On Tuesday, Instagram announced that it opened the gates of advertising to all businesses on their platform.
Though ads have been tested by a few large companies and organizations over the last several months, it's now possible for businesses of any size to hop on board and advertise to the platform's 300M+ users (which is roughly the same audience size as Twitter.)
So how does one go about advertising on this platform? The site offers a few tips for those considering taking the leap:
1. Start with Clear Goals
Think about how Instagram fits into your overall marketing strategy. Is your objective to increase awareness, shift perception, or reach a new audience? Pick an objective that can be reached by connecting with Instagram's highly visual and creative community.
2. Tell a cohesive story
Choose images that tell a story about your brand and are include captivating imagery. Create posts that follow these themes for a diversity of content that also remains consistent over time.
3. Take the time to create high-quality content
Work with your brand or creative team to produce images and videos that are well-crafted and feel at home on the platform. Or, if you're a smaller team, study your competitors and favorite brands to study their strategy for images that catch your eye.
They also recommend utilizing features such as hashtags and filters to enhance photos even more.
Instagrammers Who Understand Curation
Advertising is only one facet of a larger Instagram story, which is to communicate a visual representation of what your brand stands for.
Think of it like this: Instagram is a place where you create a general story, look, and feel behind your brand. Image what your ideal customer's life looks like when complimented by your product or service, and then emulate it visually through your business account.
A few of our personal favorites who do this well are:
Their focus is always around the product--but not the hard sell. Instead, they curate a series of lookbook and lifestyle images that have a uniform appearance.
The Peach Truck knows how to make its product (peaches) look mouth wateringly good on Instagram. Bonus: They make great use of the 16 second video clip there, too.
This tourism organization leverages fantastic photographs to inspire the wanderlust in all of their followers. They focus on color, crisp images, and locations that have a story to tell.
Instagram Advertising: The Next Social Media Advertising Frontier
Will ads on this platform be successful? It's too soon to tell. But being under Facebook's wing sure helps (as their advertising numbers are up year over year.)
We'll be testing ads to see how users respond to different types of ads on this platform. Stay tuned for results.