Instagram, like Tumblr or Pinterest, is a very aesthetically-driven social network with over 300 million active users. Regular text posts or status updates usually aren’t very well received in communities like these. For those that aren’t familiar with Instagram, it is a social networking service whose main interactions between users consist of photo or short video sharing, with subsequent “likes” and comments. It can be accessed and used with a computer, but the main use of the service is through the smartphone app.
Before outlining the benefits of Instagram advertising, I should let you know right now that Facebook is Instagram’s parent company. So, if your Facebook followers are active with you there, your ad will likely turn up in their Instagram feed. In addition, if an Instagram user doesn’t like your content, they can delete it and that information will be sent to Instagram. Like Facebook, Instagram doesn’t want to flood their users’ feeds with irrelevant advertisements out of the concern of upsetting users and, eventually, losing them. Given this, making an effective Instagram advertisement is just as much your concern as it is theirs. Boring, false, or excessive content will not be tolerated among users or the company itself.
But that should be common knowledge. Don’t make a bad ad.
Advertising was made available on Instagram about a year ago. So far, it has yielded amazing results among business admins and users alike. Given the simplicity of Instagram, ads are very simple. Users scroll down and see one photo or video at a time on their phone. This means that users are very likely to pay just as much attention to your ad as they would to the selfies, coffee, and food that take up pretty much the rest of their feeds. No sidebars, no links. Just images.
On the “free” side of Instagram advertising, you have regular posts. Those who happen to follow your business on Instagram will see what you post free of charge. But how big of an impact are you going to make by showing the occasional photo to your limited number of followers? My guess is not much. By paying for an advertisement, you reach not only your followers, but also those who have simply shown interest in your general line of work on Instagram and Facebook.
Since advertisements must stay true to the community, Instagram provides various services in order for that to happen. The “inspiration gallery” is a very useful tool that, well, inspires you. It shows posts by successful advertisers and gives explanations as to why they have done so well. Not only does it provide inspiration through photos, but it also provides users with various inspirational and trending hashtags.
Looking at it as a whole, paying for advertisements on Instagram actually seems like a great idea. Not only have there been amazing benefits for businesses in the past, but it also seems like the company really cares about your advertising success.
By: Alec England, Columnist, The Site Vamp