Instagram was launched in 2010 as a simple image sharing app and quickly grew 1 million users within the first 2 months.
To start, Instagram advertising was only made available to large brands that had big marketing budgets, however in 2015 Instagram announced that all businesses now had access to create Instagram ads on a self-service basis, a change that would result in a big shift in the world of online advertising!
Fast forward just 8 years and Instagram is now used globally by over 1 billion users with 6 in 10 online adults having an Instagram account.
What is Instagram Advertising?
Instagram ads appear on an Instagram users feed or story as a linear visual post, seamlessly blending in with the user’s follower’s organic posts for optimum engagement.The ad can contain either a video, an image or a carousel of numerous images.
How to create Instagram ads?
Before getting started with the creation and set up of your ad, you will first need to set up a Facebook business page, this is because Instagram ads are created using Facebook’s Ad Manager tool.
Note: this does not mean you then have to use your Facebook account if this platform is not relevant to your business. You can simply just set up an account in order to utilise Instagram advertising.
Step One: Set your objective
Your ad set up starts with you setting the objective of your advertising campaign, allowing you to decide what you want people to do when they see your ad. The Facebook Ad manager tool offers numerous advertising objectives to help you reach your business goals.
The three primary objectives being:
- Awareness – If you want your ad to generate interest in your brand and product / services.
- Brand Awareness
- Consideration – If you want your ad to result in people thinking about your business and interacting with your website / app in order to gain more information.
- App Installs
- Video Views
- Lead Generation
- Conversions – If you want your ad to increase conversions, whether that be a purchase of your product/services, a visit to your shop, or signing up to a feature of your business.
- Catalogue Sales
- Store Visits
Step Two: Target your Audience.
Instagram Ads allow you to target your ad using a range of demographic factors including; age, gender, location, language, work, financial status ect. As well as psychographic factors including; behaviours, interests and connections. So it’s even possible to target users that are following your competitors!
When inputting your targeting data, the tool will automatically calculate the reach and potential return from your ad, allowing you to get the most out of your targeting!
Step Three: Determine your Budget.
Instagram budgeting works similarly to Facebook and Google advertising, so if you’re familiar with those platforms this should not be overly challenging for you!
Instagram allows you to choose between setting either a daily or lifetime budget. Setting a daily budget will give you the reassurance that you are in control of how your budget is being spent each day, however a lifetime budget allows you to spend more of your budget on optimal days, ensuring optimum reach. Whichever budgeting option you choose, Instagram gives you the control to pause or stop your campaign at any time, so go ahead and experiment with your budgeting!
Step Four: Get Creative with your ad!
Now you can select where you want your ad to appear, on either Facebook, Instagram or even both!
When creating new ad content, you can choose between Instagram’s different formats:
- Photo Ads: Photos can be in square or landscape format and will appear as a sponsored post when a user is scrolling through their image feed.
- Video Ads: Videos can be up to 60 seconds long and can be in square or landscape format, the video ad will appear as a sponsored post when a user is scrolling through their image feed.
- Carousel Ads: Similarly to photo ads, but this feature allows you to choose multiple photos to add a layer of depth to your campaign.
- Stories ads: Ads appear seamlessly a sponsored story when a user is viewing their follower’s story.
You then simply upload your ad content, whether it be an image, video or slideshow and choose your Call-to-Action button:
- Apply Now
- Book Now
- Contact Us
- Call Now
Step Five: Publish!
Once your ad is ready, you can review your formation, preview the ad, and publish it!
And don’t forget, Instagram provide you with performance data, within your Facebook Ads manager tool, so you can measure the success of your campaign. This allows you to continuously optimise your ads based on your previous performance, enabling you to continue to get the best engagement from your Ads.
Instagram Advertising provides a unique opportunity for your business to extend its footprint in the marketing environment and to test things which you previously may not have been able to experiment with before. If you would like advice or guidance on setting up and managing your Instagram ads, get in touch today!