Gemma Berry
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Now the old issues with Instagram advertising have been resolved, it’s a great time to reconsider what the 'nice' social channel can offer to marketers.

With over 700 million users, Instagram is now a genuine rival to the old stalwarts Facebook and Twitter when it comes to online marketing.

Visuals are obviously the big pull on Instagram. The site generates engagement and responses to visual cues, with likes and comments. It’s been gaining a reputation as the ‘nice’ social channel, away from the Facebook bubble or Twitter trolls. These positive expectations can benefit your offer.

As with Pinterest and Snapchat, this visual platform works well with beautiful, authentic images. And now the old issues with linking back to websites have been resolved for those looking at paid-for advertising, it’s a great time to start looking at Instagram advertising seriously. Here are a few tips to get started.

Advertising options

To advertise on Instagram, you have to go through a Facebook Business account. You will need a Facebook Page to run the advert, but you can choose whether the ad displays on Instagram, Facebook or both.

With setup sorted, you have four types of advert to choose from:

1. Photo Ads

One simple photo in landscape or square format.

2. Video Ads

Videos up to 60 seconds in length in landscape or square format. (Don’t forget the subtitles!)

3. Carousel Ads

Showing 4 or more photos that people can view by swiping.

4. Stories Ads

Advertise on Instagram stories with photo or video content.

Teaser ads

Museums, galleries and events promoters are also using Instagram as a platform for showcasing trailers to upcoming shows and events. The V&A, for example, launched a trailer on Instagram of the recent #Balenciaga show.

The visual nature of the platform preps audiences with a cinematic impression of what is on offer.

Measuring success

Much like Facebook, Instagram advertising allows you to choose your focus and adjust your campaign depending on whether you want to increase reach, increase clicks through to your website, drive brand awareness with high number of video views or push direct box office sales and event visits.

Click here to read Instagram Stories – Picture Potential and find out more about using Instagram to expand your organisation’s reach.

Main image credit: Kodak Instamatic 100 by Randy Heinitz (CC BY 2.0)