Small brands often struggle to be heard in the social media arena.  But one exception to this is Instagram.  Not only are you more likely to be seen here, but ten times as many people engage with businesses on Instagram than on Facebook. 

Below you’ll learn more about how to use Instagram to get your audiences to engage.

 

Advertising Intro

Once upon a time, businesses had to use sponsored posts and ask Instagram influencers to promote their brand, but things have changed.  While the sponsored system can be effective because it builds trust among consumers and prevents you from having to decide on target audiences, it can be expensive.  It also requires time-consuming negotiations, and there is no way to hold influencers accountable if they don’t deliver.  

It can still be a good idea to use sponsored posts to reach out to influencers.  In addition, Instagram now has paid partnerships to give influencers and brands increased opportunities for advertising.  It also offers increased insights and reporting than the regular sponsored posts.

 

How it Works

If you’ve created Facebook ads before, you’ll be a pro at creating them on Instagram.  In fact, you can create Instagram ads through Facebook’s advertising platform. 

This allows you to decide what your ads look like and who sees them.  You can also post ads from your own account.  There are many benefits to this system, which include instant posts, strong reporting, refined audience targeting, and scalable pricing.   The Instagram feed has also shifted from chronological to curated, so more followers are likely to see your posts.

 

Insta- Ad Types

There is a wide variety of ad options including photo, video, carousel, slideshow, and stories that you can use on Instagram. 

Photo ads require only a single image and are simple to create.  They can take users directly to the product page for the featured product. 

Video ads can run as long as one minute and give you a good opportunity to highlight multiple products.  Carousel ads can feature between two and ten images or videos that users can select as they swipe.  It’s a great way to highlight a variety of products.

Slideshow ads feature a series of still images that work together like a video.  You can also add text and audio.  And finally, stories ads let users and brands share photos and videos to create brand awareness and ad recall.

 

Campaign Objectives

There are many campaign objectives you can select when advertising on Instagram.  And it’s important to choose objectives because it will determine how ads are optimized and determine how you pay. 

The first objective is brand awareness, which you should use when you simply want to make people aware of your products or services.  If you want to increase awareness while reaching a large audience, use the reach objective instead. 

Another objective option is traffic, which helps you get users to your website or app.  You can also create offers here.  The app install objective also encourages users to download your app.  To promote your Instagram account and posts and help you promote offers, the engagement objective is a good choice. 

If you have a video, carousel, slideshow, or stories ad you want to promote, you can use the Video views objective.  It will increase awareness for both your brand and your products.

Lead generation is another useful objective you can use to collect user information including email addresses so you can market to them more effectively.  And finally, if you have an ecommerce business and want to push sales, the conversion objective is a good choice.  Just remember that you’ll need to have the Facebook pixel installed in order to use this one.

Instagram Targeting

All of the targeting options that exist for Facebook ads also exist for Instagram.  You can target for location, interests, lookalike audiences, demographics, interests, or allow automated targeting.

You can also target your Facebook custom audiences on Instagram, which makes it even easier to connect.

Creating an Ad

The process of creating an ad is simple.  Start by linking your Instagram and Facebook accounts.  In Settings for Facebook, click Instagram ads and log in.

Next, use the Ads Manager or Power Editor to create an ad by clicking “Campaigns” and then “+ Create.”  Your next step is to create your campaign objective.  Once you’ve done this, create your Instagram ad set.  From here, you can optimize for conversions including purchases or add an offer.  At this point, you’ll determine the audience for your ad and how much you want to spend.  (It’s best to start with a lower budget and then increase it later.) You can also select any custom audiences you’ve created in Facebook and target them with Instagram.  Then you will select ad placements.

At this point, click “continue” on the bottom right area of the screen and choose your format. Then simply upload your images or videos.  If you scroll down, you’ll see an option to add text.  Once you’ve done this, preview your ad to see how it will look.

Optimizing Your Ads

Once you’ve launched your campaign, you’ll still want to analyze its performance to make sure your message, audience, and creative are all as effective as possible.  Through Ads Manager, you can use split testing or view performance analytics.  At this point, simply tweak your ad and try it out again.

Now that you know how to create Instagram ads, you’ll be able to increase your reach and get more people visiting your business.  If you’d like to learn about more in-depth ways to use Instagram or other social media to connect with your audience, contact Blueprint Internet Marketing at 1.888.533.4886 or info@blueprintim.com.