What is Instagram Advertising?
Instagram advertising is method of paying to post sponsored content on the Instagram platform to reach a larger and more targeted audience. While there are many reasons a business or individual may decide to advertise, Instagram advertising is often utilized to grow brand exposure, website traffic, generate new leads, and move current leads down the funnel (and hopefully towards converting).
Since Instagram is such a visual platform, text ads are not a thing here. Rather you need an image, set of images, or video (which can be accompanied by text) to reach your audience with Instagram ads.
Types of Instagram Ads:
1. Photo Ads:
These are obviously the most common type of ads on Instagram since photo sharing is the most prominent feature of the platform. The photo sharing option was once only a means for Instagram account holders to share pictures of their choice with people that they had followed or connected with through Instagram. Today, of course, the scenario has changed, and people are using photos to promote products, services, brands, events, and much more.
2. Sponsored Ads
Sponsored ads are an option available to business accounts on Instagram, and allow the brand to promote their posts through paid ads. These ads appear on the target audience's home feed, with a direct link to either a website, e-store or back to the profile of the brand. This allows the brand to directly sell their product/service to the TG and consequently increase reach and following.
3. Mapped - Guided ads
This type of ads hasn’t been employed by too many brands, but BMW recently used it to give their audience a "customize your own car" option. This basically uses the tagging option to direct the audience from one page to another, based on the customization choice they opt for. The end result is a picture of the car they should go for based on their preferences, and from thereon they can contact BMW directly and take things forward.
4. Story Ads:
Instagram stories are a hit feature on Instagram and nearly 80% of the active users on Instagram posts stories at least 2-3 times a week. There is also a major chunk of users who post stories on a regular basis, which mean there’s a lot of traffic being generated through stories. Hence, story ads are all about clever targeting and placement.
5. Video Ads:
Many brands today create video ads especially for digital media because the viewer rate is much higher than other mediums. Instagram typically allows 30-60 second videos to be posted, so brands alter their video content accordingly and either post full-fledged ads or teasers to the actual ad (which then takes them to another video platform like YouTube).
6. IGTV ads
IGTV is a relatively new feature on Instagram that is being used by brands and influencers to post video content that isn’t promotional but wouldn’t necessarily count as an ad. For example, when Rihanna launched her beauty brand “Fenty Beauty”, she used IGTV extensively to post video content like tutorials and real user reviews of her products, and those videos are still available for viewers to watch anytime they want, similar to YouTube.
7. Carousel ads:
If posting just one photo or video isn’t effective enough, then carousel ads are a pretty effective alternative. These types of Instagram ads allow a user to swipe through 3-4 images promoting the same ad but keeping them engaged on the same post for a longer time. Carousel ads can also be sponsored ads if a multiple photo post is promoted.
Benefits of Instagram Advertising:
1. Specific Targeting Options:
Instagram ads have similar features to Facebook. They have precised targeting options for audiences. This reduces the possibility of wasting money on audiences that can’t translate to sales. Instagram helps you to target your audiences based on location, interest, custom audiences, automated targeting, demographics, behaviors, and look alike audiences.
2. Variety of Ad Types:
There are several types of ads that are similar to running Facebook ads. There are ads that feature photos, videos, carousels, stories, and collections. The platform is user-friendly and the process is very easy to run. You can easily select your kind of ads and also your audience. This makes it quite easy to customize ads that fit your business vision and goals. You can also purchase, run, and track your ads using the Instagram app or by working with Instagram partner.
3. Custom Ad Objectives:
Just like Facebook, there are different kinds of ads objectives that you can choose from your ads. These ad objectives synchronize with your business goals. Also, you can direct the action you would like your targeted audience to ultimately take. For example, if you want to get more views for your business and increase the level of awareness on your brand, you, then you will choose brand awareness as the objective. There still several options such as reach, traffic, engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation, messages, and conversions.