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How to use Instagram ads to grow your business


With 800 million active users, nobody needs telling that Instagram is an important part of modern life, but what does it offer businesses looking to connect with their customers? The stats show that it’s a lot more than just a way for us to share our vacation photos and keep up with the Kardashians, with over 200 million users visiting a business account on there every day and 72% saying that they’ve bought something they’ve seen on Instagram.

Of course, you can use the platform for free as a business and have plenty of success this way, but it can be hard to build your audience organically, especially if you don’t already have an established brand. And if you don’t have a large audience, your posts won’t have the same kind of impact, all of which is why you need to try using Instagram adverts to promote both your presence on there and whatever products and services you’re selling.

Headway Capital has come up with this guide to help you get started. The first step towards using Instagram adverts is of course understanding what the options are, and there are 7 main types you can use:

  • Single image – The simplest type, it’s just an image in a landscape or square format and you can focus on making that image as eye-catching and informative as possible.
  • Single video – As above, but with a video or gif with added text and links to drive people where you want them.
  • Carousel – More than one image or video that the user scrolls through, these can be used to offer step-by-step guides or to tell a story in multiple parts.
  • Slideshow – An automated version of the above, with up to 10 images on a loop, these can be good for users with older phones
  • Collection – This lets you curate a combination of images and videos that users can browse.
  • Instant experience – A more interactive advert, this gets the user to do something like bounce a ball to activate the ad
  • Instagram Stories – An increasingly popular aspect of Instagram, you can include your ads in between Stories as single videos or images.

Instagram Ads Manager has been set up to help you understand the best tools for achieving your goals with the adverts, so it’s useful to think beforehand what your objectives are. For a lot of Instagram marketing, brand awareness is the main goal, getting your message and brand out there to the mass audience that uses the app, and the same goes for boosting your reach, where you would focus your ads on the maximum number of people as possible, rather than specifying locations or interests.

Then there are adverts where you want people to take an action, whether it’s to visit your website or to install an app, and how you would achieve this can vary dependent on the goal, so Instagram can recommend the types of ads that would work best. For example, if engagement is your goal, image and video ads can work, as well as slideshows and instant experience ads, which of course offer that real opportunity for immediate engagement.

So how do you make sure your ads will have the best possible chance of success? There are some simple guidelines you can follow, like ensuring you only use the highest quality imagery and that you keep text to a minimum, so that your ad is eye catching. Including a Call To Action button is a must if you want them to take an action, while use of hashtags can help people find your ads. Finally, there’s choosing the time and day when you want your ads to appear so that there’s the best chance of them being seen by your target audience.

How to use Instagram ads to grow your business

About Taylor Tomita'

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