Instagram Ads - What You Need to Know!

10 Nov 2016

In June 2016, Instagram announced that their community had grown to over 500 million users - more than half of whom check their feed at least once daily. This user base produce content at an incredible rate, uploading more than 95 million photos and videos per day. Being under the Facebook umbrella, Instagram has been able to gather and organise massive amounts of information through linked accounts, who users follow, and which pictures they engage with, to create highly targeted and well segmented audiences for marketers.

So what does that mean for your business?

It gives you an opportunity to present your offerings to large-scale audiences of engaged users who are specifically chosen because their likes are aligned with your brand. Effective targeting can get your message out to a sea of potential customers in an environment that encourages engagement and interaction.

1. Formats Available:

There are currently three ad formats available:

  • Photo Ads: A single image. Your goal using this format should be to improve brand awareness, promote a certain brand image, or inspire users to take action. These are simple and easy to set up.
  • Video Ads: You can share videos up to 60 seconds long which are auto-played without audio when a user scrolls by. Sounds is activated by clicking on the video or by turning up the volume on your phone.
  • Carousel Ads: A collection of photos allowing people to swipe through to see to 3-5 images and a call to action button.

2. Objectives Supported:

Instagram supports the following goals:

  • Clicks to website
  • Website conversions
  • Mobile App Installs
  • Mobile App Engagement
  • Video Views (video only)
  • Reach and Frequency
  • Page Post Engagement (photo and video only)
  • Mass awareness (available through Insertion Order only)
  • Local Awareness

3. Defining your Audiences:

With objectives identified, the next step is defining your audience. The same extensive range of targeting options available on Facebook are also available for Instagram ads, giving you great ability to reach only the exact people you want to reach.

Advertisers can select audiences based on:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Relationship
  • Education
  • Work
  • Financial Status
  • Home
  • Ethnic Affinity
  • Generation
  • Parents
  • Politics (U.S. only)
  • Life Events
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Connections

You also have the option of using audiences previously created on facebook, or use lookalike audiences to reach new people based on their similarity to pre-existing customers or audiences.

4. Reporting and Optimisation:

To know if your efforts have been successful, as well as understanding your audience and how to reach them more effectively in the future - measuring and analysing is key. The effectiveness of Instagram Ads can be measured just like Facebook, through Power Editor. A number of different metrics can be analysed including reach, frequency, impressions, clicks, cost-per-click, cost-per-thousand impressions, post engagement and app install.

We have spoken about the most recent changes on Instagram  here but they are continuously improving their platform to make it more appealing to advertisers. The most recent announcement intends to integrate shopping features directly into the app, which if successful, could be a game-changer.

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If you want more information about how you can use online marketing to grow your business get in touch with us. We are here to help!

Ellen O’Malley

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