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The Beginner’s Guide To Advertising on Instagram

Every marketer’s primary goal is to feel heard and seen among its target audience in order to increase sales. People are shifting more & more towards social media platforms for entertainment, business, even to seek advice on various lifestyle topics. 

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Instagram is one such social platform highly popular these days. As per statistics, there are around 1.8 billion daily active users on Instagram. The rate of conversion and engagement completely depends on the users who can view the content on the platform. This is why so many marketers are shifting their focus to advertising on Instagram as a way to boost their brand awareness, traffic to their website, and generate better leads. 

Whether you’ve done some social media marketing before, or are a newbie, this beginner’s guide will help you learn how to advertise on Instagram by providing an overview of all the essential practices. 

Why Advertising on Instagram is Worth Your Time & Effort? 

Running ads on Instagram is one of the most effective ways to give your brand or idea the attention it deserves. 40% of social media marketers claim that Instagram generates the third-best advertising ROI as compared to other social platforms. Brands that publish their content on Instagram experience the highest engagement than any other platform. Higher engagement means more people will see the ad, which leads to more brand awareness, sales and potential customers. 

You may not be aware of the fact that Instagram uses Facebook for finding the demographic data of the target audience. This is quite valuable for marketers who wish to advertise on the platform. 

For example, if you wish to target girls aged above 18 who live in metropolitan cities, and have an interest in fashion, beauty and lifestyle, you can do it using Instagram’s precise target capabilities. 

This gives you control over who sees your ad. This way your content resonates better with your followers, and they’re most likely to convert. So, when you enjoy more control over your content, you boost the chances of getting a good return on your marketing investment. 

You can advertise on Instagram via your Facebook account, using Power Editor features or Ads Manager. If you have run ads on Facebook before, this will take just a few clicks. Plus, you can manage the Facebook and Instagram advertising through a single account, which makes it easier for you. 

Types of Instagram Ads

There are five main types of ads that you can run on Instagram Feed and Stories:

  1. Photo Ads - In Photo Ads, the ads appear like a single image just like a normal Instagram post. Photo ads work well for eCommerce stores to interact with the target audience in a visual format.
  1. Video Ads -  Ad is in the form of video. If you want to convey more than what photo ads can cover, then video ads are preferred as you can say in a video of 60 seconds long. 
  1. Slideshow Ads - You can make a looping video ad with up to 10 images. These types of ads are a hybrid between video and carousel ads. These work well for any connection speed and as a great alternative to videos. 
  1. Carousel Ads - You can create an ad with 2 or more scrollable videos or images. Carousel ads work excellent for online shopping websites in displaying lengthier ads than what a single image can offer. 
  1. Stories Ads - Ads on Instagram Stories provide a fullscreen and an immersive viewing experience. You can feature both videos and photos on your Stories Ads. 

How To Advertise on Instagram? 

You can advertise ads on Instagram in two different ways:

  1. Creating ads through Facebook Ads Manager
  1. You can create ads directly on the Instagram app 

Before You Begin

Make sure you’ve an Instagram account for running ads on it. 

  1. If you own an Instagram account
  • Add it your Business Manager
  • Add it via the Facebook Page settings of your business
  1. If you don't own an Instagram account, you can use your Facebook page and promote your Instagram ads. If you don’t have a Facebook page of your own, you can learn how to create a Page. 

Advertising on Instagram using Facebook Ads Manager?

Facebook and Instagram have the same advertising tool known as the Ads Manager. So, if you’re already advertising on Facebook, it won’t be tough to run ads on Instagram. 

To create an ad on Instagram using Ads Manager, you must follow these steps:

Step 1 - Pick your Objective

Instagram ads are quite effective in achieving the goals of an online business. In order to get results, there must be a specific goal. This determines the success of your ads. 

With Ad Manager, there are three fundamental goals to pick from:

  1. Awareness - It increases the demand for the product or service you’re trying to sell
  1. Consideration - To drive consumers to examine your products or services whether they’ll be able to fulfill their needs or not
  1. Conversion - To prompt potential customers to purchase the product or service or get positive feedback for the eCommerce store 

Having these three business goals, you can pick any objectives:

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Awareness 

  • Brand Awareness - Promoting your brand, product or service
  • Reach - Share your Instagram ad with a large number of people 

Consideration 

  • Traffic - Encourage consumers to visit your website or app
  • Engagement - Boost ad exposure to a wider audience while increasing the number of likes, views, comments, shares, offer claims as well as responses 
  • App Installs - Drive people to download your app
  • Video Views -  Showcase your video in front of a large audience to promote your online store
  • Lead Generation - Generate new leads/prospects for your store by collecting information such as email addresses

Conversion 

  • Conversions - Attract positive action such as website conversion
  • Catalog Sales - Link the Instagram ads to the product catalog 
  • Store Visits - Motivate consumers to visit your physical store

Step 2 - Specify your Target Audience

Depending on your core objective, you need to identify your target audience. In order to make your ad campaign more effective, it’s imperative to determine who you want your content to see. Targeting irrelevant audiences will lead to nothing but waste of money. 

The Ads Manager lets you experiment and choose your audience based on the following criteria: 

  1. Custom Audience Targeting - Define your custom audience based on the people who interact with your online store, be it inside or outside Facebook
  1. Detailed Targeting - Make your targeting flexible by further filtering your audience depending on demographics, behaviours and interests
  1. Connections Targeting - Target consumers who have a connection with your online store 
  1. Lookalike Audience Targeting - Target new potential customers who may be interested in your product or service just like your current customers

Step 3 - Choose Where To Display Ads

Running your online store with the Ads Manager will give you a wide range of ad placements to select from. Here’s how you can change your ad to pick Instagram as your platform for the campaign. 

  1. In the Ads Manager, visit Ad Sets and then click on ‘Placements’. You will see a display like the one below:

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  1. Then go to the ‘Edit Placements’ button. This section shows different platforms to run your ads. Then, select Instagram. You can pick between ‘Feed’ or ‘Stories’ or use both of them. 

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Step 4 - Decide your Budget and Schedule

This part is all about how much you want to spend on your Instagram ads and when you want them to run. This step requires you to fix your budget - Daily or Lifetime, and whether you wish to run your ad on a continuous basis for a few days or on alternate days, and the like. 

We suggest you start with the lowest budget. This allows you to examine and analyze your Instagram ad. On the basis of these results, you can make changes to your Instagram ads that you create in future to get better performance. 

Step 5 - Designing your Ad 

Now that you’re completed with the fundamentals of your Instagram ad, it’s time to design it to make it more visually-appealing for your audience. The three main components of a design of an ad are:

Format - While designing your ad, you need to pick one of the Instagram formats. The ‘Collection’ option is disabled on Instagram. 

Text - Text means whatever copy you write to support your visuals. Your videos or images must be accompanied by the right text to drive the audience to take action. 

Call-to-action - Following is a list of supported CTA buttons on Instagram:

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Download 
  • Contact Us
  • Get Offer
  • Get Showtimes 
  • Listen Now
  • Learn More
  • See Menu
  • Request Time 
  • Sign Up
  • Shop Now
  • Subscribe 
  • Watch More

How to advertise on Instagram using the app?

You can run a simple ad on your Instagram app. However, the options won’t be as extensive as the ones in Ads Manager. 

Step 1 - Pick your Media

All you have to do is click on the ‘Promote’ button on your app’s interface. You’ll be required to pick from one of the posts that are already shared on your Instagram profile. 

Step 2 - Pick an Outcome 

The outcome of your ad means the goals you wish to achieve, which can be:

  • More Profile Visits 
  • More Website Traffic
  • More Promotion Views 

Step 3 - Choose your target audience

This step involves defining the audience you want to reach through your Instagram ads.

Following are different options to pick your target audience:

  • Automatic - Instagram decides your target audience for your ad, like your existing followers
  • Local - Target your audience according to their location, and then by age and gender
  • Manual - You select your target audience by specific locations, like towns and cities, hobbies & interests, as well as by age and gender

Step 4 - Decide your Budget & Duration

Now you must decide how much you want to spend daily and how long you want to run the ad. 

The longer the ad runs, the higher will be its expenditure. Then, you’ll also need to pick your payment method. 

Step 5 - Review & Publish

Now you will see a prompt to review your Instagram ad. Once you’re done with it, you’re good to go!

Best Practices for Advertising on Instagram

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Try to Fit In 

The topmost rule to follow when advertising on Instagram is to learn to fit in. This means your content must feel organic, even if it isn’t. Since Instagram is a widely-used visual social media platform, you’ll be required to use good-quality images and explainer videos to advertise your brand or product. 

Avoid using text on the images you post, and instead write it on the text box below. 

Be More Creative 

Instagram is a highly competitive social platform these days. In order to stand out from the crowd, you must catch your viewers’ attention in the best way possible. 

Instagram offers a wide range of apps to help you create creative and eye-catching ads. You can be a lot more creative by using these affordable apps like:

  • Boomerang - This app creates short video loops
  • Hyperlapse - Using this app, you can capture high-quality timelapse videos even while moving
  • Layout - It creates a collage by combining, mirroring or flipping multiple images/photos into a single image

Keep it Entertaining

People are always looking for entertainment on Instagram. They don’t want to read your case study or research, instead they want to get engaged and amused by your content. 

So, to appeal to millions of Instagram users out there, you must think of ways you can make your posts fun and entertaining. 

As you’re aware that Instagram is driven by visuals, so it’s better to approach your ads in a different way. 

Attach Links to your Website

Instagram doesn’t allow its users to attach links to their posts. However, while advertising on the platform, you can still use links with your content. 

Try to direct your followers to your website or a landing page by using links like ‘Learn More’, ‘Sign Up’, and ‘Request Info’. 

Hold Contests & Giveaways

Instagram has the largest number of engaged audiences, which is why it is an ideal place for hosting a giveaway or contest. Not only will it attract more followers and grab their attention, but once you pay for its promotion, it’ll more likely increase your business. 

Besides engagement, you can also benefit from contests and giveaways in a few other ways such as collecting information about people who participate. You can ask the participants to give their names and email addresses in return. 

Measure & Test 

It is imperative that you test and calculate the performance of your ad. If you wish to start a fully-fledged Instagram ad campaign, you’ve to take a few tests in order to know what is working for you and what isn’t. 

You can measure the results of your ad using the built-in analytics in the Ad Manager or within the app. 

Click on this link to know more about how to measure the performance of your ads:

About Instagram insights | Instagram Help Centre (facebook.com)

Follow Instagram Trends 

Instagram is popular for its innovative tools and features. If you run an eCommerce store, try to embrace every new trend that Instagram app launches. This will help you reach a wider audience, and communicate in their own language. 

For instance, hashtags are the most trending staple on Instagram. However, recently Instagram released a new feature where people can follow a hashtag they’re interested in. Hashtags are used in the Instagram algorithm for featuring posts on the ‘Explore’ tab. 

This feature allows users to discover brands and stores on Instagram. The most effective way is to follow and use hashtags that connect to your brand. Using the right hashtags is really important. Use the ones that match the brand or products. 

There’s another Instagram Advertising feature which allows you to link hashtags in the bio. 

Wrapping Up

Brands resort to Instagram Advertising as its the most widely used visual platform these days. They can find stories and connect with people along with their favourite brands with interesting content. This is the reason behind more & more brands are shifting to Instagram to connect with the target audience. 

Therefore, advertising on Instagram has true potential in developing a two-way process between business and consumers. 

If you’re wondering how much does it cost to advertise on instagram, the average price is around 2$ per click on the ad. 

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