Instagram is steadily gaining on the world’s most popular social network, Facebook, and now has over 1 billion active monthly users. While Instagram hasn’t claimed first place yet in terms of numbers, you can be sure of one thing—much of your target audience can be found there. You just have to know how to reach them. One way you can do so is by maintaining an active presence on the platform, however, that will only get you so far. You also need to take advantage of the plentiful advertising opportunities. How can you do that?
The answer comes in two main parts. First, you must plan your ad campaigns carefully. Second, you must execute your campaign based on what you planned. Let’s dive deeper into what each of those steps entails.
During the preparation stage, there are four steps.
Note the type of ads, imagery, language, and calls to action competitors and industry leaders are using, as well as what they’re promoting. Generally, a lot of engagement on posts and ads is a positive sign, so note this as well. This kind of research will give you an idea of what’s most likely to make your ad campaign successful. However, your studies shouldn’t stop there.
You should also analyze your target audience, perhaps even interviewing past or current customers. Knowing what kind of ads they’ll respond to is the difference between success and failure.
While you may already have a set goal in mind, at this point, it’s time to lock that figure in. If you are aiming to get a certain number of app installs, visits to your website, or pre-orders, you must strive to reach those goals. Whatever your objective, you’ll need to have it clear in mind as you continue your preparations.
Now it’s time to choose the portion of your audience that will be most likely to propel you towards your goal. You’ll want to consider a variety of factors including location, age, gender, language, and common behaviors.
Budget Tip: The more targeted your campaign, the less you’ll have to spend (and the better your results). Keep this in mind if you want the most bang for your buck, and especially if you don’t have a lot to spend in the first place.
At this point, you’re almost ready to start creating your ad. First, though, you’ll want to prepare the elements you’ll be using. This includes your photos, videos, captions, and calls-to-action.
During this process, let the research you did on effective advertising techniques and your intended audience inform your decisions. This will set you up for success.
You’ve already won half the battle through preparation and planning. Now, all that’s left is to create your ad and manage it once it’s running. Learn how to do this below.
Head over to your Facebook settings, navigate to the Instagram section and follow the steps to link the two accounts.
In Facebook Ads Manager, click “+Create” to create a campaign. Depending on the campaign objective you set, you may be directed to what’s called a Pixel. If necessary, simply follow the prompts and pick up with the next step.
At this point, you’ll be able to input the targeting characteristics you decided on into the Ads Manager. You’ll also be able to specify your budget for the campaign.
Budget Tip: In setting your budget, it’s always best to start with the minimum you’re willing to spend. You can always ramp it up if your ad is performing well.
Add your photos, videos, captions, and a call to action if applicable. Then, preview it. Make any adjustments necessary before running your ad so that you can maximize your time.
Once your campaign is live, keep tabs on your results using Facebook Ads Manager. Based on the metrics most closely related to your core objective, you’ll be able to tell if your campaign is doing well. If not, adjust anything that might be hurting your progress.
If that doesn’t fix the issue, don’t hesitate to pause or stop the campaign. Every penny you waste on an ineffective advertisement is a penny you don’t have to invest in a better one.
On the other hand, if your campaign has reached or exceeded your expectations, you might consider increasing ad spend.
Budget Tip: As a general rule, you should bump up ad spend every three days if your ad is performing well. Starting your campaign off with the minimum you’re willing to spend will allow you to increase the budget comfortably.
To recap, preparation is critical to your success. Before creating a campaign, you should have already done extensive research, set a clear goal, and prepared the various elements of your ad.
After setting up your campaign, it’ll be imperative that you keep in mind who you’re targeting, and there no use in a research-backed game plan or campaign management tools if you don’t execute on it. Make sure to track the performance of your ads regularly and make any needed adjustments right away. If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to make the most of advertising opportunities on Instagram, even if you have a limited budget.