“Are Instagram ads worth it?” This is a question many online marketers have.
They are advertising on Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn but are skipping Instagram. But you’d be surprised how much money they’re leaving on the table.
According to TechCrunch, Instagram has over one billion users in 2018. It is quickly rising to the top of all social networks, with at least 500 million people using the platform daily. Instagram has thus become one of the best platforms for reaching your target audience.
Brands on Instagram use visual storytelling through images and videos. They are able to creatively showcase all kinds of products and services. Read on to learn more about this powerful advertising platform.
What Is Instagram Advertising?
Instagram advertising involves paying to promote posts or stories to users’ feeds.
The promoted content looks like regular Instagram posts, but they usually have a “Sponsored” label. You can advertise on Instagram to achieve the following:
- Build brand awareness
- Drive website traffic
- Generate new leads
- Move leads down the funnel and promote conversion
Instagram is a visual platform, so text-based ads will hardly work. You’ll need visual content like images and videos to reach your target customers.
Are Instagram Ads Worth It?
Yes, Instagram advertising delivers results. This photo-sharing app has grown a lot over the years. From being a favorite for holidaymakers sharing their photos, it has become a powerful marketing platform for brands, advertisers, and influencers.
There’s a good chance that your target audience and your competitors are already on Instagram. If you’re not yet running Instagram ads, the statistics below will make you realize what you’re missing.
Instagram’s Impressive Reach
In June 2013, Instagram had about 130 million users. That number has since grown 10 times. In March 2017, more than 120 million Instagram users visited a website or contacted a business to learn more about their product or service after seeing an Instagram ad.
According to Statista, 71% Instagram’s over a billion monthly users are below 35 years old. So if you’re marketing to young adults, Instagram is an ideal platform for you.
According to Mention’s 2018 study, 71% of U.S enterprises use Instagram for business. The same study shows that 70% of Instagram hashtags are branded. In addition, at least 80% of businesses regard Instagram engagement as the most significant metric. Moreover, 50% of Instagrammers follow at least one brand.
All these show that businesses have a great opportunity to grow their reach through Instagram. Whether you’re a local or international business, you have the potential to build brand awareness through sponsored Instagram posts.
Whatever product or service you’re offering, there are Instagram users interested to follow your brand.
Instagram as a Marketing Powerhouse
Instagram generated $20 billion in revenue in 2019, according to Bloomberg. That figure is more than 25% of its parent company’s (Facebook) total revenue for the year.
Instagram even overtook the income of Google’s video platform YouTube, which made $15 billion in 2019. So, Instagram isn’t only growing tremendously, it’s also bringing in some serious money for businesses.
But what do Instagram ads cost? If you’re not sure if you can afford to run Instagram ads, these figures prove that this platform has a vast market for every business. Added to that, it has an interested audience that your brand can reach without spending a lot. These benefits make Instagram an efficient social media advertising platform.
How to Create and Run Instagram Ads
The learning curve for Instagram advertising might seem steep for beginners. If you’re already advertising on Facebook, things can be much easier for you. You can easily configure your ads on Instagram right through Facebook Ads manager.
If you’re not using Facebook ads, you can begin to advertise on Instagram by following the simple steps below:
- Log into the Instagram app, and go to your business profile.
- Tap “Promotions” and then click “Create Promotions.”
- Find the post you want to promote. Then, click “Promote” just below the post’s image.
- Enter the required details. Instagram allows you to choose your target demographics, ad spend, and the duration of your promotion.
- Lastly, click “Create Promotion.” Instagram will review your post and run your ad if it meets its advertisement policy guidelines.
Targeting on Instagram
Instagram allows you to target your audience just like you would with Facebook ads. You select your target audience based on various characteristics, which may include:
- Age group
Note that Instagram’s user information is less comprehensive compared to Facebook’s. That shouldn’t be a problem, though, since Instagram and Facebook are under the same company.
In fact, you can get detailed information on Instagram by looking at the target users’ Facebook accounts. To get the most from your campaign, consider linking your Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Understanding Instagram Ads Formats
Instagram ads appear in users’ Instagram stories and feeds, along with videos and images shared by users they follow.
Moreover, ads can appear in the Explore section. Instagram Explore is where users find accounts they don’t follow already. When you tap on an image or video in Explore, you may see ads while you’re browsing. But these ads don’t appear in the Explore grid or topic channels.
Every Instagram ad has a “Sponsored” icon. Your advert’s caption and call to action will appear below the image.
Your ad’s appearance depends on the format you choose. Instagram offers four ad format options:
- Image Ads — Image ads may appear in a vertical, square, or landscaped format.
- Video Ads — Videos may appear in a landscape or square format.
- Carousel Ads — If you choose the carousel format, your ad will appear in a vertical format. But on Instagram Feeds and Instagram Stories, it will adopt a square format.
- Instagram Stories Ads — Instagram stories ads support all video and photo dimensions. You can use a single photo or even a video up to 120 seconds long.
The Ads Manager allows you to preview your ad. Use this feature before you post ads to check how these will appear to Instagram users. Check out our break down on How Do Instagram Story Ads Work for more info.
Instagram used to be known mainly as a social networking platform for sharing photos.
Today, it’s a space where brands deliver compelling messages, engage customers, and tell stories that promote conversion. More digital marketers are turning to Instagram to reach their customers on a real, human level.
So, are Instagram ads worth it? When done right, the ROI for Instagram advertising is unparalleled.
But for your Instagram advertising campaign to be successful, you must know your target audience and how to reach them. This may require you to do a lot of research. Pay attention to the types of content they love engaging with.
Choose an ad format that works best for you. Create images and videos that can capture your target audience’s attention.
Like any advertising platform, Instagram advertising results are never guaranteed. But with the right strategy, any business can make it work.