Putting Instagram Advertising to Work for Small Businesses

Instagram Advertising for SMEs

Instagram is Becoming a Popular Resource for Small Businesses

Instagram offers a great way to drum up attention for your great products or fantastic services, as well as your business in general and with Instagram being the second most utilized social media network, the platform offers excellent opportunities for you to do so.

However, the downside to Instagram is that it’s very image heavy. Creating Instagram-worthy photographs that are interesting enough to drum up a lot of attention can be a bit of a hit or miss, not to mention time-consuming. Larger businesses will often hire a point person to manage their Instagram accounts, but given that a social media manager will generally cost you between 60K to 90K per year in salary alone, many small businesses can’t afford full-time professional help.

Fortunately, there is another option for drumming up attention on Instagram while keeping costs low; Instagram Advertising. You can pay to run advertisements on Instagram and the right ads can generate a fantastic ROI. Instagram is especially appealing for those SMEs that have visually appealing products. That might mean restaurant meals, drinks, clothing, and various other products.

Is Instagram worth the investment? The short answer is yes, but let’s dig into the “long answer” to explain why Instagram is so important for SMEs.

Why Instagram Advertising Is Vital for SMEs

First, Instagram is now one of the most popular platforms among adults, with 32% of those over the age of 18 reporting that they use the platform multiple times per day, according to Pew Research. In other words, the audience on Instagram is huge and engaged.

Huge audiences don’t matter much to SMEs if they can’t reach that audience, but fortunately, it’s easy to promote your small business on Instagram. You can reach out to users with ads that look very similar to actual posts. Instead of taking shots in the dark with these ads, you can target audiences and create compelling calls-to-action (CTAs).

Also, remember that Instagram is owned by Facebook and it’s easy to create Instagram ads on your desktop or laptop with Facebook Business Manager. In fact, Instagram is automatically selected when you launch ads on Facebook. On the other hand, unsponsored Instagram posts have to be posted via the mobile app and this can be a huge hassle for professionals who’d rather not be limited to a harder to use mobile app.

Instagram: A Brave, New World

Instagram is constantly changing so keep that in mind as you read this article. In 2016, for example, Instagram launched a bunch of new features.

For one, business owners can now create business profiles. In the past, business-specific profiles were not available. These new profiles are better suited for businesses, allowing users to add descriptions of the business and well as contact details and show where your business is located via Google Maps.

For two, Instagram launched a new dashboard and integrated it directly into the mobile app. This app is very useful for comparing data, such as impressions and engagement week-by-week and for digital marketers these stats are vital.

Finally, Instagram launched some new features to make promoting ads quicker and easier. This was, quite frankly, a godsend. You can now quickly turn organic Instagram posts into paid ads while also choosing target audiences. Just find your most successful posts, then turn them into ads.

Instagram offers easy ways for SMEs to reach their target audience. Click To Tweet

Step-by-Step for How SEM’s Can Market on Instagram

First, connect an existing Instagram account to the Facebook Business Manager. Don’t have an Instagram account? Create one. It’s not hard! Don’t have Facebook Business Manager? Download it or use your Facebook business page. Both can be used to run ads.

Second, log into “Ad Creation.” If the platform intimidates you, take a deep breath. It can be a bit confusing to the uninitiated, but it’s easy to work with once you get some practice under your belt.

Third, there’s a list of objectives that you can choose from, however, only some of them allow you to advertise on both Facebook and Instagram. Choose one of the following:

• Increase conversions on your website
• Increase engagement in your app
• Get installs of your app
• Get video views
• Promote your Page
• Send people to your website

Fourth, once you’ve selected an objective, you have to name your campaign. We recommend naming it something detailed that describes both the campaign type and the business you are promoting. This makes it easier to track should you start managing multiple campaigns.

Fifth, select your target audience. The more you target the audience, the better. Think about who is going to use your products or services and consider how to best target them. Age, gender, interests, there are tons of factors to consider, so consider them all closely!

Sixth, set your budget and schedule. It’s understandable if you don’t want to throw a million dollars into your first campaign. However, do set a budget that’s large enough for you to gather data. Then analyze that data.

Seventh, choose the ad format and creative details. This might be the hardest part of the entire process for those unfamiliar with creating digital ads.

Three Instagram Success Tips

Setting up a digital marketing or social media campaign isn’t all too difficult. Yeah, the first time can be a bit of a headache, but that’s true with essentially every software platform. However, running a successful Instagram platform takes a lot more than setting up the basics. Consider the following points:

• Stand out in the crowd- The average consumer sees something like 5,000 ads per day. Make sure your ad is creative, engaging, and informative.

• Target, target, target- We already mentioned this. It’s so important we’re going to mention it again. Target your audience. Set up multiple target audiences as well, run campaigns, test, see who’s responding.

• Integration leverages success- You need to integrate all of your digital marketing efforts together. Once properly integrated, you can leverage each channel to support other channels, thereby increasing results.

Don’t consider this article the end all, be all of Instagram knowledge. By reading our article, you’ve gotten off to a great start! However, education is constant, and knowledge is near infinite so continue to hone your knowledge, skills, and efforts.