Instagram ads are a key component of your digital strategy.
This is due to the fact that Instagram is a top social media platform that is powered by one of the biggest online companies in the world, Facebook.
But you may be asking, “What is so great about Instagram ads in the first place?”
Many people do not fully understand what Instagram ads in 2020 can do for them even as we are going into 2021.
And sadly, others think Instagram ads are a waste of time and money.
But this just isn’t true.
In fact, we recently helped one small business generate thousands of dollars in sales from using Instagram ads.
For another business, we set up an Instagram ad campaign that resulted in over 200,000 new fans.
You may be wondering – well, what are Instagram ads?
And how can I use them to grow my brand?
Or, you’re already familiar with Instagram ads, but you really have no idea where to start to run your own.
Today, we’re going to clearly explain what Instagram ads are, go over why they are important, how much they cost, where it fits in your overall digital strategy, and more!
Before we begin, we’re going to tell you a little story about a conversation we had with an Influencer that does lifestyle coaching.
They gave us the good old fashion, “I need more sales asap” pitch and told us about their ideas to use Instagram to drive revenue.
So, we asked them a few questions like, “Are you using Instagram ads?”
This question had them taken aback and they answered “No, not really. We don’t see most of our competitors running ads.”
From this response, we were shocked and excited all at the same time.
Not only because they had not yet harnessed the power of Instagram ads, but also because their competitors hadn’t either.
We suggested an Instagram advertising campaign, and they started generating thousands of new fans and leads from the very first Instagram ad we launched.
If this example sounds anything like you, or you aren’t spending a significant amount of money on Instagram ads yet, then this blog will help give you some valuable insight.
What are Instagram Ads?
Instagram ads are posts or stories that a business pays for to promote their content to a target audience.
They look like normal posts but have a small sponsored label attached to them.
Most businesses will use Instagram ads when they are trying to reach people outside of their existing following.
These ads help drive qualified users to your content and can do wonders for a small business trying to build brand awareness.
Why Are Instagram Ads Important?
Instagram ads are important for many reasons.
Those reasons can be different for each business depending on what goals they want to achieve.
But, we believe there are 4 main reasons for any business to use Instagram ads.
Reason #1: Instagram has a lot of attention
On average, users spend 50 minutes a day across Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger.
This means your brand has the possible opportunity to talk with your customer base nearly every day or at least every week.
The more opportunities that you have to talk with your customer base, the more likely they are to become a fan or purchase from you.
Instagram truly gives your business the ability to receive more attention and trust from your audience.
Reason #2: Instagram targeting options
We talk a lot about “reaching your audience” and that starts by identifying the specifics of your audience.
With Instagram ads, you can specify your audience location, demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.
You can even target people who have already purchased from you or others like them.
Facebook owns Instagram, so they share the same advertising abilities.
And as you may know, Facebook is one of the biggest data companies in the world.
This gives your business major access to data about your target audience that can help make your ads more effective.
Reason #3: The results
According to Instagram, which has looked at more than 400 ad campaigns globally,
Ad recall from Instagram at was 2.8 times higher than Nelsons norms for online advertising.
This means that people remember ads they see on Instagram more than they remember ads from an online article or blog.
Therefore, using Instagram ads can leave a longer lasting imprint on the minds of your ad viewers, which makes them more likely to remember your business in the future.
Reason #4: Instagram’s growth
Over the last few years, Instagram has seen a tremendous amount of user growth, which means that advertisers will be able to reach even more people and scale with Instagram.
More users are joining Instagram and Facebook everyday.
This encourages Facebook to create and introduce new features to their platforms that help connect you with your audience.
Increased features means you have the chance to better reach your audience.
So we’ve given you four of the top reasons to invest in Instagram ads, so you may now be wondering “How much do Instagram ads cost?”
Let’s talk about that.
How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost?
Truthfully, there is no single answer to the question of how much Instagram ads cost.
That’s because many factors impact the cost of your advertising such as the targeting, the ad placement, the ad format and the competition, especially at certain times of the year.
That being said, AdEspresso found that the average cost per click for most placements was $1.20.
But a much better way to think about it is for you to decide your marketing budget and how much you want to spend or how much you’re willing to pay for a result.
And we have created an entire video and blog about how to calculate your small business marketing budget step-by-step.
The biggest key here is that you can set your budget to be as little as one dollar a day or above.
Now let’s get to some fun stuff and discuss our top tips for Instagram ads
Top Tips for Instagram Ads
Get clear on your objective
It may not seem like it, but Instagram ads are simple.
They give you the ability to reach more people. So it’s up to you to decide what action you want people to take when they see you.
The biggest mistake that we see people make is when they run ads and they expect that it will help with everything.
But as they say, when you try to go into too many directions at once, then you end up going nowhere.
Therefore, what we’re looking for is focus.
That means you need to understand what it is that you need the most of.
In our marketing management blog, we talk in-depth about how important it is to know what the business is lacking the most of.
To quickly simplify it, you can think about it like this:
If you are a new business, with very little traffic and very little customers, then you likely need to focus on generating more awareness.
Or if you are more established and you have a decent amount of traffic, let’s say about 10,000 hits per month, then you likely need to focus on nurturing leads.
And if you have tons of traffic and a lot of leads, then you likely need to focus on more conversions.
However, in general, unless you are having extreme difficulty in monetizing your awareness, then focusing on generating more awareness is an Evergreen approach or something that you do not want to lose sight of.
Let’s move on to tip number two.
Install Facebook tracking pixels and capture your audience
A Facebook tracking pixel is a piece of code that you can install on your website.
What it does is allow you to capture the activity that is taking place on your website and create an audience on Facebook or Instagram.
So let’s say, for example, someone spent 30 minutes looking at your website but never contacted you or bought something.
Usually, what would happen is that the person would forget about the website and the business would lose that potential customer.
However, if you have a Facebook pixel installed, then you can capture that person and later on show them an Instagram ad.
This is called “retargeting” or “remarketing” depending on who you ask.
With ads like these, this is how you can slowly start to win over your audience. But do not forget that you need awareness first!
Provide value with your Instagram ads
Our third tip is to make sure your ads provide value to your audience.
Another huge mistake that people make is deciding that since they are advertising, that gives them permission to sell their products or services to strangers.
Which isn’t too surprising, because when you watch TV commercials or you see magazine ads, most of the time they are directly advertising their business.
But doing this too soon, will potentially cut your advertising potential in half because the truth is, people don’t want to be sold to.
Now there are some exceptions, such as if you have an impulsive product or a low dollar offer.
But in general, the goal with your first ads, especially when you are in the awareness or nurturing phase of the marketing funnel, is to try to get people to like you.
That means creating educational content (kind of like this blog wink wink!).
You can also give away a free guide or a free trial.
Or maybe you are advertising a blog or have a huge special offer.
You can even do a free consultation or a live webinar.
The list goes on and on, as there are so many ways to provide value first, so our key take away for you is to simply attempt to provide value first.
You don’t want to be the person who is always selling instead of helping because then it will be hard to build trust from your audience.
Think about 2021 and beyond
Those first three tips are things that are likely going to last for a long time.
But in addition to these tips, you should also start to think about where Instagram is headed in 2021 and the future.
One of Instagram‘s newest features is IGTV, which is basically a place where people can watch long form videos on Instagram.
It is clear that Instagram wants to promote this option more and has even started to encourage content creators to make IGTV videos for money.
So if you are able to create IGTV videos, which are usually videos over one minute long, then we predict you will likely get a boost from the Instagram algorithm.
And since this is a new feature that fewer companies are using, that means lower competition, and lower competition means lower cost.
We believe that a powerful Instagram ad strategy for 2021 will be to create IGTV videos and boost them with an Instagram ads campaign.
We really believe that this is going to help you to lower your cost and boost your ad reach to gain more visibility.
Those are our high-level tips for Instagram ads for 2020 and 2021. Now you know everything you need to know about crafting the best Instagram ads for your business.
And setting up the campaign on Instagram isn’t difficult either. It only takes a few simple steps.
We hope this information helps kick you off to starting an Instagram ad campaign in the right way.
There’s truly a huge portion of your target audience you can reach simply from running an optimized Instagram ad.
And even if you found this blog helpful but aren’t sure if you’re completely ready to create and run Instagram ads on your own, we can help with that too.
Our digital marketing managers can walk you through the process of creating engaging Instagram ads for your business.
These ads will not only reach your desired audience, but also get them excited to learn more about your business.
Whenever you’re ready, contact us to get started!