When you are creating video or image-based ads for social media, knowing where to spend your time, attention and money are important.
A lot of companies advertising feel that Instagram gives them a good return on their investment, but it doesn’t work for every type of business.
More than one billion people use Instagram every month, and engagement numbers tend to be higher than on Facebook and Twitter.
Instagram advertising basically means you’re paying to sponsor content on the platform to reach a larger but also more targeted audience. You can create Instagram ads once you convert your account to one that’s designated as a business account. As well as directly creating your ads on Instagram, you can use tools on Facebook to create ads.
The model is based on a cost-per-click and a cost-per-impression, with prices being determined by ad auctions, which is like Google Ads.
The average cost-per-click on Instagram is a lot lower than what you would spend on Google Ads, though.
So with those things in mind, what else should you know about Instagram advertising? Here are 7 essential pieces of information when it comes to improving your Instagram advertising.
1. A Few Key Factors Determine The Costs
Instagram advertising costs are based on different factors like the mobile devices you’re targeting, the day of the week, demographics, and whether or not you’re running your ad during a major televised event.
It is based largely on your target audience, so it’s important to understand as much as you can about your demographics on the platform.
Your ad placement also affects your cost. Instagram feed and Story ads are among the cheapest.
A good starting point with Instagram ads as far as your spending is to make sure that you’re putting your money toward the content and posts that you already know perform well in an organic sense.
2. Audience Targeting Options
One of the biggest parts of creating ads on Instagram, particularly since it determines your cost, is figuring out who to target.
You can reach a broader location if you choose to base your ads on location. You can also target people based on demographics, such as their age, or you can use interactions.
Instagram offers options to target users based on what they do while on Instagram, who they follow, or other ads they’ve interacted with.
The Lookalike Audiences feature is popular because you can target people who have similar characteristics to your customers, and you can use your own customer list to reach certain people.
3. Take Risks
With Instagram, taking some risks creatively can pay off. You don’t necessarily need to be edgy and certainly not offensive but taking risks can mean just doing something different or more outside the box compared to your competitors.
4. Instagram Isn’t Click-Friendly
One downside of advertising on Instagram and using it for marketing, in general, is the fact that it’s not click-friendly. You can’t put clickable links in your posts, for example.
When you boost a post, you can add a link to the post, so this is an upside. However, links remain fairly underutilized on Instagram compared to other social media sites.
In general, research seems to find that links are less likely to be used on Instagram than on Facebook, for example.
If your primary goal is driving traffic to a website, you might need to experiment and see which option gives you the best results.
5. The Instagram Audience Is Limited
The audience of Instagram can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your business. Instagram is very widely used, and as mentioned, there are more than a billion active monthly users. That’s a reason to advertise on the platform in and of itself.
However, most of the users are between the ages of 18 and 29. If you want to engage with young people, you can see where the advantages come in.
If you are primarily targeting an older audience, this can become problematic.
Most older people aren’t using Instagram, or at least not much. You could find if your target audience is older, platforms like Facebook are better suited to your needs.
6. Video Ads Are Effective
There are options for Instagram Feed ads as well as Instagram Stories ads.
If you are doing feed ads, you can use a carousel format which is multiple scrollable videos or images, a single image, a single video, or a slideshow.
Instagram Stories ads appear between stories as people are viewing them. You can use a single image or a single video format. If you do a single video ad, you can upload a video of up to 15 seconds in length.
Around 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day, and reportedly about half of the people who see a product or service on Instagram visit a website.
Another way to do video ads on Instagram is with Reels. Reels as an ad placement were just introduced in June 2021. They are like Instagram Story ads, full-screen and vertical videos. They show up between the non-sponsored stories and reels in 2022.
Unlike the Stories ads, however, Reels ads loop, can be as long as 30 seconds, and users have the option to like, comment, share and save the ad content.
To make sure you’re following best practices for video ads on Instagram, ensure that your videos are optimized for mobile. You need to think about the placement you’re using, and your videos either need to be vertical or square.
You want to get to the point relatively quickly with your video ads. Studies show Instagram users are around 23% more likely to remember a brand if the name is used within three seconds of the ad. Using captions also something to do with video ads. You can generate more interest, add relevant information, and leverage hashtags.
7. You Can Also Manage Your Ads In Facebook’s Ad Manager
Finally, one of the unique things about Instagram advertising is that you can also manage your ads through Facebook since it’s all under the Meta company umbrella.
If you also run ads on Facebook, this can make things easier for you. You can also make comparisons to figure out which platform is optimal for your advertising needs. It’s a major convenience since Instagram and Facebook are two of the largest social media networks for advertising.