Instagram has more than 800 million active users, according and the rate of rapid growth it has seen since. This is an ideal platform for sharing moments of joy. Perhaps, the wider reach paved its way for advertisers to get their hands dirty. In this article, we’ll talk about how to run ads on Instagram.
What is Instagram Advertising?
Instagram advertising, as the name suggests is the method of paying to post sponsored content to reach a larger and more targeted audience. There are numerous reasons for a business or individual to advertise. For instance, companies can take advantage of this marketing method to grow brand exposure, website traffic, generate new leads, etc. Further, for lead conversion, it is recommended.
Owing to its visual nature, text ads do not work and they are not available on Instagram. Rather you require an image, set of images, or video (which can be accompanied by text) to reach your target audience with Instagram ads.
Cost of Instagram Ads?
Costs depend on a variety of factors, and as you may have suspected these factors are not all revealed to us by the platform. The model is actually based on cost-per-click (CPC) and cost per impressions (CPM’s). Moreover, prices are determined according to Instagram’s ad auction.
Multiple factors influence the cost of Instagram ads. These may be the audience and ad feedback. Indeed, this task requires a careful insight rather than just blind follow-up. Shockingly, some of the firms have spent a whopping amount such as $100 million worth of Instagram ads. This really sounds incredible, but given the popularity and wider reach of the platform, this can prove to be a lucrative investment.
Formats of Instagram Ads
Before going ahead, you may like to learn more about the types of ads and their uses. Instagram has six ad formats from which you can choose the desired form. Two of those are for Instagram stories, and four are formats designed for the Instagram feed.
#1. Image Feed Ads
Being the most standard ad format, you must have gone through it likely while scrolling through your own feed. These ads are single images appear as a native experience as your target lead is scrolling through their feed.
The best part about these ads is that they don’t feel like ads. Technical requirements for these ads include jpg or PNG files, 30MB maximum file size, 2,200 characters text length: maximum amongst others. These ads work best for generating traffic, conversions, and leads.
#2. Image Story Ads
These are similar to the previous one. These are meant for Instagram stories! Technical requirements are 9:16 image ratio, 600 pixels width (Minimum), etc. The objective of these ads includes wider reach, app installs, lead generation, etc.
3. Video Feed Ads
If you want to bring your ad to life, then use this ad type. Especially for people who have ample time, this can do the job. Create a quality video, and promote it through your Instagram feed.
Most video files are supported by Instagram. You should use H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+. (Expert TIP: If your video fails to meet these requirements, you can always run it with the help of the video transcoder, Handbrake, to make necessary adjustments).
Technical requirements for this include 1080 x 1080 pixels resolution (minimum), 4GB maximum file size, 60 seconds maximum duration, etc. Apart from this, the hashtag number should be a maximum of 30. The purpose of these ads is brand awareness, post engagement, store visits amongst others.
#4. Video Story Ads
Yet another way of running video ads, these are applicable where users often expect to see videos. In other words, it does not force the “selling” part of advertising.
It has the same recommended video specs for uploading except for a few changes such as 15 seconds video duration and non-availability of captions. These ads serve various purposes such as lead generation, app installs, etc.
#5. Carousel Feed Ads
Well, this seems an unfamiliar type to most people. These are really fun. With this feature, you can show a series of scrollable images rather than just a single image.
This ad type is appropriate for very visual brands, such as those involved in the food industry, furniture sellers, clothing options, car dealerships, etc. Besides this, they can also work to humanize your brand or show off your culture by showing the people behind your software or financial company.
The carousel format gives you permission to choose from up to 10 images within a single ad, each having its own link. You’ll also be able to attach videos. Technical requirements are jpg or PNG files, 30MB maximum file size, etc. Take advantage of these ads to get more traffic, generate brand awareness, create product catalog sales, etc.
#6. Canvas Story Ads
Finally, we have the newest addition to the ad format family, Canvas ads. There are truly immersive and allows advertisers to create a 360 VR experience within their story.
The major drawback is that they’re only supported via mobile devices. Further, these can be customized for the advertiser with some technical chops. These can work with images, videos, and carousels. Requirements for running these are minimum image width: 400 pixels and minimum image height: 150 pixels. Major objectives include post engagement, video views, and store visits.
How to Start Advertising on Instagram?
1. Navigating to Facebook’s Ad Manager
Go to the ad manager within Facebook and follow the link. Obviously, you should be logged in to the appropriate Facebook account. There is no particular Ad Manager for Instagram as Instagram ads are managed through the Facebook Ads UI.
2. Setting Your Marketing Objective
Now comes for the fun part. In this, you have to choose your campaign goal. You would find yourself lucky to have goals named in a self-explanatory manner.
These can be a traffic goal, brand awareness goals, and a ton of others. Prominent are brand awareness, reach, traffic, app installs, engagement, video views, and conversions. There are certain rules for some objectives that should be considered.
3. Configuring Your Target Audience
After selecting your objective, you should head towards targeting the appropriate audience to get your ads in front of the right people. This is one of the biggest merits of Instagram ads since you’ll be using Facebook’s demographic knowledge to reach the right people.
You may be aware of this if you’ve done this for Facebook ads before. However, if you’re a newbie to this process, here’s a quick run-down of your targeting options, which can get you a precisely targeted audience. In other words, you’ll be able to target a niche.
- Location: You can target a country, region, state, city, zip code, exclude or include certain places.
- Age: This option allows you to target ranges from age 13 to 65+
- Gender: You will be free to choose between all, men, or women.
- Languages: According to Facebook, you should leave this blank unless the language you’re targeting is not common to the targeted location.
- Demographics: This option can be found under “Detailed Targeting”. It has several sub-categories.
- Interests: Interests also come under “Detailed Targeting” with multiple sub-categories to dig into. For example, if you’re looking for people interested in distilled beverages, science fiction movies, and aviation, there will be options for you!
- Behaviors: Yet another “Detailed Targeting” option. You can purchase behaviors, job roles, anniversaries, or other behaviors. The list seems endless.
- Connections: You can target people connected to your page, app, or event.
- Custom Audience: As the name suggests, these let you upload your own list of contacts for targeting leads already in your pipeline. Besides this, the customers who you’re looking to upsell can be reached.
- Lookalike Audience: This is an alternative to the former one. This feature will allow Instagram to find users who bear similar traits to your other audiences.
You will also get a guide from Facebook on how specific or broad your audience is.
Related: How to Make Money on Facebook
4. Choosing Your Placements
After targeting your ideal demographic, it’s time to choose your placements! This is critical if you have the sole purpose of showing ads on Instagram. If you ignore this step, Facebook will allow your ads to appear on both platforms.
This may sound great due to little efforts, but if you have content that you’ve created specifically for Instagram, you should select “Edit Placements” here.
5. Setting Your Budget and Ad Schedule
If you are acquainted with how budgets work through Facebook, AdWords, and other digital advertising platforms, this step would be easy for you. If not, then take a deep breath as you’ll gain expertise with trial and error approach along with experience. This technique is advantageous as it has the control to pause or stop your campaign at any time in case the budget is not being properly allocated.
6. Create Your Instagram Ad
Whoa! You’ve reached the final step. Let’s create your Instagram ad!
After taking the steps above you already have some content in mind for the ad you are going to promote. This part may look different depending upon your campaign objective, but you’ll always have a few ad format options discussed above.
We hope that this article will help you to reach various followers and target the right audience.