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Advertising on Instagram is no longer just for the big players. We all have access to Instagram’s new ad platform (well, mostly, if you are on Facebook – more on that later) and it has started making waves for many small-to-medium businesses.

Instagram-Ads

So, if you have a decent following on Instagram, you would like to start building up your follower count or you believe your target audience is on there just waiting for you to find them, then this form of advertising to your niche is the way to go.

It’s pretty easy to get started with Instagram ads, which we love, but following are a few things you should know before you take the leap.

  • You must have a Facebook business page

In order to use Instagram’s new advertising platform, you will need to link your Instagram account to your Facebook business page. Therefore, first things first, make sure you have a business page set up. If you already have one, you will need to set up Ads Manager too (if you haven’t already). This is attached to your personal profile and allows you to create your ad campaigns, set your budget and the length of time you’d like the ads to run.

  • There is a variety of ad formats

Your ads can be shown three different ways, to be precise. These are:

1. One still image: Like the standard Instagram post, it can now be either landscape, horizontal or square (as introduced in the latest app update). For example, a yummy breakfast bowl shot or image of a motivational poster in your store can be cropped to the size you need, rather than the square shape – if it’s unnecessary.

2. A carousel of multiple images: This is similar to the Facebook carousel option and allows viewers to swipe through to see up to 5 images. It’s a perfect option to allow your pictures to tell a story while giving the viewer more chances to click through your call to action. This would be especially great for a sequence of yoga poses or another type of workout.

3. Video: A video ad gives you up to 30 seconds to entice your viewer. In a time when video is fast becoming the standout way to engage an online audience, it allows you the time you need to explain your product and service while – hopefully – connecting with the viewer. Sped-up versions of a recipe or perhaps you talking to the camera about your product or service are perfect examples of how you could use Instagram video ads.

  • You can be very specific about your target audience

As you are using Facebook to set up the ads, you can really drill down on your ideal audience and the platform will share the ad accordingly. This is amazing because you only want to reach the people that you believe will be truly interested in your product or service. It even allows you to retarget to people who are already liking and viewing your posts, but haven’t taken the next step yet.

It also gives you the option to target by age, gender and location (especially helpful for local businesses), as well as interests, such as ‘wellness’, ‘healthy living’ or ‘paleo’. If you are a bit more advanced on the Facebook front, you can even use the Custom Audience feature on your Facebook ads.

  • There’s a call-to-action button

Finally! This basically allows a click-through to your sales page, lead page, homepage, blog post or wherever you would like to direct your audience.

This is a refreshing change from the ‘click link in bio’ that we see all the time, which has been one of the most frustrating parts for business owners of this wonderful social platform. Likes and comments are great but it’s getting people back to your own website or onto your email list that really matters.

Well, the call-to-action button solves that… for ads, at least. Being able to get your audience to ‘Learn More’, ‘Sign Up’ or ‘Download Now’ will make a massive difference if you are directing them to right places.

  • Engagement matters

We all want higher engagement rates, right? It means people are aware of your brand, feel connected to it, are comfortable with it and are possibly ambassadors of it… and this all comes from engagement. It is argued that this is even more important than the amount of followers, which we totally believe it true.

Engagement Is even more important now with getting your Instagram ads seen by as people as possible. Keep this in mind when you are creating them. You really want this content to be sharable; that viewers will comment with their friends’ profile names to get them to look at it, too.

This is also works in a very similar manner to Facebook. Basically, when your ads have a higher click-through rate, the platform will show them more frequently. This is because the social platforms want to show relevant ads to their users and when users click-through, it means the ad is relevant to them. Therefore, the platform knows it’s doing something right and will keep on showing them.

See you on the gram #creatinghealthierbusinesses #livingthegreen

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