5 Tips for Instagram Advertising for Small Businesses

Why Instagram?

Instagram is not only one of the most popular social media apps, it’s the second most popular app for younger demographics, just after YouTube. Advertisers with money to spend on digital advertising can almost always find their target audience on Instagram. According to a recent survey we conducted of over 200 small to medium business owners, the companies that focused their ad spend on Instagram do so because it’s easy to use and to identify their target audience.

What are some best practices?

While Instagram may not be the best platform for every company, the ones that do run Instagram campaigns typically follow these best practices:

  • They have a product or service that can be displayed effectively with imagery and videos
  • They utilize the many targeting capabilities available to find their target audience, such as geotargeting, demographics, and behaviors.
  • They use additional data sources, such as opted-in customer lists, to create custom audiences to target for a campaign.
  • They test out new features, such as in-app shopping to make online shopping easier.
  • They upload multiple images for their products & services, and frequently use a service to make them more visually appealing or to animate the ads.
  • They use hashtags to increase the discoverability of their campaigns.

Our company helps by combining geotargeting data with custom audiences to create relevant audience segments. This enables advertisers to reach their own shoppers, as well as their competitors, increasing the effectiveness of the campaign and the efficiency of their ad budget.

Can I measure the effectiveness of advertising on Instagram?

Effectiveness of an Instagram campaign depends upon the client and their desired outcomes. From our survey results, we found that most companies strive to generate ecommerce sales directly from Instagram campaigns, or to drive in-store sales.  Additionally, many clients are simply trying to generate brand awareness, which can be measured by profile visits or more standard engagement metrics. Facebook’s reporting tools also provide a wealth of information about campaign performance, and most smart marketers will use some additional tracking parameters to track conversions from all of their digital campaigns.

What difference does a personal account or business account make?

Unless you are trying to build up a personal brand, advertisers should run their campaigns through a business account on Instagram. This allows for the campaign to take advantage of all of the targeting features and product integrations that the platform permits, whether that’s through boosted posts or stories.

I want a video ad. Is it better to be short or long?

The new IGTV format that launched in June 2018, allows for videos up to one hour to be posted.  Because this feature is so new, there is not enough data yet to confirm its effectiveness. Standard video posts may be up to one minute in length, and it’s up to the advertiser to determine what will work best for them. The Vine app proved that engaging and entertaining videos can be short and sweet and still keep a consumer’s attention. However, stories that are compelling and need more time will also resonate, as long as they capture and hold the viewer’s attention.

To learn more about building location-based audiences and geotargeting across Instagram, Facebook and other mobile channels, complete the form below.

This article originally appeared on SmallBizTechnology.com.