A Picture’s Worth: Setting Up Ads on Instagram

It’s often said that “a picture is worth 1,000 words” and while it’s still the case, with the rise of imagery-based social networks, said worth may be even greater and more varied. According to a study done by Pew Research Center, 55% of all 18 to 29-year-olds in the United States use Instagram. Consider the fact that this age group makes up roughly one-fifth of the entire United States population as a whole, and you’re looking at a large mass of eyeballs consolidated into one central location.

As a business, these types of numbers alone should provide insight into why so many marketers take advantage of the [mostly] free platform as a brand showcase. Especially among “millennial” consumers, it’s one of the most efficient methods for growing and—more importantly—profiting from followers. In order to take advantage of this efficiency however, an investment does have to be made because not all of these Instagram eyeballs are created equal. Enter, Instagram ads.

Using advertising on Instagram, not only are you able to increase the reach of your content, but as a business you’re able to more effectively target it to those most likely to take action. Options provided through their platform also allow for ads to be built out around varied initiatives such as increasing website traffic, conversions, mobile downloads, etc. If you’re new to the Instagram ad game or even the channel itself as a business, here are some basics for setting up your first advertisement.

Creating Instagram Ads Using Power Editor

WebsiteThere are two avenues to take when creating ads on Instagram: Power Editor, and the ad creation tool in Ads Manager. Both methods are worth being versed in. However, with regards to targeting options, insight, and overall depth of functionality, Power Editor is the tool most advertisers choose to utilize. If overwhelmed by the breadth of information it throws your way, going through Ads Manager can be a little more user-friendly.

In order to create an Instagram ad, your business doesn’t necessarily need an Instagram account (although recommended). You business does however require a Facebook Page. Through the Power Editor tool, you can create and track multiple ads fairly quickly and group ads into ad sets built around established audiences. It also allows you to edit and organize ads into specific campaigns. Do note that this method requires use of the Google Chrome browser.

Setting Your Objective

PhotosWhen building out your ads, it’s important to identify their objective. In Power Editor, select Manage Adverts, and you’ll be directed to the editor dashboard. Under the Campaign tab, select Create Campaign and you’ll be provided with three options:

  • Choose a Campaign: build an ad around an existing campaign, or create a new one from scratch.
  • Choose an Advert Set: this option will only be available when you check it and allows you to choose an existing advert.
  • Create New Advert: here is where you can create a new advert from scratch.

The objective portion of the ad creation process will become relevant under the Choose a Campaign option, where you enter in the campaign name and buying type (i.e. auction or fixed price). For objective, you’ll choose what you want your ad to achieve as supported by Instagram. The available options include brand awareness, reach, traffic (i.e. clicks to your website or app store for mobile), app installs, engagement, video views, conversions, and lead generation.

Setting the Budget and Schedule

BrandingOnce you’ve narrowed in on the determinant of success for your Instagram ads, it’s time to set the budget and schedule. Whatever budget you set will help determine the reach of your ad to the determined ad set. You can choose to set a daily budget, or define it by more of a lump sum that Instagram will spread out across the days scheduled. Note that you can always adjust budget over time, and monitor for higher performing ad sets to reallocate spend towards over others.

Choosing Your Audience

All other factors aside, probably one of the most influential for the success of your ad will be the audience it’s targeted to. If you have a specific niche market in mind, utilize the features the platform provides for narrowing. You can build out custom audiences based on website traffic, interactions with previous social content, interests and demographics, location, lookalikes, and/or a combination of all of these. And while you want a healthy number of individuals to serve your ads too, it’s much more beneficial to make sure they’re actually likely to react to what they see.

Placement, Optimization, and Pricing

MobileThe placement of an ad simply means where it’ll be displayed to users and naturally, Instagram is one of those options. The how of your ad delivery is selected under optimization for advert delivery. For Instagram, it’s recommended to choose Link Clicks to Your Website in order to gain clicks at the lowest cost.

For pricing, consider both bid amount and when to be charged. For bid amount, you have the option of setting it to Automatic or Manual although the automatic option is usually recommend (especially for those just becoming familiar with the process). For when to be charged, you can choose between CPC (cost per click) or Impressions. For the latter, Facebook will deliver your ad to as many people within your ad set as many times as possible within budget and timeframe restraints. For CPC, you will pay based on each click your ad gets, keeping in mind that a click can be on a link, an image, to play a video, etc.

Once objective, budget, schedule, audience, placement, optimization, and pricing are in place, insert the ad content and watch the numbers roll in. And if you’re struggling with the process or the ad content itself, maybe it’s time to consult the experts? Contact Mabbly and let our data driven creatives take your brand building initiatives to the next level.