Instagram is a social platform that unites millions of users and hundreds of thousands of companies. More than 27% of social media audiences find new products and brands through paid social ads. And in total, advertising on Instagram can reach more than 1.2 billion people. This is not a lot and not a little — but almost 20% of the world's population who are older than 13 years.
Instagram is a popular visual platform with more than a billion users and offers a wide range of opportunities for advertising campaigns. If you want to be successful with Instagram marketing for your business, you need to know how ads work for any business.
What should be effective advertising on Instagram? There will be no magic tips that solve all problems here. Because popular types of ads that perform well for one business may be completely ineffective in another industry, and vice versa. That is why advertisers must be adaptable and ready to quickly launch ads to various target audience segments, get results, analyze them and adjust the business's advertising strategy.
Advertising on Instagram that works is the accumulation of marketing work on the analysis of the target audience, technical adjustment of advertisements and constant analytics of the received data. Only in such a synergy are created advertising campaigns capable of conquering the hearts of social network users.
Ads on Instagram are the same publications, stories and videos that are published on the social network, but with a paid placement format and the tag "Advertisement". Posts also have more features, such as site links, call-to-action (CTA) buttons, and access to product catalogs.
Instagram is a subsidiary of the large corporation Meta. It has the same functionality as Facebook's advertising tools. And this is wide possibilities of targeting and the functionality of creating advertising creatives.
The benefits of using Instagram advertising in a company's marketing activities are significant. It is important for every marketer to integrate the capabilities of this visual platform into the company's development strategy.
Instagram ads are powered by Facebook Ads Manager. Yes, the audience of both platforms becomes available to you. All the main tools work as well: setting the audience, creating creatives and texts, choosing targeting options.
Available promotion options for already published posts allow you to turn any post into an advertisement. In this way, you can reach a new audience and achieve results in the organic development of business pages.
Brands love Instagram Stories for their immediacy. The company appears in front of a potential client, quickly shows content (up to 15 seconds), and after 24 hours it disappears and does not have time to get bored. Another reason to use Instagram Story is to attract even more organic audience.
According to Rival IQ research, the organic engagement rate has been steadily declining since 2020. Brands can no longer focus solely on organic growth. Paid tools must be added to get high results.
User problems are constantly changing, and so are content needs. It is important to understand and analyze them first. New ad parameters come in handy: a video carousel instead of a photo, Story instead of a post, advanced targeting, budget optimization, which ensure contact with the largest number of target audiences.
Advertisers can run ads to any socio-demographic group, depending on the goal and conversion action to be obtained. You can choose from 18 different call-to-action options (site link, registration, app download, online catalog shopping, etc.) that work within ten strategies for interacting with your target audience.
In fact, you don't even need to have an Instagram account to show ads to potential customers. Ads must be run through Ads Manager and require a Facebook business page. Of course, the business should also be on Instagram so that potential customers can familiarize themselves with content about the company, products or services and receive additional social guarantees that will encourage them to buy or order.
Ads will be shown to selected users during the selected time period, budget parameters and optimization goals.
If there is no doubt about the need to promote on Instagram, all you have to do is choose the format.
There are several advertising formats that you can use in your marketing activities:
These are images, photos, or promotional layouts to promote your brand, products, or services. They are best suited for companies with vivid and rich visual content that can be conveyed in a single image. You can add text, but we recommend limiting text insertions as much as possible, because Instagram is still about the visual component. By the way, according to wordstream.com, images on Instagram receive an average of 23% more engagement than on Facebook.
A full-screen graphic or video ad that appears between user stories. It is considered the most popular content, because more than 500 million Instagram users interact with stories every day.
The best Story is one that cannot be distinguished from the posts of friends and acquaintances. Nativeness is its main advantage. All the usual features are available to you when creating promotional stories: filters, text, GIFs and interactive stickers.
An interactive and convenient way to introduce potential customers to your brand, team, product and services. Video ads can be up to 60 seconds long, but shorter videos generally show better performance and reach. Brands are more interested in video advertising, because they note a higher interest in this format (according to wordstream.com, about 38% more than a static image).
This is a series of photos or videos that you can scroll through (like a gallery). The ideal format if you need to show several products, categories of services or a whole history of getting to know the company. Can be shown both in the news feed (square format, up to 10 pieces) and in stories (up to 3 pieces). Contain STAs and links to a site or third-party resource.
* material from Instagram (@sneakerdistrict)
The collection showcases products directly from the created product catalog within the platform. This format works best with e-commerce brands because it allows you to buy products directly from the ad.
* material from Instagram (@flattered)
Ads that appear in the Explore tab, where users discover new content and posts are tailored to their interests and Instagram usage habits. Over 50% of all Instagram users visit the Explore tab every month, so it's a great place to show your ads.
A video ad of 60 seconds or longer that plays when a user clicks the watch button on an IGTV video. The video can last up to 15 seconds, but it must be in full-screen format. Additionally, if you create IGTV content for your business, you can allow ads from other advertisers (at the beginning, inside, or end of the video). For this, you will receive 55% of the advertising revenue from each view.
A new Shopping feature that allows you to buy goods and services directly on Instagram. It does not work in all regions and is not available to all brands, but it is successfully and actively developing. In order to show shopping ads, you need to set up an Instagram shopping catalog for your business.
* material from Instagram
The newest ad format (Meta's answer to the rapid growth of TikTok) that will show an ad between videos with similar characteristics and content. Such advertisements can last up to 30 seconds and must include sound or music.
What advertising format to choose? The best answer is to test different ad options to interact with your audience and choose the one that shows the best results.
Advertising layouts can be ordered from third-party contractors, or you can create them yourself. For this, Facebook Ads Manager has a functionality that will help you upload any file, or create a slideshow or video using simple tools.
Remember, the average social network user interacts with dozens of posts every minute. It is important to create high-quality and personalized advertising in order to distinguish a company, product, or service from competitors.
And you can not waste time and money on ordering from designers, but register in the BannerBoo online designer and get access to a convenient and simple service for creating animated visual content and advertisements.
The algorithm for creating a video does not differ at all from creating a regular banner, except that you need to dwell on the points about effects and animation in more detail. In the video clip, pay attention to interactive transitions, effects, animations to create an interesting and exciting video series. Follow the link to read detailed instructions for working with BannerBoo.
According to www.oberlo.com, the main indicator of customer engagement in Instagram content, which is measured by likes, shares and comments, reaches 4.21%. That's 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter.
Marketers are always looking for ways and opportunities to increase engagement rates for their ads. According to www.wordstream.com, brands on Instagram have the opportunity to get almost 4% of organic reach, but on Facebook, this indicator is very close to zero, and only sponsored content sells there.
Instagram's official guide to advertising makes it clear that you only have 2,200 characters to convey information about your company, product, or service to potential customers. In addition, only the first two lines will be shown at once, the rest of the text must be opened by clicking on the "more" link. Think in detail what a person should read in the first two lines so that he has an incentive to open the full text and read it to the end. What's more, perform the conversion. So, use the text to the maximum and never expect the layout to explain everything. Synergy is needed here.
How to understand that advertising is working? Analyze conversions in social networks!! Thanks to the ad manager, you can see whether your campaigns are achieving their goals. Focus on the generally accepted level of CTR, which is approximately 2% (according to www.wordstream.com). By regularly testing and analyzing the results, you will easily find the winning combinations of text and layouts, the most active audience and the most optimal budget.
What are native ads? The ones you don't immediately suspect are advertising in nature. The publication is created as a regular post, which is filled with useful information and very subtly convinces the viewer to buy a product or service.
Creating native ads is not that difficult, although some effort is still required. Pay attention to the elements that your publications have in the feed, what type of text is used, what tone of voice the company has. All of these aspects should be included in your native ad strategy. As a result, users will be more motivated to read the published information, because the expectation of "advertising" will decrease.
Brands must be active in order to be interesting to their consumers. But how much? According to research, the best frequency is 1-2 posts per day. Your feed will remain updated, and the company will be able to provide all relevant and complete information.
In addition, you need to know the best time to post on Instagram to get even more engagement with your content. The recommended time for different audiences can differ significantly, so you need to independently determine the periods of maximum subscriber activity. To do this, use the Insights feature in your business account.
Attracting attention is not an easy task. For any story, post or carousel, make it a rule to show the main message in the first three seconds. Interested? Super! Then you can develop the story and provide more information.
Instagram is simply overflowing with general information about brands. And this is a visual platform that is created for inspiration and aesthetics. Therefore, it is worth capturing the attention of the consumer with the help of images, creative videos and stylish texts, and not just talking about marketing sales plans.
The story format has been working well lately. People crave connection, and a company that tells a story about a product or service can show more than just the technical features. When people feel an emotional connection to content, brand loyalty increases exponentially. Give each photo and video a special context that will be close to the audience and can tell the story of solving the problem.
Targeting a relevant audience is the number one task when forming an advertising strategy. Analyze your target audience: Think about the people who are most likely to be interested in the product or service you are promoting.
What you should always remember about your audience:
Creating too broad an audience can result in many ineffective conversions, and limiting your bid will make it difficult to find your true ideal audience. On the other hand, too narrow a segmentation will prevent you from reaching potentially interesting users. Look for balance.
What is it, a strong brand? Clear, creative and consistent. If you appear on social networks randomly on holidays and talk only about promotions, it will be difficult to form the necessary emotional associations here.
Focus your activities on presenting your business profile, creating templates and your unique style, mastering hashtags. It is necessary to regularly communicate with your followers in order to increase interest and loyalty to the brand.
All videos on Instagram automatically play without sound. What is the value of a perfect voice-over and a well-read text about the company, when no one will hear them? Add subtitles so users can read what the video is about and not ignore the post from the beginning. Remember that some of your potential customers may be hearing impaired. Make your content accessible and inclusive in just a few clicks — just by adding captions to your Instagram video ads.
Research from mediacause.com shows that subtitles increase the average video watch time by 12%. The effectiveness of messaging is also significantly improved, up to 82% compared to 18% with audio and no subtitles. Another study found that 80% of people reported that subtitles made them more likely to watch the entire video.
Although glossy perfection is already going out of fashion, this trend does not apply to the rules of Instagram. The aesthetics of the visual range is the most important component of the platform.
Visual factors dictate the conditions: the tape must be attractive, stylish and original. Try to make the colors "light" and pleasant. Many users subscribe to brands based on visual appeal alone. According to WebDam's social media research, 60% of the most effective brands on Instagram have a consistent style and format of posts.
In addition, the design should fully correspond to the brand identity and be relatable to the target audience.
* material taken from www.pinterest.com
First, decide how exactly you will pay for advertising: a daily budget or for the entire advertising period. The size of the budget is chosen only by the customer company, because Instagram allows you to launch advertising activities from $1.
Second, optimize costs. Take your time and figure out what style of Instagram advertising will be most effective, what bids have been used, and what financial budgets you are willing to spend.
If you've chosen hashtags that are too generic, like #Christmas or #fashion, you've likely ended up with very diverse competition. A better solution is to choose a combination of popular and industry hashtags, such as #Christmas with friends or #Christmas gift for mom.
For best results, research each hashtag. Look at the type of content and number of likes on the top performing posts — if that's what works for you — post!
The number of hashtags also matters. According to marketers, posts with more than 11 hashtags get the most engagement. Even one hashtag can increase the engagement of your post by up to 12.6% according to the blog hubspot.com.
If you want to grow your Instagram business page, be prepared to constantly work on layouts, images, and videos. Any post or story should speak for itself and reflect the full range of brand values.
Be sure to pay attention to this in order to find new and unique methods of presenting your brand.
User-generated content on Instagram has the most value. And really, what will you trust more: a company's promotional post or a user's video testimonial?
That is why any type of content that you receive from subscribers or buyers (feedback, mark in history, creative photo with a product or merchandise) must be immediately integrated into advertising activities.
98.8% of users of the social network access Instagram from a smartphone, and therefore any advertising activity must be adapted to display on mobile devices (according to blog.hootsuite.com).
By the way, it is convenient to create advertising for a smartphone, because you can immediately test how this or that element will look.
Basic rules to remember:
One picture is worth a thousand words, and one video is worth a million! The popularity of video content on Instagram is beyond doubt. The platform offers many possibilities: from Instagram Stories, which can combine videos and photos into a single ad, to individual 60-second videos with a plot and story.
You can create Instagram videos for:
This has already been said before, but we emphasize: write everything you want to say to the audience in text, even if it was discussed in a spoken story. By adding a call-to-action (CTA) to your posts, you'll better engage with your audience and increase conversions.
A call to action usually contains specific, concise and actionable text that makes it clear to potential customers what to do next. Write subtitles and add a CTA that matches the goals of your ad campaign.
Don't overlook the possibilities of the Instagram Reels format. The application allows you to work with creative tools, add effects and music, so that the video gets the maximum number of views. Reels can take many forms, from tutorials or team introductions to product teaser videos. Any brand can find the most optimal presentation option on the platform.
Instagram has opened up the ability to create AR filters with its Spark AR Studio to the public. Since then, AR has become a favorite among users, with some masks reaching over 1 billion views.
There is a stereotype that augmented reality filters work only for younger generations, but in fact many brands use them in their marketing activity. For example, NARS cosmetics has created many filters that allow users to virtually try on different shades of lipstick.
Hundreds of studies prove that videos of 15 seconds or less have the highest engagement rate. That is why creating a GIF should be on the marketing department's to-do list.
GIF format is more attractive than static photos — GIF files are used more often in informal communication than JPEG or PNG formats. Along with that, creating a GIF is easier and simpler than a video.
Instagram and SEO are parallel tools, but it is important to use them in all marketing strategies.
Two key points that affect SEO:
The first is the "@" name you sign up under. It should clearly reflect the industry in which the business operates. Keep it short and to the point.
The second factor is biography. A description of what the company does and what services it provides. When people search for accounts on Instagram, Instagram checks to see if the search query matches those details. We recommend using an industry or keyword to get maximum impact. Think about the words people would use when searching for your business on Instagram.
Instagram influencer marketing is becoming increasingly important. Companies have the opportunity to work with key thought leaders in their industry and present their brand to a wider audience.
Choosing the right influencer can be difficult. And so, you will again have to go through a familiar circle: choose bloggers for advertising campaigns, run ads, get results, analyze them and make adjustments to the advertising strategy.
Use Instagram Stories as often as possible. Stories are now replacing even the main news feed. In addition, they disappear after 24 hours, and do not cause an unnecessary information load. If it is necessary to save them, then create highlights (Highlights) with a selection of the necessary stories. Using this format makes the brand interesting, close and accessible.
* the material is taken on Brandwatch
The right use of emoji provides huge opportunities to create brand personality and create an emotional connection with the audience. Already, millennials and alphas find messaging without emojis "cold and too formal".
It is worth finding answers to two questions:
Remember that emojis also reflect what your followers think about you, so don't miss their posts to understand the mood of your audience.
An effective Instagram ad is one that drives conversions and sales while building loyalty and creating a lasting emotional connection with your audience. Understanding the tools marketers use will help you create an effective advertising strategy.
What is important to remember?
To create effective advertising on Instagram, you need to spend a lot of time on various tests and activities. But if you carefully read the article, you will seriously save time and resources, and start creating a new campaign with the right steps.