Since October of 2015, we have been creating, running, and testing Instagram Sponsored ads. I’ve become obsessed because I think the platform is the perfect way to advertise certain products or services. It’s not just for branding.
Now Instagram has come out with Stories and all the new features, it’s becoming a great tool for businesses.
Instagram ads are one of the most powerful tools we have as business owners.
Our path has not been all roses, but we have been able to achieve a huge ROI. Whether you’re looking to spend $5 a day advertising to a single zip code or $50,000 a day reaching fans everywhere, you can find your ideal target audience.
Make sure you give us some love and comment if you have any other ideas or suggestions. I want this to be the go-to place for Instagram Ads.
Before we get started I want to explain something about Instagram. Instagram was purchased by Facebook for an obscene amount of money. They control Instagram advertising. The way you advertise on Instagram is through the Facebook ads manager. When I show you how to create ads I will be using Facebook. I have had some people get confused in the past.
Let’s jump into the top 7 things I have learned running Instagram Ads.
1. Instagram does not scale perfectly. There is a sweet spot.
What do I mean by this?
Let’s say you are spending $20 dollars a day on ads and your cost per conversion is $1.89. Common sense would tell you that if you increase your daily spend to $100 your cost per conversion should stay at $1.89 or close to it (assuming you have a big enough audience).
This has not been the case. As you will see, by the image below, every time I increase my Instagram daily spend, my cost per result increases. Often times it will triple the cost.
How do you overcome this?
You create more ads. Instead of increasing your daily spend, I suggest you create more ads. For now, that has been my work around and it is working.
2. Lookalike Audiences or Custom Audiences will give you excellent results.
Facebook (Instagram) is under pressure from Wall Street to produce earnings. They can not do this unless advertisers are spending money. Advertisers will not spend money unless it is working. The more our ads produce for us, the more we will spend on Facebook and Instagram.
It’s a vicious cycle but one that benefits all of us. Facebook has taken everything they have learned from Facebook ads and applied it to Instagram ads.
Facebook/Instagram wants you to be successful, and their algorithm is extremely good at finding your ideal customers, as long as you give them the parameters.
Custom audiences and Lookalike audiences offer a simple and automated way to put your message in front of an audience that you know will perform well.
Here is how you will do that.
A. Create a custom audience from your Conversions. Meaning, place your conversion pixel on your Thank You page.
3. Instagram Does Work For Direct Response Advertisers
When Instagram Sponsored Ads appeared in 2014, it was for brand awareness. Now, we are seeing direct response advertisers getting big results.
Instagram is a direct response advertiser’s dream. You can create highly visual static ads or video ads and drive traffic to your landing pages.
It’s extremely easy to communicate your message which is what direct response marketers need.
4. Your Target Audience Is Most Likely On Instagram
If you are searching for Lawyers, Doctors, CEOs, CMOs, Mothers, Fathers or Teenagers you are going to find them on Instagram.
Instagram currently has 300 million active users. Your target audience will be there.
The money is made in the audience. The most common mistake is people do not spend enough time researching their audience. Spend a couple of hours creating the perfect audience. Not 5 minutes!
5. Video Ads Create Better Engagement
A little unknown fact about Instagram ads is that you can run 60 second sponsored video ads. You are not limited to the 15-second video post.
Instagram has increased the amount of time you can run a video as long as you are running an ad. This is a nice little benefit. A 60-second ad is that it gives us a chance to deliver our message.
With video, you are able to deliver your message with words, images, and music. It’s much more entertaining and useful for your future customers.
It’s kind of a no-brainer.
These last two lessons are more for encouragement and motivation and might be the most important.
6. Don’t quit too soon. You are going to screw up and lose money
Like everything that is worth doing, Instagram ads take money and endurance. If you have zero budget, don’t plan on running Instagram ads. If you’re a whiny bag and expect instant results, try the yellow pages and Radio ads. Their ads always work… (haha?)
And another thing…
I can’t tell you how many times I get people wanting to run ads with zero budget. If you can’t pay, you can’t play.
If you do have a budget, be prepared to make mistakes that will cost money. Keep moving forward. As long as you have a good product that produces value, you will get buyers.
7. It Is Only Going To Get Better
Since we started running Instagram ads in October, Instagram advertising interest is skyrocketing. Costs are going to increase, but at the same time, it is only going to get better.
Facebook is losing traction and Instagram is gaining. I can’t believe the amount of time and energy wasted on scrolling through Instagram posts.
Even though I want to advertise to 30+ year olds, my ads are still being shown to 15-year-olds. Things like that will get adjusted.
Instagram will improve their platform and their targeting options are going to also get better. Instagram wants to get the right ad in front of the right people.
Don’t miss it.
Instagram Case Study
45 days ago we took on a client that does HD Body Sculpting. It’s a type of liposuction that gets rid of fat in a couple of hours.
Within a day we created the website, built out the social media accounts, and started running ads.
You can see by the screenshot below that Instagram alone, produced 123 Consultations in a 30 day time period.
If you’re looking for a marketing company to help you generate leads, request a FREE Marketing Proposal .
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By Jace Vernon