Instagram has over 900 million users making it an incredibly powerful marketing and advertising tool for businesses of all sizes. Businesses can utilise the Instagram Ads feature to promote their brand or products in an effective and easy way. Instagram ads come in many different formats, can be targeted to specific audiences and features customisable call-to-action buttons and links for driving traffic and conversions. Instagram ads promise users, and your target audience a seamless, uninterrupted experience in the app while promising your business success in reaching its goals.
What are your business goals?
Establishing your business goals and Instagram advertising objectives at the beginning of setting up ads is essential. From increasing brand or product awareness, consideration or website clicks, and even conversion and engagements; Instagram can help you achieve and succeed. Instagram is most effective at increasing reach, brand awareness, traffic, app installs, post engagement, video views and conversions in the app or on your website.
When creating Instagram ads, they can be set-up to focus on the right people, at the right time with the right message and visual. Instagram ads offer specific targeting on users in numerous ways. Firstly, you can create your ad to target users according to their location. The types of locations you can specifically target include countries, regions, states, cities, counties and zip codes. You can even opt to exclude certain locations from viewing the ad.
Users can also be targeted through specific demographics to help you narrow down your audience based on their available information. The demographics include age, ranging between 13 to 65+, gender which you can select from all, men or women, and also languages.
Instagram allows you to target your ads to users based on their interests. For example, Instagram ads can be targeted to people interested in distilled beverages or aviation. You can reach people based on their interests using the ‘detailed targeting’ option with multiple sub-categories to choose from. Interests include the apps that users are interacting with, the ads they click on and even the accounts they follow.
Additionally, you can also target users based on their behaviours such as the activities they do on and off Instagram and Facebook. Behaviours are another ‘detailed targeting’ option with an abundance of sub-categories to choose from. They include purchasing behaviours, job roles, and even anniversaries.
You can create custom audiences where your ads are shown to current customers you already know based on their email addresses or phone numbers stored in your database. Simply upload your own list of contacts and target the leads that you already have in your pipeline and upsell.
Lookalike audiences are another option for specific targeting on Instagram ads. If your current audience on Instagram is already helping your business thrive, you can find new people who are similar to your existing customers. Instagram will target users that have similar traits to your current audience and show them your ad.
Lastly, your ad’s audience can be targeted using automated targeting. Automated targeting is incredibly helpful and allows you to create an audience who might be interested in your business by using a variety of ‘signals’ which include location, demographic and interests.
Once the audience is established, you need to select your ad format and create the ad. Instagram ads come in many effective forms that can seamlessly blend into your audience’s app experience. One common ad format is ‘Stories ads’. Stories don’t appear in the Instagram feed but can complement your feed’s content.
You can create stories with photos or videos and add swipe up links or interactive elements. Video stories ads are effective as this is the space on the app where users expect video content to be played; therefore, it doesn’t feel like an ad. You can also connect with your target audience and customers through engaging polls which are an effective way to gain valuable feedback and insight.
Photo ads follow a standard post format and seamlessly blend into a user’s home page feed to create a native experience. If done well, they don’t even feel like ads. You can create content specifically for a photo ad or you can promote a current post that your page has already shared. Photo ads are clean, simple and come in square or landscape formats.
Video ads are similar to photo ads but can bring more life to an ad. Video ads are more visually immersive with their added powers of sound and motion. You’re able to share videos up to 120 seconds long in landscape or square format. Video content is known to generate significant engagement and is certainly worth promoting.
Carousel ads are featured on the home page and consist of scrollable images rather than a single image. Especially beneficial to visual brands, carousel ads can display multiple products or simply humanise businesses and show off an organisation’s culture and personality. They allow users to swipe and view additional photos or videos in a single ad and allow additional layers of content depth to campaigns. You can choose up to 10 images and each one can have their own link.
You can also set up ads in Explore. Explore ads allow your brand to reach people who already have an open mind and discovery mindset. Explore ads are very beneficial as they can extend your feed ads to audiences who are actively expanding their interests beyond the accounts they already follow.
Getting started on Instagram ads is simple and quick. It involves creating a business page and profile; however, to do this, you must already have a Facebook Page for your business. Back on Instagram and in its Ads Manager, you can select your ad objective, target audience and ad format or post to share. The next step is determining your budget and deciding how long your ad will run for. You are in control of your ad budget and can decide between a daily budget or a lifetime budget where your ads run for a length of time until the budget is depleted. Once that is all selected and set up, you are ready to click publish. You will receive a notification once your ad has been approved and is ready to run. It’s incredibly important to regularly monitor and track your ads performance to ensure you are getting the most of your time and money. Testing multiple ads to determine which design or phrases are most successful is also an effective strategy to approach Instagram advertising.
To conclude, we wanted to share a few tips and tricks to navigating and utilising Instagram and Instagram ads. Remember to consistently use creative and research-backed hashtags, create and follow a theme with each post, post at optimal hours and try running a contest or giveaway as they are great at generating more engagement and followers.