Have you ever wondered whether Instagram sponsored ads could help your brand grow?
You probably know by now that Instagram has over 1 billion active monthly users. Every day, 500 million of those users log into the platform to interact with other people.
However, Instagram users don’t just turn to the social media channel to connect with their best friends. They also use the service to reach out to brands too. Instagram users engage with companies 10 times more than Facebook users do.
The question for companies on Instagram, is how do you tap into the potential of all those potential clients and advocates?
Better advertising on Instagram may be the answer.
Instagram sponsored ads are the pay-to-play way of getting attention on the world’s most popular visual platform. Used correctly, these tools can deliver more traffic, engagement, and sales to your brand.
So, how do you get started?
What Are Instagram Sponsored Ads?
About 60% of all Instagram users rely on the platform to discover new products.
Another 200 million say that they visit at least one business profile a day.
It’s safe to say that Instagram ads have a lot of value to offer the average marketing team.
Instagram sponsored ads, sometimes referred to as “promoted” posts, are some of the most common options for advertising on Instagram. They’re the organic material on your Instagram profile that you invest in to drive more audience attention and brand awareness your way.
So, how do Instagram sponsored ads work?
Essentially, you just upgrade an existing post so that it’s shown to more users.
Like any other option with Instagram ads, you’ll be able to choose some targeting criteria to ensure that you’re reaching the right people. You’ll be able to look at things like age, interests, and location.
Are There Different Types of Sponsored Post?
Since there are different ways to post on Instagram, it makes sense that there would also be different kinds of sponsored content to choose from.
For instance, when you’re advertising on Instagram, you can choose from:
- Photo Ads: Images are the thing that your customers are most used to seeing on their feed already. The only difference between a typical post and a sponsored photo is the small “sponsored” label in the top right corner.
- Carousel ads: Carousel Instagram ads allow you to display multiple images (or videos) in a scrolling format. You can use these promotional methods to tell a story through a sequence of pictures.
- Video ads: Ever since the arrival of IGTV in 2018, the power of video on Instagram has been growing. Video ads are an exceptional way to reach your audience and prompt robust levels of engagement.
- Instagram Stories Ads: Since Stories are some of the most popular forms of content on the Instagram platform, it makes sense to sponsor them. Just remember that Stories only last for 24 hours.
How to Start Advertising on Instagram
Perhaps the most confusing thing you’ll need to understand about advertising on Instagram is that your campaigns aren’t built inside the Instagram app.
Instead, promotion for Instagram campaigns is handled by the Facebook Ads manager.
It sounds strange, but it makes sense when you consider the fact that Facebook owns Instagram, and also has one of the best targeting services in the market.
The great thing about sponsored Instagram ads is that you don’t have to create any new advertising creative from scratch. You simply choose the post you’ve already got on your profile and upgrade it.
To get started, make sure that you implement the Facebook Power Editor into your Instagram Account. All you need to do is go to your Business Manager page, then click on Instagram Accounts. If you already have a Facebook ads account, you’ll get the option to link your Facebook and Instagram profiles.
Using the power editor will allow you to track your ad results in real-time, access more in-depth targeting metrics, and even set the specifics of your promotional spending limit.
When you’re ready to start building amazing campaigns, make sure that you keep the following five tips in mind.
1. Make Your Instagram Ads Look Amazing
Remember, although Instagram users are happy to connect with companies online, they’re not looking for endless advertisements on their social feed. Some of the best-performing sponsored posts are successful because they don’t look any different from the content you’d typically see on a company’s page. Instead of rolling out the same old ad creative, create something that looks just like an organic Instagram post.
Want an easy way to do that?
Try a photo editing tool like VSCO.
VSCO lets you do virtually anything you want with your Instagram photos, including cropping out parts of the image, adding unique filters, and more. You can adjust the quality of your ad visuals until they look like something that you’d be happy to post on an official Instagram page.
Instagram is a visual social media channel. Use your images to earn your audience’s attention.
2. Track Your Instagram Sponsored Ads
Advertising on Instagram is just like promoting your business on any other channel. You need to make sure that you’re tracking your campaigns if you want to get the most out of your budget. Facebook Ad Manager will help with this, by giving you some basic insights into who’s clicking on your posts, and where you’re getting the most interaction.
However, if you want to take your analytics to the next level, it’s worth looking into specialist tools. For instance, businesses advertising on Instagram might want to consider Simply Measured for their analytics.
This tool gives you an inside view of what’s going on with your Instagram efforts, and it works just as well for Instagram photos, videos, and Stories. The premium option even offers access to cross-channel analytics so that you can seek out new opportunities for promotion.
3. Go Local with Your Advertising
One of the best ways to use Instagram sponsored ads is to drive local attention to a brick-and-mortar location. If you’re trying to get people to visit your store in-person, or you need attendees for your event, why not boost the impact of your Instagram ads with some geotagging options? After all, posts with location information on them can earn up to 79% more engagement.
Tools like PeopleMap are excellent for measuring things like customer trends in your industry. However, the most compelling feature of the tool is the map-viewer option that allows you to see where people are based on location. With PeopleMap, you can make sure that you’re linking your Instagram ads back to the right areas for the best engagement levels.
4. Upgrade your Instagram Ads with Hashtags
It’s impossible to effectively manage Instagram ads without paying some attention to hashtags. In the world of social media, hashtags help your content to get noticed by the right people in a sea of other paid and promoted posts.
While you can use 30 hashtags in an Instagram post, the truth is that 10 or fewer is usually the best bet. However, it’s essential that every tag you use is relevant to your brand, and the kind of experience that you want to create for your audience.
While there are plenty of tools and blogs out there that will give you an overview of the kind of tags you can track in your industry, don’t forget to simply listen to your community. Pay attention to the type of hashtags your competition, and followers are using, and work from there.
5. Try Automating your Instagram Sponsored Ads
Finally, keep in mind that figuring out how to manage Instagram ads isn’t easy – even with the help of Facebook’s nifty ad manager.
The good news is that there are tools available to make your life a little easier.
What tools are those, you ask?
Revealbot is an Instagram Ads automation tool that uses artificial intelligence and analytics to upgrade your promotional performance. With RevealBot, you can set up automated rules for Instagram ads, and let the bot do the rest of the work for you. There are even options to start and pause your campaigns, increase or decrease your budget, and alter bid actions.
Because RevealBot logs all of the actions that you take on Instagram, it also makes watching the performance of your campaigns a little easier too. You can tap into full-spectrum metrics that tell you about things like custom conversions, and engagement.
If the concept of using any kind of bot alarms you in the age of the Instagram Shadowban, there is an alternative to RevealBot that you can try. Upleap is an online service that offers Instagram users and brands the option to tap into their own social media account manager.
Your manager can set up your Instagram sponsored ads for you, using guidance that you provide about your keywords, target audience, and bid levels. They’ll also be able to track the performance of your campaigns and deal with other things like audience engagement on your behalf.
It’s up to you how much you want to manage Instagram ads for yourself, and how much you’d like to be automated by someone, or something else.
Should You Try Sponsored Advertising on Instagram?
Instagram ads aren’t always the best way to earn the attention and respect of your target audience.
Too many promoted posts, and you could end up making your customers think that you care more about money than delivering valuable content.
It’s essential to get the balance right when you manage your Instagram ads and ensure that you’re still delivering plenty of promotion-free material to your followers. Mix your ads up with regular conversations with your community, strategies to like and comment on other people’s content, and more, and you’ll start to build a better reputation for your brand.
So, when are Instagram sponsored ads the right idea?
Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all guideline. However, we recommend considering Instagram ads when:
- You’re creating Shoppable posts: If you’re trying to encourage people to shop for your latest products or items straight from Instagram, then ads can help. The more you get users clicking on your posts, the more likely you are to end up with sales.
- You’re looking for UGC: Want to make your advertising on Instagram pop? Implement testimonials and reviews from your existing audience. Social proof is compelling on Instagram, but you’ll need to gather plenty of it first. Try creating sponsored posts that encourage people to comment about their experiences with your brand. This might involve using competition to get people more excited about your company.
- You need better brand awareness: If your Instagram profile is still entirely new, and you haven’t established a lot of visibility yet, then it pays to consider sponsored ads. Ultimately, although Instagram ads can be expensive, they also raise awareness of your brand and drive more customers to your posts. The result is often an increase in engagement, followers, and reputation.
Mastering your Instagram Sponsored Ads
Advertising on Instagram, just like marketing on any other social channel, comes with its fair share of challenges. You need to make sure that you’re sharing the right content and using the best strategies to earn your customer’s attention.
However, if you know how to manage Instagram ads correctly, then the results can be incredible.
The occasional sponsored post delivers everything from improved traffic to better engagement and new sales opportunities.
Remember, however; it may take some time and testing before you find a sponsored ad strategy that works for you. Keeping track of your ad analytics will help you to determine which of your posts draw the most significant crowd, and which deliver the best ROI.
The more you work on your profile and learn about your audience, the more impactful every post you create will become – regardless of whether it’s sponsored or otherwise.
Are you ready to discover the potential of sponsored ads?
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