Instagram Ads

What are Instagram Ads?

‘Instagram Ads’ refers to the native advertising platform that was introduced in October 2015 by this Facebook-owned, Millennial-dominated, mobile photo-sharing social network.

Since its launch Instagram Ads has become the most common solution for running paid advertising campaigns on Instagram.

It’s easy to use, has a robust and continuously-evolving suite of features, and offers incredibly granular targeting options which are similar to those provided by Facebook (and loved among social advertisers).

While Instagram Ads may be the most popular choice for advertising on Instagram, there a number of other available options that are specifically targeted for selling through Instagram.

Depending on your business needs you might find one of these solutions to be more suitable, or you might want to use a combination of several solutions.

Here are some of the best methods for selling products on Instagram:

  • Using a hashtag to identify shoppable Instagram content
  • Syncing inventory in multiple online stores
  • Selling through Instagram comments
  • Connecting to a shoppable Instagram store
  • Chatting with online shoppers
  • Creating a gallery of clickable product images

There are third party tools available to help you manage each of these solutions, such as Yotpo Ads for Instagram.

As a general rule, solutions that move prospective shoppers down the consumer decision-making process in as few steps as possible have the highest potential to increase the eCommerce conversion rate.

Why Use Instagram Ads

Instagram’s steadily growing base of active monthly users (500 million as of June 2016) are a lucrative target for businesses.

Brands’ Instagram engagement rates are higher in comparison to other social networks (notably Twitter and Facebook) for both paid and organic posts. With the exception of Pinterest, Instagram shoppers spend more per average referred sale ($65 USD) than on any other social network, according to recent reports from Ad Age and Shopify, respectively.

When to Use It

Instagram Ads can be used at multiple points along your sales funnel, from increasing brand awareness, to enticing potential users to shop on your website or install your app, to re-marketing to users who have already visited your website, all the way down to helping you retain existing customers.

Who Should Use It

Instagram’s visually oriented ads have primarily been successful with B2C brands, celebrities, sports figures, and in general any public persona or entity geared towards sharing their (or their community’s) lifestyle, in real-time.

How to Use It

The following is a general list of best practices to help you get started with Instagram Ads.

  • Remember that Instagram is first and foremost a visual platform
  • Choose the appropriate ad format: simple square, landscape photo, carousel photo, video
  • Choose the most targeted objective for your needs: Page Post Engagement, Clicks to Website, Website Conversions, Mobile App Installs, Mobile App Engagement, Video Views, Mass Awareness, or Reach & Frequency
  • Play around with different content types, including unique and stylized images, how-to videos, user generated content and more
  • DO use hashtags for things like brand recall, providing context and aggregating posts
  • DON’T randomly add hashtags that don’t offer any value or meaning
  • Always include a CTA! Instagram currently offers the following options: Install Now, Use App, Book Now, Download, Learn More, Listen Now, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up, Watch More, Watch Video
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