How to Advertise on Instagram in 2020

Instagram advertising presents businesses with a vast number of objectives that can make or break a marketing strategy. As such, it’s a method that must be approached differently than other marketing methods, especially on social media platforms. Instagram, for example, is highly effective at engaging target audiences and creating brand awareness and loyalty. This platform […]

Instagram advertising presents businesses with a vast number of objectives that can make or break a marketing strategy. As such, it’s a method that must be approached differently than other marketing methods, especially on social media platforms. Instagram, for example, is highly effective at engaging target audiences and creating brand awareness and loyalty. This platform is also conducive to increasing conversion rates—in fact, Hootsuite reports that 60 percent of users discovered products on Instagram, and another 30 percent purchased products and services they saw on there. 

Before launching a successful Instagram advertising campaign, you must understand the different options the platform offers and how to best use them to your advantage. Here are a couple of key tips you should use to run an effective advertising campaign on Instagram.

5 Tips for Instagram advertising

Instagram advertising is a massive industry right now. According to a report by Bloomberg, the app brought in $20 billion in advertising revenue in 2019, becoming increasingly central to Facebook’s future. Before you begin creating ads, take some time to consider the following so you can run the type of ad campaigns that get results: 

1. Know your audience.

According to statista, more than half of Instagram’s user population worldwide is younger than 34 years old. It’s pretty clear that instagram, like many other social media platforms, attracts a young audience, particularly teenagers. In spring 2019, the app ranked as the preferred photo-sharing app among teenaged users, second only to Snapchat. Because of this, you must tailor your advertisement strategy to engage your target audience within this demographic. All ads that target older audiences should be generated on other social media platforms, such as Facebook.

2. Use high-quality images.

One thing about Instagram is certain: images matter. Instagram is a social media platform where pictures and other visual content reign above everything else. On top of this, the platform boasts over 1 billion users per month, which means there’s an incredible quantity of content that’s being created and vying for attention. This means the content you decide to produce on your company pages needs to be unique and high-quality to captivate your target audience.

3. Create engaging captions.

Instagram is based entirely on quality pictures and video posts. Of course, the platform’s incredibly visual premise doesn’t mean that captions aren’t important. Captions, when done correctly, can enhance your photo or video’s engagement and add some context to the post. With the right captions, you can create interesting conversations and entice target users to take action that increases your sales or website traffic.

There’s a hot debate among marketers about the length of captions. Some businesses use shorter captions to convey a direct message to their target audience about their brand. Many celebrities can even get away with using a single emoji as their caption. For brands, however, the shift towards lengthier captions has increased. According to Later, longer captions that champion story-telling and authenticity are usually the posts that are driving a ton of engagement. This is because lengthy captions encourage a relationship between your brand and your customers, and they learn more about what your company does! If you’re writing longer captions on your posts, make sure to divide your paragraphs into sections so that it’s easier to read.

4. Produce video content.

Video can be an extremely powerful form of storytelling on any platform you use. When done correctly, it can have a heavy impact on your ad campaigns and content marketing efforts. On Instagram, videos also receive a ton of engagement from users. Video posts on the platform receive 38 percent more engagement than images and other media. Take advantage of the heightened engagement by incorporating more video ads into your campaigns.

5. Include a call-to-action (CTA). 

A good advertisement isn’t complete without a call to action. A call to action (CTA) provides the next steps for your potential customers; it needs to tell your audience what they should do as a response to your ad. Common CTAs include simple phrases like “learn more”, “buy now”, and “join us.” An engaging call to action can help audiences engage with your brand and lead to conversions.

Different types of Instagram ads

To create an effective social media campaign on Instagram, you need to produce organic content on your page that resonates with your audience. Instagram ads can then help your page by increasing how many users you reach and engagement opportunities. These features, in turn, boost up your conversion rates and ROI. Now, there are many ad options available on Instagram. Before you take your first step in creating a campaign, make sure to understand what each paid ad option entails and how they can be optimized to achieve your preferred objectives. 

Influencer advertising

Influencer advertising is a unique form of Instagram advertising that involves paying social media influencers to promote your brand and product. Most marketers search for social media influencers with many active followers who engage on their posts and contact them for a potential sponsorship. It is one of the best ways to promote a brand or product as many users are likely to make purchases from influencers they follow and trust. This form of advertising can also be incredibly useful if you have a specific target audience in mind. That way, you can search for certain influencers within that industry that can endorse your brand to an audience that will most likely be interested in your service or product.

Organic posts

Once you start running advertisements on Instagram, you will likely attract attention from potential customers to your page. Your organic posts make a key difference in how you obtain followers and keep them engaged in the long run. This means your page should include fresh, original, and high-quality content that contains engaging and relevant captions pertaining to your audience’s needs. Organic posts are the posts that help create trust, loyalty, brand awareness, and retention from your customers. Realistically, you should include a mix of paid ads and organic posts as part of your strategy to help maintain a sense of authenticity while you promote your brand. 

Paid advertising

Paid ads on Instagram look just like other posts on the platform, but usually contain a “Sponsored” label. Most paid ads contain a caption with a call-to-action button that drives traffic or engagement to a post. If your objective is to drive conversion, increase video views, or encourage lead generation, a sponsored post can help you target a specific demographic to the smallest detail and achieve the results you want. 

To create an effective sponsored ad campaign, you will need to use Facebook’s Ad Manager to plan out which targeting criteria you choose and placement options. Facebook will offer you a list of objectives to choose from, like brand awareness or reach, and the audience you’d like to target so it’s a good idea to consider what goals you have in mind with each ad. Afterwards, you can choose your budget and add action buttons. Be sure to review your ad before submitting it.

Instagram also offers different ad formats that work best for various marketing objectives. Review the following ad formats to understand which ad can impact your strategy:

1. Single-Image Ads. This form of advertisement is simple. It only consists of one image, a caption, and a call-to-action button. These types of newsfeed ads do not receive as much engagement as the others. However, you can create 6 different versions of an ad with different captions, images, and CTAs to A/B testing the best performing assets.

2. Video Ads. As mentioned previously, videos receive more engagement than pictures on Instagram. This makes video ads one of the most effective ad options you can use for your strategy. On Instagram, videos can be up to 1 minute long (60 seconds) so you must be able to capture your audience’s attention and motivate them to take the desired action within that time frame. With an effective video ad, you can tell a captivating story that promotes brand loyalty and drives engagement. 

3. Collection Ads. Collection ads are a compilation of visual content like pictures and videos that exhibit your products or services to your audience. These ads also give users the chance to buy directly from the business by clicking the CTA and directing them to a page that displays products and services.

4. Carousel Ads. Carousel ads allow businesses to post up to 10 images and videos that users can look through. These types of ads are an opportunity to exhibit a flair of creativity when telling a story about your brand and product. 

Story ads

Story ads are another unique way to advertise on Instagram. Since the launch of Instagram stories in 2016, an average of 500 million people use the feature on a regular basis, making it the perfect format to focus your advertising on. Organic stories are also useful in increasing engagement through interactive means. What makes story ads so popular is that they often look and feel very authentic. It’s this key feature that marketers must capture when creating their story ads. You can also include a CTA as a swipe-up feature that takes the user’s directly to your website once you’ve reached 10K followers

Advertising costs on Instagram

When it comes to advertising on Instagram, make sure you take note of the costs. In general, the average Instagram ad (in terms of cost-per-click) is around $0.50 – $1.00. Some Instagram ads can cost up to $3.00 per click. Costs vary within each industry you market in, and you may need to pay more in more competitive industries. 

It also highly depends on a variety of other factors when you’re creating your advertising strategy. For instance, Instagram CPC prices vary within certain age groups, and as seen on AdEspresso, you won’t need to spend much if you’re targeting the younger demographic. The 13-17 year olds are the lowest priced age group at 47 cents per click. The highest CPC groups include the 18-24, 25-34, and 35-44 year olds—all of which are highly valued in Instagram marketing. 

Instagram isn’t a platform that you should ignore as advertising on this platform is effective for all businesses (not just ecommerce!). Later writes that “businesses in all kinds of verticals can benefit from creating and sharing high-quality Instagram ads — everything from software brands to non-profits.” Once you know your audience and brand well, your Instagram advertising strategy is set to begin! Remember that, like other advertising strategies, some ads may work better than others to promote your brand and messages to your target audience. Trial and error may work best to determine what engages potential customers and what doesn’t. Be sure to ask questions pertaining to your audience, including what time of day they’re most active and how to best interact with them through ads.

Check out our blog, 5 Digital Marketing Trends in 2020 to learn more about how you can incorporate the latest digital marketing trends into your strategy.