Instagram is finally rolling out ads through Facebook’s self-serve advertising platform, and advertisers and brands are ecstatic. When the image sharing social media company first started testing the waters with sponsored posts, only brands with big names and big bucks had access to the most popular network among millennials. Soon, brands large and small will have the opportunity to advertise to Instagram’s 300 million monthly active users worldwide (Instagram Internal Data).
While some ad types are available through Facebook Power Editor now, the full range of Instagram Ads products are slated to be ready by Q4 2015. If your brand is eager to jump on the Instagram Ads bandwagon, read on and to find out how you need to start preparing now to find success with Instagram.
1. Make great content – and lots of it!
Unlike other social platforms, Instagram is focused specifically on captivating imagery through still photos and video. In order to stand out on Instagram, brands need to stand out by consistently using outstanding content. This means creating images and videos that are unique, pleasing to the eye, and on-brand. Don’t be tempted to post every image you have- if it doesn’t match your brand’s Instagram vibe, save it for something else. Both organic and paid posts may promote different initiatives, highlight different products, or show a unique side of your brand, but each should maintain an air of authenticity. As your brand dives into Instagram advertising, all images and videos must tie back to the overarching brand message and visual style.
2. Hashtag and caption wisely
Visuals are king on Instagram and great images will largely speak for themselves, but creative captions can add to your message or push users toward taking an action. At a maximum of 4 lines of copy (120-150 characters), there’s no room for extra verbiage in sponsored posts, so captions must be short and sweet. A well thought out brand hashtag can help crowd-source for more content and spread your message beyond your paid post. For organic posts, adding a few hashtags to your caption can be especially beneficial in boosting the visibility of a ‘gram beyond your immediate followers.
3. Embrace the ad policies
Get familiar with Instagram’s ad policies and best practices. Nothing is worse than putting in time and money planning and building a brilliant campaign, only to have it rejected because of policy violations. The links below contain best practices and ad specs that every Instagram advertiser must know for running ad campaigns on the platform. Read them, learn them and love them!