How To: Advertise on Instagram

With a potential audience of more than 928 million people, Instagram ads are a key tool for any social media marketer. Instagram and Facebook are connected, so it’s easier to target your audience based on Facebook data. The engagement rate on Instagram is higher than the engagement rate on any other social media platform, especially for purchasing purposes.

Instagram ads are posts or Stories that a business pays to promote to users’ Instagram feeds. They can look just like regular Instagram posts but are always identified by a “Sponsored” label. They can also include a call-to-action button to drive traffic or conversions.

There’s no single answer to the question of how much Instagram ads cost. The cost of Instagram ads are dependent on the following factors: targeting, ad placement, ad format, time of year. You control your Instagram ads cost by setting a campaign spending limit, a daily budget, and a bid strategy. It’s crucial to establish what your goal is Start by reviewing your social media marketing strategy, then sit down to create some SMART goals for your Instagram ads campaign.

Take a look at the business objectives supported by each Instagram ad format. Think about how these can directly support your goals. Also, consider which types of content get the best response in your organic Instagram feed.

Once you’ve placed a few Instagram ads, be sure to review Instagram Insights to track your success. You can then test and tweak your ad type choices to improve your Instagram advertising strategy over time.

Instagram offers several ad formats:

  • -Stories ads: 500 million Instagram users view Stories every day
  • -Photo ads: Photo ads allow brands to showcase products and services through compelling images
  • -Video ads: shorter videos are most effective, include branding in the first few seconds of the ad
  • -Carousel ads: Carousel ads let users swipe through a series of up to 10 images or videos with a call-to-action button to connect them directly to your website
  • -Collection ads: Users have the option to purchase products directly from the ad
  • -Explore ads: Explore is the Instagram screen where users discover new content and accounts. More than half of Instagram users access Explore every month
  • -IGTV ads: Instagram recently announced that it will be offering advertising in IGTV
  • -Instagram Shopping ads: Instagram Shopping ads take shoppers directly to a product description page within the Instagram app

Each ad type works for different business goals and has different call-to-action options available.

There are different objectives for Instagram Ads:

  • Brand awareness- increase awareness for your brand, ads will be shown to people who are more likely to be interested
  • Reach- shows your ad to the maximum amount of people, will be shown to people who may not be interested in them
  • Traffic- send people to your website or the app store for your app from your Instagram ads
  • App installs- With this objective, you can send people to the app store where they can download your app
  • Engagement- With this objective, you can get more people to see and engage with your post
  • Video views- promote a video to more people
  • Lead generation- collect lead information from people interested in your business
  • Conversions- get people to take valuable actions on your website. This is useful for driving sales, tracking can be done via Facebook pixel

The anatomy of a great Instagram Ad is: Content: As a platform with visual at its core, having ads with high quality creative is key for increasing engagement and conversion rates. In fact, Instagram won't even let you create sponsored ads for posts with low-resolution images. Audience: The most visually appealing ads won't generate quality conversions unless you experiment with different target audiences to find who's interested. Timing: Tailoring your ad creative and content based on the different stages your audience is likely to be in (e.g. discovery, consideration, purchase), will ensure you can more effectively speak to their needs and convert them.

Examples of Instagram business to business adverts that convert:
Launch Instagram Stories Ads
Instagram Stories are used by 500M people everyday, and they're equally effective for businesses - 33% of the most viewed Instagram Stories are shared by businesses. So it can be a great new placement to test for getting discovered by potential customers.

Create Videos
Videos receive 38% more engagement than images on Instagram. So it could be worthwhile to see if your Instagram Ads with videos outperform images too.

Feature Customer Quotes
Using social proof in the form of customer testimonials is a great way to have your customers convince visitors why they should use your products and services. After all, you're more likely to pay attention to a friend or 3rd party reviewing a business than the company itself.

Build Credibility With Whitepapers
If your B2B company has a long sales cycle and involves multiple stakeholders, creating thought leadership pieces like whitepapers and eBooks can be a good way to validate your company and stay top of mind in the decision-making process.

CASE STUDY: APPSEE
Appsee is a company that offers qualitative app analytics for mobile product managers and app developers They wanted a new way to reach the business-to-business (B2B) audience it had discovered while running ads in Instagram feed so that it could ultimately attract new customers. App analytics company Appsee ran ads in Instagram Stories to attract its B2B target audience, this resulted in a 3.4X higher click-through rate and a 25% lower cost per qualified lead with the new ad placement.

“Even though we’re a B2B company, our target audience is spending lots of time on Instagram. By reaching them on what is usually considered to be a pure business-to-consumer platform, we’ve been able to keep the brand top-of-mind while closing the loop with potential leads who visited our website, thanks to Stories” -JOHN (YANAY) SELA, CMO, APPSEE