A Guide to Instagram Advertising

Instagram is an image sharing app that continues to grow every day. Last September, the social network has over a billion users.

Many of the young people who left Facebook are on Instagram – but its demographics are growing every day to an older user group.

Instagram ads are basically the same as the photos or videos that appear in your Instagram feed. The differences are that the ad has a text in the upper right where it says “Sponsored”, and a button on the left below the image with a so-called “Call-to-action” which can be eg. “Read more” or “Shop now”.

How to reach the right audience

Instagram’s algorithms make it hard to see your content if it’s not paid ads. But here Instagram has more strengths compared to other social media platforms. Among other things, you have on Instagram access to Facebook’s advanced segmentation tool, which helps your company in a unique way to target the right target groups based on factors such as demographics, interest, age, gender, and country. So, make sure to create visually told ads, which is the core of Instagram, and aim ads at the right audience in Facebook Ad Manager.

Instagram’s various ad formats

Your ads on Instagram can take several different forms. All ads can be combined with a link to a website or a call to action button, such as a buy button, in order to drive conversion. On Instagram, you can use ads in the form of:

Image ads with individual images

Picture series, or so-called carousel ads, where the user brings up the next image on the screen

Video clips

Full-screen ads in Instagram Stories, a format that offers targeting, reach, and opportunities to measure results.

Unique audiences with retargeting on Instagram
Just like on Facebook, you can use retargeting to reach the person who has shown interest in a product before and effectively shoot appropriate ads against that person. It is now possible to use audience customization dynamic ads to show them to people who have an interest in a particular type of product.

How does it work then? Well, users who visit your website get a cookie linked to their browser, your ad then appears on other websites that the person browses.

How to prepare your strategy for Instagram


1. Strategy and purpose.

What do you want to achieve with advertising? Is the purpose primarily to create a feeling and commitment to the brand or to drive sales? Advertising needs to be shaped both by the strategy and the conditions for Instagram as a media channel. There is plenty of room for creativity here.

2. Relevant message

Adapting their message to the target audience applies to all advertising – including Instagram. This is also about understanding Instagram as a photo app and meeting Instagram users’ expectations, which are largely about being inspired. The fact that images and videos are at the center is both an advantage and a challenge.

Images have the potential to engage and convey emotions much faster than is possible through text. Advertising through pictures, on the other hand, demands quality and execution. This may mean that you cannot use the same ad on Instagram that you had in the local newspaper because the ad is probably not adapted for Instagram and therefore risk losing out on relevance to the Instagram user.

3. Optimize your campaign

Instagram ads can be managed through Facebook’s advertising tool. It also makes it possible to synchronize and compare the advertising between the two channels. Because the traffic from Instagram mainly comes from mobile phones, it is also important that the campaign is shaped and optimized with a view to mobile users and that the landing page is adapted to receive mobile traffic.

4. Measure and evaluate

As with all marketing, the key to long-term success lies in analyzing results. Identify measurement points for the Instagram campaign, start measuring, and then evaluate how the advertising presents based on the purpose of the campaign.

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