Instagram is an online and mobile social network for photo and video sharing with more than 500 million monthly active users worldwide. Users can share photos and videos publicly and privately on the Instagram app and through other social networking platforms such as Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook. Instagram provides a platform to tell visual stories through various ad formats, and many advertisers have seen this channel yielding higher ROI in comparison to their other advertising campaigns. Instagram started out with photos that were square shaped but now is open to pictures in any aspect ratio as well as videos with up to 90 seconds.
For Advertisers, Instagram is a fantastic platform to tell a company’s story in a visual and engaging way. Successful campaigns do not sell products or advertise big discounts but bring a product’s or brand’s authentic heart and soul to life. Advertisers have to carefully balance the information and the inspiration value of their campaigns to encourage the community to like and share their ads. Since Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012, the advertising platforms merged and most of the advertising and targeting options are the same for both platforms. Similar to Facebook ads, to run ads on Instagram, you’ll need a Facebook Page for the brand or product you are promoting.
Getting started is quick and easy.
Since Instagram uses the same powerful advertising tools as Facebook, you can set up, run and track campaigns in the same way as for Facebook ads. If you’re new to advertising on Instagram or even Facebook, here’s how to get started.
1. Create a business Page and profile
You must have a Facebook Page to run ads and create a free business profile on Instagram. If you don’t have one yet, create a page.
2. Set up your ad
Select your ad objective, target audience and ad format within Ads Manager or Power Editor.
3. Determine your budget
Decide how long your ads will run for and what budget you’re comfortable with spending.
Now that your ads are ready to go, click Publish. You’ll receive a notification when your ads have been approved and are ready to run.
What ad types does Instagram offer?
Instagram’s ad options can be classified based on what the ads look like and what objectives they have. All Instagram ads will be placed in the user feed, both in the browser and the app version.
You can create an ad that features a single photo, a video, or multiple photos that are displayed in a carousel format.
Image Feed Ads
This is your most standard ad format, and likely the one you see most often scrolling through your own feed. These ads are single images that will appear as a native experience as your target lead is scrolling through their feed. The lovely thing about these ads is that they don’t feel like ads, especially when done well.
Image Story Ads
Instagram Stories ads are the first type of ad that allows full-screen 9:16 visuals on the platform. The skippable ads appear between stories in a seamless transition and are marked with a “Sponsored” label.
Video Feed Ads
Bring your ad to life with a video! If you’ve put the time in to make a quality video, then you should absolutely be promoting it through your Instagram feed.
Video Story Ads
This is another great place to run video ads because stories are where users often expect to see videos, so the “selling” part of advertising doesn’t feel as forced.
Carousel Feed Ads
Next, we have carousel feed ads. This format allows you to show a series of scrollable images rather than just one single image.
This ad type is great for very visual brands, like those in the food industry, furniture sellers, clothing options, vacation destinations, car dealerships, etc. But they’re not only for playful businesses; they can also work to humanize your brand or show off your culture by showing the people behind your software or financial company.
The carousel format allows you to choose from up to 10 images within a single ad, each with its own link. Video is also an option for these ads.
What objectives can I meet with my Instagram ad?
For self-service customers, Instagram offers a range of different objectives for which you can optimize your campaign. Similar to Facebook, Instagram will show your ad to the people in your target audience who are most likely to take the action you want them to take. The campaign objectives you can choose from are:
Drive awareness of your business, product, app or service.
- Reach and frequency
- Brand awareness
- Local awareness
Make potential customers more aware of your products or services.
- Website clicks
- Video views
- Reach and frequency
Increase product sales, mobile app download and even visitors to your shop.
- Website conversions
- Dynamic ads on Instagram
- Mobile app installs
- Mobile app engagement
Lead Generation: Who doesn’t want more leads? If that is your main goal this objective is for you. Instagram currently only supports email, full name, phone number, and gender. These ads also have more of a barrier than Facebook lead generation ads, since when leads click to open the ad they’ll need to click through to fill out their information.
What targeting options does Instagram offer?
Instagram offers the same targeting options as Facebook. You can combine them to build a specific audience:
Advertisers have total control over how their budgets are allocated. For instance, you can choose between a daily budget to limit the amount spent per day or a lifetime budget where you would set up your ads to run for a length of time until the budget is depleted.
Other ways to control your Instagram ad spend include setting your ad schedule (for instance, you can specify certain hours of the day you want your ads to run), setting your ad delivery method (there are three options: link clicks, impressions, and daily unique reach), as well as setting your bid amount (manual vs. automatic).
If you want to set up a lifetime budget instead, i.e., a total budget for the duration of the campaign, your minimum budget is calculated by multiplying the minimum daily budget by the number of days the campaign lasts.
This is one platform you should not ignore, and this guide should provide you with enough resources to become insta-famous.