Many business professionals believe Instagram advertising is just for bikini models and fitness gurus. Well, if you think there are close to a billion people every day that go on Instagram to just for those two things, then you’re dead wrong.
Instagram advertising is one of the simplest and most effective ways to sell your products. Yes, it works especially well for visual brands, like bikini models and fitness gurus, but it also works especially well for: travel companies and bloggers, airlines, clothing lines, and pet shops. The way to think about it is if you can take a picture or make a video of it, you can sell it on Instagram.
It doesn’t matter if you use the built-in store function or just link them to your website, Instagram advertising is a simple way to get your business out to the masses. The best part is you can do it for a fraction of what it will cost you in print ads and Google AdWords.
The reason why its cheaper is fewer businesses has realized its potential, so the time is right for you to go big on Instagram marketing if you’re ready. If you think I’m excited about this, you’re right. I think Instagram advertising is the best form of advertising available. Keep reading to find out how you can capitalize on this emerging trend.
Build a Strong Profile
A good profile is like having a strong foundation for a house. If you start Instagram advertising without creating the content that needs to be there, people don’t understand who you are what you’re all about. That is a great way to waste money.
In the beginning, you don’t need to focus on creating ads, you need to learn to use the platform. This means learning every single function and how to exploit it to your advantage.
Here’s a 5-point crash course…
- Create posts that get people to comment, not just like.
- Use relevant hashtags.
- Engage with commenters on the top posts associated with those hashtags.
- Boost the posts that people like to engage with.
- Use Instagram Stories to record what you do daily.
That’s the really simple way to get your brand out there. For more information on how to exploit Instagram for business, check out this Instagram Marketing Guide.
What Makes a Strong Profile for Instagram Advertising?
- Frequent Posts
- Using Instagram Stories Daily
- Brand Consistency
- Thought-Provoking Images and Text
- Properly Placing Relevant Hashtags
- Lots of Engagement
Check out Space X for a great example of a business that utilizes Instagram the right way. They have a great foundation and if they wanted to get their content to the masses, using Instagram would be a great choice.
Study Ads On Your Feed
Not every company uses ads the right way. It’s in your best interest to check out all of your competitors’ ads. Go through their funnels. Buy their products. Then analyze what they did right and what they did wrong.
How does your product match up? Is your copywriting more or less persuasive? The answers to these questions are the key to your success on Instagram.
What you should look for are ways to capitalize on things your competitor’s fail to do well. As you study your market and learn what makes your followers want to buy your products, the better your ads will do.
At first, it will feel like your walking in the dark, but by following the right principles (in this article) you’ll figure out pretty quickly how to do Instagram advertising well.
Stay Consistent With Your Brand
Your brand is the foundation of all Instagram advertising you will do. If you don’t keep a consistent level of quality you’ll struggle to create the trust you need to succeed at running solid advertisements.
Your brand is your identity. It’s who you are and what you’re all about, shown with images, videos, persona, your website, etc. Many people think your brand is the graphic art that certain people think is a brand. Your brand is a representation of your company’s mission through media.
Ensuring your brand’s consistency is easy with Instagram. Let me show you some examples…
These two Instagram profiles are created examples of how to remain consistent, but creative at the same time with your brand. It’s easy for these brands to turn Instagram profiles into money-making advertising powerhouses.
Instagram advertising is all about the content you produce. Not, how catchy your ads are. It does have to do with the quality of your product, but initially, it’s only about the trust your clients have for your brand. Without the trust of your clients, your sales will suffer.
These two brands are notorious for creating interesting and high-quality content all the time. When you subscribe to them, you know that they won’t waste your time. Try it and see. These two brands should be a model for your own profile even if you’re in a less than exciting industry.
Notice how they are mostly high-quality photos, but sometimes there is just something the poster thought was interesting. It’s great to be perfectly on brand, but you don’t want to come off as a “stiff” on Instagram. It’s much more casual than LinkedIn, but with the same opportunity.
Hashtag 101 for Ads
Using the right hashtags is one of the most important parts of creating a great profile. Yes, they help you build your following, but they also allow you to properly position yourself with your industry as an influencer.
The key to finding the right hashtags is to go to the search bar and type in terms that apply to your industry. You’ll see a drop-down menu with the number of posts associated with that hashtag. Pick the ones that you find to have between 50,000 to 300,000 posts to them if you’re a newer poster. It’s not a bad idea for established brands too.
The reason for posting to the lower numbers is to make sure your posts are not getting smashed to the bottom of the hashtag. If you post to a hashtag like #marketing or #life which have millions or billions of posts, your post will get at best a few minutes of fame. What you’re going for is staying power, this way many people will see your posts and like and hopefully comment.
After you find about 20-30 hashtags, you need to start applying them generously in the comment section of your post. Don’t put them in the description section, this makes your posts look cluttered.
Currently, 30 hashtags are the limit, but you can add more if you utilize your comment section and the description, but that’s up to you.
How to Turn Your Profile Into a Huge Money Maker
If you have a solid following and some products to sell. You don’t have to open up an Instagram business account to start making money. If you have a website, you can put your link in your profile and send all the traffic you generate from Instagram straight to a product page and start earning.
If you’re looking to do Instagram advertising (which I highly recommend), all you have to do is start promoting specific posts and sending them to a dedicated sales page on your website. It’s not rocket science, so get your phone out and start today.
Types of Ads
There are 5 different types of ads you can use for Instagram advertising. The choices are Photo Ads, Video Ads, Carousel Ads, Story Ads, and Canvas Story Ads. Each one of them is great and will work if you use them appropriately. Deciding which works best is a process, so be patient and don’t be afraid to experiment with each kind.
Also, keep in mind the changing trends of your industry. If they are younger, it might be better to use video over photos and more “copy-heavy” stuff.
You should also keep in mind the targeting initially. This will take some time to get your ads just right, so run multiple ad sets and see what makes the biggest difference. Sometimes its the right combination and even the timing.
Keeping Your Followers Engaged with Your Brand
This is so much easier than it used to be. Whether you have a good-sized following or not, you should be utilizing Instagram stories. There is a stories function for Instagram advertising which is also very good, but just getting your followers used to see you every day is the name of the game.
Without engaging with them all the time, your sales will suffer. Think about the stories function as a daily diary. It’s meant to be informal and for B2B businesses, it’s great when you’re at a convention or outing.
Companies that utilize all the functions of this platform are the ones that win. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can just post a few ads and make a difference. It doesn’t work like that. It’s not a billboard.
Social media platforms are designed for you to be social, so be social, and don’t think twice about it. For more information regarding your Instagram advertising strategy check out our Advanced Guide to Instagram Marketing.