While Facebook is often presented as the go-to for ecommerce entrepreneurs looking to advertise their products, Instagram is definitely on the rise as one of the trendiest and most important marketing channels out there. Instagram is a social network dedicated to the sharing of photo and video content.
The market is still relatively unsaturated in comparison to social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, so it’s a great time to take advantage of this resource. What’s more is that as of 2017, 70% of Instagram users have sought out a company through this platform, and 62% follow at least one company’s profile. Instagram is a great way to get in touch with your customers through visually stimulating content. More than 700+ million people are on Instagram, and it has one of the highest levels of engagement between users and brands. The visual focus makes this a great creative way to promote the products in your shop and solidify your brand in the minds of your customers.
How It Works:
Aside from posting visually pleasing content, you can also boost engagement by featuring customers in your feed, hosting giveaways, and encouraging your community to utilize hashtags related to your business.
Instagram also invites the opportunity to reach your target audiences in organic ways via influencer marketing. Before Instagram Ads became an option in 2015, influencer marketing reigned supreme as the primary way to advertise products on this social media platform. While the number of options for advertising on Instagram has increased, influencer marketing still provides a seamless way to reach your target audience. That said, it often requires that you have some startup capital or products to give away for free in return for a shoutout on said influencer’s account. Not to mention, you relinquish a good deal of control once the product is in the hands of your selected influencer.
Meanwhile, Instagram Ads are quickly gaining momentum as an alternative to influencer marketing. From the Facebook Ad settings, you can sync your Instagram account, which will cause the same advertisements to show up on this platform as well. Plus, being that Facebook now owns Instagram, Instagram’s own ads system operates quite similarly, which means that it has been proven to work and that it is easy to extend your marketing campaigns to this venue.
Making Your Campaign:
Keep in mind that one of the key considerations to make before getting started with Instagram advertising is to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly since the vast majority of traffic generated from Instagram will be from mobile users.
Build a Following Organically
You may also want to make an Instagram account to benefit from the advertising opportunities that exist from building a community organically on this platform. Fill in the profile information and update your feed often with photos that utilize hashtags. Engage with other accounts and with customers by liking and commenting photos on a regular basis. Be sure to link your Instagram to your website.
Paid Advertising on Instagram
To get started with using paid ads on Instagram, you simply need a Facebook account from which you can add Instagram to your Business Manager. From here, the ad creation process is very similar to what you’d find on Facebook. Start by linking your Instagram account to your Facebook page in the Facebook Ad settings by navigating to the Instagram Ads section via the menu on the left-hand side of the page. Next, all you have to do is select “Add an Account.”
Bear in mind that there are currently 4 options for advertising on Instagram: photo, video, carousel, and stories.
From here, follow the prompts to enter your account information. Once you’ve laid this groundwork, you’re ready to create your campaign. Again, this process is essentially the same as it is for Facebook Ads.
Set Your Objectives
First, select your marketing objective from the following options:
- Brand awareness
- Local awareness
- App installs
- Video views
- Lead generation
- Product catalog sales
- Store visits*
(Note that the bolded options *require Facebook Pixel.)
(Most likely you’ll want to use the conversion options as your objective because these are most closely connected to driving sales.)
From here, you can choose which types of conversions you are specifically aiming for. (ex: Purchase)
Choose Your Target Audience
Next, it’s time to select your target audience. This portion is almost identical to Facebook. Of course, it’s also possible to set a custom audience based on people that have already interacted with your brand, via your website, Facebook account, subscribing to your email list, etc. Select your custom audience here if you prefer to reach out to this group.
Create Your Ad
Now, just like with Facebook, it’s time to decide your ad’s placement on the Instagram platform. Choose between Feed or Stories.
Decide Your Budget
To finalize the creation of your Instagram Ad, set your budget and schedule your posts. Like Facebook Ads, in the beginning, we recommend starting out with a lower budget as you assess which ads are performing best. Hit continue and select the formatting you’d like your ads to have. Choose from carousel, single image, single video, slideshow or canvas (allows you to mix photo and video content).
Keeping track of how well each ad is doing is easy with the help of the Ads Manager tools.