Captivate Customers with a Variety of Visuals
Grow your business as you grow your following.
When it comes to choosing a social media platform for growing your business, some industry experts would say Instagram is the better choice (Sources: Social Pilot, Feelguide, My Venture Pad). Other leading digital marketing practitioners would even go so far as to say it’s the best social media channel (Sources: Irish Tech News, Parkway Digital).
As other platforms continue to make their grand entrances or fade quietly into the background, Instagram continues to make significant headway in the highly competitive social media space.
In terms of the number of active users as of October 2020, Instagram is the 6th most popular social network in the world (figures shown in millions):
Facebook Messenger: 1,300
Weixin / WeChat: 1,206
Sina Weibo: 523
Get to know your potential customers.
Instagram has a loyal and active user base that makes a captive audience for your business if you know how to reach out to and engage with the right users:
1 billion people use Instagram every month
500 million people use Instagram Stories every day
63% of Instagram users log in at least once a day
Instagram users spend an average of 28 minutes a day on the platform
71% of Instagram’s billion monthly users in general are under age 35 (Source: Statista, 2019). 52% of them are female and 48%, male (Source: Hootsuite). In addition, Instagram users are 58 times more likely to like, comment or share a photo than Facebook users (Source: Irish Tech News).
In Singapore, 33.8% of the entire population, mostly female, uses Instagram, with those aged 25 to 34 forming the largest user group. By January 2020, the number of Instagram users in Singapore hit around 2.1 million (Source: Statista)
“Insta-Gran” is a current local trend where 33% of Internet users aged 55 to 65 are on Instagram, too. Another key Instagram user trend is the Instagram Tribe — more than 2.2 million users who are highly engaged in attractive images and 15-second videos.
Get ahead in the race to reach your target market.
While its numbers may not be as large as those of other social heavyweights, Instagram continues to be the social media platform of choice for digital marketers able to recognise the distinct advantages of its use:
200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile every day
Instagram’s potential advertising reach is 849.3 million users
1/3 of the most viewed Stories are from businesses
Brands post an average of 2.5 Stories per day
Instagram packs some serious firepower in a business’ digital marketing arsenal. Its main advantages over other social media platforms lie in how easy it is to use and how very much engaged its users are in the content.
In comparing its minimalist, clutter-free UI to Facebook’s, for instance, it’s easy to see how users readily engage with posts regardless of format. The fact that the ads look a lot less like ads and a lot more like all the other posts and content on Instagram makes it even more likely that users engage.
The good news is that the more users engage with your business’ content, the more your business’ visibility and credibility grow. Instagram also has a huge impact on the buyer’s journey, by helping 80% of users decide on whether to buy a product or service (Source: Facebook 2019).
Get backing from the social media giant.
When advertising on Instagram, you’ll have access to the formidable audience targeting tools and options of its parent company, Facebook. You’ll even be able to run ads on Instagram from within Facebook itself, and choose from Facebook’s own advertising objectives.
You can also keep track of your Instagram ad performance by using Facebook Ads Manager. This makes managing campaigns extra convenient for businesses running ads on both Facebook and Instagram simultaneously.
Of course, you can also create, run and track ads directly on Instagram, but you’ll have less ad objectives and budgeting options to choose from.
Get a head start on achieving your business goals.
Every business is unique and has its own unique marketing strategy—through Facebook Ads Manager, Instagram allows you to tailor your ads to reach your particular marketing objectives.
You’ll be able to choose objectives according to where you want to reach your target audience during their buyer’s journey, whether they’re at the Awareness stage, the Consideration stage, or the Decision (Facebook calls it the “Conversion”) stage. The different marketing objectives are:
Note that if you were to set your objectives directly in Instagram, you would only be able to choose between the “Visit Your Website” or “Call or Visit Your Business” objectives.
Get started on creating your campaigns.
Once you’re certain of what you want your Instagram ads to achieve, you can start creating and running them. It can be as easy as picking out your “star performer post” and boosting it directly within Instagram, provided, of course that your account is set up as a Business Profile.
In fact, you could even run ads on Instagram without an Instagram profile and run them from Facebook, instead. But because doing it this way or by way of running ads within Instagram itself has its limitations, industry practitioners recommend having a Facebook business page and an Instagram Business profile, and using Facebook Ads Manager for running Instagram ads.
When you have your business page and profile set up, and you’re sure of your ad objectives, you may now move on to choosing your target audience. Thanks to Facebook, you’ll be able to choose according to:
Location: By cities, provinces, states or countries
Interests: By apps used, ads clicked and accounts followed
Custom Audiences: Based on email addresses or phone numbers you have
Demographics: By age, gender and language
Behaviours: Based on activities on and off of Instagram and Facebook
Lookalike Audience: Based on people similar to your existing customers
Instagram recommends that you allow it to create your audience automatically based on your existing followers.
Because Facebook targeting is a lot more precise, you’ll be able to write and design your ads to be a lot more relevant to your audience. Using Ads Manager will also allow you to choose exactly where your ads appear, whether it’s on the Instagram feed or in Stories or Explore—or you can just have Ads Manager choose for you.
Get great returns on your ad spend.
Instagram gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to budgeting and scheduling your ads. It will be up to you to decide how much you want to spend every day or over a certain “lifetime”, as well as when you want your ads to appear. Depending on your choices, Facebook Ads Manager will show you how many people your ads will be able to reach.
Running Instagram ads is at least twice as cost-effective as Facebook ads, with a Cost Per Thousand or CPM of around $5 versus the approximately $10-CPM of Facebook. Instagram ads have a lower Cost Per Click or CPC than Facebook Ads, too (Source: Neil Patel).
Get creative with your choice of ad formats.
Advertisers can choose from a variety of visually stunning ad formats on Instagram that blend seamlessly into people’s feeds, identified only by the “Sponsored” label and a Call to Action or CTA like “Shop Now”. Choose the ad format that best suits your business’ objectives:
Instagram Shopping Ads
Ad in Explore
Get inspired to overcome marketing obstacles.
As a super popular social media platform for consumers and marketers alike, Instagram has its own set of best practices and challenges that are best followed, and overcome to make sure your business stands out.
It’s essential, for example, for ads to “not look like ads”, as Instagram users are likely to scroll past anything that overtly resembles one, or simply stop watching after the first few seconds.
Instagram itself is also cracking down on inauthentic activity, or businesses that use third-party apps or other means to increase their likes, follows and comments (Source: Instagram). The platform has likewise already begun to hide the number of likes for certain accounts in certain countries.
Well-crafted ads and truly engaging content are still the best ways to ensure effective Instagram marketing, and this can only be done by understanding your target audience, and by implementing a 360 digital marketing strategy.
Get a 360 strategy to maximise your Instagram ads, today.
While Instagram can work wonders for your business when used for marketing on its own, or even when used in tandem with Facebook, the reality of the digital space is that there is life outside of both social media platforms. As much time as they spend on Instagram, your target audience isn’t likely to be there, 24/7.
And just like any social media platform or most digital marketing channels, Instagram is governed by algorithms that are subject to change. These changes can be drastic and make quite an impact on a business’ carefully planned marketing campaigns, and it could take valuable time for a business to make the necessary adjustments.
A 360 digital marketing strategy helps you get the most out of your Instagram Ads by complementing them with other digital marketing channels apart from itself or Facebook.
That means you’ll be able to engage with your target audience even when they’re not on Instagram, as well as optimise and adjust the allocation of your marketing resources to Instagram and your other digital marketing activities as necessary.
You’ll also be able to safeguard your overall digital marketing performance in the event of an algorithm change, or other unforeseen online incident, and be sure that you’re using Instagram Ads to their full potential in growing your business.