If you have an Instagram business account which you use to promote your brand on, then you will know that it does take time to organically grow your account on Instagram. However, there is a quick way to get around this. That way consists of throwing money at it. In other words, Instagram advertising.
What is Instagram Advertising?
Instagram Advertising is paying to get your post seen or discovered by a larger and targeted audience. This means that by advertising on Instagram, you could:-
- Generate leads
- Pay for traffic back to your website
- Create brand awareness and exposure
- Make a sale
Yes, you can actually get products sold on Instagram through advertising. If your store has a product that meets an Instagram user’s needs, then they will be more than likely to tap on the link below the post. This link will then lead them away to the product page on your store, where they can then simply purchase the product.
Because Instagram is a visual social network, text ads don't fare too well here. Your business should rather focus on high-quality images or video. These images/video will make it easier for your brand to engage with the Instagram audience. You can also include test and hashtags in the description.
The best part is that Instagram advertising works. Around 60% of people say that they discover new products on Instagram. According to Statista, 75% of users have admitted to taking action on an ad that came in the form of an inspiring post. These percentages relate to large numbers as the Instagram platform has recently reached a billion users.
Should You Use Instagram Advertising?
If you have an online store or a brand, then advertising on Instagram is a no-brainer. However, it is important to understand Instagram’s demographics to determine if it is right for you. According to Hootsuite, Instagram caters mostly to a younger crowd that is between the ages of 18-29 (makes up more than 55% of the platform's users). 28% of Instagram users are between the ages of 30-49 years old. Adults over the age of 50 make up only 15% of the platform.
If your product caters to senior citizens, then you will have a very small demographic to deal with. This is why the platform is perfect for brands wishing to market to a younger audience who are in their twenties and have just begun earning an income.
It is important to note, that there will still be room for growth on Instagram for an older audience. Adults over 30 usually take longer to adopt social media. So if you are looking to target adults over 30, then it can be a good idea to invest now in Instagram in order to grow the brand on the platform for future users.
Instagram ads are also very effective due to its design. The ads will simply appear in a users timeline disguised as a regular post, but with a small bar at the bottom of the picture that has a link. Because of the visual nature of the platform, businesses optimize their ads for Instagram.
So instead of viewing traditional ads in between posts like you would on most websites and apps, you get to see a regular post. Because the post is optimized for Instagram, it's not too distracting. Instagram ads also do not appear that frequently in a users timeline as well. All this leads to a great experience for Instagram users.
What Ad Formats Are There on Instagram?
1. Image Story Ads
These are image ads that can appear between user stories. People love posting video and picture updates to their Instagram story feed. People also love watching these videos just as much.
When you do post an image story ad on Instagram, the image will appear in between user stories. Story ads allow for a larger vertical image. So this means more ad real estate.
2. Video Story Ads
Users posting random videos to their stories, has become just as popular as pictures. It can be argued that videos in story format are more popular than videos in the regular post format.This is a great place to post video adverts for your brand. If the video is done well as to spark interest, then users who view the video will tap on the call to action.
3. Image Feed Ads
This is the standard and most generic ad format. As explained earlier, brands are creating great high-quality posts that both standout and create engagement among users.
One of the reasons for this is that these ad posts do not adopt forced sales tactics. Instead, brands display informative lifestyle images with clear call-to-action. Brands also include a description that has questions in them. This means that the post will warrant a response from Instagram users.
4. Video Feed Ads
Video ads in the Instagram feed is actually a great place to host traditional adverts. However, marketers have found that custom videos perform better on the platform. So instead of opting for a traditional ad with a catchy hook, brands use a simple interview or behind the scene videos.
The reason for this is that Instagram is a place for people to get an inside look at brands and celebrities. It is a platform that goes beyond commercial content. The platform has a very casual and behind the camera approach to content. uploading video like this will be in keeping with the platform's structure.
5. Canvas Story Ads
These are immersive 360 VR ads that are only supported by mobile. These ads are more on the niche side of things, but creating such adverts means that your brand is at the forefront of advertising. It also means that you are taking the experience to a whole new level.
6. Carousel Feed Ads
This is similar to your usual image feed ads, except that you can ad around 10 images into the ad. Users will be able to browse through these images. This is great for brands who are trying to explain a specific process by displaying the steps as images.
All brands have different stories to tell and have a different way of reaching their audience. It's great that Instagram actually has these formats available. This means brands can adapt to telling their stories the way that they want to.