Why market on Ins? The ultimate Instagram advertising strategy guide!
If you have a certain budget allocated for social media advertising, you must be familiar with setting up an Instagram ads campaign. As a matter of fact, Instagram ads have the potential to reach nearly 850 million users, whereas over 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one Business Profile per day.
Hoping to get the most out of Instagram advertising? Here are some secret hacks you should seriously take into consideration.
What is Instagram advertising?
It is hard to find any businesses that haven’t considered advertising on Instagram, for we all know how Instagram has grown, and probably will be growing in the coming years. According to Statista, in 2022, there are over 1.4 billion monthly active users (MAUs) on Instagram.
To respond to users’ demand for an all-in-one multimedia social platform, Meta has continued to roll out features like Stories and Reels to keep users on Instagram. Other than finding inspiration for new lifestyle routines or places to eat and shop, Instagram has grown way beyond its photo-sharing function.
Every month, over 130 million users engage with Instagram shopping posts. (Instagram, 2019). It has now established itself as a powerful social commerce marketplace that, if used strategically, can drive an incredible amount of sales for brands and businesses in the long run.
Why advertise on Instagram?
Apart from the growing number of active Instagram users, there are plenty of other reasons why brands are drawn to Instagram for business. To name a few:
1. Ease of ad placement
If you’re already a user of Facebook Ads manager, placing an Instagram ad is a no-brainer as they are already integrated into one platform. With this, you can easily plan your holistic social media strategy, and allocate your budget and content across different platforms. You will also be able to compare different ad performances at a quick glance and make changes accordingly.
2. Higher engagement rate
70% of shopping enthusiasts look to Instagram to discover new products. (Facebook, 2019). This means, as a business, displaying your products and showcasing your brand on Instagram is a key deciding factor in consumer behavior. Although the overall engagement rate on Instagram has decreased recently as a result of greater competition, when compared to other platforms, Instagram is still the engagement king.
New to Instagram? Check out our Instagram Marketing starter kit to grab the essence of it!
Types of Instagram ads
Instagram ads come in many different forms and what's more important is that you can post to Instagram from desktop too.
1. Photo ad
The most classic type of ad. An Instagram photo ad looks like a post from any account that you are already following, except the word ‘ Sponsored’ in the corner to indicate it’s a paid ad.
2. Carousel Ads
Commonly used by brands or shops who want to showcase a collection of products. You can create a series of up to 10 photos or videos in one ad, with each photo directed to a specific URL or location.
3. Video ads
Appear along with Instagram feeds, ranging from seconds in length or as long as sixty minutes.
4. Branded creator ads
Instagram finds out 68% of their users come to the platform to interact with creators, branded content ads are created for businesses to tell their brand stories through the voices of creators. Users will see the word “Paid partnership with” along with the brand name on these branded posts.
5. Instagram shop and product tag
For brands who have activated the Instagram shop function, shopping links and product tags can be added to photos, allowing viewers to click to the products directly to learn more details. This is a good conversion tool for e-commerce purchase.
With a daily user of 500 million people, Stories is an effective environment to place ads as viewers actively scroll the stories of the accounts they follow. Interactive features that exist only in Stories have also made it the ideal place to encourage engagement.
Similar to video ads on YouTube channels, IGTV ads appear when a user clicks to watch an IGTV video from the preview button in their feeds, with a duration of up to 15 seconds.
8. Reel ad
Reels ads was introduced in June 2021 as a way for Instagram to promote your content to non-followers or unique viewers. With its own dedicated button on the nav bar, Reels are presented on a full screen similar to TikTok videos.
Which form of Instagram advertising suits you the best?
From the above, we can see how Instagram has provided options to cater to different advertising needs. The tough part is, as advertisers, how do we find out the best form of advertising that suits my purpose? Below are some points that you may consider:
1. Know your goal
What do you want to achieve from this ad? Awareness? Website traffic? Conversion? Depending on your objectives, you can make a choice, for example, if you have a good video, IGTV and Reels can give it a strong boost, while shop and carousel ads will be most effective if you want to drive e-commerce conversion.
2. Identify your target audience
Stories ads are the new trend and are widely used by skincare and fashion brands, but what works for them might not work for you. Who is your target audience? What are their social media behaviours? How do they use Instagram? Do they tend to scroll feeds instead of watching videos? Create the ad for your target audience, not for following the trend. Find out the type of ad that matches their preferences.
3. Learn from your past performance
You might have spent a lot of time reading books and videos to find out the best type of content and ad, yet nothing compared to ‘consulting’ your own performance history. What type of content gave you the best performance? How did people respond to your stories? Organic views don’t lie, trust them to provide insights for your ad strategies.
See how the dashboard function of SleekFlow helped Weirdo Beauty Salon to monitor and organize their customer inquiries.
How much does Instagram advertising cost?
That’s a question for every CEO and marketer. To give a general idea of the advertising cost on Instagram, cost per click (CPC) for Instagram ads ranges from USD $0.20 to $2, and cost per impression (CPM) is around USD$5 per 1000 impressions.
But as you start placing ads on Instagram, the actual costs might be quite different from what was mentioned above, there are a few factors causing such differences.
1. Bid amount
Instagram ads work like Facebook ads, your bid amount affects how much you spend on an ad campaign. You have to decide how much you are willing to pay to outbid the others.
By bidding means competition. Brands that target a niche audience might find their CPC lower as the competition is less keen. In general, ads that target men are cheaper than those which target women.
2. Ad relevancy score
Instagram cares about engagement, they want to deliver contents and ads that are relevant to their users. Based on the number of likes and comments they compile an “Ad Relevancy Score". If people responded positively to your ad, your ad is likely to get a higher score and be delivered to more people. On the other hand, if people report or hide your ad, it will affect your ad performance.
3. Estimated action rates
Instagram values conversion as much as you do. If you are advertising a product, make sure to include paths that link to your products.
If Instagram thinks people are likely to interact with your ad, they will deliver the ad to more people and result in a lower ad cost.
Set up the right KPI for your Instagram advertising campaign
Just like every other business activity, KPI is inevitable. Setting up a right goal for your team and the corresponding measurement metrics ensure the marketing effort is on track. The table below briefly illustrates the logic between marketing funnel, your final goal and how to measure. It is hard to start thinking from scratch. Before setting up the right KPI for a specific campaign, developing ideas from the current marketing funnel can be a way out.
If you don’t measure, you will never know your progress. It is important to track those metrics in an organized way. An all-in-one marketing platform such as Hubspot, SleekFlow can ease your pain in tracking multi-platform.
How to set up an Instagram ad?
Try setting up an Instagram ad! It’s easier than you’ve imagined.
1. Go to Facebook’s Ad Manager
Instagram doesn’t have an individual ad manager, navigate to Facebook Ad Manager to start running your campaign.
2. Choose Your Marketing Objective
There are already many objectives listed in the Ad center, most of them are self-explanatory, what you have to do is to decide which best suits your purpose. After you’ve made your choice, you will be prompted to provide relevant information, for example, if website traffic is what you’re looking for, you will be asked to enter the URL of your website.
3. Set your Target Audience
This includes location, age, gender, language and demographics. Under demographics, you will see ‘detailed targeting’ which you can input the interests and behaviours of your target audience.
Once you’ve configured your audience, Ad Center will show you an estimation of audience size and potential reach, this is an important reference because neither too big or too specific is good for a campaign.
4. Choose your placement
By default Facebook delivers your ad to both Facebook and Instagram, if you want your ad to show on only Instagram, choose edit placements and click the options for Instagram.
5. Set your budget and schedule
Facebook will automatically suggest a budget and schedule for you, but you can always do it manually. Don’t worry if you think you haven’t made the right decision, you can pause your campaign anytime.
6. Create your ad
There are technical requirements for each type of ad, be sure to observe them because editing and reviewing can take a lot of time. You may refer to the Facebook ads guide for the most updated requirement.
Best practices of Instagram advertising
Check out the following tips to create an Instagram ad like a pro!
1. Include motion in Stories ad
Wanna create rich ads visuals? Here are some video marketing tips for you.
2. Include text to emphasize your message
People don’t always turn their sound on, so even if you’re creating a video or motion ad, remember to insert texts that help you tell the story and call to action.
3. For photo ad
If you have ever wondered whether Instagram users prefer a certain style, a study from Curalate confirms there is one! In general, images with a single dominant colour, bluish tints, lower saturation and lots of visual texture are more likely to get engagements on Instagram. Not bad taking this as your visual reference.
Unlock extended features such as auto reply on Instagram comments and DMs with SleekFlow, a social CRM platform
On top of features like DM auto reply (see below) and promocode tracking, SleekFlow’s CRM platform has now extended the automation feature so that you can auto reply comments on Instagram. All you have to do is to integrate Instagram Business API with SleekFlow, and then you can access and manage your Instagram DM inbox, along with Facebook messenger, Telegram, Wechat, etc., in SleekFlow’s unified inbox.
Credit: SleekFlow Giphy
This comment automation feature enables you to set up specific scenarios that trigger appropriate responses to comments instantly. Let’s say you have a new sneaker product that you’d like to promote on Instagram. In the caption, you can include a phrase such as “comment #NewKicks to receive a promo code.” SleekFlow can gather those followers’ Instagram handles, label and segment their interactions with your business profile, and track campaign success. You can also engage those followers again for remarketing or upcoming promotions based on their demonstrated interest.
Here are the key advantages of SleekFlow’s auto reply comment feature on Instagram:
Boost organic engagement while preserving your ad budget
Connecting to your audience by hitting keywords
Provide reliable support to your customers 24/7
Simplify the buyer journey and get paid in chat
The fact that all Instagram users can see those comment interactions enhances your publicity exposure and attracts unique visitors to view your post. And when your customers know that you are there for them to answer their inquiries and resolve their issues 24/7, your chances of getting highly qualified leads increase significantly.
See the example of how our happy customer, Afterschool (an up-and-coming education online platform) leveraged SleekFlow to engage with Gen-Zs.
Want to take it further? Read Instagram Marketing starter kit for more IG marketing tips.