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Instagram Ads and Best Practices

Instagram surpasses Twitter with over 400 million users. Around 70 million photos get uploaded to Instagram each day. The number of active brands on the platform is steadily increasing. Photos from the biggest brands get more than 50 times more engagement from users than Twitter. Some of the top brands on the platform include National Geographic, Nike and Victoria's Secret. 

Why instagram is good for brand marketing

Higher engagement isn't the only reason to use Instagram for marketing your brand. According to a report by Shopify, Instagram users spend an average of $65 per referred sale. This is more than Facebook ($55) and Twitter ($46.26). Posts on the platform also achieve 1.08% conversion rate. This is lower than Facebook (1.85%) but greater than Twitter and Pinterest. Instagram is also great for connecting with Millenials. 53% of 18-29 year olds use the network, making it a great place to connect with them and introduce your brand.

The organic reach of Instagram has increased 115% since 2012 while the number of users marketers can reach on Facebook without ads has decreased. Marketers on Instagram can reach 28% of  adults without paid ads. Over 90% of marketers use Facebook; this makes for a lot of competition. Only about 36% of marketers use Instagram, giving you lots of room to reach out and engage with users. Given the current lack of competition, being an early adopter could create advantages for your business.  

Advertising on instagram

Ads look like other posts on the network, aside from the blue "Sponsored" tag.


Instagram Ads help to:

Entice Users to take action

You have the option of including a call to action button on ads. The current available options are: shop directly on your site, install an app, sign up, or go to a site.


Engage with your brand

Instagram ads can be used to connect with your audience. Offer pictures or videos for users to watch, like and comment on.

help with brand positioning & awareness

People may not know of your business, so these ads will increase their awareness. They are also used for featuring and positioning your product so users have a better understanding of your business. 

How Instagram Advertising Works

First, connect your Instagram to your Facebook page. This is done through Facebook's Business Manager. Screen_Shot_2015-12-30_at_11.01.29_AM.png 

In the Business Manager, you will go to Manage Ads. Then click on Create Campaign. You need to select an objective for the campaign. 


You will then create an ad set or choose an existing one. Once you are done, click Create and you will be sent to the Power Editor campaign settings where you can set spending limits, specifiy the lifetime and daily budget, and schedule your ad. 

Next, specifiy what audience you would like to reach with the ad. The same targeting options as Facebook are offered. You are able to target by location, demographics, interests, actions or use custom audiences. You will also need to specify the placement. Only one ad placement is offered, so you must uncheck all options except Instagram. 

Configuring your bidding is the next step. Select how you want Instagram to optimize the campaign: link clicks to the site/pay per impressions, pay per link click, daily unique reach or impressions. Next, specify how much you are willing to pay per result and choose between standard or accelerated delivery.

Your ad is set and ready.


Best Practices

1. Create ads that are relevant to your target audience

Instagram built in an option for users to hide ads from their feed. To avoid being hidden, focus on topics that can engage your target audience. Ad ad that receives high engagement will show more.

2. Split test different ad visuals

To determine which visuals engage your audience the most, test the different approaches. Create a standard photo ad, add up to 4 images in a carousel or post a video. Test which delivers the best results. You could also split test different posting schedules and call to actions.

3. pick ad types based on engagement

If your objective is to promote products and entice users to buy, try using the Carousel ad. You can add multiple images along with live links to the products. If you want to drive brand engagement, use video ads users might like and share.

4. Use clear images with a strong focal point

Keep images simple and uncluttered to help users focus on a specific element in the image. Your photo should feature the main object, plus some supporting detail in the background.

5. Include user generated content in ads

User generated content is viewed as trustworthy and genuine since it was created by real users. Displaying customer product photos on your profile increases conversion by 4.6%. A study found that many users would be honored if a brand liked one of their posts.


What are you favorite Instagram posts and tips?

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