Starting a business can be hectic and stressful, but much more is trying to reach the right audience or consumers. Social media platforms have made this a lot easier, as many people can now be found online. Instagram has been recorded as a leading digital and social media platform with over one billion active users. The platform has also become a community with unlimited marketing opportunities and potentials. If you’ve been looking for a way to market your business using social media platform like Instagram, then you came to the right place. We’ve got just the right spices for your business to excel. We would show you how to advertise on Instagram.
First, we need to understand the concept of advertising.
Advertising is a form of brand communication in which a product, service or idea is promoted and sold to an audience by employing several marketing strategies like sponsoring, mass media, and many others.
What is Instagram Advertising?
Instagram ads can be in the form of post or stories that business owners pay to promote to users beyond their immediate followers.
It is part of Facebook’ advertising network. You can find them by scrolling through your feeds, swiping through Instagram stories, and scrolling on the discovery page.
Instagram ads look like regular posts except for the sponsored trademark kept above the post.
Posts sponsored always include a call to action button “learn more” for the viewers to engage and drive conversion to the business.
Types of ads on Instagram
There are several types of Instagram ads; they work different for businesses, and they have a different call to actions available.
Before deciding to advertise on Instagram, one of the major things you should know is what types of ads you can use to attain your goal.
Knowing your goal would help answer the question. Get a pen and paper and begin to detail all you hope to achieve at the end of the marketing campaign; with that, you can decide what types of ads can work with your plan.
We listed below some ads you can use for your marketing strategy to know about Instagram Ad types.
Photo sharing on Instagram is the most prominent content form on the social platform.
Instagram has always been the platform where users share photos with different captions for their followers on their account to engage with by liking, sharing, or commenting.
Business owners have discovered how far this picture post can reach many people if pushed out well; hence, the need to sponsor the picture.
Business owners are now using it to promote their businesses, products, and services.
Photo ads are easy to create and promote since photo sharing are prominent on the platform.
A relevant picture of a product, service or flier is posted, with a meaning, creative and conversion-oriented caption (Copy); to give more details on the picture and drive conversion.
Tags are important, especially for relevant individuals or brands, with meaningful hashtags to target people in that space or target potential audience.
Photo ads would help to drive conversion, more engagement, traffic, brand awareness, lead generation to your business.
Some call to action on photo ads includes contacting us, calling now, donate, applying now, downloading, book now, learning more, getting offers, playing games, and many others, depending on what you want your audience to do. Also, depending on the result of the action.
Over 250 million users of Instagram stories and about 500 million viewers on the platform make growing businesses through the feature easier. Also, in a week, it has a cumulative of at least 80% of active users post about 2 to 3 times on their story.
However, story ads are always interesting, makes people curious to know more, and a lot more engaging than the regular post.
There are several supporting features like polls, face filters, musical and video effect, question tag that help to drive conversion. Stories ads are more for placement and targeting.
They are usually between two stories with a ‘Call to Action’ taking up the swipe up form. In which when a person does it, it redirects them to the brand page or website.
Some of the ‘Call to Action’ keys are Subscribe, signup, contact us, apply now, book and many others.
However, the setback is that the story ads disappears after 24hours. Also, once a person passes a story ad, the person might not be able to revisit the story.
These are specifically created for business accounts allowing them to promote their posts through paid ads on Instagram. This type of ads allows business owners to target their audience by selling directly to them.
A sponsored ad would appear directly on a target audience feed whereby if they click on the call to action, it will direct them to TG to their account or website.
A sponsored post is often to create awareness for a particular post; it could promote a giveaway or a contest.
Typically, a post like that leads to more engagement on the platform, awareness and more following.
This is another prominent content shared on Instagram.
It gives the audience more visual enlightenment on whatever product or service you have to offer.
The highest form of video duration is 60 minutes, which is enough for brands to show whatever they are offering.
Some brands decide to show some part of the video for the audience to be curious and want to watch more, leading them to click o the backlink button to the brand’s page. That can be very effective.
Video ads are engaging and interesting, and they can reach a large number of viewers if the promotion is done well.
Some of the ads’ objectives are to create awareness, engagement, leads, conversion, reach and many more.
Using a carousel is more quite similar to the photo ads. However, it allows a user to swipe between a series of photos or short clips, ranging between four and six, with interesting subjects in the discussion.
They are used to tell stories, multiple products to drive engagement, conversion, reach, traffic. It usually includes Call to Action to engage users, backlinking them to their brand account or website.
Also, Carousels is very effective for businesses with a lot of information to pass across or showcase a new product they are are are working on. Information is split into different slides and mostly communicated with simple language, enabling a better understanding of the brand.
If you are planning on launching a new product, like a gloss line, or a clothesline, then the collection ads are for you.
This ad is an instant experience that makes it easier for an audience to browse, discover and purchase a new product.
On Facebook, it features a cover page picture or picture with about four others. While on Instagram, it features only three products.
It uses a grid font like a carousel and is powered up to tell a story of a product in an integrated style.
It is one of the newest Instagram features that allows users to share long videos depending on the user’s choice.
However, most business owners seize the opportunity to share video content, promote their products, and create awareness.
Although IGTV doesn’t really count as an ad because it isn’t sponsored; however, with the reach it gives brand owners, it is useful.
Contents like tutorials and reviews most times passes through IGTV. Most users make use of it because they are contents that might be needed to go back to.
Explore page is where the Instagram discovery page sources contents according to a person’s interest.
So, an explore ad is targeted at users who have shown interest in a particular thing and are ready to explore beyond the account they follow.
The Instagram algorithm would determine your interest based on what you do with its platform. And that way, it makes it easy to reach its target audience.
However, explore ads are not found on the discovery page. The only way they can be found is when you click on a picture or video on the explore page; after scrolling for a while, it might take you to an explore ad.
The change would appear in the same format as an Instagram feed.
Instagram shopping ads
The form of ad requires you to set up with Instagram shopping, where you can turn the shoppable post into ads to attract more buyers. The ad leads the buyer to the platform to get a more detailed description of the item, like price, type, e.t.c.
Instagram shopping ad drives conversion, awareness, post engagement and reaches to the brand.
Mapped ads/ tagged ads
It is a recent type of ad that many brands haven’t utilised. It is using the tag feature to direct a customer from a page to another page.
Unlike others, it is time-consuming, yet effective, especially in terms of product-based brands. Its objectives are that it catches the attention of people, and it increases click rates.
Before we dive into how to advertise on Instagram, let’s discuss some core things to know.
Reasons why you should advertise on Instagram
If you are still contemplating advertising on Instagram, then you should consider the following reasons we listed below on why you should advertise on Instagram.
- Instagram ads are not invasive; they look just like a regular post
- It owns one of the largest social community, and it is still ever-growing.
- The creation and setup of ads on Instagram is done through Facebook
- Facebook and Instagram are connected, so it is easier to reach much more people through the medium.
- A lot of people engage more on Instagram than any other social media platform. This would beneficial for businesses, as it would drive a lot of potential consumers to your business.
How much to advertise on Instagram
One of the regular questions asked by most business owners before using Instagram ads is how much does advertising on Instagram cost?
The cost for advertising on Instagram does not have a specific answer as many factors influence how much it would cost. Some of the factors include:
- Time of the year
- Ad placement
- Ad format
- Target audience (difference by age group, gender…)
However, according to estimates, the cost per click is around $0.50 – $1.00 and even more, depending on the factors listed above.
In 2018, AdEspresso analysed the cost of advertising on Instagram, in which the average cost per click on Instagram is around $0.08.
Instead of looking for a specific amount to spend, decide how much you want to spend or how much you can spend.
One thing about the Instagram ad is that you can do ads depending on your budget.
All you have to do is tell Facebook how much you want to spend on ads.
Basically, you control how you want your Instagram ads cost to be; it could be daily, weekly or monthly, depending on your campaigns.
How to advertise on Instagram
Advertising on Instagram is not hard to do as the platform is already primed for advertisement. There are two simple ways you can advertise on Instagram.
Out of the two, the easiest way is to promote the existing post on your social page, while the second option is to create an Instagram ad by using the Facebook Ads manager.
The latter offers more customization and promotional options than the aforementioned one.
However, note that there are workflows for creating and managing ad on Instagram. There is the Guided Creation workflow and a Quick Creation workflow.
The Guided creation workflow is majorly for the new marketer, who are just looking to learn how to start an ad on Instagram. It would take you on a step-by-step process of creating an Instagram ad campaign for your brand.
While Quick Creation gives a marketer control over how they can go about the Instagram ad creation, this method is mostly for those who already have adept knowledge of ad creation.
How to advertise on the Instagram app
Posting a picture on Instagram already has its own form of engagement and awareness, as those following you on the platform would get to see it.
But what would hit differently is when an already existing post is promoted on the page. It would boost whatsoever view, engagement and reach the post has had before.
If you own a business already, and you are looking for how to advertise your business on Instagram (within the app), you can try these easy steps and begin to reach more audiences and grow your business.
- First, you must have a business account. If you don’t have a business account, follow the steps below.
- After, go to the post, you choose to promote and click on the promote button.
- You must have a Facebook business account to link your Facebook business account with your Instagram account. If you have done this, you can’t move to the next step. But if you have already linked the two platforms, choose who will see your ad, how much you want to spend, where you want to send them, and how long you want the ad to run.
- Then, click on the “create promotion” button to finalise the process.
How to advertise on Instagram through Facebook Ad manager
The advertising tool for Instagram is the same one used on Facebook. This is because Facebook owns Instagram, and so the tool has been integrated to enable paid ads on the platforms.
Facebook Ads manager is used to create adverts, customize audiences, and ensure that the ads are performing well.
To run an Instagram ad through the Facebook Ad manager, you will need a Facebook account and an Instagram account. If you have one, you are on track. The two platforms, Facebook and Instagram, must be linked together.
Choose your objectives
Go to Ad manager; it would offer a list of objectives for users to choose for the Ad. Your objectives should basically be what you hope to achieve with the advertisement. Some of which includes brand awareness, reach, traffic, conversion, engagement, messages, lead generation, link clicks and many others. Although in 2018, it was broken down into three categories which are awareness, deeper consideration and conversion.
Below is a detailed explanation of some of the aforementioned objectives listed.
Brand awareness: this helps create knowledge of a business to users who have no business knowledge.
Reach: this shows a business to a large number of people within a space of a particular requirement depending on who your target audience is.
Traffic: Just like the name implies, it helps to draw or move people to your business through clicks to URL, website or even an app.
Conversion: to increase sales or mobile app download or registration of a particular thing. It is to make the target audience do what you want them to do.
Engagement: it enables the audience to comment, like, share, responds to a particular post.
Messages: aims at getting users to send messages to the brand account.
Lead generation: aims at gathering information on users who have attempted to engage or click on a post.
Link clicks: this is to enable users to click on your ad to move to your website or app to signup or get more details.
Name the campaign
Naming a campaign is one of the easiest things to do while setting up a campaign. You could name the campaign according to your set objectives or give it a name after the brand. Whatever name you choose, your choice!
Know and Identify your audience
Who and why do you wish to target the campaign? That is a necessary question you must find out before going ahead with the ad.
You can research to know the type of people interested in what you are selling, it would help to know who to target.
Also, you can put yourself in a position of the audience finding out their needs and want and the solution your product can provide to them.
Knowing your audience would keep you on track throughout the ad creation process.
Select the target audience out of the options given by Facebook. It could be based on age group, gender, demographic, interest, and location; allowing you to target the set with a crafted message.
Some other targeting options include interest, behaviour, automated targeting, among others.
Select your ad placement
This step is where you choose where you want your ad to appear on Instagram and Facebook. You can choose between the two options, automatic placement or manual placement.
Automatic placement: would help you show your ads to audiences where they can perform well. Also, it usually maximizes budgets for ads by placing them across all ads placement and see which one works best for the ad.
Manual placement: this chooses the place where your ad shows. That is you are to select the place in which you want your ads to be showcased.
You should now that the places you choose to determine the reach of the ads and the achievement of your set goals.
Manual placement can be used to limit ads.
An illustration is a marketer who chooses to limit ads to only Instagram feeds, the ads won’t show in places like stories or discovery.
Some of the options listed to place ads include; Instagram feeds, Instagram explore, Facebook Newsfeed, Facebook market, Messenger inbox, Facebook video feed, Instagram stories, Facebook stories, Messenger series and many more.
Choose your budget
After selecting your ad placement, the next thing to consider is your budget for the ads.
It is making a selection of how much and how long you wish to spend on your promotion. Also, it determines when you like the ads to appear.
A life span budget can be fixed depending on what you select as the end, the ad would keep rolling.
You could also consider a daily budget, where you have to pay for promoting an ad every day.
This would mean that the ad would only last a day until it is renewed for the next day.
It could also be that you choose to run your ads at certain times in a day, choosing a start time and an end time.
Including in Facebook Ad manager is an optimization for Ad delivery.
Optimization for ad delivery helps to maximize the number of people who come in contact with your ads and remembers it. To do that, the Facebook Ad manager reviews a part of the audience.
Also, there is an optimization that justifies how your budget is going to be spent.
To advertise on Instagram, you have to select the format for the ad, it could be a single image or video, carousel, collection. To continue, follow the steps below
- Choose the pictures or videos you want to promote. When selecting pictures or videos, the ad manager displays technical formats like the size of the video or picture.
- Script the message or copy you would like your audience to read. Since you already know your audience, it is easy for you to craft engaging messages for them. Make sure what you are scripting is not too lengthy and it is spacious.
- You can also include backlinks to your website or page, a call-to-action button.
- Select a payment option for the promotion
- Review your ad. Make sure you read through and you are satisfied that your ad reflects what you want it to.
- Go ahead and click on the ‘Confirm’ button, and you are done!
How to advertise on Instagram for free
Promoting yourself on Instagram is a no-brainer and it doesn’t eat much.
For those who aren’t ready to spend a dime on promoting themselves on Instagram, not to worry.
We have gathered some steps to follow that would show you how to advertise on Instagram for free.
Have an Instagram business account
This is one of the essential things you must do. Create a business account for your product, having a business profile.
Although if you already have an Instagram account you can switch to a business account.
Click on the person icon at the bottom right of the screen, it would take you to an options screen where you can select ‘switch to business account’.
Update your profile
How does your profile look like? is it business-like? or is it attractive? if not, update your profile making it look entertaining and business.
Include details about your business in your brand voice, let your account reflect your logo and use a high-quality picture.
Synergize your platforms
This is a way to promote yourself and be more visible to people. Try to ensure that your account is not shadowbanned and you are not on private.
Also, sync your accounts and make sure your username is your brand name on all platforms; it would make it very easy to find you.
One platform that can easily be linked with Instagram is Facebook. You could even persuade people on the platform to follow you.
Include website URL and emails
Some brands send weekly letters to their users, you can include your email in your newsletter. Including the email in your newsletter would give the audience more ways to access your website.
Also, on your profile let your email be included so as it can be easy to ask more question or for partnership.
Including URL’s would make it easier for the users to backlink to your website, your app.
You can use free embed features, free plugins from apps like WordPress. Also,
Be ready to start small. Start with the people around you like your parents, siblings and friends, accept them as friends on the platform.
They can help you promote your brand by putting up a post and engage with your post which would allow you to reach more people.
Also, when they do so, make sure you engage in the post they put up by commenting and resharing.
It is one realistic and efficient way of advertising on Instagram for free. The type of content you push out about your brand would determine the flow of things.
Make sure the content you push out highlights everything your brand stands for; it should be engaging and of high quality.
If you are pushing out a video or a picture, they should have good quality and if need be good audio sound.
Also, there is a need to be consistent in sharing content on the page. Having a content calendar would help with your consistency and it would make the content look really organised.
Always put up the right content ad, not just that, do it at the right time.
Useful content would mean more audience and more reach. People would only engage a post when it is of benefit to them.
Although, there are several forms of content but make sure whatever form it is you use, ticks your set objectives.
When promoting your brand on Instagram, the hashtag is very important and it should be used on posts and stories. Ensure that hashtags that you use on your post should be relevant.
There are several ways to consider hashtag choosing.
There is a hashtag for trends, the hashtag for industries, a hashtag for places or locations, and there are popular hashtags that people use.
The hashtag for trend: It allows you to build awareness of your brand through a particular trend.
People who are searching along that trend would come in contact with your page.
The hashtag for industries: It allows you to choose a hashtag particular to a particular industry.
For example, a writing brand would use the hashtag about the writing and community.
So most people who would reach the page through the hashtag are interested in writing or are writers or they like reading.
The hashtag for places: allows a brand to build awareness through communities. it might be an immediate community or a place that was visited.
Popular hashtags: these hashtags are popular because they can be used by anyone anywhere. Hashtags like #motivationalmonday #WCW #MCM, #TGIF and some other creative hashtags.
There are no specific amount of tags to use on a post. A post can have as many hashtags as possible as it helps to communicate the unique humanly voice of a brand.
However, the hashtag should not be misused.
Engaging with users is one thing but responding to them in a manner in which they would want to purchase from you is another thing.
People like to be heard and they don’t like feeling ignored so you need to place value on all comments by responding to them swiftly and in a good manner.
Also, try to engage on the page of your follower in return like liking and sharing their pictures, comment randomly on their pictures. This is one way you would be advertising on Instagram with any fee.
When users engage with your content by creating their own content from your product, make sure you reshare it to your platform.
User-generated content is the best kind of content that can boost product sales because it would mean you are authentic, reliable and the product is good.
Also, resharing their content is you acknowledging them, making them reshare on their status which would increase your reach.
User-generated content can be generated by the user without any form of a request from the brand.
However, it could also be generated through a request from the brand especially for Instagram influencers who have a large number of following.
It could also be that the user is engaging in a contest or challenge, most people do challenges like that to reach more people.
Instagram influencers are the social butterfly of Instagram. They are literally everywhere and have a large number of active followership on the platform.
They create contents for a brand to promote them. Instagram influencers are considered credible because they have been able to build that trust with their followers.
Also, you can partner with influencers, it would boost your reach on Instagram.
However, before choosing an influencer, take time out to understand their brand.
Things like the kind of audience they have, what they communicate, and the contents they put out. If it is in line with your set objective, then you can go ahead with your partnership with them.
However, you should know that if you are partnering with influencers there must be something they would have to get in return.
Having interaction with Instagram influencers like engaging on their page can be of huge benefit to your brand. It would give you the edge over other competitions as you would be up to date on trends.
Trends are powerful tools for promoting one brand online. Try to leverage ongoing trends or challenges. When you do so and post it, many people would want to engage in the post which would be beneficial to your brand.
Posting on your story
Another prominent way to advertise on Instagram without any expense is consistently posting on your story. The story has been described as the album of a brand.
Posting on a story comes with varieties of options, it could be a poll, a question tag, a video, a picture, a filter-like or sticker-like post, games and many more.
Stories are always interesting and engaging and it would be a major way to draw people to your brand.
Although it lasts for only 24hours the consistency of posting every day would make people always want to come back to see what you ave to offer.
Most times stories portray raw events and images. It might be a good way to capture a launching or a tutorial for people to view in its raw form.
How then can you advertise on an Instagram story? Below we would show you how to advertise on Instagram stories.
There are two options you can advertise on your Instagram story. The first option is the organic story ad while the second is the paid story ad.
- Swipe right on your feed
- After it takes you to a camera setting, tap on the middle button to make a video or take a picture. Or you can select a picture or a video through the small gallery feature at the bottom left, adjust to whatever size you want, add a filter or not, or any other amplifying feature.
- You can also add text at whatever position of the photo
- Click on ‘story’ on the button left to upload.
- Go to the Facebook ad manager, using the guided creation or quick creation to create the story
- Select your objectives for the ad type from the options.
- After, select a placement, it could be automatic or edit placement.
- Fill in the other details for your ad
- Select a budget for your ad and schedule where the ad would appear.
- Choose the image, video, carousel format for the ad, select the image and resize to any form of your choice.
- Add other details like copies and messages.
- Cross check and click the ‘Confirm’ button.
After placing an ad, what’s next?
Now that you have created an ad, you need to keep track of the ad, like the conversion it brings. If you want to track conversions make use of Facebook pixel on the website or you can download the app.
It would give you information on how the audience has been interacting with a post.
Another thing to know after placing an ad is engagement. As much as your audience is engaging on a post, you also need to engage on the post; reply to comments, like comments, just like you do on an organic post.
Make sure your response doesn’t come anyhow, make sure they come in a manner that would make the people want to purchase from your brand.
Also, you can make use of apps like AdEspresso to have a more detailed site of your engagement; it allows you to see the ad that is doing very fine and the one that is not.
Having an idea of what each ad brings you would make to know how to re-strategise the next time you want to put up an ad again.
You would have an idea of what objective would have worked better or what Call to Action to use or what picture or video format to use.
We hope with the highlighted keynotes, we have answered the question of how to advertise on Instagram. And we hope you can start promoting your products online, through online ads, while achieving your brand marketing goals.
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