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Guide To Running Well Targeted Instagram Ads

Step-By-Step Guide To Running Well Targeted Instagram Ad Campaigns

What is your goal on Instagram right now? Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, grow your followers, improve sales or retarget customers? Whatever the case maybe, Instagram ads are a good fit for your promotional efforts, these ads are effective for businesses to generate sales and build engagement!

Instagram ads are posts or stories that a business or brand pays to promote to Instagram feeds of users who may and may not be following you. They look just like a normal posts but carry the “sponsored” label. They also include a call-to-action button that can be used depending on the goal and objective of the ad campaign.

When starting out your brand on Instagram, getting engagements and followers can be tough especially if it is a new brand that hasn’t gotten a lot of awareness outside of Instagram. Although, with the right hashtag strategy you’re well on your way, but then, running ads might just be the necessary step you need to kick start your page.

Why you should run ads on Instagram?

Instagram ads and promotions give you the opportunity to create well targeted ad campaigns for users at all stages of the sales funnel, to build awareness and drive conversion at the same time. More so as the engagement rate on Instagram is higher than any other platform out there. Instagram is integrated with Facebook which makes it easier to target your audience based on their Facebook data.

Instagram advertising works well for all kinds of businesses from all walks of life, from multinational businesses to small sized businesses and it does not require some sort of marketing expertise to run an Instagram ad campaign. Now, with Facebook pixel, retargeting has been made super easy. Relevant ads can be shown to users who have in the past visited your website. With this, you get a higher chance to increase sale and conversion.

Furthermore, generating organic reach gets tougher by the day considering the amount of increasing competition and the Instagram algorithm which can be difficult to crack. Organic content can only get you so far.

 

GETTING STARTED WITH INSTAGRAM ADS

1.  PICKING OUT THE RIGHT INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT

During the creation of your Instagram account, the default profile you create is the personal account. This type of account does not give you access to promotions and insights which all forms of businesses and brands on the platform needs. To start putting together an Instagram Ad campaign, you’re going to have to switch your account type from a personal account to either a business account or a creator account.

Now this depends on the kind of business or brand you run. But nevertheless, they both give you options to run ads and promote your content as well as access to its analytics. But just for clearer understanding, I’m going to be explaining in details the two different accounts so you can make an informed decision when switching to one of them.

Instagram Business Account

This was specifically made for businesses like we already know. These accounts are made with features and tools that are there to specifically to help businesses grow as they are meant for accounts that represent companies that are selling products or rendering services. If you fall in this category, this might just be the ideal account for you.

Below I have listed some key features of the business account;

  1. The ability to run ads and promote your posts.
  2. With a business account, you get insights into your audience demographics, the time your account gets the most engagement and where they all came from including other metrics.
  3. It allows you add call-to-action buttons
  4. Integration with third-party tools so you can automatically publish to your profile.
  5. A label beneath your display name that lists what your business is about
  6. Shoppable posts when you sync your store with Instagram

 

Instagram Creator Account

This account type was created in mid-2019 to meet the needs of content creators and influencers. This suits influencers who do not have a business yet but are actively trying to build their fan base, gain brand partnerships and share within a specific niche.

The creator account is more or less like an upgrade of the business account. This account has all or most of the features and tools a business account offers you with just a few additional tools that work to make a better experience for influencers and content creators.

Below I have listed just the few extra features in addition to the features listed above in the business account;

  1. Access to Instagram’s creator studio which displays all your stats in one convenient location.
  2. Inbox sorting, so that DMs can be sorted into Primary, General and Request boxes.
  3. Although you get call to action buttons, the options to pick from are less.
  4. Get daily number of follows and unfollows.

Switching accounts;

  1. Go to your profile and tap the menu button
  2. Open settings
  3. Click on accounts, scroll all the way down and click switch to professional account.
  4. Click switch to professional account
  5. Begin the process and swipe then pick between the business account and creator account.

 

2.  SETTING UP YOUR ADS

 DESIGN THE VISUALS FOR YOUR AD

After switching to a professional account, the next step would be to create the visuals of the content you want to promote. By visuals, I mean, is it a photo you want to promote, a video or an infographics? All these things need to be in order. Whatever visuals you choose to use should fall under one of the different types of Instagram ads.

There are different types of Instagram ads relating to their visuals;

  • Video Ads
  • Photo Ads
  • Carousel Ads
  • Stories Ads
  • Explore Ads
  • IGTV Ads
  • Instagram Shopping Ads
  • Collection Ads

 

CREATING A CAMPAIGN

There are two ways you can create ad campaigns for your Instagram page. You can either simply promote a post on your profile feed. This could be a picture or video you have already posted on your feed or your story.

In this case, you simply just have to hit the promote button on whatever post or story you are looking to promote. Or, you can create ads using Facebook ads manager, this allows you create more complex ad. This  tool allows you create and manage ads for all your Instagram and Facebook pages all in one place.

 

Using the Facebook Ads Manager

Install and open up the Ads Manager, tap the menu icon and tap to create a new ad campaign. For this article, I’ll be using the Ads Manager.

facebook ads manager menu

Ads Manager home page – click menu bar on the top left corner to create ad

 

SETTING YOUR OBJECTIVE

After tapping that, you would see a list of marketing objectives to pick out from.

Before setting out to run an ad campaign, you should have an evaluation of what it is you wish to achieve with ad campaigns. These are your goals and objectives for your ads.

Instagram offers the following objectives which your goals must fall into for an ad;

instagram ad objectives

  • Brand Awareness; this shows your ads to more prospects who are likely to be interested in what you offer based on what they’ve shown interest for in the past.
  • Reach; this is the only available options for Instagram stories right now. This is basically just about getting more people to see your ads.
  • Traffic; if you goal is to drive visitors to your website or you apps store for downloads then this is the option you should select.
  • App install; this sends users to where they can purchase your app
  • Engagement; this is aimed at getting audience to engage with your content in form of likes, comments, shares, event responses and offer claims.
  • Video views; this is pretty straight forward; the objective is to promote a video.
  • Lead generation; a Lead is basically a potential customer. Lead generation is the process of generating consumer interest with the goal of turning that interest into sale. With Instagram ad, this is done by getting contact information of clients so that you can send slowly bring them into being paying customers. You can do this by getting their emails for you mailing list. For now, the only contact fields Instagram supports are emails, full name, phone number and gender.
  • Conversions; this allows you drive leads to take action and convert on your website or within your app and track these conversions. The additional setup here requires you to configure Facebook pixel or app event based on the website or app you are looking to promote.
  • Store traffic; directs users to your online store
  • Messages; directs users to go directly to your DMs

Now you’re all caught up, the idea is to find which of these objectives your goal fits into and select it.

 

CREATING YOUR AUDIENCE

Instagram allows you to target the ideal audience to show you your ads to using their demographics. You target by location, age, gender, languages, interests and behaviors (actions they have taken in the past such as online purchases), users connected to your page, app or event.

Custom audience;

For custom audience, you are allowed to upload your own list of contacts making it easy to target leads that you are looking to convert.

Lookalike audience;

By selecting to show your ads to look alike audience, you allow Instagram to target users who show similar traits to your custom audience.

 

CHOOSE YOUR PLACEMENT

Almost getting done, now you need to select where your ads will appear. Since Facebook and Instagram are integrated, your ads can be shown on both platforms. You can choose to place your ads on only Instagram or on both platforms.

These options are given to you as manual and automatic placements. Automatic placements show your ads to audience wherever it is they are likely to perform best. As for manual placements, you choose where your ads appear for example, you can restrict your ads to show only on Instagram stories.

 

SETTING YOUR BUDGET

One good thing about running ads on social media is that they are very affordable. Instagram gives you a choice to show the ads daily or for a lifetime. You pick the amount you’d pay a day and for how long you’d want this ad to be up and running.

 

CHOOSE YOUR AD FORMAT

I already listed the formats and their requirements above when I talked about creating visuals for your ad campaign. But I didn’t mention that each ad format has its set of call to action buttons. These call-to-action buttons tell prospects what to do after viewing an ad. A common example of such is “Apply Now”.

 

Stories ads

Supported objectives

  • App installs
  • Brand awareness
  • Conversions
  • Lead generation
  • Messages
  • Reach
  • Store traffic
  • Traffic
  • Video Views

Call-to-action buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact us
  • Download
  • Get Showtimes
  • Get Quote
  • Get Offer
  • Install Now
  • Learn More
  • Listen Now
  • Order Now
  • Play Game
  • Request Time
  • See Menu
  • Send Message
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Subscribe
  • Use App
  • Watch More

 

Photo ads

Supported objectives:

  • App installs
  • Brand awareness
  • Catalog sales
  • Conversions
  • Engagement
  • Lead generation
  • Messages
  • Reach
  • Store traffic
  • Traffic

Call-to-action buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Book Test Drive
  • Call Now
  • Check Availability
  • Contact us
  • Donate
  • Download
  • Get Directions
  • Get Showtimes
  • Get Quote
  • Get Offer
  • Install Now
  • Learn More
  • Listen Now
  • Open LInk
  • Order Now
  • Play Game
  • Preregister
  • Request Time
  • See Menu
  • Send Message
  • Send WhatsApp Message
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Subscribe
  • Use App
  • Watch More

Video ads

Supported objectives:

  • App installs
  • Brand awareness
  • Conversions
  • Engagement
  • Lead generation
  • Messages
  • Reach
  • Store traffic
  • Traffic
  • Video Views

Call-to-action buttons           

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Book Test Drive
  • Call Now
  • Check Availability
  • Contact us
  • Donate
  • Download
  • Get Directions
  • Get Showtimes
  • Get Quote
  • Get Offer
  • Install Now
  • Learn More
  • Listen Now
  • Order Now
  • Play Game
  • Preregister
  • Request Time
  • See Menu
  • Send Message
  • Send WhatsApp Message
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Subscribe
  • Use App
  • Watch More

Carousel ads

Supported objectives:

  • App installs
  • Brand awareness
  • Catalog Sales
  • Conversions
  • Lead generation
  • Messages
  • Reach
  • Store Traffic
  • Traffic

Call-to-action buttons                 

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Book Test Drive
  • Call Now
  • Check Availability
  • Contact us
  • Donate
  • Download
  • Get Directions
  • Get Showtimes
  • Get Quote
  • Get Offer
  • Install Now
  • Learn More
  • Listen Now
  • Open Link
  • Order Now
  • Play Game
  • Preregister
  • Request Time
  • See Menu
  • Send Message
  • Send WhatsApp Message
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Subscribe
  • Use App
  • Watch More

Collection ads

Supported objectives:

  • Catalog sales
  • Conversions
  • Store traffic
  • Traffic

Call-to-action buttons

  • Learn More
  • Purchase

Instagram Explore ads

Supported objectives:

  • App installs
  • Brand awareness
  • Conversions
  • Engagement
  • Lead generation
  • Messages
  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Video Views

Call-to-action buttons                 

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Book Test Drive
  • Check Availability
  • Contact us
  • Download
  • Get Showtimes
  • Get Quote
  • Get Offer
  • Install Now
  • Learn More
  • Listen Now
  • Play Game
  • Preregister
  • Request Time
  • See Menu
  • Send Message
  • Send WhatsApp Message
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Subscribe
  • Use App
  • Watch More

All this being in place, you can now begin to run your ads. Fill in your payment information and you’re set to go.

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