campaign, businesses must first determine and clarify the objective of their campaigns. There are 3 broad categories that campaign objectives fall under and these are:

1. Awareness – This objective is the preferred choice for new businesses or existing businesses introducing a new product or service.

The goal is to get people to know about the brand and what it stands for. A typical example is a new fashion house that needs to get the word out about their products. Its ad campaign would focus on brand visibility and awareness to let the target audience recognize it.

2. Engagement – After successfully running an awareness-themed ads campaign, the target audience needs to be given the opportunity to engage with the brand. They need to know that they are dealing with real people and not some lifeless brands.

An effective content marketing strategy will help strategically position the brand in the minds of the target audience and build trust between both. At this stage, a two-way communication is established between the brand and its target audience on the company’s website or social media account.

3. Conversion – At this point, the target audience needs to be converted into paying customers. Your ads are focused on getting your target audience to buy your products and services. The use of shopping carts, checkouts, sales CTA (call-to-action) are very common at this stage.

Your campaign objective should be one that aligns with your overall business objective. Once you have that sorted out, you will need to decide on a platform to drive your campaign.

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Here’s why Instagram advertising offers the best platform and tools for an effective ads campaign.

Why Instagram Advertising is Important for your Business

If you are new to Instagram advertising or have been experiencing limited success with this important marketing tool, these reasons should make you reconsider your approach to Instagram advertising.

  • Instagram currently has more than 1 billion active users with 500 million daily active users on it. Businesses enjoy a wide reach using it to drive their ad campaigns.
  • Creating effective ad campaigns is super easy and straightforward.
  • Use Facebook Ads Manager to tailor campaigns to suit the interests and demography of your target audience.
  • Instagram offers a wide variety of ad formats to choose from.
  • A combination of ads placement available to get your ads better positioned for visibility and engagement!
  • Instagram Business accounts offer great tools to effectively track and monitor the performance of your posts.
  • Instagram offers the flexibility of creating ads that suit your marketing budget. You can run an effective ad campaign from the budget of a few dollars to thousands of dollars.
  • Instagram has one of the highest engagement rates among social media networks. Its engagement rate outperforms Facebook and Twitter put together.

Even with all these exciting benefits of advertising on Instagram, it is a wonder that many brands are yet to take advantage of this great advertising tool. This reluctance can be traced to link problems on Instagram.

The Instagram Linking Problem and Solutions

Brands are unable to drive traffic from Instagram posts to their websites because of the restriction of adding clickable links in Instagram captions. This singular limitation prevented businesses from using organic posts to drive traffic to their blogs and websites.

The option of placing a website link in the bio meant that businesses have to attract Instagram users to their bio page. Even though this was a solution for the clickable link problem, it was still limited as businesses needed to continually update the link to reflect their current ads campaign.

You can include clickable links to your website, blog or online store on your Instagram post through advertising. Instagram offers some custom CTA buttons for your posts that you can link to your desired destination. So you see that the link problem has been resolved through Instagram advertising.

Choosing an Objective for your Instagram Ad

At this point, it is expected that you have decided on your advertising objective – awareness, engagement or conversion. This section deals with choosing an objective for your ad from the available Instagram objectives.

  • Brand Awareness This is aimed at showing your ads to as many people that would be interested in it as possible.
  • Engagement Getting Instagrammers to engage with your ad through likes, shares, comments, offering claims etc.
  • App Installs Getting as many customers as possible to download your app.
  • Video Views Focuses primarily on getting video views for your ads.
  • Lead Generation Getting as many people as possible who click your link to fill out the lead generation form with their details.
  • Conversions – This objective is aimed at getting conversions like purchases and email signups.
  • Catalog Sales With this, you can display items from your Facebook products catalog to your target audience.
  • Messages Messages aim to enable your target audience to send you messages that lead to conversations.
  • Store Visits This objective is available to only businesses that have multiple locations, and it is intended to send customers to the physical locations of your store.

Your choice of Instagram advertising objective should align with your business objective in order to get optimal results from your ads campaign.

Planning for your Budget

In planning on a budget for your Instagram ads campaign, there are two available options for you to choose from:

1. Daily Budget – This budget option lets you set your budget on how much you want to spend for a day. This is useful for those who want to run ads for a particular day or already established number of days. You can set your ads for as low as $3 a day and still make an impact on your ads campaign.

2. Lifetime Budget – This option lets you distribute your ad budget over a set period of time. Facebook works with your budget to ensure that it is never exceeded while helping to evenly distribute your ads for better results.

You have the responsibility of deciding which budget option works best for you given the situation.

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The Ad Set Level

After choosing your ads budget, next is to decide on the ad set level that specifies where you’re sending traffic to if using a secondary location. Depending on your ad campaign objective, you can send the traffic to your landing page, website or blog.

Targeting Options on Instagram

One very important benefit of Instagram advertising is the full access to Facebook’s targeting options which include location and demographics. The targeting options that Facebook offers for demographics include age, language spoken, education, parental status and relationship status.

You can also choose to further target your audience based on behavior and interests like diet, dog owners and engaged online shoppers.

Instagram Ad Placement

You can either let Facebook set default ad placement by leaving the Ad Placement page unedited. If you want your ad to run on the Instagram news feed, you are allowed to run other placements like Facebook’s newsfeed and side columns. Running your ads on Instagram Stories prevent you from choosing other placements.

There is the option to run mobile-only ads but you are restricted from this if you enable the Desktop-only ads feature.

Types of Instagram Ads

There are 5 different ad types that you can choose from for the running of your Instagram adverts which are:

  • Photo Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Carousel Ads
  • Slideshow Ads
  • Stories Ads

1. Photo Ads

Photo Ads are the simplest to design and execute among the different ad types, and what is required is a portrait or landscape image. It is important that you maintain a high quality of photo whether you decide to use a photo or graphic design for your photo Ad.

2. Video Ads

Instagram now allows a 60-second length video shot either as landscape or square format. The video could be a product review, detailed description of a brand or entertaining video to attract the attention of your target audience.

3. Carousel Ads

Using the Carousel ad type allows you to add from 2 to 10 images or videos that Instagrammers can view by swiping through. Businesses can use this ad type to display their product ranges.

4. Slideshow Ads

Slideshow ads consist of a series of still images that play like videos. You can add descriptive texts to your slideshows and or audio.

5. Stories Ad

Stories allow users to post short-lived images and videos that could also be used to advertise to other users. Posts on Instagram Stories vanish after 24 hours.

Creating your Instagram Ads

These simple steps will guide you in creating our Instagram Ads:

Step 1: Linking an Instagram Account

This is a one-off requirement to link your Instagram account to your Facebook Page. To do this, you have to be logged in to your Facebook account, then visit Settings for your Facebook page, click “Instagram Ads” and then click on “Log in” with your Instagram credentials and you’re good to go. If you do not already have an existing Instagram account you can go ahead to create one now.

Step 2: Create an Instagram Ad Campaign

From Facebook Ads Manager, click on the “Campaigns” tab followed by “+” to create a new campaign, followed by the selection of your campaign objective.

Step 3: Create Your Ad Set

At this step, you choose the ad objective you want to optimize for, and then define those you want to view your ad and your campaign budget. You will also select targeting options for your ads and the ad placement before proceeding to an ad format after which you “Place Order” for the ad to go live.

Step 4: Optimize Your Instagram Ad

You can monitor and optimize your campaign from Facebook Ads Manager even after it has gone live.

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Brands do not have to miss out on the opportunity to grow their businesses through Instagram simply because they don’t know how Instagram Advertising works. Small and big businesses alike can tap into Instagram advertising to grow their visibility and gain new customers through Instagram’s targeted ads and placements.

The basics needed to run a successful Instagram ads campaign have been covered in this post, giving you the much needed arsenal to get your ads running smoothly.

Instagram boasts of a current active user base of 1 million geographically dispersed users. You can target any group, interests, or demography and still reach enough people to justify your advertising investment. You just need to have your ads objective clearly spelt out to effectively reach your target.

Now that you’ve got the much needed information, you can get started with finding and connecting to your target audience.

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