Running an Instagram business account can differ from a personal one in many ways. One of the most obvious is that you’re trying to sell something, whether it be a product or some kind of service. One method business savvy users utilize is Instagram Advertising as it’s a great way to increase Instagram followers and, therefore, conversions.

How to get started with Instagram advertising is another issue. Here are the business basics to starting up your ads on Instagram.

What Are Instagram Ads?

When Instagram originally launched, it was a completely ad-free platform. It was bought out by Facebook in 2013 and that’s when it started offering a limited range of advertising options. Two years later, and the opportunities have increased significantly.

It’s not a case of Instagram selling out, but it has simply evolved into something different. What was once a very simple photo sharing social media site, has morphed into a global community connecting people as well as making it easy for them to share products they love with others.

It’s not simply about selling, more about sharing and endorsing, which is something to bear in mind when creating your ads and developing your social media marketing strategy.

Due to the fact that Instagram’s ads are integrated with Facebook’s Ad Manager, it means when you advertise on Instagram, you are given a lot of user information taken from Facebook about your target audience. This gives you more information about whom you are trying to target.

Why Use Them?

In order to get more followers, get more likes and generally get more eyes on your posts, you need to get your posts in front of as many people as possible. It’s a catch 22 situation because the less popular your posts are, the less they appear on newsfeeds or Search and Explore pages. The more likes and engagement your posts get, the higher up they get bumped on everything.

The first step is getting people to see your posts – if they don’t see them, they won’t like or comment on them. The following step is to make sure your content is engaging enough for people to like or comment on. Targeted ads can help with the first part.

Data analysis has shown that after seeing an ad on Instagram, a whopping 75% of users take action. This means they will see the ad and purchase the product or service, or at least visit the website for further investigation. This is a huge figure that should sway most businesses to consider Instagram advertising.

How Much Does An Ad Cost?

The cost of an Instagram ad varies account to account. The average cost, taken from analysis of $300 million on ad spend, was about $0.70 to $0.80 per click. There are, however, a variety of factors that could cause the price to fluctuate.

Other variables affecting the price include the ages you choose to target, where you place the ads (Stories, desktop newsfeed, right column, etc.), the time of year, etc. As the year goes on, advertising becomes more expensive with the last quarter being the highest. Something to bear in mind when drawing up your social media marketing budget.

What Are The Different Types of Ads?

Instagram offers five different formats for advertising. These are:

  • Stories ads
  • Collection ads
  • Photo ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads.

These different formats can all be woven organically into feeds and Stories without disruption. They pop up as if it is a post from someone they are following.

Stories Ads

These appear as full-screen targeted ads in between the regular Stories on the users’ feed. There are 500 million users viewing the Stories section every day, so this offers excellent potential.

Stories ads allow you to add on the following call to action buttons – Apply Now, Book Now, Contact Us, Call Now (for video Stories) and Download. These appear as swipe up features.

You can also target your audience and choose how often the user sees your ad. Stories only last for 24 hours, so this is an ideal option for a limited time promotion or teasing new launches.

Photo Ads

Great for high-quality visual content, with lots of targeting and call to action options. With photo ads, you’re able to choose audience demographics, like the gender and age of users, to target.

The call to action options include: Apply Now, Book Now, Call Now, Contact Us, Get Directions, Learn More, Get Showtimes and Download.

These are better for longer term promotions or campaigns than Stories ads, but the content should be of a more formal and higher quality.

Video Ads

This is utilized by production companies advertising new movies, as well as for regular ad campaigns in replacement of TV.

Instagram published the results of a case study recorded when advertising the movie La La Land on Instagram.

They wanted to reach an audience traditionally unfamiliar with the classic Hollywood musical genre, and so turned towards Instagram.

They built a series of videos specifically for Instagram, targeting the new audience they wanted to tap. The researched the audience’s interests – travel, cinematography, photography, romance, and fashion – and incorporated these areas into the 10 promotional videos.

They are a first-class example of how an Instagram video should be used – short 30-second clips which are visually compelling with a focused theme. They could also be enjoyed without sound and had enticing captions.

The ads created a 24-point increase in ad recall, eight-point lift in awareness, and viewing intent rose by four points. The record-breaking box office performance was also said to be due to the younger audience flocking in to see it.

Carousel Ads

This is where you can create a series of 10 images that users can swipe through easily. It’s best used when you have multiple products on offer and don’t want to clog up users’ newsfeeds with multiple posts.

It can also be used to share multiple parts of one story. For example, a fitness Influencer using this to highlight multiple steps in a workout plan to try and entice people to download their fitness app.

Collections Ads

Collections ads enable users to purchase products directly from the ad; an opportunity that’s only been around in early 2018.

Collection ads are when one product is featured as a part of a ‘collection’ of linked products. If the user clicks on your ad, it will reveal a series of images of videos below.

These have become hugely successful on both Instagram and Facebook since the launch. They are for mobile only but seeing as most people are using social media from their phones this isn’t much of an issue.

Choosing the type of ad you want to take out can be challenging. Look at who your audience is and what they respond best to. The only thing that can go wrong is that one type doesn’t pan out as expected and you have to switch to another option. Always keep your goal in mind, and which type of ad can help you achieve that.

Collections ads are great if your goal is to sell your product; whereas if you want to raise brand awareness, regular photo ads with call to actions linking to your website would be a good choice.

Instagram Business Account Basics: Types of Advertising
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Instagram Business Account Basics: Types of Advertising
Instagram offers five different types of advertising options. This guide clarifies the benefits of each one.
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