Are you thinking about using Instagram Ads to promote your business? The good news is that reaching new customers has become much easier with the recent introduction of advertising features for Instagram. However, before you take the plunge, it’s important to understand the platform and the necessary steps before proceeding.
The following article will address all your questions about running ads on Instagram. But first, let’s take a closer look at the platform itself.
Instagram and How It Started
Instagram is an app used for uploading and sharing photos and videos. It was initially developed for iPhone but can now be downloaded and used on almost all operating systems. In fact, Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in 2010. Mark Zuckerberg bought the platform in 2012 for a staggering one billion dollars.
People like Instagram because it’s a picture and video-sharing social media network that is easy to use and has a wide variety of filters and simple editing features. It doesn’t have a lot of frills.
Being able to upload photos and videos allows you to share tidbits of your life without having to go through a lot of detail and explanation. Images are pretty self-explanatory — a picture is worth a thousand words.
What’s more, you can also follow people you’re interested in, see their posts in your feed, and tag others in your posts. Simple and engaging — that’s it!
Instagram has been growing rapidly, reaching almost one billion users today and counting. That’s a lot of people that you can potentially reach with your product or service! It’s expected to grow to almost 1.2 billion come 2023. With the current trend, Instagram may breach that number halfway through 2022.
Its potential reach is astounding, considering that over 80% of those users are outside the United States. The top three countries that use Instagram are India at 180 million, the USA at 170 million, and Brazil at 110 million.
If you aim to expand your business worldwide, Instagram is a platform you should consider. It’s user-friendly and has a massive potential reach. But, building a following organically to reach more people is not easy. And that’s where Instagram ads come in.
What are Instagram Ads?
Like Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads help you reach a wider audience and advertise your business, particularly if your page or account is new. They are a type of social media advertising.
While Instagram Ads aren’t exactly new, it’s only been fairly recently that it has been offered to their fullest extent. Under Facebook’s wing, Instagram ads have evolved, allowing businesses to take advantage of the platform.
Before, you could only post sponsored posts on your profile, which didn’t allow you to pick an actual target audience or have any real control over who sees them. Now, you can directly advertise on Instagram through promoted posts and target your audiences more efficiently!
Because Facebook acquired this social media network, the social media giant absorbed and improved Instagram’s advertising.
First things First: Have a Facebook Ads Manager
You must then connect your Instagram account to your Facebook account with access to the advertising account. Sounds complicated? It will get simpler in the long run. While Instagram ads are run through Facebook ads, there are some key differences between the two that you should be aware of before running your ads.
First, Instagram Ads are image or video-based, meaning your ads will be displayed as photos or videos in the user’s feed. Unlike Facebook Ads, Instagram allows you to upload an image as your ad instead of using the typical third-party template.
Second, Instagram Ads are meant to be much more organic. Since Facebook is a well-established social media platform, ads displayed on that site can be used for direct advertising and promotion.
People use Facebook as their home base: it’s where they check in to see what their friends are doing sharing articles and ideas from all over the Internet. Instagram is different. People use it to follow their favorite celebrities, brands, and interests. It means that when advertising on Instagram, you must be careful not to seem too promotional or sales-y.
Being image-based makes it a powerful tool for businesses to create an emotional connection with their customers. When done correctly, Instagram Ads can create a sense of trust and familiarity between customers and the brand.
Why Use Instagram to Advertise Your Business?
You should use Instagram to advertise your business for a few reasons. Here are 10 of the biggest ones:
1. Large User Base
First, as mentioned before, Instagram has a large user base with over one billion users. It gives you a large potential audience to reach out to.
According to Hootsuite, most Instagram users come from the 18-24 (around 15% of total users) and 25-34 (16.5% of total users) age groups.
While this represents most Instagram users, all age groups are still aptly represented.
2. Rapid Growth
Instagram is growing rapidly. With its recent introduction of advertising features, now is the best time to start incorporating it to promote your business. The trend shows that it will only continue to grow, so it would be a mistake not to use it now while it is beaming with promise.
3. Active users
Third, the user base is very active, spending, on average, 21 minutes daily on the app. In the 18-24 age group, 67% of users visit the app daily. In the 25-34 age group, 60% of users log in daily.
4. Visual elements
Instagram is a visually-driven platform, and images are proven more effective in triggering emotions than text alone. If you want memorable ads that inspire action from your target audience, using this platform can help.
Other social media platforms also have visual elements, but considering that images are one of the main ways people engage with content, this powerful tool can increase awareness and traffic to your site.
Many people also tend to shy away from text-based content and don’t want to “waste” time reading through lengthy promotions. Nowadays, catching your audience’s attention can be tough with our fast-paced lifestyle. If you need to introduce and establish your content first, you’ll lose your audience’s attention.
With visual posts, the information is already delivered the moment the user lays their eyes on the post.
5. Requires Less Effort
Fifth, another advantage of Instagram is that it requires less effort than other forms of advertising, such as banners or pop-up ads on websites or prime time slots in TV commercials.
Yes, you still have to think about what you post, and you still have to choose between what looks like user-generated to professionally taken images or videos.
But you don’t have to create overdrawn commercials. You can capture your target market’s attention with just an image or a short clip, so there’s no need to write lengthy posts. While long captions can be beneficial at times, you don’t have to be a professional copywriter to attract customers. That’s a lot easier than choosing between text ads, banner ads, video ads, or more.
6. Trust from Sharers and Influencers
Sixth, people are likelier to trust brands they see promoted on Instagram. More than half of social media users trust brand posts shared by friends, while only a third trust posts from brands themselves.
It means that if you can get your customers to share your ads, they will be much more likely to trust and buy from you.
Also, we mentioned at the beginning of this article that most Instagram users use this social media platform to follow celebrities and the like.
Posts by influencers — even when they are #ads or #paid announcements — add a certain level of trust to the brand. Audiences are more accepting of this and would be willing to share such posts.
7. Less Sales-y
As mentioned, Instagram Ads are more organic and less sales-y than Facebook Ads. It gives you a better chance of appearing trustworthy to potential customers.
Besides, the layout of Instagram makes it difficult to place a lot of text in an ad. This forces you to be creative with your visuals and also creates a more casual and user-friendly vibe for your ads.
8. Laser-focused Targeting
Whether users like it or not, social media platforms collect information about them based on their activity and demographics. As such, advertisers can use this data to create laser-focused ads that are more likely to appeal to their target market.
Facebook Ads, for instance, enables you to target audiences based on their interests, demographics, and behavior. Instagram Ads work in a very similar way.
It does not necessarily mean you need a massive database to use it. You can still start with broad targeting and narrow your audience later. For example, suppose you’re one of the few local businesses that are just starting. In that case, you can go broad with your geo-targeting until you have gained some traction and identified the demographics that drive more sales to your store.
Last but not least, Instagram is owned by Facebook, so there’s no surprise that they have similar advertising features when it comes to targeting audiences.
Final Thoughts on Instagram Ads
Instagram is a social media platform that allows you to engage with your audience through visuals. Instagram also has advertising features allowing marketers and businesses to reach new customers!
With the right type of ads and enough audience engagement, you can easily convert more customers into buyers! If you need help with this powerful tool for your digital marketing strategy or want to learn how we’ve used it at Infinity Web Solutions, feel free to contact us today.