More than 1 billion people use Instagram each month, making it one of the most important social networking platforms out there in 2021. Despite its massive size, though, most digital publishers don’t know much about how Instagram advertising could help their businesses.
Instagram has been popular with brand advertisers for years, but it only recently started catching on among small and mid-size digital publishers. One reason why is because using Instagram advertising requires both channel knowledge and user knowledge. Publishers have to learn how to create eye-catching ads and target those ads to the right groups of users if they want to generate a positive return on investment (ROI) from their campaigns.
Like all things in advertising, there is no silver bullet here. Success with Instagram advertising doesn’t come immediately for most publishers. Instead, success is the result of a fair amount of trial and error, as digital publishers try new campaigns and see what works.
Given that Instagram is all about visuals, it makes sense that the best Instagram advertising campaigns involve eye-catching images. Being able to design high-quality creatives plays a big role in a publisher’s success on Instagram, both in terms of organic content and advertising.
If you are considering using Instagram advertising to target new readers or turn social media followers into paying subscribers, then start with these ideas:
3 Steps for Success with Instagram Advertising
1. Post user-generated content.
User-generated content (UGC) is content that was created by your own readers, followers, fans, or subscribers. This type of content works well in Instagram advertising campaigns because it’s personal.
Consumers these days can spot advertising a mile away. Ads that look too “polished” are easy to dismiss. UGC stops people in their tracks, which is exactly what you need if you want to get users engaged with your social media account.
Rather than posting stock photos in your feed, consider using images submitted by your readers in your Instagram advertising campaigns. Other places to feature UGC include Instagram Stories and on other social networking platforms, like Facebook and Twitter.
2. Get serious about audience targeting.
The best visuals in the world won’t deliver the results you want if the right audience isn’t being targeted. Deep audience targeting is part of what makes Instagram advertising so effective, so don’t let this capability pass you by.
Beyond the basics, like age, location, and language, you should be strategically focusing your campaigns to reach users who meet your ideal subscriber demographics.
What do you know about your current readers? Is there something they have in common? Do many of your subscribers have a shared hobby or occupation? Targeting advertising based on interests can get overlooked in the quest to design unique creatives, but the very best images still won’t produce the intended results if the right people aren’t seeing your ads. If you run a local news website, then your ads should only be seen by Instagram users who live in your community. If you run an online magazine, then your ads should only be appearing to Instagram users who have an interest in your niche. Once you get serious about audience targeting, your ROI on Instagram campaigns will quickly improve.
3. Set clear goals.
What is the goal of your Instagram campaign? The answer to this will help you decide which users you want to target and what kind of creatives you plan to run. Some examples of possible goals for digital publishers might be:
- Increase the number of visitors on your website
- Get more social media followers
- Convert existing readers into paying subscribers
- Generate more engagement on social media content
These are just a few examples of the goals that digital publishers can set. Different creatives will help you reach different goals, so it’s important to keep your goals in mind when developing your social media advertising strategy.
Don’t forget that ad copy matters here, as well. Just because Instagram is a visual platform doesn’t mean captions don’t impact a user’s actions. Carefully consider every word and emoji that you use, and ask yourself how they fit into your overall goals for the campaign.
Although there is no “right” and “wrong” when it comes to social media advertising, successful campaigns have a few things in common. The best Instagram ads tend to be eye-catching, they speak to the advertiser’s audience, and they are targeted to the end-user.
If you’re interested in learning more about using social media to grow your publishing business, contact Web Publisher PRO today.