Instagram is a quick sharing app for mobile photos and short videos. The social network was created in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and in 2012 Facebook acquired the service for $1 billion. There are 1 billion accounts active on the social network every month, with more than half of them using the application daily. Therefore, the number of active users is one of the key reasons for increasing advertising budgets. Moving their advertising strategy towards Instagram, brands are guided by the target audience, which is not only growing rapidly but also expanding in terms of age categories.
Instagram marketing is the way brands use Instagram to connect with their target audience and promote their offers. Recently, it has gained popularity as an exciting way to show brands their culture, recruit new employees, attract customers and showcase products in a new light. According to statistics, users are 2.5 times more likely to click on ads on Instagram.
There are 3 types of Instagram ads:
1. Great coverage and good response. According to the simplicity of the interface and the algorithms of the Instagram feed, here the number of interactions with the audience and the response is about 50 times more than on Facebook. Users are more likely to view ads and learn about the essence of ads. Make them unique to make your brand memorable. Through advertising on Instagram, you can express yourself to a wide audience.
2. Smartphone Availability. Recently, social interaction has changed significantly. If until recently, people communicated offline most of the time and used phones exclusively to make an appointment, today smiles are exchanged much less often than emojis. Last year, more than half a billion mobile devices were activated worldwide. Smartphones are no longer just a business necessity or a luxury item; they are a way of life for generations born in the age of technology. 46% of smartphone owners claim that they could not live without their device, and today Instagram has become its integral part. The more smartphones sold, the more users appear in the vast instance. Therefore, to reach their audience, marketers, and advertisers must adapt to the new conditions that time dictates.
3. Promotion to the maximum target audience. This is a targeted form of advertising. The more clearly you highlight your audience, the higher the performance of your ads. Instagram allows you to find your potential customers among millions of users. Facebook algorithms are used here. If you are already promoting yourself on this social network, audience segmentation is greatly simplified and boils down to several hours of work. Both theory and practice prove that Instagram is an ideal platform for any business. Skeptics say the era has passed and Instagram no longer brings so much traffic. Of course, if you use last year’s promotion methods, you should not expect any improvement in results. Just follow up with the updates and keep going hand-in-hand.
4. Ads blocking. Consumers are becoming more socially savvy. However, there is one significant obstacle that prevents company promoters from sleeping peacefully – ads blocking. Users are tired of being bombarded by ads and are taking action. The use of tools to block ads since 2015 increased by 48%. How does this affect brands? According to expert estimates, Adobe alone lost $ 21.8 billion in revenue over the past year due to blockers. Marketers and advertisers can not afford to leave so much money on the table, so they turn to other digital platforms, such as Instagram, to convey their messages to users in a new format.
5. Instagram promotion opportunities. Since the moment when Facebook has purchased the Instagram application, the monetization of this social photo network is only gaining momentum. Brands and advertisers who have already posted their ads are starting to see positive results from their efforts. Thanks to Facebook, Instagram ads can be customized using fairly precise targeting, affecting not only the gender, age and geographic location of users but also their interests, views, etc. This allows companies to reach their target audience and spend budgets with maximum efficiency. The set of possibilities for using a social network is beginning to differ for users and advertisers. From September 2015, it became possible for companies to upload 30-second video ads, which is two times longer than videos that ordinary users can add, and since the beginning of February 2016, the duration limit for business clips has been increased to 1 minute. Warner Bros and T-Mobile are among the first brands to use the extra time. Anyway, the expansion of advertising opportunities makes Instagram an attractive place for companies who want to spend their advertising dollars, which means there are ways to interest fans of this social platform.
If you want to get a result, and not just invoices for the writing of the advertising budget, then you should become part of the insta-world, and not a foreign element in the ideal photographic universe. The main rule of commercial use of Instagram is to adhere to the fundamental principles of this social platform. Your ads should be not only as attractive as possible, but also not too advertising to merge with the user-generated content that consumers are used to seeing in their news feed. Consistent, high-quality copyright images will increase both brand recognition and your company’s revenue.
Influence marketing is the king in the world of modern marketing. The advantages of using this method are worth the time and effort needed to determine the opinion leaders in your information field, but the result is not to wait. The thing is that the main value of popular users is not a large number of subscribers, but that they find a common language with the audience much better than brands do, and this audience trusts them. Branded content a priori cannot be objective, so people are always looking for a third-party opinion. When implementing user-generated content in their marketing strategy, the value of the product and services increases significantly, as consumers receive confirmation from other customers, which translates into loyalty to the company. Having looked at high-quality advertising, a person may be interested, but when he sees photos of this product in his Instagram news feed and a positive comment from a blogger, whose publications he monitors, the decision to purchase will be made many times faster.
Besides Instagram is a photo-sharing platform, this does not mean that you can completely ignore the section with writing a caption. An effective caption on Instagram will drive engagement, and that is what we always want. Your Instagram caption might be up to 2,200 characters long and include 30 hashtags. They may also include emoticons, but be careful with them. If your caption is an essay sketch full of distracting emoticons and inappropriate hashtags, your audience can continue to scroll. While writing a caption, consider your audience. Does this provide more context? Does this encourage engagement with your viewers? If not, you can return to the drawing board. Besides, Do not forget to edit the caption. Although social networks can be informal, a random environment does not allow you to write a caption with grammatical or spelling errors!
PR in the form of photographs reminiscent of the organic content of the Instagram network works much better than openly advertising images. And while putting a logo on your content might seem like a pretty tempting idea, don’t let your brand outshine your content. Using the logo, do it subtly and as creatively as possible. When creating materials, you can also use branded colors, which will provide recognition and create a strong association of specific products with your company.
Facebook has a fairly long-standing “20 percent” rule about a text in ad images. Announcements in which the text on the accompanying photo is more than 20% of the image itself are regularly rejected. Even though Instagram does not create such a tight framework, this rule is a good helper for advertisers who want to maximize the effectiveness of their ads. It is images, not text, that should be the focus of your promotional materials. Therefore, approach the process creatively.
Any product can be presented interestingly and creatively, therefore it is not the field of activity that matters, but the ability to find options to present your products in a stylish, new way, so that each photo might bring a value. This annoying rule is confirmed by numerous annoying photos with food on Instagram, which has been a joke for a long time. At the same time, even banal breakfasts and dinners can be presented beautifully, and even in such a way as to gather thousands of fans who are ready to look at photos of ordinary food every day.
Creating ads for this mobile platform, you have the opportunity to choose several options for user interaction with an advertising publication, for example, you can transfer people to your website, Instagram account, promote a specific publication, increase video views, etc. When creating advertising, many seek to immediately direct users to their website, however, if you do not present any cool event or brand new products at a ridiculous price, then you can, except that, increase the attendance of the resource, but do not convert these visits to sales. A much better effect will be provided by attracting the attention of users to your brand account on Instagram, provided that it is regularly updated with materials and is conducted in a really interesting format, that is, it has its style, character, and visually pleasing. In this case, you will interest potential customers with your products and company, and they will visit the site already aimed at buying or with the desire to learn more about your offers.
One of the main and at the same time free Instagram advertising channels are maintaining a company page in this social network. We have already said that the photographs of the products that you offer must be organic, high-quality and seasoned in your chosen style. However, if you want users to be interested in subscribing to your publications, it’s worth diluting the commercial stream with what happens in the background. Do not be afraid to show photos and videos of how your products are made, especially if the process is unique or often interested in your customers. Broadcast the corporate life of the company. This will not only provide your Instagram account with fresh content but will also increase interest in the brand and increase the level of trust. Make your company’s page more personal by including employee photos in your publication plan. “Humanize” the brand and introduce your customers to it, because photos of happy employees at a subconscious level cause positive associations: people who are happy with life and company simply cannot make bad products.
There are many options to make you want strangers to advertising you. You can launch an action, the conditions of which include posting photos on Instagram with the products of your company and the necessary hashtags, set something unusual in your institution, with which people will want to take pictures and add photos to Instagram, for example, a handmade rarity car, or create a viral package as Coca-Cola did by releasing jars with the names. The scale of ideas is limited only by imagination.
Measuring the success of your advertising campaigns on social networks is especially important since the success on different platforms looks different. Some important Instagram metrics will help you determine if your strategy works according to your goals or fails:
Instagram will play an important role in the digital advertising market for many more years. Companies that have advertised on this social platform have already experienced increased awareness and revenue. If Instagram is not part of your marketing plans, then review them. Now is the time to actively use this tool.
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