Instagram advertising

Instagram’s Advertising Floodgates Have Opened! Tips on Thoughtful Targeting, Upping your Visual Game, & Reaching People No Longer on Facebook

Instagram advertising is now available to everyone — and it’s powered by Facebook’s legendary targeting. But this doesn’t mean you can just transfer your existing FB campaigns over to Instagram. Here’s how to start off on the right (visual) foot.

In 2013, Instagram opened up its advertising platform to a small group of select brands. Earlier this year, another select group – this time large digital agencies already spending heavily on Facebook ads – also began advertising amidst the app’s constant flow of filtered masterpieces.

Since then, smaller organizations have wondered when it would be their turn. Well, the time has finally come! Instagram Advertising is now widely available to everyone, and with 400 million monthly active users, this is not an announcement to be taken lightly. Ready to get started with Instagram ads? Here are three things you should know.

1. Instagram ads have (most of) the same capabilities and targeting as Facebook ads (and this is a BIG deal).

When Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, many speculated that the plan was to turn the popular photo-sharing platform into an ad channel (the same way that Facebook generates revenue). So it makes sense that, rather than reinventing the wheel, Instagram Advertising would be available through Facebook’s ad platform – and in Power Editor, specifically. (Power Editor is like an advanced Facebook ad builder; for more info on its features and how it works, click here.)

This means that the same incredibly advanced targeting and tracking capabilities offered through Facebook Advertising are also available with Instagram ads – and not in two or three years as the platform develops. No. RIGHT. NOW. Everything from conversion tracking to custom audiences and lookalike audiences can be used when advertising on Instagram. So while this platform is technically brand new, it’s backed by, and can be leveraged by, the billions of data points that Facebook has on its user base.

One quick thing to note: In Facebook’s Power Editor, Instagram is included as a placement option. In other words, you don’t need to create custom ad campaigns for Instagram. You can just choose to have your current Facebook campaigns show up in the Instagram app. The thought behind this may have been to make it easier for brands to get started with Instagram Advertising, but it encourages using the exact same copy across what are two distinctly different platforms. Because content (especially ad content) should always be native to the platform to which it is posted, we highly recommend custom Instagram campaigns that are geared more toward the demographics and behaviors associated with this platform.

2. Instagram ads present an opportunity to reach people who are no longer active on Facebook.

It’s been discussed and written about many times over the last year or two that some people, especially those of a younger demographic, are leaving Facebook. While we have yet to see this have any major impact on our clients’ campaigns, the fact remains that when you are targeting a certain group on Facebook, there are people within that group whom you may never reach – simply because they very rarely log in to Facebook.

By extending your ad campaigns to Instagram, you’re potentially able to reach these previously hard-to-get-in-front-of users (assuming that your target audience uses the Instagram app, and that they are part of the large majority that login on a daily basis). This provides an amazing opportunity for brands to continue to leverage the unbeatable capabilities of Facebook Advertising, even if some demographics are leaving Facebook.

3. For right now, Instagram ads are only available for certain ad objectives.

If you’re familiar with the way Facebook Advertising works, it’s all about objective-based campaigns.  That’s why choosing a campaign objective is the first thing you must do when creating a campaign in Facebook (and this will be the same for Instagram ads). These objectives range from website clicks to website conversions to app engagement, event RSVPs, and more. When you select an objective, Facebook not only automatically optimizes your campaigns to get you more of whatever it is you want (clicks, conversions, etc.) at the lowest cost possible, but also will show your ads to people who are most likely to complete the action that is your primary campaign objective (based on its billions of data points).

For the time being (and we definitely expect this to change), Instagram ads are only available with the following campaign objectives:

  • Website clicks
  • Video views
  • App installs

Like most new advertising platforms, costs and competition are still relatively low – so now’s the time to get in.

By Jennifer Spivak, Social Media User Acquisition

818 agency is a creative B2B content marketing agency that helps businesses land more clients using editorial content, lead generation tactics, and social media advertising programs. Flatiron NYC and Los Angeles. Experts at real-time event content marketing.


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