Instagram in Action

Ah yes, Instagram – the platform we all know and love. Who hasn’t taken one look at their fresh cup of morning coffee and thought, “Wow, I need to show everyone how amazing this coffee is!” Believe it or not, but that sentence isn’t as unusual as you might think.

As one of the world’s fastest-growing apps, Instagram has set itself apart from the rest of social media platforms. As a visual platform, Instagram promotes creativity, expression, and innovation for its users. It has also caught the eye of businesses looking to connect with the platform’s vast user database. Advertising on Instagram creates opportunities for businesses to connect with a new audience – one that is younger, more energetic, and more willing to participate with brand advertisements. A Fast Company survey found that Instagram users were 58 times more likely to comment, like, or share a brand’s post than on Facebook. And 120 times more likely than Twitter users.

This does not mean, however, that Instagram Advertising is right for every business. In this article, we’ll cover the pros of Instagram Advertising and highlight the benefits it can have for businesses. We’ll also discuss the reasons why certain businesses might want to spent their time on other social platforms.

Instagram Advertising Pros

Detailed Targeting: Under the same umbrella as Facebook, Instagram’s paid advertising has a vast ability to target your audience. Whether you want to target by interests, locations, behaviors, demographics, or even match a current customer list, Instagram advertising makes sure your message will be seen by the right audience. In addition to detailed targeting, you can ensure you’re hitting your business goals with one of Instagram’s 11 campaign goals.

Instagram Goals

Eye Catching: Instagram is one of the most visual social media platforms people spend their time on. If you’re producing photo and video content, Instagram advertising is a great path to get a higher reach on that content. The majority of Instagram content uploaded by users is recorded and shot on their phones, meaning brands don’t need high creative budgets or super technical content to relate with their consumers.

Sell More: Instagram business pages have had the ability to create shopping posts for the past year or so, but Instagram has started to roll out some additional paid ad features that will hopefully help brands showcase more of their products. Collection Ads, introduced into testing in early 2018, use a combination of photos and videos to highlight products in a compelling way and allow users to make purchases without even leaving the platform.

Unique Ad Formats: Instagram advertising isn’t just photos in a timeline anymore. Brands looking to maximize their visual content can take full advantage of Instagram’s ad formats which include photos, videos, stories, and carousel.

instagram ad types


Instagram Advertising Cons

We always tell clients that they don’t need to be on every platform, but rather find the platforms that are the best fit for their message and their audience. Instagram advertising is a perfect fit for many industries and companies, but here are a few things to consider before jumping into your first campaign.

Limited Audience: Instagram has a huge active monthly user base with about 800 million active monthly users. This audience is made up primarily by users ages 18-29. For brands wanting to reach an older audience, Instagram ads may not be the best fit to reach those specific users.

Instagram Age Targeting

Words Aren’t Pretty: For brands with a heavy amount of text or written content, Instagram may not be the best fit to highlight those pieces. You can use creativity to showcase or tease content, and direct users to the site, but some brands may find that Instagram isn’t the right place for them to spend their ad dollars.

Time Consuming: Like all social media advertising, Instagram ads take time to manage and update. Consumers have the ability to comment and interact with the ads, which will require monitoring. In addition, because Instagram is so visual, creative elements will need frequent updates to keep messaging fresh and avoid ad fatigue.

Weighing Your Options

If you’re trying to decide if Instagram advertising is right for you, keep this list of pros and cons in mind. The main point to think about is this – there are a lot of people on Instagram every day. If you find that many of these people are potential customers, Instagram is your chance to make a connection. Social media in general is a place where brand loyalty can be created or destroyed. It’s up to you to find your customers and show them that you offer a quality product or service.

You do this by voicing your brand culture and delivering usable content to people interested in your brand. Instagram is just one method of delivery that you can use to connect your brand to new customers.

If you’d like to learn more about how Social Media Marketing can work for you, download our free whitepaper below.