Using advertisements on Instagram:
An explanation of the different advertising options and how to find the best one for your brand (Part 1)
So in our last post we have talked about how to work with influencers on Instagram as one of the potential marketing strategies for your brand. But of course this is not the only way how you can achieve successful marketing on Instagram. There is more! In this post we will talk about how you can work with advertising on Instagram, what kind of advertising options there are and what would fit your brand the most.
Sponsored posts on Instagram
You probably already stumbled upon a sponsored advertisement of another brand or a product while scrolling through Instagram. Sponsored advertisements on Instagram are fairly common and in the last couple of years Instagram has been working on optimizing the way you can create an advertisement as easily as possible. So you have no need to worry, you do not need a marketing diploma to publish an advertisement for your brand!
First of all it is important to know that there are different kinds of advertising on Instagram. One of the most common ways of advertising is in the stories of Instagram. Stories are short highlights that every user can upload. If a follower is watching a story of another account, they have the option to swipe left to see the next account’s story. And that is where the story advertising comes in. Between the different stories of the accounts, advertisements of different brand or products will appear. This really differs from every user and the kind of target group that the company that published the advertisement has set. A user seeing the advertisement has the option to either click on the company’s profile or to swipe up to follow the link to their website or the specific product they have advertised. Instagram stories are very popular and a good starting option for a brand to gain some popularity. However working with the story advertising means working mainly with pictures and very less to no text at all.
Another advertising option is the photo ad. It is likely compared to a regular post on Instagram with the difference that the photo ad has been sponsored and will be marked as such. A user on Instagram will see this advertisement while scrolling through their news feed on the homepage between other regular uploaded posts. The benefit of a photo ad is that you can work with pictures in horizontal or vertical format and with text. You have the option to tell a story about your brand or add an explanation about the product you are advertising. Users have the option to click on the link in your advertisement to get to your website or they can click on your profile to check what kind of brand you are.
Besides the photo ad you can also create a video ad. Which is really cool to show off a deeper sphere of your brand. It works the same way as the photo ad but as a video instead. The video can be up to 120 seconds long and has to be in horizontal format. The good thing about video ads is that you can work with your branding goals very well here and you get the opportunity to give your target group an exact feeling of what your brand is like and what kind of experience will be waiting for them. Video ads will also gain a user’s attention faster because moving images or videos just catches our attention way faster and for a longer period of time.
If you have several photos that you want to put into your advertisement then the carousel ad is definitely the best option for you! It works very similar to the photo ad but you have the opportunity to upload not one but up to 10 pictures or videos. If you want to show off different kind of products in your advertisement and just can not decide which picture you should take, then think about this advertising option instead. For every picture you can add a different description and a link to the specific product. The carousel ad is good because users who got interested in the very first picture of your advertisement have the option to spend some time swiping through the other pictures and building a personal connection to your brand and your products. Therefore the first picture of the carousel ad is the most important one.
Another advertising option on Instagram are the collection ads. This option combines the power of pictures, videos and direct call-to-action links in stories. You can imagine this option like a catalogue. If you want to show different products on several pictures, then this option is definitely the best for you. Collection ads give a user the possibility to directly shop your products on Instagram without needing to leave the app to get to another website. Telling a story with this advertising option is working very well, you can show several products on a single picture and link them in the shopping option below for a user to shop. For that they only have to click on the “learn more” button on your advertisement.
The last option that you have for advertising on Instagram are advertisements are the explore ads in the explore section of Instagram. The explore option is used by users who want to discover new content and accounts. The explore section is using an algorithm to optimize the recommended new content for a user. If a user clicks on a specific post they will be directed to their own personal explore feed and can scroll through different posts. It looks very similar to the regular news feed of Instagram but in the explore feed a user will only see posts and accounts they are not following, yet. Your advertisement will appear in this explore feed and will look very similar to the regular photo and video ads. With the explore ads you have the opportunity to to address a completely new target group – this is especially good if you want to gain popularity and awareness for your brand.
What are your plans?
Before you decide on one of the advertising options you should ask yourself what your goal for your brand is. Therefore it is very important that you know your target audience and the current audience on your profile. Take all the statistics that you can get on your profile and analyze them. How would you like to address your target audience? Who do you want to adress? What action should the advertisement have for your brand? Make sure that you take your time before deciding on an advertising option.
Promoting an already existing post
So how do you create an advertisement for your brand? Currently there are three ways to do this. The first option that is probably the easiest one is to just promote an already existing post of yours into an advertisement. You do not have to upload extra content and just need to fill in the needed information for your advertisement and you can publish it!
Facebook Ads Manager
The second option is through the Facebook Ads Manager. You can easily create an account on there and start creating your advertisement from scratch. The Ads Manager is a very good option to get a better understanding of how exactly your advertisement will look like. You can also make a lot of changes, swap the picture and work on your preferred target audience to get the best results for your advertisement.
The last option is also very helpful and is especially the best solution for those who do not have much time or the needed knowledge for publishing an advertisement. The so called Instagram Partners will help you to set up your advertisement. You will set up your advertisement together with proven experts that know exactly how to get the best out of your advertisement and will give you some helpful tips along the way.
Of course there is more to know about advertising on Instagram and in our next blog post you will find some more information about how to define your target audience and the goals for your brand. Stay tuned!
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