Looking for a new way to reach a target audience in 2017? Instagram should be at the top of your agenda. Founded in 2010 and snapped up by Facebook in 2012, Instagram now has more than 700m monthly active users, making it a platform that’s hard for marketers to ignore.
There are plenty of perks to Instagram advertising. Firstly, we’ve established that Instagram is owned by Facebook, which also means it uses Facebook’s existing ad best practices and its familiar interface. In other words, it’s a tried and tested method with a strong foundation. Secondly, Instagram advertisements look very organic – they appear much like regular posts, with just a small ‘Sponsored’ notice, making them noticeably less invasive and much more natural.
If you’re planning your first ever Instagram advertising campaign, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
If you’re already familiar with Facebook ads, it’ll be relatively easy for you to get set up with Instagram advertising. The entire setup of an advertising campaign for Instagram, right down to the budget and the scheduling, is done through Facebook’s own ad creation platform.
You’ll need to have a Facebook Page in order to create an Instagram advertisement – log in to that page, head for the ads section and you’re ready to get your first ad off the ground.
Choosing an editor
Facebook has a number of tools for those looking to create ads. The Power Editor is great for those embarking on huge numbers of campaigns, with lots of powerful tools to provide optimum control. The regular Ads Manager is a simpler option, but it’s the first choice for many marketers, and will be a great option for those who are testing the water when it comes to Instagram ads.
What’s your goal?
Of course, before you can start building an ad, you need to decide what you hope to achieve from it, and how you will measure success. Perhaps your goal is to increase engagement or send traffic to your website. Maybe you hope to encourage app installation, or boost video views on Instagram. Whatever your aim, you can then start to build the ad with this final goal in mind.
Selecting an audience
One of Facebook’s most powerful tools is its amazing ability to filter audiences based on a huge number of demographics and metrics. The regular segments like age, gender and location are all included, but you can also choose audiences based on their Facebook Life Events, their behaviours, their connections and the pages they’ve Liked on the platform. Using your own market research, you can choose a highly targeted audience that you feel will be receptive to your ad.
There are two options when it comes to choosing a budget for your Instagram campaign. You can opt for a daily budget, which means you can allocate a certain amount (say, £5.00, for example) and an algorithm will spread your ads throughout the day, with the cost never going over £5.00. Or you can choose a lifetime budget, which runs your ad for a set length of time (one month, for example), with the algorithm spreading your spending out across the entire period.
That’s all there is to it! Once you’ve completed these steps, you can place your ad order with Facebook and see the ads appear on Instagram to your chosen audience within minutes.