How you can use Instagram advertising

After doing our previous article and video on “How to use Facebook advertising” we thought it would only be prudent to show you how to utilise similar features on what is still the fastest growing social media platform out there, Instagram. As of today there are now over one billion active users on Instagram. This is some way short of Facebook’s 2.85 billion, but considering it was released some six years after its predecessor into a more crowded market it is doing pretty well.


Two years after its original release in 2010, Instagram was actually acquired by Facebook, meaning that there is now a lot of interconnectivity between the two. This also shows in its advertising capabilities. Here’s a brief rundown of how to use Instagram advertising effectively.

Why use it?

The one thing that made and continues to make Instagram stand out from the rest of the social media crowd is its use of images. Facebook was initially just for posting the written word, giving an update on your life by a short amount of text. Although this is something you can now do on most social media platforms, Instagram has always been an “Image first” outlet.

A study by discovered that after three days, a user retained only 10-20% of written or spoken information but almost 65% of visual information. So, if it is used effectively, research indicates that Instagram and its image prominence could be great for conveying information, as with this in mind it can be utilised for marketing purposes too.

Furthermore, Instagram themselves say that 75% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post and 60% say they discover new products on Instagram. Your business could be one of these if you decide to go ahead with paid advertising and campaigns, but how much does it cost and how does it work?


How do you create an ad campaign?

The way you create an ad is also almost identical to Facebook. It is done through the same system and is easiest after linking to a pre-existing facebook business page. Once this has been done all you need to do is go to Facebook’s ad manager (which runs Instagrams ads) and begin choosing your preferences in the exact way that you would do with a Facebook ad. The option is there for you to boost an individual Instagram post, and you can even do this on mobile as long as you have everything set up, but to create a campaign you’ll need to do it through Facebook.

Instagram is a little bit different than Facebook in that it has a set of specific “goals” to choose from when setting up a campaign:

  • Brand awareness
  • Reach
  • Traffic (for clicks to your website or to the app store for your app)
  • App installs
  • Engagement (for post engagement only)
  • Video views
  • Conversions (for conversions on your website or app)

It is completely up to you as to which of these you think would be most important for your business. If you need more people to visit your website then you might select traffic, but if you’re just looking for people to view a piece of content then you might go with video views instead.

You will also be required to select your target market. What age range and what interests should the people you’re targeting have to get the best results? Facebook and Instagram have a large amount of data on their users, and these are used effectively if you select the parameters that reflect your businesses target market.

Once you have chosen this demographics, it actually tells you the amount of people that you have targeted with your choices. Although you’ll want to target as many people as possible, it’s important to get this number down as much as you can as this will help with the likelihood of winning an ad auction.

After choosing when and where you want your ad to appear then the final piece is of course the content. With Instagram you will need to be prepared with videos and images as they are the prominent medium on the platform. Make sure this content is engaging and enticing for your potential customers.


How much does it cost?

This is down to you. One of the final parts of creating an ad campaign is to set your budget. This, alongside the other parameters that you have set, decide where and when your ad will be shown. It goes towards the value of your ad auction score, which will in turn affect how likely you are to get your ad seen. It only spends what you have set out as your budget. If you set a budget of £60 then it will only spend £60 and never any more unless you adjust it or create a new ad.


 However, if you look at the averages, the CPC (Cost-per-click) or CPM (Cost-per-impression) has been found to be anywhere between $0.70 and $0.80 (50p to 57p) according to a report by AdExpresso.


How does it work?

If you want a slightly more detailed explanation of how the ad auction side of a paid campaign works, then be sure to check out our previous blog, “How to use Facebook advertising”, as both systems work in the same way. The bottom line is the better your marketing parameters and the more you pay the more likely you are to get better results by way of impressions.

What would you like our next blog to cover? Let us know on our instagram @laingmedialtd

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