With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram is fast becoming a serious player in the world of social media. High user engagement teamed with quality content makes this platform an attractive yet underutilised avenue for marketing your business. Primarily a photo sharing app, Instagram takes the concept of ‘show, don’t sell’ to a new level.

Unlike traditional advertising option, Instagram offers you brand the chance to get in on contemporary marketing strategies. Take a look at just a few of the ways that you can make Instagram advertising work for your brand.

Instagram Ads

Paid Instagram ads are still relatively new and haven’t quite replaced the sponsored posts brands would normally negotiate with social media influencers.

Influencer marketing is still the leader in your Instagram digital marketing strategy however using sponsored posts in conjunction with paid or boosted posts can help you cover all your bases and reach a wider audience.

Instagram ads delivers your brand message directly to the people you want to see your products thanks to the intelligent and complex targeting algorithms you get with Facebook ads. There are four different types of ads on Instagram for you to choose from.

  • Photo Ads — one photo.
  • Video Ads —up to 60 seconds of video.
  • Carousel Ads —up to 5 photos.
  • Stories Ads — photo or videos on Instagram stories.

A great example of Instagram ads being done well is with a recent Audible campaign. They used multiple graphics to give the audience a choice of books to listen to for FREE (note the eye-catching use of capitals) without overloading them. Brands like Apple Watch, BuzzFeed Tasty and TechCrunch preferred to use videos for their ads to showcase their products and events to potential customers.

Using Campaign Objectives to Your Advantage

Instagram ads have the same targeting options as Facebook ads including location, demographics, interests, lookalike audiences, and automated targeting (let Facebook decide).

You can set campaign objectives from a simple list to optimise your ads. For example, paying for video views rather than clicks on your ad. If you use campaign objectives with Facebook ads this will be a familiar process to you. Setting these objectives will determine who sees your ad so they are of vital importance. Know your ideal client and target your ads directly to them

Using Hashtags

The humble hashtag has changed the way we search for information online.  Working across multiple social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest using a campaign specific hashtag is a quick, easy and efficient way to engage your audience and start a movement. Additionally, you’re not as character limited as you are with Twitter so you can really complement your photos with engaging captions – still try to keep it concise if you want to be effective though!

Choosing photos and a posting schedule.

You’re only as good as your last nine photos. The harsh reality of social media is that users are getting faster and more selective when it comes to viewing content. Mixing up your feed and choosing 1-2 quality photos to post each day is the recipe for success when it comes to Instagram.

Community Engagement

You’ve posted you photo, your caption is short and sweet and you’ve chosen your campaign hashtag. What’s next to get the ball rolling? Engaging with your desired audience. Search popular hashtags related to your business and get involved. Every time you leave a comment or a like you’ll be giving other Instagram users a reason to click on your username and see your latest content. This is crucial to earning engagement on your posts which is the ultimate aim.

Measuring Return on Investment

When investing in any new marketing strategy you’ll want to know what sort of return you’re getting. With Instagram there are a few ways to measure your ROI.

The simplest is gaining new followers. One of the core aims of Instagram marketing is to grow your audience – if yours is growing then you’re on the right track. However, engagement and lead generation are more important than follower numbers. You can have hundreds of thousands of followers but poor ROI if your content isn’t getting the desired result. A smaller, engaged following will win every time.

Advertising on Instagram isn’t guaranteed to boost your bottom line and it may take some persistence to start seeing results but with the right strategy and innovative content you’ll soon see why Instagram adverts are the next big thing in content marketing.