A Small Business Guide To Advertising On Instagram

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Photo by Lance Matthew Pahang on Unsplash | This article was originally shared on 227-mn.com

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Instagram is one of the most popular social networks in the World and advertising on the social media platform provides brands with an opportunity to reach an audience of millions.

If your objective is to market your business, create value and build a brand — simultaneously. Advertising on Instagram via Facebook, automatically gives your business a number of advantages and a number of paths to take to achieve your overall advertising goals.

Whether it be driving awareness, increasing your customer base or cultivating a brand identity among a highly active audience. Instagram provides businesses with a seamless experience tailored to inspire action.

No matter the size of your budget, advertising on Instagram offers your business an easy way to meet your business goals and get results. Since Instagram is a part of the Facebook ecosystem.

There are three main campaign types:

  1. Awareness — Increase the number of people who know about your content, product or services (Reach, Reach & Frequency, Brand Awareness & Local Awareness).
  2. Consideration — Direct people down a path to learn more about your content, product or services (Website clicks, Video Views, Reach & Frequency)
  3. Conversion — Boost content views/streams, product purchases, even visitors to your online store ( Website conversions, Dynamic ads on Instagram, App Install & Engagements).

In a sense, Instagram has become a stronghold within the Facebook ecosystem. Bolstering 2 million monthly advertisers and over 25 million business accounts.

The platform has become a mainstay for brands, Influencers, photographers and puppy connoisseurs alike.

44% of Instagram’s active users utilize the platform for search and discovery of top brands.

With that being said, visual content DOES matter.

53% of Instagram users follow their favorite brands on the platform. Given the exposure, small businesses have a social media platform to express their creativity and establish a voice locally and globally.

Why Use Instagram Ads?

Instagram is hugely popular around the World, and its users have high engagement rates with businesses.

  • Over 200 million users visit at least one business a day.
  • 80% of Instagram users follow a business.
  • 72% of users have bought products influenced by Instagram.
  • 65% of the best performing posts contain products.

Instagram continues to create immense value for businesses interested in targeting a specific audience. Lets check out some of Instagram’s precise targeting options.

Location

Instagram advertising allows you to target people based on their location — This includes cities, states, provinces and countries. This is a very valuable feature for those interested in promoting events, live performances or building a local brand.

Demographics

The Demographics targeting option allows you to refine your audience based on gender, age and languages.

Behaviors

This is a key targeting option when it comes to product advertisement. This includes ‘Behaviors’ on Facebook as well. For example, those customers who are interested in outdoor activities (such as hiking, camping and water sports)

Interests

The ‘Interests’ targeting option is different from ‘Behaviors’ in a way that it focuses more on app usage, the accounts you follow and the advertisements customers have clicked on.

Custom Audiences

Do you have an ever-growing email list? Or thinking about starting one? This targeting option is a great way to create an audience based on phone numbers and email addresses.

Lookalike Audiences

The ‘Lookalike’ feature on Instagram advertising is a great way to utilize brand association. This targeting option allows you pinpoint user that are similar to your existing customers.

Automated Targeting

This is one of Instagram’s in-house services. The social media platform creates an audience who might be interested in your content, product or services. The audience is based on a number of factors including interests, location and demographics.

The 6 Types of Instagram Ads

There are number of different advertising formats that you can use in Instagram to help you achieve your business objectives.

Photo Ads

Photo ads are a great way to keep your advertisements clean and simple. They consist of one or more images in a landscape or square format.

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PRO TIP: Avoid using stock or standalone product imagery straight from a catalog.

Video Ads

Video ads are a great way to ad to add sound, motion and include an added visual aspect to your Instagram advertisement. Videos can be up to 120 seconds long or a GIF — which can contain text and links in the description.

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PRO TIP: To get users to follow through, select “Add a website URL” to add a Call To Action button that directs potential customers to your site.

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads are an addition to photo ads on Instagram. This ad format provides a layer of depth for businesses because they can include photos, videos, GIFs and allows customers to scroll through your Instagram post.

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PRO TIP: Carousel ads can be used to give customers a step-by-step guide on how to use your product.

Collection Ads

Collection ads on Instagram is a great way to help potential customers discover your products, services or content.

The Instagram ad type allows businesses and brands to craft a message around their story with photos, videos or both.

Collection ads create value by allowing businesses to present a brand story surrounding interests, products and content.

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PRO TIP: You can add deep links to enable user tracking through third party application such as Iconosquare and Buzzsumo.

Ads in Explore

Instagram’s Explore advertising is a great way to reach people who are discovery mode and looking for inspiration outside of the core group of accounts they already follow.

Ads in Explore aim to increase reach, brand awareness and grow your follower base into engaged customers. The key is to always add value.

A great example is Kylie Jenner’s Instagram account where she mixes fashion, lifestyle and beauty products to produce a highly active follower base.

PRO TIP: Create a clear action path for user by giving simple steps and describing the results of actions, for example, “Tap the ball to make it bounce”.

Instagram Stories Ads

Instagram Stories Ads is a great way to connect with Instagram’s 500+ million user base already using Instagram Stories daily to grow an audience.

This type of ad format appears in between Instagram Stories in the form of single images or single videos.

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PRO TIP: 60% of Instagram Stories are viewed with the sound on, so include music or voices to make your Story stick out.

Understanding The Different Campaign Objectives

Facebook Ads Manager allows you to choose the focus surrounding your ads so that they are targeted at the right people, at the right time, for right reasons.

Brand Awareness

Choose this objective to increase visibility and get seen by people who could be interested in your services or products but are unaware of your content, company or services.

Ad Formats Supported

  • Photo Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Carousel Ads
  • Stories Ads
  • Explore Ads

Reach

Choose this objective to maximize the number of people who see your advertisements on Instagram. Reach focuses more on location rather than interests.

Ads Formats Supported

  • Photo Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Carousel Ads
  • Stories Ads
  • Explore Ads

Traffic

Choose this objective to bring more visitors to your brand’s website, content or app store page.

Ads Format Supported

  • Photo Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Carousel Ads
  • Stories Ads

App Installs

Choose this objective to get more people on Instagram to download and install your app.

Ad Formats Supported

  • Photo Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Carousel Ads
  • Stories Ads

Engagements

Choose this advertisement objective to promote offers, further interaction with your account and to get Instagram users to engage with previous posts.

Ad Formats Supported

  • Photo Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Explore Ads

Video Views

Choose this objective to increase awareness of your videos and get more Instagram user to discover your content. This advertising objective is a great way to promote your catalog and build a fan base.

Ad Formats Supported

  • Explore Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Carousel Ads
  • Stories Ads

Conversions

Choose this advertising objective to get people to take specific actions. For example: download your app, purchase merchandise through an online store or sign up for your newsletter.

Ad Formats Supported

  • Explore Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Carousel Ads
  • Collection Ads

Lead Generation

Choose this objective to improve your overall marketing capabilities by collecting information from potential customers, such as email addresses or account follows on Instagram.

Ad Formats Supported

  • Photo Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Carousel Ads
  • Collection Ads

How To Create Instagram Ads With Facebook Ads Manager

Follow these simple steps to create and customize your ads on Instagram.

Step 1

On your Facebook home page, click Create, then choose Ad from the drop down menu to enter Facebook Ads Manager.

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Step 2

Click the Create Ad button and choose Guided Creation.

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Step 3

Choose an Objective for your ad.

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PRO TIP: Each objective will have different options so take the time to explore them to find what’s right for your needs.

Step 4

Choose a Campaign name, then click Set up ad account.

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Step 5

Make sure that your details are correct and click Continue.

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Step 6

Choose the audience your ad will be aimed at.

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PRO TIP: Choose Browse in Detailed Targeting to explore a range of metrics to specify who you want your ad shown to.

Step 7

Under Placements, choose Edit placements and then check the Instagram box.

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PRO TIP: You can also run the same Instagram ads on Facebook and Facebook Messenger simultaneously.

Step 8

Set the budget and schedule for your ads and click Continue.

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PRO TIP: Select Lifetime budget to set a limit on how much can be spent on the campaign.

Step 9

Select the Facebook and Instagram accounts to link to the campaign.

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Step 10

Pick the content format for the ad to be in.

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Step 11

Choose the images or media you want to include in your ad, as well as the headline and any text.

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Step 12

Click Confirm to enter your payment information and launch your campaign.

The Anatomy of a Successful Instagram Ad

Create Instagram advertisements like a pro following these simple tips.

1. Use High Quality Visuals That Will Make Your Ad Stand Out

Don’t rely on text to convey your brand message, visuals alone should make it clear what the advertisement is about.

2. Keep Text To A Minimum

Use as few words as possible and never at the top of the image.

3. Use The CTA Button

Prompt your audience to follow through with a specific action.

4. Use The Right Dimensions

94% of Instagram users view their phone vertically so don’t shoot horizontal videos or images.

5. Effective Hashtag Usage

Research the most common hashtags in your field and add them to each Instagram post.

6. Include Subtle Messaging & Branding

Place your product naturally in the image.

7. Short And To The Point Instagram Captions

Use short sentences or key facts in the Instagram caption rather than trying to deep dive.

How To Make Your Instagram Ad Stand Out

Be strategic to maximize the effectiveness of your Instagram advertisement.

Choose The Best Day And Time To Post

  • Instagram user engagement is highest at: Wednesday — 3pm, Thursday — 5am/11am/3–4pm, Friday— 5am

Create Your Own Branded Hashtag To Tie A Campaign Together

  • 70% of Instagram hashtags are branded, they provide continuity and make it easy to determine a brand’s popularity.

Test Different Visuals On Your Audience

  • The statistics that you can analyze through Instagram Insights allows you to experiment with your advertisements to determine what content your audience likes best.

Include User-Generated Content

  • People trust people, especially those they know. So include feedback, testimonials or images from your brand community on Instagram.

Instagram ads are an effective and cheap way to connect with a wider audience.

Use our guide to help you create ads that can make a difference for your business.

Written by

Entrepreneur based in Minneapolis, MN. I write about Music, Inspiration, Economics & Business. Website: 227-mn.com & Newsletter: http://ow.ly/nBJJ50AbYAF

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