Written by April Heavens-Woodcock

August 27, 2015 at 5:00 am

The Instagram Advertising Platform: How Does it Stack Up?

Instagram advertising is currently in its infancy, but there is still a lot you should already know about this important paid social platform.

How Does Instagram Advertising Work?

Instagram users upload images, videos or Flash media files to the platform as virtual status updates. Businesses post similar images as advertisements. However on the top, right side of the advertisement, Instagram identifies the ad as “Sponsored,” which further reduces the ad’s impact on the home page by removing the time component of advertising. Ultimately, Instagram advertisements give users the appearance of an advertisement-free environment.

Ben and Jerry’s launched an Instagram ad campaign based on the joy that ice cream can bring. The ad ran over an eight day period and only hit users’ news feed one time.

The campaign met with great results. It reached over 9 million people within the US and produced a 17 percent increase in brand awareness of its new flavor Scotchy Scotch Scotch. To view this case study in more depth click here.


How Does Instagram Advertising Differ From Others?

In addition to reaching the masses through Instagram, Instagram has taken the concept of advertising campaigns to a new level. Users can click on the small ellipses button to provide feedback on the advertisement. For example, a user could provide feedback for the advertisement as unhelpful, annoying, excellent, or needs more information.
Users may also click on one of the ellipses buttons to “Like” the page, “Go to Site’s Page,” or to proceed in another call to action manner, such as calling the business when accessed on mobile devices.



Instagram Ad Platform  versus  Facebook Ad Manager

If you have used Facebook Ad Manager, you are familiar with the complexities of Facebook advertising. You must define nearly every aspect of your target audience. You must discern how often the ad will appear, how it will trigger more views, what the cost of the advertisement is, and when the ad will expire.

With Instagram advertising, a business only needs to select the age group, gender, and general location of targeted users. This makes the whole process simple and fast.

Instagram ads are actually initially accessed through Facebook’s Ad Manager; however, a business may evade this complication by setting up Business Manager and Power Editor. Once these accounts are created and linked, an Instagram advertising campaign may be created quickly and with relatively minimal activity as compared to the extensive work for creating Facebook ads.

Who Can Use Instagram Advertising?

Since advertising through Instagram is still in the launch process, it’s not available to just anyone. Only those with existing Instagram followers, prior to the advertising launch, can begin using the advertising features of Instagram. Currently, Instagram advertising has just been offered to big brands that have many followers and frankly large budgets. However, the expansion of the advertising features for businesses is expected to occur very soon.



Who Should Consider Using Instagram For Advertising?

All eligible businesses should consider Instagram advertising campaigns. As a business owner, operator, or employee, the potential value of Instagram marketing stands out. Instagram’s connection to Facebook leads to another interesting possibility: advertisements can be tailored to reach specific markets due to data capture from associated Facebook accounts.

Although this means the cost of Instagram advertising will rise, it represents a significant positive return on investment, especially considering the number of viable leads Instagram advertising will generate.

The ability to potentially manage ads through Facebook Ads Manager could have real skin in the game for business owners. There are so many levels of advertising opportunities within Facebook and add in Instagram to the platform will make it time efficient for advertisers.

What are your thoughts on advertising on Instagram? Do you see the value of what it could bring to your business or your clients’ social media presence?

April Heavens-Woodcock

Email & Social Media Mentor, Speaker, & Chief Buzz Officer at Touching Clients

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