Worth A Thousand Words — The Power of Instagram Ads

Now that you have learned about the Beginner’s Guide to Instagram for Business as well as the versatility of Instagram Stories, we are here to conclude this social media post trilogy with an in-depth look into the world of Instagram Ads.

Marketing guru Seth Godin has lambasted the idea of interruption marketing (an older, pre-social media approach to marketing) many times in the past. In one particular instance, he stated: “marketing by interrupting people isn’t cost-effective anymore. You can’t afford to seek out people and send them unwanted marketing messages, in large groups, and hope that some will send you money.”

Though social media marketing has gone through many iterations in the last decade and is by no means completely perfect by this point, one key part of the approach is to make any ads that you put out there seem as natural an addition as possible to your targeted audience’s news feed, timeline, etc. With demographics pertaining to gender, age, location, occupation, likes, interests and more, Instagram Ads allow you to create messages and content that your audience already have a predilection for. Read on to see why we think Instagram Ads would make an effective addition to your company’s social media and overall marketing strategy.

1. The use of links

As mentioned before in our posts on Instagram, when you make a post that shows up in the regular feed, you are not able to include a clickable link. If you do, a follower will have to physically select, copy and paste the link into their browser, which can be inconvenient and will most likely only be done by a handful of followers. The more common approach for getting clicks and visits to a specific site is to edit your profile biography to include that link and then include the phrase “Link in profile” or “Link in bio” in your post. Instagram does allow certain users to include links in their Stories posts, but the account usually has to have ten thousand followers or more in order to access this feature.

On the flip side, Instagram Ads allows your company to include a clickable call to action (such as Learn More, Shop Now, Call Now, Get Tickets) that takes the follower directly to your specified landing page. Like the link in your bio, when a user clicks on the ad link, they will not be taken out of the Instagram ad to go to the site. Once they have (hopefully) completed the call to action, they will be taken back to their feed and will be able to resume scrolling.

2. The variety of ad formats and objectives

As we have established, Instagram is a highly visual medium, driven by each user’s contribution of both photos and videos to the overall social media conversation. Likewise, two of the main advertisements you can work with include a single image ad (landscape or square) or a 60-second video ad (also available in landscape or square). Other popular ad formats include the Carousel Ad (using two to ten still images to showcase a specific line of products or services), the Slideshow Ad (similar to the Carousel Ad, except it uses a video format with overlying text to showcase a series of still images) and the Instagram Stories Ad. This final ad type does allow smaller profiles to access the full benefits of Instagram Stories (albeit with a price). However, companies can target certain factors (frequent website visitors, for example) to make sure the ads fit seamlessly into a user’s Stories timeline.

In addition to these formats, the objectives attached to the Instagram Ads help companies further define their goals and obtain meaningful conversions. The most common objectives for Instagram Ads include Lead Generation (capturing email addresses and phone numbers), Engagement, Brand Awareness, Video Views, Traffic (specifically for a website, blog post or landing page), Reach (a chance to get users beyond your normal demographics) and App Installs. Most of the objectives fit each of the formats, though it is advised that you experiment with different approaches to see which format and objective combination yields the best results for your company.

3. The integration with Facebook Ads Manager

Your company most likely has both Facebook and Instagram pages at this point, and the fact that Facebook owns Instagram allows you to create, monitor and analyze your ads from a single location. Before you begin your campaigns, link your Instagram and Facebook business pages. Once done, you will be able to directly create your Instagram Ads or Instagram Stories Ads campaign. After selecting your format and objective, you then must determine whether you want to use Facebook’s targeting options or Instagram’s Custom Audience (includes factors such as if a user has interacted with your website or app, engaged with your Facebook posts, etc.). Finally, you choose your placement in either Instagram only or Facebook also, your budget and the duration of your ad. After launching the ad, you can view the analytics in Facebook Ad Manager and make changes based on the results.

We hope this trilogy of posts on Instagram has provided your company with a bevy of ideas that you can use in future marketing campaigns. Good luck!