Instagram Ads, Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads? Here’s How to Rock Both

Marketers are always on the hunt of the perfect customer acquisition channel for their company. That constant search can help marketers increase their efficiency, but it can also lead them to compare apples to oranges.

The truth is, most marketing channels work very different from each other. This is the case of Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads.

Despite the fact both are social networks that belong to the same organization, they cater different kind of users who behave differently. The behavioral difference between Facebook and Instagram users changes the way you should think and carry out your ad management.

In this article, you will discover how different Facebook or Instagram users are from each other, what are the core strengths of both advertising platforms, and how you can combine them to improve your results.

Facebook Users vs. Instagram Users

When comparing Facebook and Instagram, the most obvious point of comparison is the former has a much larger user base than the latter. A quick look at their data shows us Facebook has 1.94 billion monthly active users, while Instagram has "only" 700 million monthly active users.

Despite both have a massive amount of users, the demographics of each one differ sharply, especially regarding age.

Facebook users represent 88% and 84% of all Internet population aged 18-29 and 30-49, respectively. This is no surprise as social networks tend to be used mostly by younger people. This doesn't mean old people don't use Facebook. 72% and 62% of all Internet population aged 50-64 and over 65, respectively, also use Facebook.

pew research center facebook users

Instagram users, by contrast, represent 59% of all Internet population aged 18-29. This is much lower than Facebook, but it's still a great number to consider. The situation changes with people over 30 years old: only 33%, 18%, and 8% of the people aged 30-49, 50-64, and over 65, respectively, are Instagram users.

pew research center instagram users

This data shows two things:

  1. Facebook has a variety of age ranges
  2. Instagram's user base is mostly made up by young people under 30 years old

If age is an important aspect of your advertising strategy, then take this data into consideration as it can change the effectiveness of your ads.

Facts about Advertising on Facebook

There's no doubt Facebook is the largest and most powerful social ad network. You can find almost half the world's Internet population on Facebook, so it's understandable there are countless different kind of people you can reach.

The key fact isn't who you can target and how you can do so, but rather how those people react to your ads on Facebook.

In 2014, Kentico found 40% of Facebook users don't like engaging with companies at all while another 40% report Liking or following a brand on a social network because they were already interested in the brand and wanted to be kept informed. This same report also showed 68% ignore the messages of brands, even the ones they follow. As you will see later, this isn't what happens on Instagram.

In this situation, companies need to engage with their audience as effectively as possible. Running ads without focusing on the user's interests can irritate them, and therefore, ignore you. Publishing too often can also lead to the burnout of your followers, which can make them unlike your page.

One way advertisers overcome the problem of low engagement is by using video and images. According to a study carried out by AdWeek, videos earn the highest rate of engagement, with a single video harnessing an average of 2,183 interactions. This is despite representing only 3% of the content published on the site. Posts with images, on the other hand, see 230% more engagement than those without images.

Finally, 85% of Facebook daily usage is done on mobile. That explains why mobile advertising represents 85% of Facebook’s advertising revenue.

Facts about Instagram Advertising

Although Instagram's user base is smaller than Facebook's, the differences in the demographic profile make the former stand out in many ways.

As you have seen before, Instagram is mostly used by millennials. Also, when compared to Facebook, there's more content consumed on Instagram geared towards visual categories, like fashion, beauty, and architecture.

instagram content consumed

Source: Facebook

Even though the majority of Instagram's users are young people without much disposable income to spend, their age doesn't imply they aren't willing to do business. According to Instagram, 50% of Instagram users follow at least one business, 60% say that they learn about a product or service on the platform, and 75% end up taking action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post.

The willingness of Instagram's users to do business extends even further, making the social network the perfect marketing channel for e-commerce stores. According to Shopify, Instagram users spend on average $65 per referred sale, $10 more than Facebook users. Almost 50% of Instagram users conduct product research while the use the app. Finally, over a third of Instagram users have used their mobile to purchase a product online– making them 70% more likely to do so than non-users.

The behavior of Instagram users explains why 64% of B2C marketers are significantly more likely to increase Instagram activities than merely 48% of B2B marketers.

What makes Instagram so appealing to marketers isn't just its high level of influence on purchases: only 36% of marketers use Instagram. Instagram is still a relatively young ad platform with a lot of space for growth, leaving you plenty of space to reach out and engage with the audience at a low price.

How to Run Facebook and Instagram Ads Together

So far you have seen how differently Facebook and Instagram ads from each other and what kind of companies should use them. The key, however, lies in the intersection of both social networks.

To show the power of Facebook and Instagram ads, I'll show you two simple acquisition funnels you can copy.

Facebook First, Retarget with Instagram

Goal: This funnel is focused on attracting the largest amount of people into your funnel to drive them to your website. Then, you will retarget the ones that haven't converted with your Instagram posts.

How the funnel works: Start by creating a campaign with the objective "Traffic." Then create at least two ad sets, one focused on desktop and another one on mobile. Finally, create individual ads, which can be as many or as little as you deem necessary.

facebook campaign creation

In each ad set, select the targeting that represents best your audience. What matters is you deselect the Instagram feed placement and focus only on mobile or desktop. Also, make sure to have a large audience for each ad set, at least one million people.

facebook ad set

Finally, this campaign should be focused on driving traffic to your website. This could be a content piece you are promoting, a product page, or anything in between. Once you do so, you can create a custom audience of those people and retarget them on Instagram.

Once you have finished the Facebook campaign, create a new campaign focused on Instagram. First, create a campaign with the campaign objective "Traffic." Then, when you define the targeting of the ad set, add the custom audience based on the website visitors that landed on the pages you used in the previous campaign.

instagram ad set

Alternatives: You can also start this funnel by making people "Like" your business page, and then retarget straight in Instagram. Since Instagram has high levels of engagement TK, similar to the ones of Facebook, it can work. You can also take the following funnel as an example and use Instagram to finish the conversion on Instagram.

Engage in Instagram, Finish the Conversion on Facebook

Goal: This funnel is focused on engaging with people on Instagram, then taking them to a page, and retarget those who haven't converted on Facebook.

How the funnel works: Start by creating a campaign with the objective "Post engagement."

instagram ad campaign

For this funnel, I would suggest you create ad sets focused on mobile only and, if you already have a following on Facebook, with the connection "People who like your page." This last part can increase the relevance of your campaign. Then, you would need to create individual ads focused only on engaging with your posts. In these posts, share interesting photos, ask for likes and comments, create giveaways, among other engaging activities.

instagram targeting

Once you have launched your first Instagram campaign, let it run for a few weeks. After that, create a similar campaign, but this time with the campaign objective "Traffic." The goal will be to drive people from one of your Instagram posts to a landing page.

Finally, you will create a custom audience of the people who visited that landing page but didn't convert, and use it in a Facebook campaign with the goal "Traffic". This campaign guarantees an engaged and interested user who is much more likely to convert.

Alternatives: If you don't have a large following, you can first focus on getting more Likes for your business page on Facebook, or focus on creating a following right on Instagram. From there, you can implement the same funnel.

Facebook Ads vs. Instagram Ads: Which One Should You Pick?

This article has shown you a brief account of the differences and similarities of Facebook and Instagram ads. You have also seen two funnels you can use to take the power of both. But the question remains: which one should you choose?

At the end of the day, it depends on what you are looking for. If you are targeting older people and you want a full-funnel marketing channel, Facebook Ads is your best bet. If you are targeting a young audience focused on brand engagement and conversions, Instagram Ads is your obvious choice.

Pick the one that fits your needs, and get started.

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AdStage Team