A Guide to Getting Started with Instagram Ads
Advertising on Instagram is a powerful and visually-driven way to get your products, services, or website front and center to your targeted audience.
You can create video campaigns seamlessly and then optimize them. Businesses advertising on Instagram often see an impressive return on their investment, but it can be overwhelming to get started.
The following is a guide to getting started with Instagram and some of the most important things to know.
An Overview of Instagram Ads
Millions of advertisers run paid ads on Instagram. There are more than one billion monthly users, and around 60% of people on Instagram say they discover products on the platform.
Instagram is the number one platform for visual storytelling, giving you the chance to create a narrative through the different available ad formats.
Instagram ads can be videos as well as image posts. As a business, you publish them, and they can link to your brand account or any URL you choose. You can also link them to your direct messages.
Facebook owns Instagram, so the ads are designed under Facebook Ads Manager.
You can also create Facebook ads at the same time, or you can just do Instagram ads. Instagram ads will show up as a Story that will play between user Stories, and they'll appear in the feed of your audience as well.
The Benefits of Advertising On Instagram
Most businesses put a lot of time and effort into organic social media strategies and free traffic. That's important, but these strategies take a long time to see results from.
Ideally, a business should use organic and paid tactics, so you're getting the best of all worlds.
You're actively engaging with your audience in an organic way, but at the same time, you're expanding your reach.
When you use Instagram ads, you can even allow people to become a customer right away.
You, as mentioned, use Facebook Ads Manager to create your Instagram ads. You have to log into your Facebook account and start a new campaign.
The first step you'll take once you have everything set up for your accounts is choosing an ad objective. There are quite a few choices broken down into the general categories of awareness, consideration, and conversion.
For example, you might choose brand awareness, which helps you reach users who would be likely to engage with your ad. Reach is to get you in front of as many people as possible, while traffic is the goal you'd choose if you want to get users to visit your site, app or landing page.
When you're choosing an objective, you want to make sure it aligns with the content you're going to be putting in the ad itself.
After you select an objective, you'll name your campaign. This will help you stay organized.
You can also decide if you're going to split test your ads and try variations and whether or not you'll optimize your budget across your ad sets.
If you run a split test, also known as an A/B test, you can test ad variations or sets against one another and then give the biggest budget to whatever performs the best.
Campaign budget optimization distributes your budget automatically across your ad sets.
If you want your ads only to run on Instagram, you specify this in Audience Network.
The next steps you'll take involve targeting your audience. You don't want to target everyone because it wastes your time and money. You want to think about the target audience of your brand.
Some of the factors you can customize include location, age, gender, interests, and behaviors.
Another option is to create a custom audience based on the pixels you put on your site. This means you're building an audience that includes either people who have already visited your site or looks like people with similar interests and behaviors.
You set a budget and a schedule.
A daily budget means your ads will run indefinitely unless you turn them off, and you'll spend up to a certain amount each day. Lifetime budgets run for a set period of time.
Once you have the technicalities out of the way, you can work on the creative aspects of Instagram ads.
Designing Ads for Instagram
The ad creation dashboard is where you upload your content and write the copy for your ad.
You can use photo ads, carousel ads, collections, or video ads. There are also stories ads which can be photos or videos.
Some tips for designing video ads on Instagram in particular include:
- Remember, you have virtually no time to capture your audience's attention, so you want to grab them right away. You also want them to know immediately that it's an ad versus a photo, so have movement in the first second of the video.
- Keep in mind that audio on Instagram is muted by default, so you need to lead with text and visuals. At the same time, you don't want to use too much text. You want a few short captions in your video ads that will grab interest without going overboard or creating a cluttered feel.
- A good Instagram video ad is often one that solves a problem. Your product or service is the solution to something your audience is dealing with.
- For each video ad, you create, focus on one singular goal. Don't try to incorporate everything into one ad.
- Try to observe what people do in their organic videos on Instagram and replicate this in your own ads so that it doesn't look so much like an advertisement.
- Have a clear call to action and make it as simple as you can for your audience.
- Create multiple versions of your video ads to test them and see which is the most effective.
Finally, your thumbnails matter. When you're preparing a video, the thumbnail is actually the most important component because it's what determines whether someone is going to turn on the volume and actually engage with your ad.
This article was written by Susan Melony, an avid writer, traveler, and overall enthusiast.