Instagram offers a great opportunity for organic marketing and promoting your brand but as the app gets more popular it also becomes more competitive for businesses. More and more brands are joining Instagram to try to reach their target audience which can make it hard to stand out. It can be much easier to engage with specific groups on the app through their paid ad service called Instagram ads.
Instagram ads were launched in 2015 using the Facebook advertising system which helps businesses target certain users and place sponsored ads in their newsfeed. These sponsored ads on Instagram look almost no different from a normal post and can often entice users to click through if their interests line up with what you are offering. Users tend to see these ads as less invasive because they appear occasionally as part of their normal newsfeed and don’t interrupt their experience.
To get started using Instagram ads you can think about what type of audience you are targeting as well as the type of image and copy that you believe would appeal to them. You will also need to learn more about the technical aspects of how to make the ad and consider how it will fit into your marketing budget.
Creating Your Instagram Ad
Getting started with an Instagram ad program can be fairly simple especially if you have ever set up a Facebook Ad before. The Instagram Ad system is essentially the same as Facebook because they use the same platform. You can create the ad either through your Facebook Ads Manager page or within the Instagram app.
When using the Facebook Manager page you will need to go through several steps including:
– choosing a marketing objective
– naming your campaign
-defining your audience, placements budget and schedule
-creating the ad itself
The first step is choosing a marketing objective which includes a few different options to choose from. You can boost your posts, send people to your website, increase conversions on your site, increase installs or engagement on your app or get video views. You can click through these options and choose which objective you think will best suit this particular campaign.
Targeting to a Specific Audience
When choosing your audience you will have a lot of different options available to help narrow down exactly who you want to advertise to. If you don’t know the exact demographics yet you can play around with different options until you find the one that works the best. You can target the ad based on things like:
In addition to these factors you can also create a custom audience to reach people who have already been engaging with your business online. After you choose your target audience the Ads manager will show you how broad your audience is and your estimated reach for the ad. You can then choose the placement of the ad whether you want it on both Facebook and Instagram or only one of the apps.
Setting Your Budget and Schedule
Once you have specified your audience you can start the next step which is determining how much you will spend on the ad. You can set a daily or lifetime budget meaning that you can limit the average amount that you’ll spend on ads every day or the total amount you’ll spend over the lifetime of your ads. With the daily budget the algorithm will automatically pace your spending per day as the ad runs continuously throughout the day.
You will then need to set your schedule and figure out exactly when you want your ad to start running and when it will finish. You can set parameters so that your ad runs only during certain hours of the day or specific days of the week. You can also do an accelerated delivery of your ads to reach your audience quickly if you have time sensitive ads.
Formatting and Making an Ad
Once you have set all of these parameters you can start creating the ad itself. You will start by naming the ad set so that you can identify it later. Then you can decide on the format such as single image, carousel (multiple images), slideshow, or video. Adding multiple images comes at no extra cost and might be useful for a particular type of ad format.
Once you choose the format you can upload the media you have such as your images or video and type in a caption. Instagram typically uses a square image format so it is recommended that you use an image size of about 1080x 1080 pixels. The last step is to add in a website URL so that you can drive more traffic to your site through the ad and use a call to action button so that users will click on your ad to reach your site.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.