In less than five years, Instagram has changed the way we look at social networks, and now amasses a tremendous 500 million users, more than Twitter, Snapchat or any of its competitors. Recently it also shook up the world of social media marketing by opening up the advertising platform.
- 80% of all top brands are active on Instagram every week.
- More than 70 million posts are uploaded to Instagram every single day.
- Instagram posts from the big brands are able to draw as much as 50 to 100 times more engagement than the equivalent Twitter or Facebook posts.
- Reports also indicate that Instagram users spend an average of $65 per referred sale, which is more than what Facebook users ($55) and Twitter users ($46.26) do.
- The conversion rate on Instagram is 1.08% which is second only to Facebook’s 1.85% and miles ahead of Twitter (0.77%) and Pinterest (0.54%).
- Almost 55% of all millennials use Instagram, so if that is your target audience, there is no better place to be.
- Their organic reach has grown by almost 120% since 2012.
- Only 36% of marketers are on Instagram, so there is huge scope for growth.
- By 2017, Instagram’s ad revenue is expected to hit $2.8bn, which surpasses even Google’s ad sales.
Instagram ads are easy to set up, look very distinctive, and are a great way to build brand presence, engage with the followers and also boost popularity.
If you’re convinced already and have started an ad marketing campaign on Instagram, it is worth noting that not all campaigns are successful. You have to follow some tenets or rules to boost the success and increase your brand’s popularity.
Relevance Is Key
This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised at the number of brands who disregard this completely and spam users incessantly with irrelevant posts. Thankfully for users, Instagram has a hide option, so spamming will only reduce the visibility and effectiveness of your posts. Ads with lower engagement are pushed down the list further and further till they disappear altogether; keep that in mind and only serve relevant content to your consumers.
Put Out Some Feelers
It is unlikely that you know what your audience wants unless of course, you have been doing social media marketing for a while before this campaign. As such, it is best for you to embark on some test campaigns to really understand what makes your audience tick, what posts they are most likely to engage with, and so on. Your first few campaigns should be about getting to know the target audience rather than actually focusing on business. With the data collected from here, you can move forward and create several successful campaigns.
It is a good idea to split test several ad visuals, adding 3-4 images in a carousel and incorporating user-generated content to see which of the posts generate best results. This has proven to be very successful in the past. You can do the same split tests for different posting schedules and so on. You can automate the entire process through a service like Instamacro.
Experiment with a Variety of Ad Types for Different Goals
While most marketers run campaigns to boost sales, there are a lot of other goals you could chase down with Instagram ads. You could drive up your brand awareness, direct consumers to landing pages, gain the loyalty of the followers, engage them, promote products and do a whole lot more. Carousel ads are a great way to promote products, while video ads are a great way to drive brand engagement.
Make Your Posts Forceful but Your Branding Subtle
It is important for you to keep the ads as focused as possible. Don’t use images which are too complex or have more than 20% of the image covered by text. Go for minimalist, uncluttered ads which make a great first impression on the viewer.Don’t push your brand too much, as it gets distracting and may irritate the viewer. Place your logo very subtly, and don’t overdo it.
Include UGC in Ads
User Generated Content is created by real users and is completely trustworthy for the collection of data. It increases conversion rates by almost 2 times. Get photos and videos from users with their permission as this makes your ads more genuine and trustworthy.
Start Your Own Trends
While hashtags don’t appear on ads, you can still use them to direct users towards relevant content. It is best if you use custom hashtags for your own brand, meaning you are in control of the content they see when they click on it.
Utilize Call to Action Buttons
Instagram allows four call-to-action buttons, namely Sign Up, Learn More, Install Now and Shop Now. It is a great idea to use them, as they allow the users to learn more about your company or do any related activity from the ad itself, rather than having to commit it to memory and eventually forget about it.
Your marketing campaign’s success depends entirely on how you choose to manage it and how your target audience responds to it. These tips work wonders in improving the quality of your ad campaigns and also boost the probability of success. Use them rigorously and regularly, and you should have a great market strategy in no time.
This article is contributed by Evans walsh, a blogger and marketer who specializes in SMM and SEO. He has worked extensively in brand marketing and specializes in helping startups and SMEs initiate successful promotional campaigns. If you would like to write for us, join eSoftload Community.