When Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, digital marketers certainly took notice. Many, like myself, were curious to see how the platform would be incorporated into Facebook’s expansive ad suite. Instagram ads were initially launched as an invite only managed buy, later releasing self-serve placements to a group of lucky closed beta testers this year.
For those of us who don’t work at a powerhouse agency or massive brand, I’m happy to reveal the excruciating wait is over. Facebook has just announced that Instagram ad placements have been unlocked for all advertisers in Power Editor.
Wondering what all the fuss is about? Let’s take a look at Instagram by the numbers:
- 400 million plus monthly active users
- 80 million plus photos shared a day
- 3.5 billion likes daily
It’s easy to see that the platform is a lightning rod for engagement with massive reach.
Below, I’ll reveal more about Instagram’s advertising options.
Instagram ads align perfectly with many current Facebook campaign types, acting as an additional ad placement, much like the audience network. This eliminates the hassle for advertisers to adjust for differing campaign structures, audience targeting, and image dimensions - common pain points when advertising across social networks.
Clicks to the Website
- When the end goal is to direct users to your website to take an action or visit a key page.
Mobile App Installs
- If you’re an app developer company or agency looking to increase the total user base of an app.
- When you’re looking to tell a story through a video, and prompt the audience to engage.
Connecting Your Account
Before you get too eager and plow headfirst into Power Editor, it’s important not to skip one vital step – connecting your business Instagram account in Business Manager. It will be needed to complete ad creation.
Within Business Manager, navigate to “Business Settings” to reveal the option to add an Instagram account.
Then, click on the “claim new instagram account” button, and enter your credentials.
Finally, assign the Instagram account to your advertising account.
With your Instagram account now associated, it’s time to move on to creation.
How to Opt In
Within Facebook’s Business Manager or Ad Manager, launch Power Editor.
Create a new ad set, and ensure the campaign objective is either website clicks, mobile app installs, or video views.
Pro-tip: Much like separating mobile vs. desktop placements into separate ad sets, I recommend dedicating an ad set for an Instagram placement only. This will provide easy insight into performance, and the greatest flexibility to scale up or down budgets/bids.
Next, select Instagram as your ad placement.
Note: Instagram is a mobile app, so your ads can only be placed on mobile devices.
Crafting Your Copy
Much like a right hand rail ad copy within Facebook, Instagram’s format varies slightly from a Facebook Newsfeed placement.
When creating your Instagram ad, you may notice elements missing that are available for Newsfeed ads such as the:
- display URL
- link description
While your creative (image or video) is a very important component for a compelling Facebook ad, it’s an even more vital element to success on Instagram.
Are Instagram Ads Right for My Business?
If you are a B2C company selling ecommerce products or a mobile gaming app, the answer is likely a resounding “yes”. However, if you’re a B2B company, it’s understandable to have reservations about bringing a business conversation into a photo sharing app.
That said, it wasn’t so long ago that many B2B marketers had similar concerns about Facebook. Here are a few reasons why you should at least test the new placement:
- From lessons learned from the likes of Google’s Remarketing and AdRoll, prospects can convert from sites completely unrelated to your product or service, if they’ve had previous interaction with your brand (ever got a conversion from weather.com?)
- Custom audiences allow you to pinpoint exact prospects based on email match. That VP of Marketing might be craftly dodging your SDRs cold outreach emails, but you might find her to be more receptive to your message while bored on the subway, browsing through her Instagram feed.
- We’re entering a tl;dr (too long didn’t read) era. People want to be entertained, and want you to get to the point - quickly. Video provides a highly engaging and captivating format for short attention spans. Why buy an expensive, glossy billboard or commercial slot, when you can reach a laser-focused target audience and receive better engagement, at a fraction of the cost?
Early adopter spoils
- Advertisers willing to test new channels often are rewarded with dramatically lower average cost per clicks, before the bandwagon enters. Talk to any Facebook advertiser old timer and they will recall high performing $0.05 - $0.10 clicks fondly.
Facebook has seamlessly integrated Instagram into their core advertising ecosystem. With one click, and advertiser can open up their campaigns on Instagram within the ad placements section. The painless setup and additional reach from the photo sharing network makes it an attractive channel to explore. The verdict is still out whether Instagram will be a major revenue driver for brands outside of E-commerce, but the future looks promising. Have you experimented with Instagram ads? Do you have any triumphs or learning lessons? Please leave a comment below!