How to Create and Run an Instagram Ad Campaign, According to Instagram

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Instagram’s the fastest growing social media platform in the world; Businesses on Instagram are seeing higher engagement than on Facebook; Organic reach is actually increasing on Instagram. With reports like this, it’s little wonder that brands are clamoring to start their own Instagram ad campaigns, but while the Facebook-owned visual platform opened up their ad offerings to all businesses a couple of months back, many brands are still not entirely sure how they go about creating and implementing Instagram ads, and, importantly, how they can do so in an effective way.

To help with this, Instagram’s released a new video tutorial and guide outlining exactly how you can go about creating your own Instagram ad campaign – I’ve broken it down here.

Ads, in an Instant

“If you already use Ads Manager to create and manage Facebook ads, getting started with Instagram ads is easy – it’s just like creating Facebook ads. In fact, all you need is a Facebook Page.”

So starts the video tutorial, which goes through, step-by-step, what you need to do to create an Instagram ad campaign.

The first step, once you’re in Ads Manager, is to choose an objective for which Instagram ads are available.

How to Create and Run an Instagram Ad Campaign, According to Instagram | Social Media TodayCurrently, Instagram ads are available for the following ad objectives:

  • Page Post Engagement
  • Clicks to Website
  • Website Conversions
  • Mobile App Installs
  • Mobile App Engagement
  • Video Views

It’s worth noting too that not all of these objectives are available for all regions as yet, but they are rolling out over time. Once you’ve chosen your desired objective, click on ‘set audience and budget’ at the bottom right.

How to Create and Run an Instagram Ad Campaign, According to Instagram | Social Media TodayThe audience and budget selection is where you determine the targeting and maximum spend you’re willing to put into your campaigns – ad spend is entirely defined by you, with reach and exposure determined by the limits of your budget. This is all exactly the same as the current Facebook ads set up, with the next step being ‘Choose Ad Creative’, where you actually construct your ad.

How to Create and Run an Instagram Ad Campaign, According to Instagram | Social Media TodayIn the creative section, you put together your ad content based on the available tools and options. For Instagram, you can choose video, photo or carousel ads (‘Multiple images in one ad’). You can use the same photo and video content for your Facebook and Instagram ads or you can use unique content for each.

Once you’ve chosen an image, you can then crop the photo for Instagram or Facebook – the sidebar display shows how the image will appear on each platform.

How to Create and Run an Instagram Ad Campaign, According to Instagram | Social Media TodayIn the text and links selection, you enter the text and can see an example of how your Instagram ads are going to look. In this section, you need to link up your Facebook Page – even if you’re not planning to run your ads on Facebook, you still need to connect your Facebook Page. You can also add your branded Facebook account at this stage of the process – in the image below, you can see the ‘Add an Instagram Account’ option just below the Facebook Page.

How to Create and Run an Instagram Ad Campaign, According to Instagram | Social Media TodayWorth noting: Even if you don’t have an Instagram account, you can still run Instagram ads using your Facebook Page.

Once you’ve entered your headline and ad text, you can see how your ad will look on Instagram by clicking on the Instagram option in the listing on the right of screen.

How to Create and Run an Instagram Ad Campaign, According to Instagram | Social Media TodayIt’s important to make sure the blue tick is visible next to ‘Instagram’ if you want your ad to run on the platform.

Once you’re happy with how the ad looks, click ‘Place Order’ at the bottom right of screen and Instagram will review your ad, then approve (or not) within 24 hours.

Additional Notes

In addition to the basics, Instagram has released a blog post outlining some additional best practices for Instagram ads, including:

  1. Create an Instagram account – As noted, you can create Instagram ads without an Instagram account, but the platform recommends that brands do create an Instagram presence in order to access their full suite of ad tools – like comment moderation.
  2. Anything you do on Facebook, you can do on Instagram – A lot of Facebook’s ad features have now been built into Instagram advertising as well, including the ability to target your ads to very specific audience subsets and categories – on which front Facebook’s data capabilities are the most advanced available.
  3. Track your results – Using the Facebook pixel – a line of custom code that you add to your website – you can track the performance of your Instagram campaigns, optimize for conversions and re-target people who’ve visited your website.

The process is relatively intuitive and easy to follow, and Facebook’s working to improve the availability and options of Instagram ads for all regions – if what you’re seeing is not exactly as outlined in the video, it soon will be.

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What You Need to Know to Run Your First Influencer Campaign

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What You Need to Know to Run Your First Influencer Campaign | Social Media TodaySo, you’ve decided to launch your first influencer campaign. It’s definitely a good option – word-of-mouth marketing generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, according to a McKinsey Study. Furthermore, influencer-generated marketing customers have a 37% higher retention rate. Clearly, influencer marketing can be highly effective in increasing awareness and driving sales. The key to achieving these results, however, is ensuring that you’re effectively handling your influencer marketing campaigns, an area where many marketers – particularly startups – still struggle. Below, we cover what you need to know before launching your first influencer campaign.

Choosing the Right Influencers

The first thing you should consider when planning your first influencer campaign is how you’re going to evaluate prospective influencers. When analyzing influencers, it’s absolutely vital that you examine a variety of engagement metrics, including social reach.

Ultimately, you want to determine how many people will see your content. It’s also important that you choose a diverse array of influencers in terms of demographics and geography. The idea is to develop a pool of influencers who’ll be ideal for a variety of your campaigns. Tools are available to assist you to identify and choose the individuals who could have the most influence over your brand’s target market. Such tools include Klout and Twitonomy, which can help you to target the most-shared content within your specific niche, and help you to identify the creators of that content.

Keep in mind that the criteria you choose to use for evaluating prospective influencers may vary based on the type of business you operate and your specific target audience. At a minimum, you should choose influencers who:

  • Identify with a relevant topic
  • Are actively engaged in social media or blogging
  • Generate engagement consistently
  • Have a large following comprised of your target audience

How Will You Measure Your Influencer Campaign?

While page views and impressions are certainly important, they are not the only metrics to use. Today, we have an arsenal of tools available to assist in conducting deep analysis. Among the metrics that should be tracked are:

  • Sales/Conversions – Far more effective than impressions or page views – this metric reveals the actual number of orders, sales, or subscriptions a campaign generated.
  • Site Visits – When a direct response call-to-action is used with a social media influencer campaign, it can be quite effective in driving highly targeted traffic to your website. By tracking this metric, you can quantify increases in traffic while also identifying the source of the traffic.
  • Registrations or Sign-ups – Influencer marketing can also be incredibly effective at helping your brand to build targeted lists.
  • New Followers – When influencer marketing is used across multiple platforms and channels, it’s an excellent strategy for increasing your subscribers or followers. Tracking the performance of influencers can help you to determine which influencers perform best on which channels or platforms.

Choosing the Best Influencers

The reality is that not all of the influencers you reach out to with a request to participate in your campaigns will be willing to do so, or even respond. Unfortunately, many startups make the mistake of immediately eliminating anyone who doesn’t respond to an influencer request. Keep in mind that there could be many reasons why someone might not respond, including that they simply don’t have time at that moment, or that your offers don’t interest them. Even if your first attempt fails, go ahead and continue working to build that relationship before you completely write them off.

If a prospective influencer consistently ignores any attempts at building a relationship or an offer, you shouldn’t waste any more time in asking them to promote your brand. The same is also true for prospective influencers who are not successful in encouraging their audiences to sign up for your email list, or other desired next steps. An influencer is only as effective as the results they generate.

Taking the plunge into influencer marketing is an important decision for any startup, but it can also be somewhat intimidating. It’s absolutely vital that you take the time to make sure that you are informed about how to make the best use of influencer marketing techniques.

This post originally appeared on the Launch & Hustle blog

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