Should I believe the noise?
I hear it all the time – in bars, from our clients, or when I’m meeting new people at one of the many networking events I attend every month. With each passing week, the sentiment seemingly growers louder. “Facebook is dead!” people tell me. Then, they continue: “Instagram is the new Facebook for young people, for teens.”
Every time I hear that, I kindly remind them that Facebook owns Instagram, and more importantly, that this “Facebook flight” is somewhat exaggerated, as a Pew survey found last year. It’s very clear that Facebook is still very relevant. Here’s why:
The acquisition of Instagram by Facebook was an important strategic decision by Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, who both foresaw that Instagram would explode in popularity. When Facebook made the acquisition, it set the stage to, and eventually did, consolidate the advertising delivery networks of Facebook and Instagram. Now, Instagram Advertising is available to most businesses, but it requires using the Facebook advertising platform. Facebook is still a necessary part of any business’s advertising strategy, even if the majority of their target audience is younger, and uses Instagram more often than Facebook.
You should advertise on Instagram, even if doing so requires you to (still) take Facebook very seriously.
Why should I advertise on Instagram?
The people who argued that Facebook died did so because they read in many places, and maybe heard from their kids, that younger people and teens use Instagram daily. They’re right that the younger demographic is on Instagram. They’re engaged there. They spend a lot of time on it. They’re open to exploring new brands and products through Instagram. But most importantly, Instagram is a visual platform. Young people, like many others, respond well to visual ads. If you have great imagery and creative, Instagram is very effective.
How easy is it to advertise on Instagram?
If you’ve previously advertised on Facebook, advertising on Instagram will be straightforward. If you’ve never advertised on Facebook before, there will be a slight learning-curve for you, but the process is relatively simple.
The Facebook advertising platform is structured in a way that makes choosing Instagram advertising simple. There have long been multiple placements you can target: Facebook News Feed on Desktop, Facebook News Feed on Mobile, Facebook Right Column on Desktop, and Facebook Audience Network. Each has it’s own benefits and drawbacks when being included or excluded from your advertising strategy. Now, there’s a fifth: Instagram.
In order to be able to choose the Instagram placement option as your campaign’s selected advertising placement, you must have added your Instagram account to your Facebook page. If you use Facebook’s Business Manager, you can also add your Instagram account right into Business Manager.
What should the objective of my Instagram advertising campaign be?
Every one of our clients asks me this question when I suggest an Instagram advertising campaign for them. And each time, I respond with a question: what are you looking to do for your business? Indeed, the objective is based upon your objective for your business in 2016.
There are currently six types of campaign objectives available when advertising on Instagram. They are Page Post Engagement, Clicks to Website, Website Conversions, Mobile App Installs, Mobile App Engagement, and Video Views.
If you’re looking to increase your business’s sales on your e-commerce website, or want to increase the number of requests for a demo on your software-as-a-service product, a website conversions campaign might be the right fit. If you want more visitors to visit your landing page and take some action, a clicks to website campaign may be just the thing. Want to promote your app? A Mobile App Installs campaign it is. And so on.
Before selecting a campaign objective, you should conduct some preliminary research to see how your target audience behaves.
What should my expectations be when advertising on Instagram?
As with any advertising campaign, your expectations make or break the campaign’s success. The truth is that when you advertise on Instagram, or any advertising network, the first few weeks of your campaign should be written off as rapid, intense research. You gather lots of information about your target audience, what they do and do not respond to, and how they behave. You probably won’t see too many direct sales.
After advertising for a week or two, you might get frustrated. You may be tempted to pull the plug. But don’t. Take the data from your first Instagram advertising campaign and use it to produce a better, more effective campaign moving forward. Your first advertising campaign on Instagram is a learning experience. Embrace it. The returns will come, fast.
I know you will find advertising on Instagram very rewarding.