Instagram has improved their advertising systems by including direct-response advertising, streamlined ad buying and improved targeting using Facebook data to target the ads that users see.
In short, this means that all of the wonderful ways that a Facebook ad can be targeted are now available for Instagram ads. This includes the ability for brands to use their existing customer data for ad targeting as Facebook’s custom audience enables, with the added option of targeting ads based on what accounts your community follow on Instagram and the posts they’ve ‘liked’.
These posts will “look similar” to other photos and videos as they are designed to be seamlessly integrated within the Instagram experience. The processes have been tweaked to be more suitable for pushing product and business building, not just brand promotion.
For example, you can now set up an Instagram ad targeted to existing Facebook customers and their friends that includes a link to your e-commerce site. This is consistent with Instagram as a platform being a shop window, a look-book or a product catalogue.
You have the choice of linking your multi-photo carousel ads or the original single-photo ads to encourage your community to click-through to buy your product or service, enter a competition or download an app.
Individually, these direct-response advertisers may not all spend as much annually on advertising as larger brands, but because they know more precisely who they want to target and how they want to measure the ads, they will typically see a more direct ROI.
Advertisers can ensure their targeted ads are relevant and interesting to users by using information shared on Facebook such as gender, age and location, as well as data shared across platforms such as user interests, where they shop, their occupation, the TV shows they like and specific lifestyle demographics.
Of course, if the user doesn’t have Facebook, or they use an alternative email address then they will still see ads on Instagram based on the accounts they follow and the photos and videos they like on Instagram.
So there are two ways of buying Instagram ads, you can pay a cost-per-click (this is determined by the Instagram algorithm), or you can set a budget you are happy with (how much you are willing to pay per click) and Instagram will feed to users most likely to click on the ad (as determined by the advertisers targeting parameters) and charge the fee based on the number of ad impressions served.
In summary, this is exciting news for highly visual brands. Advertisers can connect with their brands’ fans with visual campaigns and explore new and exciting ways of targeting audiences with direct-response stories, additionally allowing us to sync and sequence stories and campaigns across social platforms.
Have your say: How deep will you go with Instagram advertising?