A brief guide to Instagram advertising

With over one billion people using Instagram every month, the social media site has become fertile ground for companies to advertise their wares. If you’re interested in using Instagram advertising to promote your brand but are unsure where to start, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you navigate the site:

What exactly are Instagram ads?

Instagram is similar to Facebook advertising in that it uses people’s profile information to directly target audiences. In fact, Instagram first started to offer advertising services following its purchase by Facebook and is integrated with a programme called Facebook Ad Manager. In this way, Instagram has access to a huge pool of potential customers and has phenomenal powers to reach specific audiences.

How much can I expect to pay?

Like all forms of pay-per-click advertising, the cost of Instagram ads can vary widely. Generally speaking, however, you can expect to pay between $0.70 – $0.80 (£0.56 – £0.64) per click.

Of course, this figure could amount to more or less depending on factors such as the kinds of demographics you wish to target.

The different types of Instagram ad

Instagram allows businesses to choose from five different ad formats including carousel ads, video ads, photo ads, story ads, and collection ads. Each of these types of ad fit seamlessly into user feeds and include different types of call-to-action.

Photo and video ads are amongst the most popular and allow businesses to show off goods and services in a photo or video format. Carousel ads allow users to flick through a number of photos, whilst story ads are full-screen advertisements that show up between users’ stories. Collection ads are a relatively recent addition to the site and allow users to purchase items directly from the advert.

Choosing the best ad format for you

The type of format you should opt for depends on your goals. If you want to increase sales, for example, collection ads may be a good option. If you’re only looking to boost brand awareness, however, a video or photo ad may be more appropriate. A carousel ad, meanwhile, will allow you to show off a wide range of products.

How to start advertising on Instagram

You can start advertising on Instagram either through Facebook Ads Manager or directly through Instagram. For more information on using Facebook, take a look at this helpful guide. To advertise directly through Instagram, you will need to set up a business profile with the platform and start promoting posts.

Hints and tips

Get to know your audience 

Once you have set up your profile, you can start experimenting with the platform’s targeting options. In this way, it is important to get to know your audience. Think about the kinds of demographics your products or services appeal to. You could even do a few surveys.

Use hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to boost engagement on your posts.

Update your ads regularly

Users love fresh content and this will help to keep your brand relevant.