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The Advertiser’s Guide to Instagram Ads

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Instagram ads are the new frontier, and marketers are the pioneers.

Whether you are familiar with Facebook advertising or not, if you haven’t ventured to the land of Instagram ads yet, now is the perfect time to do so.

It’s likely that your target audience will be checking their Instagram accounts over the summer for the inevitable cascade of holiday photos or maybe just for inspirational summer images.

Brace yourselves – summer has come to Instagram! Here’s how to make sure your PPC campaigns don’t get left behind.

Instagram Ads

Facebook (the owner of Instagram) have recently announced new updates which create additional value to advertisers, making Instagram an even more attractive option – but more on that later on.

First, we are going to walk you through some of the features, from account creation to ad features, covering any questions you may have.

The Advertiser’s Guide to Instagram

Why bother at all?

Instagram ads look just like normal posts, the only difference being the word “Sponsored” in the top right corner.

Instagram Ad Example

That means they are highly visual. After all, they say that a picture is worth a thousand words for a reason!

…or 60 thousand words, if we want to be more accurate. According to SAGE Handbook of Political Communication, “the brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than it takes to decode text.”

That means if users like what they see, they’re more likely to click on your ads – and they won’t spend much time debating it, either.

Although it helps, you don’t have to have a highly visual product to be part of the fun. Service providers, entertainment sites etc. could make use of catchy images too.

Instagram Ad Example

You can now reach a larger audience with compelling ads, exploring a whole new world of opportunities.

Fewer advertisers are running campaigns on Instagram than on other platforms such as Facebook. This means that the ads are expected to get higher clickthrough rates and could even be less expensive!

And don’t forget: Instagram is a good place to target if you want to reach younger audiences – something that could be expensive to do so on other channels. According to the Pew Research Centre, the Instagram adoption rate for users 18-29 is 53%. Twitter, by contrast, stands at 37%.

What can my ads do?

With such a wide array of choices, it would probably be easier to list what your ads can’t do – but where’s the fun in that? Here are some of the most prevalent features of Instagram ads:

Website Clicks

Users who click on the ad will be directed to your website. You can choose which page to use as your landing page, depending on your KPIs.

If you want to inform them about your company, the homepage is probably a good place to start. If you are promoting a special offer, then we would recommend a dedicated landing page focused around the offer but also providing enough information so that they won’t have to wander around the website.

Website Conversions

Again, you direct traffic to your website, but this time around you measure specific desired actions (e.g. newsletter signups, a sale, etc.).

Mobile App Installs

Promote your app and encourage people to install it.

Page Post Engagement

Boost existing posts so that more people can engage with them.

What will my ads look like?

There are currently three options for what Instagram ads look like:

  • Photo Ads: a single photo
  • Carousel Ads: multiple images for users to swipe
  • Video Ads: share videos up to a minute long

All three add formats include a short description below the image and a call-to-action button.

Who can I target?

Instagram uses the same targeting settings as Facebook, which is good news for advertisers already familiar with the social media giant. This means that you can:

  • Define an audience based on desired demographic characteristics, including location, interests, behaviours, etc.
  • Retarget your website’s visitors and segment to various customer lists (e.g. existing customers, basket abandoners, etc.)
  • Target new users similar to your customers, with similar characteristics and behaviours, through lookalike audiences

Instagram Ad


What’s new?

Facebook recently announced Dynamic Ads for Retargeting on Instagram. That means that you can tailor ads to specific audiences according to the pages they have visited on your website.

Someone who has visited the checkout page of a hotel but did not make a reservation, for example, could be shown ads encouraging them to complete their purchase.

That could be life-saving for retailers with long product lists, as now they will be able to show tailored ads and cover all of their products!

And finally, perhaps in the spirit of its recent innovations, Instagram recently unveiled its new logo. Only time will tell what Instagram has in store for advertisers. For now, the future looks bright and summer is in full swing!

Instagram Logo

How do I get started?

All you need to get started is a Facebook business page. Although an Instagram account is not a requirement, it’s good to have so that your brand name is clickable and you can respond to comments.

The second thing you need is Facebook’s Power Editor (or Ad Creation tool), which is the platform used for setting up the campaigns.

Last but not least…it’s time to get creative! Combine eye-catching images with text that reflects your brand, and give the users a reason to click.

However, avoid exaggerations with your brand name and experiment with the different ad formats described above, adding different variations to test what is working best for you.

 – – –

Want to learn more about advertising or social media marketing? Ambergreen has years of experience increasing traffic and generating conversions through social media campaigns.

Get in touch or give us a call – we’d love to sit down and chat about your business over a nice cup of tea.

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