Over half a billion people worldwide use the Instagram app at least once a month. Any business looking for a prime advertising spot should include Instagram photos and videos along with other social media marketing platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Note that Instagram ads will not appear on desktops, but only on devices with iOS or Android operating systems. Mobile is now the number one way people access the web, but as Instagram is basically mobile-only (ads-wise at least), you can’t make it your sole approach. Plus, by running ads on both Facebook and Instagram, you will be rewarded by Facebook with optimal ad placements.
Finally, before we look at the types of Instagram ads available and how to manage Instagram campaigns, be aware that your success on Instagram depends on getting enough likes and followers. Therefore, it is vital to learn all the ways you can boost your Instagram likes.
Types of Instagram Ads
Instagram ads are come in the form of photos and videos and look just like ordinary Instagram postings, so they blend right in making them more likely to be viewed. You’ll have to size your images and meet all the technical specs to post an ad. You can include text, invite comments and a host of other strategies. But the main thing to know is to differentiate the following types of ads:
- Basic photo ads, which come in a landscape or a square format.
- Video ads, which can be up to a minute long, along in landscape or square formatting, and can include audio.
- Carousel ads, which allow viewers to swipe through layers of photo or video ads.
- Story ads, located in Instagram Stories, where a quarter billion potential viewers are “socializing” every day.
The best approach is to use a variety of ad types on the same product/service and monitor them to see which ads are performing better over a period of days, weeks, or months. Then A/B test elements within the ads by creating near-identical ads that vary in only one or two points. Keep fine-tuning your highest-performance ads, and jettison the low-performers.
Using Ads Manager for Instagram
Facebook Ads Manager also will hold your Instagram ad information. Inside, you will find key metrics on each ad like views, likes, follows, and cost. That gives you the data you need to organize your campaigns according to different categories:
- Campaign is the highest level. A “campaign” is defined based on its marketing goals and can include several branches/phases and numerous individual ads.
- Ad Set is the next category down. An “ad set” will have a target audience, placement strategy, budget, and schedule. It can include a handful of ads or just one.
- “Ad” is the lowest level and most obvious category. It is simply an individual ad. You can view metrics at this level or at any of the higher levels.
Savvy use of the ads manager tool will give you a constant pulse on how your Instagram ads, sets, and campaigns are doing. Even if you have a relatively simple marketing approach and only one target audience, using two or more Ad Sets (again) gives you the ability to improve and optimize through constant A/B testing and “tinkering.”
In sum, Instagram’s visual approach to advertising can be very effective at grabbing/holding viewers attention. It is a great way to build brand awareness, include a call to action, resulting in drive sales. To get the most out of Instagram, learn to use all ad types and learn the ins and outs of Ads Manager.