Advertising to your target market in the 18-35 age range just got a whole lot easier. On September 30th, Instagram opened the door for all marketers to advertise on Instagram.
If you are an advertiser, marketer or business owner looking to take advantage of Instagram’s 75 million daily followers, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind prior to launching your first campaign.
Determine if your business should advertise on Instagram
Ask yourself, does advertising on Instagram actually make sense for my business? Anyone can create an ad now, but you want to make sure you’re connecting with your ideal audience and spending your advertising budget wisely. Instagram is most popular with users aged 18-35 with more than 65% of the user base falling within those age parameter.
Your main goal is to create a compelling ad that isn’t overly promotional, blends in with the general user content your market expects to see, and should be photogenic – Instagram rewards creativity. Should be simple right?
Preliminary reports suggest that businesses in the retail vertical, as well as entertainment or media fields tend to out-perform other sectors, but this doesn’t mean a B2B business can’t carve out a healthy following or run a lead generation strategy by advertising on Instagram.
Ensure that your website or landing page can handle the traffic
Users who engage with your ad are going to click through to your website or landing page. Now, more than ever, having a mobile-friendly, responsive website is critical. I can’t drill this home any harder. If your website is not mobile-friendly, don’t spend your budget on Instagram ads or even Facebook ads. You’re not going to get the level of conversions you want because the user-experience is off-putting.
Consider how your customer uses Instagram and the kind of content your users will want to see
I believe there are only 3 kinds of content anyone should ever share on social media.
- Content that solves a problem.
- Content that teaches your audience something new.
- Content that entertains your fan-base.
The best content combines a healthy does of all three. Now think about why people use Instagram.People use Instagram for entertainment, for delight. They use it to stay connected with their friends and family, not to connect with a brand.
If you are venturing into the world of advertising on Instagram, you need to convey your message with very little text and exceptional creative.
Use custom audiences to target your advertising
Advertising on Instagram is done through the Power Editor extension in your Facebook Ad Account or through the Facebook Marketing API. Both Facebook and Instagram allow advertisers to target users by a variety of filters, such as age, gender, location, interests and even digital behaviours.
The most powerful tool for Facebook and Instagram advertising is your Website Custom Audience Pixel. This is a tiny snippet of java code created inside your Facebook ad account that can be placed in the header file of your website.
Once placed, this pixel captures and tracks the behaviour of Facebook (and now Instagram) users on your website.
When your audience is large enough (i.e. enough user data has been collected) you can then target your future ads to people who have visited your website and to people who are similar to people who have visited your website through Website Custom Audiences and Website Look-a-Like Audiences.
Beyond your website audiences, you can also upload your client e-mail data to create custom and look-a-like audience from your e-mail marketing database. It’s pretty awesome and it makes targeting the right people simple. After all, your existing customers give you the best insight on who your prospective customers should be.
Review your audience and budget strategy
Determining what you should spend on Instagram advertising is a bit of an art. When you set up your campaign, you have four types of bidding options.
- Link Clicks to Website/Pay Per Impressions
- Daily Unique Reach
- Link Clicks to Website/Pay Per Link Click
- By Impressions
Depending on the size of your audience, the length of your campaign, and the funds you have to work with, you don’t necessarily want to select the recommended option which defaults to ‘Link Clicks to Website/Pay Per Impressions.
For instance, when I have a small audience that I feel is likely to convert, or if I’m working with a time limit on a campaign, I might opt for Daily Unique Reach. Daily unique reach serves my ad to as many as people as possible (within my budget) up to once per day.
Similarly, if my audience is small to medium, I don’t want to burn through my budget in one day by pricing my bid high. Facebook and Instagram strive to show your ads to people they believe will click through or convert (this is known as optimized CPM), unfortunately, if I’ve bid high, and my target user isn’t online, Facebook will start to show my ad to less relevant users. These users are less likely to click through and less likely to covert. This means my cost per click will go up and my ad spend will get tapped. Instead, I prefer to spend smaller budgets on a more relevant audience daily.
All in all, Instagram advertising is here to stay and an exciting new option for your 2016 ad budget. We’ve been fortunate to roll Instagram ads out with 2 clients since beginning of October and are seeing fantastic results. In the words of one client, ‘We’re killing it for him on Instagram now!’
Crystal DeCnodder is a social media, digital marketing and public relations expert and is the principal at InkPlot, a creative digital marketing agency in Calgary, Alberta. She has been an entrepreneur since 2011 and plays 5 instruments.