Are you still thinking about whether or not your business could benefit from having an Instagram account? Well, you better get moving in your decision because now businesses are taking it a step further and enjoying an entirely new advertising platform: Instagram ads.
Instagram ads were originally available to select advertisers, which we would assume were the ones with the big bucks to spend. At the time, Instagram was also very secretive about how much it would cost to advertise on the platform. All we could tell was that it was pricey. In fact, this article points out that estimates were coming in around the $350,000 to $1 million mark. That’s no small potatoes.
It’s still hard to say what it would cost for a small or medium sized business to advertise on Instagram, but at least the option is now available. Just one month ago, Instagram announced that Instagram ads is open to businesses of all sizes. They were also happy to report that the self-serve ad platform is launching in over 30 new countries.
The question of whether or not your brand should be on Instagram is an old one. Now you should be asking whether or not an Instagram ads campaign is right for you.
What Instagram Ads are Proving to Us So Far
To begin, let’s learn a little more about Instagram ads and their effectiveness up to this point.
With over 400 million active accounts, Instagram is one of the world’s largest mobile ad platforms.
Instagram has 3.5 billion likes and 80 million photos shared each day. The app also has a huge global following, with 75% of users coming from outside the US.
Across more than 400 global campaigns, ad recall from sponsored posts was 2.8 times higher than other methods of advertising.
Some brands using Instagram ads have seen 2-3 times the results as Nielsen online averages.
97% of measured campaigns have generated significant lifts in ad recall.
What Makes Instagram a Unique Advertising Opportunity
Now that you’ve gotten acquainted with some of the early stats regarding Instagram ads, it’s time to explore the benefits to advertising on the visual app. What makes Instagram different from other advertising platforms? What types of unique opportunities await your brand? Is it really worth it to invest the money?
Active, Passionate Community
With more than 400 million active accounts on Instagram, the app is now bigger than Twitter. Not only are the numbers impressive, but so is the community itself. People come to Instagram for visual inspiration. They are open to storytelling. They are looking to engage with illustrations. They want to be captivated.
Simple, Visual-Friendly Design
Instagram has always excelled when it comes to providing a clean, simple interface. Because of its modest design, brands that advertise on Instagram stand out. The visuals are designed to take center stage, so it’s hard to pass right over a compelling ad with bright visuals, or even better, a human face.
Easy Interaction and Engagement
Instagram ads are visually beautiful, and they are easy to interact with. All one needs to do is tap the photo and they will be directed to the appropriate landing page. There are no messy links to click, and nothing to distract users. There is room in the comments section to suggest a few tips or notes as well.
Endless Targeting Options
Just because advertising on Instagram (for small businesses at least) is new doesn’t mean that it’s not fully equipped with the right goods. Instagram has enhanced ad formats, targeting and buying options that help advertisers drive the results they’re looking for. Since advertising on the app is a pretty penny, you at least want the option of targeting the right customers.
Precise Measuring Tools
You can probably imagine all the possibilities of Instagram ads, but it’s nice to see the success on paper. Businesses can set up, run and track ads through the Instagram ads API and Facebook ad buying interfaces. Using these tools, brands are able to track their goals and experiment with different advertising strategies to see which drive the most engagement.
Instagram Ad Formats
It’s obvious that Instagram is a lucrative advertising opportunity, but you’re probably curious as to how you can market your business effectively for the richest rewards. Interestingly, there are many more ways to market on the app aside from traditional photos. Let’s take a look.
Images Ads: Image ads allow brands to tell stories and share experiences using beautiful imagery, which is perfect for storytelling. Users can see the brand in a different light and even take action to complete a goal.
Video Ads: Brands can share video ads that are 30 seconds or less in length, in a landscape format. The videos offer the same visually immersive quality as photos but with added enhancements such as motion and sound.
Carousel Ads: Carousel ads add a layer of enhancement to traditional photos. Users can swipe through multiple photos, and a call to action button will take them to the brand’s website to learn more.
Instagram ads create an engaging end-to-end advertising solution for businesses of all sizes. This one-of-a-kind advertising opportunity drives real business results, as has been seen with the case studies so far. Instagram was careful to experiment with different ad platforms and big brands before rolling out their advertising structure, which was a smart move.
While your advertising budget will strongly dictate how far you can go with advertising, Instagram ads will, at the very least, increase awareness and branding and drive traffic to your site. It’s a marketing platform that works, and it has the audience to make it work.