Alison Booth takes a look at Instagram advertising and how this may help advertisers in the run up to Christmas, with her recommendations on how to integrate with organic activity.

Facebook advertisers will have noticed the arrival of Instagram as a targeting option when setting up their ads following on from the opening of the platform to all advertisers at the end of September. Marketers have been keenly awaiting the opportunity to include Instagram in their paid social strategy.

At the point of setting up your Instagram ad campaign, a key consideration is the campaign objective and targeting. There are differing opinions on whether to run separate campaigns on Instagram and Facebook or to advertise through the same campaign as they are set up on the same platform. As Instagram users are on a quest of visual inspiration, whereas Facebook users are on a voyage of discovery of new and interesting content, utilising the same imagery as your Facebook ads may not necessarily achieve your advertising objectives as successfully as creative produced specifically with Instagram users in mind. This is where the integration of your organic and paid social Instagram creative comes into play.

Naturally selecting Instagram imagery to use in your advertising campaigns that has had high engagement organically, is more likely to yield success in encouraging your target audience to engage with your brand. Launching your first campaign with one of your recent Instagram posts that has generated a higher number of likes and shares would put you in the best position to test the impact of your creative on a wider target audience.

The campaign objectives at your disposal include:

  • clicks to your website to assist in driving relevant traffic to your site
  • website conversions where, as expected, the goal is to generate conversions from the ads
  • mobile app installs
  • video views

If your objective is to increase brand awareness and engagement, adparlor advise testing both photo posts and video views as brands have seen success from both in terms of brand recall and a growth in purchase intent. Link ads and carousel ads are most suited to brands focused on driving direct response.

Targeting Your Instagram Advertising

Initially when testing Instagram, it would be advisable to target custom audiences through reaching users who have already visited your website and email address subscribers. These users are already familiar with the brand and may be more predisposed to engage with the brand through Instagram. Your targeting could then be expanded to look alike audiences, these could be users whose browsing behaviour is similar to users and who have visited your site.

The targeting options are reflective of those for your Facebook ads, so when expanding to broader targeting, it is important to segment users by the appropriate demographics such as age, gender and interests to ensure your Instagram ads are more likely to incite your desired action.

Christmas Advertising on Instagram

Following Instagram’s best practice guidelines will help you to achieve greater success with your festive campaigns. It is important to include the brand in your imagery in the form of a logo or aspects synonymous with the brand such as colour, which in the case of Louboutin’s red soles are vital for brand recall.

You may be looking to convey the message that you stock a wide range of gifts that are suitable for all members of the family. Your Instagram ads should also be focused on delivering this message clearly to your target audience. Consistency is of the utmost importance, ensuring the messaging is delivered consistently through all channels facilitates the ease of consumers’ understanding of the message you are seeking to deliver.

Drawing themes that convey your brand’s message into your ads helps to bring your ideas to life through using your content to tell a story. For example, in 2014, Ted Baker ran a campaign called #TedsElfie where users joined the search to find Santa’s missing elves, each of the posts were focused around finding the elves, which generated 3,500 followers This campaign enabled Ted Baker to generate a high level of brand recall and engagement.

Your campaigns should be well produced with your brand messaging in mind. Framing and balance is important through paying close attention to straightening and symmetry, and ensuring images render well on high-resolution screens.

Clearly defining the objectives of your campaign, aligning your targeting closely with your consumer personas and taking Instagram’s creative best practices on board will help to ensure your Instagram ad campaigns perform successfully this festive season.

Want to maximise on your social reach this Christmas? Contact our paid social experts today.

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About the author:

Alison has worked at the forefront of digital marketing since 2008, focussing her skills on PPC account implementation and management. Her attention to detail, her management and linguistic skills, and her genuine passion for paid search have made Alison a valuable asset to ClickThrough’s PPC team. Alison also has a CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing, and speaks several languages, including German and Spanish.