If 2018 has shown us anything, it’s that Instagram is king when it comes to social media advertising.
More than one billion users are now on Instagram, the social media network renowned for its picture and video-focused content.
But there’s more to Instagram than its global presence.
Perhaps the most attractive feature about Instagram for businesses is the willingness of users to engage with ads.
Latest research shows that 2.2 percent of Instagram users will interact with an ad. This tops all social media networks, with Facebook coming in second at 0.22 percent.
By 2020, more than $4.5 billion in mobile ad revenue will be generated by Instagram alone. Other social media networks don’t even come close to this.
Users of all demographics aren’t just willing to engage with brands on Instagram, they expect it. Hence, the explosive growth of influencer marketing in 2018.
Now is the time to create an Instagram business page, flex your brand, and advertise compelling picture and video content for your audience. Here’s how to do so.
How to advertise on Instagram
One of the benefits of advertising on Instagram is being able to do so with the power of Facebook Ads Manager. Go to business.instagram.comto get started, and follow the steps below when crafting your Instagram ad.
Advertising on Instagram
Go to Instagram’s website for businesses and click on Create Ad.
Log into your Facebook account to access Ads Manager.
Select your marketing objective for the ad campaign.
Select your targeted audience, an ad budget, and schedule the ad.
Select an image or video for your ad, its format, and a call-to-action link or landing page.
Your ad should now be ready to launch.
Heads up: Since Instagram’s parent company is Facebook, you’ll need a Facebook business page to harness Ads Manager. Otherwise, you can create basic ads within the Instagram mobile app.
Facebook Ads Manager is extremely powerful for targeted advertising and getting the most out of your budget. Any brand with an Instagram account can strategically market its product or service in a variety of ways by following these steps.
1. Choose a campaign objective
The first step to crafting your Instagram ad includes choosing an objective for your campaign. As you can see from the image below, there are many options.
These options are broken into three separate categories.
Increasing brand awareness
Select this option for reaching an audience that’s most likely to be interested in your brand, or to simply reach as many users as possible.
Increasing brand consideration
Select this option for reaching an audience that’s most likely to be interested in learning more about a product or service you provide.
For example, a 30-second video that funnels viewers into a landing page or Facebook Messenger chatbot conversation could be useful for nurturing relationships and gaining more data on your audience.
Increasing conversion rates
Select this option for driving valuable, high-quality traffic to your website, product catalog, e-commerce store, or any location which could drive sales to your business.
A good way to think about your ad campaign is through the lens of a marketing funnel.
Awareness – Near the top of the funnel, capturing the attention of as many viewers as your budget will allow. High exposure, little leads.
Consideration – Near the middle of the funnel, and is a bit more targeted for users who have had your brand in mind or with similar interests. Intermediate exposure, more leads.
Conversion – Near the bottom of the funnel, and is highly targeted for users that are ready to buy into your product or service. Low exposure, more conversions.
Now that you’re aware of the differences between each campaign objective, it’s time to identify who will be exposed to this ad.
2. Select a target audience
Your Instagram ad is only as effective as the audience it reaches. Luckily, for those using Facebook Ads Manager, they’ll have access to some seriously powerful audience creation options.
The first option is fairly straightforward, allowing businesses to create targeted audiences based on a variety of demographic factors. This includes:
Locations – Any city, state, country, zip code, postal code, and even congressional district can be chosen to narrow down an audience.
Age – Select an age range you feel would resonate most with your ad.
Gender – Men, women, and people of all genders can be targeted.
Languages – Facebook has a variety of languages you can target your ad based on as well. If you leave this field blank, Facebook will choose the language that’s most native to your selected location.
As you can see below, I targeted my ad for those in Chicago, excluding Evanston, of all genders, between the ages of 18 and 65+.
Next to the locations map is a gauge on how defined your audience is. Facebook recommends staying in the green to get the most out of your ad. Too far in the red, your ad reaches a small, hyper-targeted audience. But too far in the yellow, your ad reaches a broad, hardly-targeted audience.
Facebook Ads Manager will also estimate how many viewers your ad will reach, as well as ad click-throughs.
Creating a custom audience
The second option for audience creation is much more personalized than relying on demographic factors, but it requires the business to have data on-hand first.
For example, you can input a list of users who have previously engaged with your Instagram account before. You can also input those who have visited your website, launched your app, and even offline channels like users who visited your brick-and-mortar store.
3. Determine the placement of your ad
With a campaign objective and audience in-mind, it’s time to figure which platform(s) your ad will be placed on.
There are two options for ad placement. Automatic placements and edited placements.
Automatic ad placement
This option is recommended by Facebook since it maximizes the usefulness of budget, and your ad will be placed on platforms Facebook believes it will perform best on.
However, for those who prefer more control over their ads, you can personally select ad placements with this next option.
Edited ad placement
With this option, everything from Facebook Messenger conversations to native and banner spots on Facebook can be selected for your ad. Since this article is about Instagram advertising, we’ll simply run the ad on users’ feeds and stories.
4. Select a budget and schedule the ad
Don’t worry, we’re almost to the fun part of ad creation. Before we get there, we need to determine our budget and how often the ad will run.
Obviously, the more money spent on the ad, the longer it’ll run and the more exposure it’ll get on your selected platforms.
There are advanced options for your budget as well. For example, I can choose to get charged for the ad placement after a certain amount of impressions or link clicks are conducted.
5. Design your ad
Not all ads are created equal, and by using Facebook Ads Manager, you can customize the identity and format of your Instagram ad the way you like.
Below are some of the most common ad types you’ll see on Instagram. Observe each of the ads’ differences and what makes them engaging for an audience.
This option is essentially an ad with two or more scrollable images or videos. As we can see from the example below, Foxtrot showcases various tasty-looking products.
Single image ads
This option is a static image with ad copy and is typically more text-heavy. Salesforce is offering its complete guide for social media marketers through their single image ad.
Single video ads
This option is essentially the video version of single image ads, but a bit more interactive. It can be useful for translating compelling brand stories to an audience.
This option is useful for both images and videos. In the example below, Sports Illustrated uses video and ad copy in a way that isn’t too “salesy” for the viewer. This could lead to higher engagement rates.
After selecting an ad format, upload the image or video that’ll be associated with it and a call-to-action link. After all, we are trying to drive users to our brand.
At this point, you can launch your ad and watch the magic happen, but there are some additional options on Facebook Ads Manager for viewing ad performance and conversion tracking.
Perhaps the neatest of these options is something called Facebook Pixel. This option places a pixel code on a landing page or website to track behavior with your Instagram ad. Of course, the data from Facebook Pixel can be used to refine future ad strategies.
Learn more about Facebook for Business
Whether you’re crafting ads on Facebook or Instagram, Facebook for Business is a well-rounded platform for understanding ad performance, tracking analytics, developing personalized ads for the right audiences, and bolstering your Instagram marketing strategy.
Devin is a former senior content specialist at G2. Prior to G2, he helped scale early-stage startups out of Chicago's booming tech scene. Outside of work, he enjoys watching his beloved Cubs, playing baseball, and gaming. (he/him/his)