With an estimated 400 million users, Instagram can be a powerful platform for small business advertising. Your audience is “always on” with mobile devices in hand, ready to engage with your brand at any moment. Instagram advertising gives you a whole new way to reach them with interesting content that grabs attention and drives conversions.
Compelling Content 101
Before you can begin posting ads, you have to establish a presence and a following on Instagram. Nobody wants to scroll through a feed made up entirely of ads, so your content creation plan should strike a balance between marketing and regular posts. Use your feed as a virtual “store front” to showcase new or popular products and services, turning each post into part of your company’s story by pairing images with rich, engaging text. This serves as a starting point to expand your reach so that you have a ready audience for your ads.
Instagram Ad Types
Instagram currently offers three types of business ads:
- Photo Ads – standard Instagram photos with a Sponsored label displayed at the top and a Learn More link in the bottom right corner that leads to the landing page of your choice
- Video Ads – video content up to 30 seconds in length with the same setup as photo ads
- Carousel Ads – an ad with multiple photos that users can swipe through
Any type of small business Instagram ad can be placed at the top of followers’ feeds for an additional fee. This prevents the ad from being swamped by other posts and increases the visibility of your brand.
Leverage Ads to Grow Your Instagram Following
To create a solid advertising campaign you have to start with a goal. You might be looking to:
- Increase click-throughs to your website
- Generate more conversions
- Boost visibility through social sharing
- Sell an app
- Grow your email list
- Get people to sign up for an event
With your specific goal in mind, connect your Instagram account to Facebook and start designing your ads. Use the available tools to target specific audience segments with clear calls to action that are in line with your goals. Keep the images and branding you use in your Instagram advertising consistent with the rest of your content to maintain the solid brand integrity that generates trust among consumers.
Research popular hashtags that are relevant to your campaign, and include them in the text of your ads. Potential customers are already following these hashtags to find content that interests them, and tagging your ads boosts visibility to drive engagement.
By creating a balance between regular content and Instagram ads, you can generate consistent engagement with your audience. Take advantage of all the ways you can share your feed by installing an Instagram tab on your Facebook page, embedding images on your website and including an Instagram link in your blog. Generating more followers through multiple platforms means more views for your ads and an increase in ROI for every campaign you run on your small business Instagram account.