The aim of this beginner’s guide on how to advertise on Instagram is twofold: how to create a campaign that raises brand awareness and how to attract your ideal client in order to increase your overall return on investment. Because let’s face it, what’s the point of paying for advertising when it’s not viewed by your target audience?
With over 400 million active users, Instagram is one of the most important social media platforms for you to be on today. When Instagram recently abandoned the chronological feed and introduced the new algorithmic timeline, users and business owners were faced with the challenge of entirely rethinking their strategies and posting tactics in order to continue to reach their target audience.
It therefore comes at no surprise that Instagram ads have quickly become a new and interesting tool for users and business owners to obtain guaranteed exposure with the hope of growing their following, and ultimately increasing their sales. If managed correctly, great results can be achieved from Instagram ads; and so let’s find out what you need to consider when you advertise on Instagram.
1. Make sure your Instagram ad account is linked to your Facebook business page.
Before you can create your first paid campaign you need to make sure that your Instagram account is linked to your Facebook business page. Follow these simple steps to link your Instagram account to your Facebook business page:
1. Click on ‘Settings’ in the top-right corner of your business page.
2. Go to ‘Instagram Adverts’.
3. Choose to either add an existing Instagram account or to create a new Instagram account and hit confirm.
Other suggestions to keep in mind: Your Instagram ad campaigns are managed in the same place as your Facebook ads. To assist you with your creation of Instagram ad campaigns, there are three Facebook advertising tools currently available: Advert Manager, Power Editor, and Business Manager.
Business Manager is a recommended tool only if you manage and create ad campaigns for more than one Facebook page and/or have a team of people working on these campaigns together. Yes, Business Manager is a free tool, but if you’re only going to be promoting one Facebook page, then Business Manager would not be necessary under these circumstances and I would recommend using either Advert Manager or Power Editor; both of them are very easy to use.
I’ve created a free checklist to guide you through the exact steps required to make an Instagram ad. You can download it by clicking here:
2. Know your target audience and “niche down”.
Niching down refers to setting an age group, as well as defining interests of your ideal audience/client. Try and be as specific as possible with these details when you're creating your paid Instagram campaign.
If you solely own a local business, you will want to target an audience who geographically reside in close proximity to your business location. If you have an online based business and are targeting various countries, I would recommend further breaking down these countries into respective, key cities, rather than promoting to the country as a whole. Specific targeting when you’re learning how to advertise on Instagram will improve your chances of reaching your ideal audience/client and will also save you money in the long run.
3. Think about what times of day your ideal client is on Instagram.
It is more cost effective to target your advert during specific times rather than having it active 24/7. Think about at what times your ideal audience/client is most active on the App. For example, depending upon who your ideal audience/client is, advertising to users during office hours might not be as effective as targeting them before or after office hours.
4. Choose your image or video carefully.
This may sound obvious, but visually stimulating images are mandatory on Instagram and must be beautifully created, if you want other users to engage with you and consistently follow you. Also remember that lifestyle photos/videos attract users with whom you will genuinely connect! Your Instagram ad should always be consistent in your branding and messaging. Remember, your ad is only a stepping stone to get people to click through to your profile or website, so if someone liked your ad and decides to click through to your website, you will want to ensure they LOVE your feed/website and that whatever services/products that you're offering are, indeed, consistent with your Instagram ad.
5. Don't include too much text in your design.
When designing an ad for Instagram (or Facebook), you need to remember that the text on the image can't take up more than 20% of the total, otherwise, it won't get approved by Instagram/Facebook. Try to only include the most important information in the design, such as a call to action (e.g. 'Enter the giveaway') or your key offer (e.g. 'Sale' or '20% discount', etc.). Remember, you can always add more text in the caption.
6. Consider choosing a video or "carousel" (rotating images).
Videos will play automatically as users scroll down their feed, and movement will catch their eye. It’s a fact that videos or gifs garner more attention than just a stilled image. You also have the option to create a carousel, which is basically a slideshow of different images or videos, allowing you to showcase your product/service with more than just one stilled image. Essentially this option gives you more creative flexibility and the users will have a clearer understanding of your promo.
7. Try A/B testing with your Instagram ad.
A/B testing basically means that you publish 2 (or more) ads for the same ad in order to test which performs better. Applying A/B testing is a great strategy while you’re figuring out how to advertise on Instagram and what works for you. You can change anything from the image, the caption, to the targeting by location or even by interests! Yes, initially it is more time consuming to create various versions of the same ad, but once it pays off you can use the winning design for any of your future ads as well!
This is it, guys! If you’re ready to create your first Instagram ad, download the easy to follow step-by-step instructions and your first paid campaign will be up and running in no time!
Got any questions or suggestions? Let me know in the comments below!