We unpick the hype around Instagram advertising to help you decide whether the platform is right for your business.
Instagram boasts 400 million active monthly users and rolled out advertising to the masses through Facebook’s ad manager platform in late 2015. There has been a huge amount of hype around the long awaited release so we’ve tried and tested it for you. Here are the facts:
Do I need an Instagram account to use Instagram ads?
The ads can pull your business information from Facebook, so technically no. However without an Instagram account you are unable to respond to any comments that you receive and if your Facebook name exceeds the allowed number of characters it will be truncated with "...".
It is never best practice to let social ads run without monitoring or having the facility to respond to comments (take a look at our article on the matter). As a rule, if you don’t have the resource to monitor your paid social media then don’t do it. If you are unable to respond to your customers and prospects, you are breaking this golden rule!
What options are available for Instagram ads?
At the moment, the only objectives you can select for Instagram ads are clicks to website, app installs and video views. Instagram will be rolling out website conversions as an objective in the near future.
Through the self-service ads manager in Facebook you have the option to run photo ads, video ads or carousel ads.
What targeting can I use to reach the right people?
All of the targeting options available in Facebook can be used for Instagram. This includes custom audiences and lookalikes that you have built.
How do I report and track the success of my campaigns?
Instagram ads use Facebook’s ad manager and Power Editor, and therefore any of the reporting metrics available in your Facebook campaigns are also available for your Instagram ads.
Can I run the same ad on Facebook and Instagram?
The specs are slightly different between Facebook and Instagram, so you can use the same assets and copy; however your image will be cropped and your copy will be truncated if you use more than 125 characters.
If you want to run your ad with a landscape image then your image must be 600 x 315 pixels, whereas if you want a square image using more of the user’s screen then you must use a 600 x 600 pixels image.
If you upload an image that does not meet this spec then you have the option to use Facebook’s Instagram cropping tool within the ad creation area of the advertising platform.
The call to action options also vary between the two platforms. Currently Instagram offers:
If you select a call to action that is not accessible in Instagram you will receive a warning message.
And what you really want to know… is it worth it?
We have tried a few campaigns for our clients with various KPIs. The key observation on all campaigns is that engagement in the form of likes and comments is like nothing we have witnessed before. During a head to head Facebook vs Instagram test, in just 1 day, our ads received 3,992 likes at a cost of £0.26 vs £1.20 for the same campaign on Facebook. CPC was considerably higher though on Instagram at £1.02 vs £0.35 on Facebook. Both Facebook and Instagram drove conversions: Facebook drove more conversions but at lower average revenue than Instagram. Conversions through Instagram were fewer, but were of more long term value.
It appears, no matter what your objective, Instagram is great at getting your message out there and can also drive valuable conversions. Don’t miss out; speak to us today about getting your Instagram campaigns off the ground.