Instagram Begins Unrolling Ads

Instagram has started launching ads, in step with the plans the company revealed a few weeks ago. For many, the move isn’t surprising considering Instagram was purchased by Facebook last year, and Facebook has been focusing on increasing revenue.

The introduction of ads on Instagram could be good news for your business. As of now, the ads are slowly being launched in the United States, but it’s likely that businesses in the United Kingdom will soon be able to advertise on the site.

The Details

Instagram boasts 150 million users, which is an attractive audience for marketers. Right now, only select businesses are able to create and post ads on Instagram. Those businesses include General Electric, PayPal, Levi’s, Lexus, Ben and Jerry’s, and Adidas, among others.

The photo-centric social media site has stated that it wants its ads to blend in with the photos and videos in users’ news feeds, so businesses will need to create artistic ads that fit in on Instagram.

The example below is an ad from Instagram. You can see that it is clearly marked as a “Sponsored” post, so users will know right away that they are looking at an ad. Users will also be able to push the “…” button to hide the ad and tell Instagram why they don’t like it.

Image source

Instagram says that ads will be targeted according to information regarding what a user does on Facebook and Instagram. Things like the photos and videos users “like,” the people they follow, and the interests and “likes” they share on Facebook will all be used by advertisers to target their ads.

Instagram has also made it clear that advertisers will not be able to use Instagram users’ images, and that users still own their photos and videos.

Using Instagram to Promote Your Business

While Instagram ads aren’t yet available to all businesses, you can still use the site to promote your business. First, identify which of you markets or submarkets is using Instagram. This will help you shape the direction of your Instagram campaign. This site is visual and tends to attract a younger audience that uses mobile phones to take and share pictures.

Build a Following

Like any other social media network, you will need to build a following on Instagram in order to use it as a marketing tool. Advertise your account through your other social media accounts, blog, website and any other marketing channels you use.

Don’t Abandon Your Brand

As you use Instagram, make sure you are staying true to your brand. You want your followers to immediately recognise your posts as being associated with your business. The types of pictures and videos you share and the style you use can help you maintain your brand.

Be Approachable and Fun

In general, social media is casual and conversational, so use an approachable voice for your Instagram account. Make some of your posts more fun and casual and include stronger messaging in others.

Have a Purpose

Your Instagram posts should be part of a larger social media marketing strategy. Find ways you can use the site to help you reach your marketing goals. You can use Instagram for all kinds of purposes, including raising awareness, making more sales, publicising an event or promoting a new product. No matter what your goal is, make sure all of your activities on Instagram will help you be successful.

Instagram’s new ads will bring a lot of social media marketing opportunities for businesses. When the ads are available to your business you may want to consider using them to market your brand. Until then, you can still use Instagram as a valuable part of your social media marketing strategy.