In terms of social media networks, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing and widely used platforms around the world. It has experienced a meteoric rise since its $1 billion purchase by Facebook three years ago and the network now has 400 million active users making it a high ranking industry giant. Instagram can help maximize your impact with social media marketing and increase your search rank along with high quality content. With a new ad format that was recently introduced to advertisers, Instagram now offers us the chance to more frequently integrate the platform into a social media strategy. With a relatively young audience of 53 percent under the age of 29 it represents a premier opportunity for brands to expand their reach to millennials. Currently 32.5 percent of U.S. companies now use Instagram for marketing purposes and that number is expected to reach over 70 percent by 2017, eventually passing Twitter.
For companies already using Instagram as a marketing tool, they may know how to use the platform as a kind of digital photo album to increase brand awareness through images and hashtags. High quality images that look natural and less like an advertisement usually get the best response especially for more visual brands. Hashtags can also increase engagement with the photos, allowing you the chance to utilize popular and trending hashtags which can increase your search rank. While this approach is valuable, using the new ad format can add much more to a marketing strategy and help expand awareness of your company. There are now three types of Instagram ads available to marketers- image ads, video ads and carousel ads. These types of ads are closely related to their Facebook counterparts being that the platform is now owned by Facebook.
Image ads are similar to Facebook link ads but have a heavier emphasis on the visual. These provide the ability to add a call-to-action button to an ad to help drive web visits and while still raising brand awareness. Carousel ads allow you to add multiple images within the same ad to showcase more pictures and calls to action with a single targeting option. With video ads you can add up to 30 seconds of moving images; however call-to-action buttons are not yet available for that type of ad. With the new ad format Instagram can be seamlessly integrated with Facebook so that marketers can take advantage of numerous advanced targeting methods. Integrating both platforms with the new Power editor can ensure that you can reach your target audience through a variety of channels. Utilizing Instagram and especially the new ad capabilities can be a huge boost to your social media marketing strategy. If you are looking to enhance your presence and spread awareness of your brand these new ads could be the right choice.