Advertising on Instagram: 5 Tips to Get You Started

Advertising on Instagram: 5 Tips to Get You Started

Social media can be great for business – particularly if you’re on a tight budget.  Unfortunately, posts, tweets and gathering followers will only get you so far.  In order to make a real splash with social media, you really need to be thinking about paid advertising – in particular, on Instagram.

PPC is certainly not a new concept.  Instagram has taken it to the next level with its Carousel Ads allowing the inclusion of a call to action button.  In essence, this means that your customers can click onto the ad in the app straight through to your landing page. This was followed in September by Instagram Ads API. If you are not aware of what APIs are or unsure how to use them, there are many guides like this to gain more knowledge about it.

With 400 million active monthly users, this makes Instagram the new place to be seen.  If you’re not familiar with Instagram advertising, don’t worry – the following is our guide to getting started and getting those sales.

Know your Marquee Ad from Your Carousel Ad

Before you ‘get your ‘Gram on, you need to decide which kind of advert you’re going to go for.  Instagram offers four different forms for paid advertising which are as follows:

  • Photo Ads – As the name suggests, these are adverts which use a single image containing a ‘sponsored’ icon.  CTAs for Photo Ads are limited to, Book Now, Download Now, Learn More’, Shop Now’ and, ‘Sign Up’.
  • Carousel Ads – A little more flexible than Photo Ads, Carousel Ads allow you to include multiple images and the CTA can be linked to a product page, video, a sign up form and more – the only thing you can’t use Carousel Ads for is to promote mobile app downloads.
  • Marquee Ads – These Ads are run for just one day but offer guaranteed impressions and, placement in the top ad position of Instagram’s feed.
  • Video Ads – As you may have guessed, these Ads use video content to help grab the attention of your potential customers.

Leading Banner company, ultimatebanners, recommends using video ads wherever possible as these allow you to show your product ‘in action’.

Produce Brilliant Content

OK, so this may not sound like a startling insight but, bear with us.  Instagram is, quite literally, crammed full of visual content and so yours will need to be able to stand out.  Don’t be afraid to try something new or risqué (whilst keeping within Instagram’s guidelines, of course).  When creating your ad, make sure that your branding is visible – and consistent across all material.  Finally, if you’re opting for a Video Ad, keep in mind the fact that users have to actively turn on the volume in order to hear sound; this means that you’re best sticking to visual content wherever possible.

Go Native

We’ll let you into a secret – internet users can spot an advert a mile away in most cases.  Instead of shouty ‘Buy Me Now’ messaging, keep your text and visuals in line with Instagram’s non-advertising content.

Grammable Facebook Targeting

Now that Facebook and Instagram go hand in hand, you can use your Facebook targeting for your Instagram ad campaigns – in fact, you can run your ads simultaneously on both platforms for an advertising double whammy!

Learn to listen

If you’re not already using social listening, now’s the time to start.  Social Listening is, essentially, the art of using a tool to scour the internet for mentions of a brand, product or service.  This can be used really effectively to find out what people are talking about online – and then to use this to optimize your advertising.

Once you’ve got the hang of Instagram advertising, you’ll find that it can be a really effective (and lucrative) way of getting your message across to a huge number of people.  Before you start, spend some time checking out other ads to see which ones grab – and hold – the attention of users.