How to run paid social media campaigns on Instagram

    3 minutes read
    Alice - 25.07.2016
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    All of the best paid social media campaigns out there change with the times. It’s a necessity – social media trends move fast, and there’s little point in advertising on the wrong channels.

    Instagram is on the up

    Andrew Waber is Manager of Market Insights and Media Relations for advertising software provider Nanigans, and a columnist for Marketing Land. He recently revealed that eight months after the Instagram API launch, 54 percent of advertisers using Nanigans software were spending on Instagram, up from only 31 percent in October 2015.

    So adoption of Instagram among advertisers has been climbing rapidly. But not only are there now a greater number of individuals using the platform to advertise - they are also spending more money when doing so. Between February and April 2016, the average monthly Instagram spend among Nanigans customers alone rose an impressive 29 percent. This would strongly suggest that Instagram is performing very strongly for marketers.

    So how can you perfect your paid social media campaigns and ensure a good return on investment from your Instagram ads?


    Strong, sharp and simple imagery

    Marketing Land suggest that advertisers new to Instagram can start by repurposing Facebook content before launching unique campaigns. However, we’d suggest that more creative strategies are most valuable on Instagram, due to its strong focal nature.

    It’s essential that your image is eye-catching, interesting and relevant to your audience. When an individual is scrolling through their Instagram feed, they need good reason to pause and engage with your ad.

    Strong imagery should therefore avoid being busy or complex, and direct the viewers’ attention to a clear point. This can be achieved through creative use of layering, lighting and layout.

    Another powerful tools for capturing attention is colour. Ads that make use of vivid colours are more likely to stand out and grab your audience’s attention.


    Use what you’re good at

    Saying all this, if a certain creative tactic is already helping you to achieve your marketing goals, don’t completely reinvent the wheel. There is no one ‘correct’ way to advertise on Instagram - creative approaches vary by industry, target market and various other factors.

    If your business relies heavily on customer feedback, why not make product reviews a key part of your paid social media campaigns on Instagram? Before and after pictures are all the rage in the health, fitness and beauty sectors already – just look at Juice Plus or Forever Living. You can also promote customer testimonials to back up your company’s reputation.

    Take your product’s unique selling point, and think about how to convey this visually.


    Think about the bigger picture

    In early 2016, Instagram instituted ad overlay changes designed to distill more intent from ad clicks. This required users to click twice on an image or video in order to be taken offsite, rather than just once. The result was a decline in aggregate click through rate, but increase in return on advertising spending.

    So where does your paid social media posts take your visitor? Do you have a website fully optimised and designed around your audience? Does it offer an engaging and enjoyable experience.

    There’s no point throwing your budget at paid social media campaigns if they don’t lead through to a well-functioning website. You need to create a unified journey through the entire process, from Instagram snap to online shopping basket.

    It’s essential to note that while Facebook is heavily mobile based, with around 80 percent of Facebook ad spend going to mobile inventory, Instagram is pretty much entirely mobile. This means that for paid social media to work for you on Instagram, you need a mobile optimised website. Sounds obvious, and most companies will already have this – but it’s something to remember. Design your campaign for the screen on a phone, not a laptop.


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