What Is Instagram Advertising & Why Should You Be Using It?

Instagram is a thriving platform right now, and it’s one that you should get involved with if you want to become a more successful marketer. Of all the social media platforms out there, Instagram is arguably the most diverse. The audience is engaged and you have many options regarding how you present your ads on the platform. 

But before you can start using the platform as a place for your ads, you need to learn a bit about the options and how to succeed on Instagram. There are lots of things to learn and building that knowledge will benefit you a great deal later on when it actually comes to creating ads there.

Different Formats of Instagram Ads

Photo Ads

As you already know, Instagram is about photos, and photo ads allow you to make use of the appealing visuals of your product by displaying them for targeted users to see. If you know what you’re selling has that visual dynamism and appeal, photo ads make sense.

Video Ads

Another thing that Instagram is great for is video content, in particular, short and sharp video content. Video ads can be up to a minute long but many of the most successful video ads on the platform actually last a lot less time than that. So, it definitely makes sense to keep things succinct

If you have a whole range of images and videos that you want to put out there on the platform to advertise what you’re selling, you should consider carousel ads. These allow the user to swipe through a series of images and videos that you’ve produced. They allow you to tell a story and shape the narrative.

Stories Ads

Speaking of stories, all Instagram users will be aware of the Stories feature the platform now uses. As well as being a great way to keep up with friends and celebs you follow, it can also be used as a space on which to host adverts like yours.

How to Get Started Using Instagram Ads

Set Goals

All ad campaigns should start with goals. This is where you can decide what you actually want your ads to achieve for your business going forward. Is it about raising awareness? Or is it purely about conversions and driving more sales? It could be both of either of these.

Identify Your Audience

When you know what your goals are, you can start the process of identifying your audience. Create a core marketing persona along the lines of gender, age and location. After that, you can enter these traits into the Instagram Custom Audience option that helps setup targeting.

Produce the Content and Message

When creating adverts, the content is what matters most. Your images or videos will only succeed if they’re appealing and people engage with them. So start thinking about how you can create that content, as well as the message to partner it.

Select the Placement

Once your ads have been created, you need to think about where you’re going to place them. There are 15 placement options in total, so there’s lots to consider. Weigh up the benefits of each and decide which are right for you.

Set a Budget

You can choose a daily or lifetime budget option. Daily sets a cap for how much you spend each day and lifetime is a whole budget for the lifetime of the ads use. At this point, you’ll also need to set a schedule for the start and end dates of the ads.

Choose the Ad Type

There are numerous formats for your Instagram ads, and we’ve listed them and explained them all further up this page, so refer back to them if you need more information.

Sort Out the Call to Action

There are numerous call to action buttons used on Instagram, ranging from Watch More to Apply Now. You can choose the one that works for you. This will then link to your site where the user can read more about your brand or buy something from your online shop.

Track the Performance of the Ads

Finally, you just need to track the performance of your ads over time. Some ads will work better than others and by looking at the analytics, you’ll be able to find out exactly why that is and what you can do to help the ads that are not performing well so far.

Tips for Successfully Using Instagram Ads

Make Use of Hashtags

You should never underestimate the impact a hashtag can have when you’re looking to advertise your products or services on a platform like Instagram. Adding hashtags to an Instagram post can boost engagement levels by more than 10%, so make use of them.

Switch Things Up and Keep Them Fresh

Once you’ve found one great ad that performs well and does the job, it can be tempting to just stick with it. However, that can be risky and doesn’t necessarily make for a good place. Everything has a sell-by date, and you need to keep things fresh and switch them up for the maximum impact.

Use Analytics to Optimise Your Ads

Because Instagram is now part of the wider Facebook network, you can make use of Facebook Ads Manager to track the performance of your ads. You should do this so that you can make changes and further optimise your ads along the way.

Be Succinct with the Text

The text you use to accompany your ad will have a say in how well the ads end up converting for you, so this is something that you’re going to need to keep in mind. Be succinct and get the point because people don’t have the patience to read a lot of text. 

Instagram is an exciting platform and it continues to grow in exciting ways. That’s just one of the reasons why you should start making use of Instagram as a platform for your adverts. Using the tips and information outlined above, you’ll be sure to make a success of it, so don’t hesitate to get started.

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