With over a billion active monthly users and a highly engaged community, it’s no surprise that businesses turn to Instagram for advertising.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about advertising on Instagram and how it can benefit your online store. So grab a cup of coffee and get ready to elevate your Instagram advertising strategy with these tips!

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How Do You Promote a Business on Instagram?

There are a few different ways to promote your business on Instagram. What you should choose depends on your goals and budget. Some options include:

Free vs. Paid Promotion on Instagram

Is it worth advertising on Instagram? The answer depends on how fast you need your results.

You can promote your Instagram profile organically, meaning you acquire an audience without the help of paid campaigns. This option is free and shows engagement in the long term.

If you need more followers or orders in a short period of time, paid promotion might be the option for you because it allows you to target specific audiences and get immediate results.

Boosted Posts vs. Ads on Instagram

If you have a business account on Instagram, you can choose between two paid promotion options: boosted posts and ads.

Boosted posts are a quick and easy way to promote your content on Instagram. You can select any post from your profile to be promoted, and it will appear as an ad in Explore, home feed, Explore feed, profile feed, and Stories.

You can boost any post from your feed right in the Instagram app

Boosted posts offer the advantage of being the most straightforward advertising choice available on Instagram. All you have to do is ​​go to your profile, tap the post you’d like to promote, and click Boost.

Ads are set up in Meta Ads Manager, which allows you to create custom advertisements with more advanced targeting options. For example, audience demographics, interests, behaviors, and locations. They also offer different formats like photo, video, carousel, or story ads — more on that below.

The benefit of ads is that they are perfect for promoting specific products or services to a targeted audience.

Here’s how Instagram ads look like in the feed and stories

Another advantage of Instagram ads is their global availability, unlike Instagram Shops. Moreover, you can still tag your products in the ads.

Essential Instagram Advertising Terms

Before diving into the different types of Instagram ads, it’s important to know and understand some key terms that are commonly used:

Ad objective is the goal you want your ad to achieve, such as website clicks, post engagement, or video views.

Ad format means the type of ad you choose, such as photo, video, carousel, or story.

Ad placement refers to where your ad will be displayed on the platform, such as in-feed or in-between stories.

This ad’s placement is a reel feed

Bid — when creating an ad on Instagram, you will have to choose a bid for each objective. This is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for each action (such as a click or impression) that your ad receives.

Budget is the total amount you’re willing to spend on your ad campaign. You can set a daily or lifetime budget, depending on your preference.

Click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who click on your ad after seeing it.

Conversion refers to the specific action you want users to take after seeing your ad, such as purchasing a product or filling out a form.

Engagement is the amount of interaction and activity generated by your ad, such as likes, comments, and shares.

Impressions are the number of times your ad has been displayed on users’ feeds.

Relevance score — Instagram assigns a score to each ad based on its expected relevance to the target audience. A higher relevance score means your ad is more likely to be shown to your desired audience.

target audience is the specific group of people you want your ad to reach based on demographics, interests, and behavior. Targeting is crucial for reaching your desired audience.

Instagram Ad Formats

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s take a closer look at the different types of Instagram ads and their benefits.

Instagram offers the following ad formats:

Photo Ads

A static image ad works best when you want to close the deal by offering a discount. Photos can be in square, landscape, or vertical format.

Video Ads

These are great for introducing first-time buyers to your product and its features. You can share videos up to 60 seconds long in landscape or square format (except for in Instagram Stories.)

Stories Ads

These dynamic ads help reinforce the engagement you’ve already had with the customer. While this format can support the same media you use in other placements, it’s better to use fullscreen vertical images or videos.

Reels Ads

This format is great for showcasing your brand’s creativity. Note you can only use a fullscreen vertical asset for this format.

Carousel Ads

Users can swipe to view additional photos or videos in a single ad. This type of ad helps to highlight all the product’s features/benefits. These ads appear in the square or vertical format on Feed and Stories.

Collection Ads

Use collection ads to visually inspire and help your audience discover, browse, and purchase products. You can use video, images, or a combination of both.

Instagram ads appear in users’ Feeds and Stories alongside content from the accounts and hashtags they follow and suggested accounts matching their interests.

Instagram ads can also appear in the Explore section. On Instagram’s Explore page, users can discover new accounts they don’t already follow. By clicking on a tile, they can view ads in their feed while scrolling through a mix of organic posts and ads. Each user’s Explore tab features curated content that’s personalized based on their interests.

On Instagram, you’ll always spot a “Sponsored” icon on ads, and there might be a call-to-action button below the picture.

Ads on Instagram are marked with the “Sponsored” icon

You can add different calls to action to ads. For example, if you show off a product’s features to a first-time audience, use CTAs like “Learn More.” If offering a final discount to close a deal, use “Shop Now” as your CTA.

Setting Up Instagram Ads for an Online Store

If you’re running an online store, you might want your Instagram ads to showcase your awesome products. To make that happen, you’ve got to link up your online store’s product catalog with Facebook. Once that’s done, your products will pop up in the Facebook catalog and be ready to roll in Meta Ads Manager.

Ads Manager is a tool by Meta that lets you whip up ads on Facebook and Instagram using details from your product catalog, like images, descriptions, prices, and more.

So, how do you sync your online store’s product catalog with Facebook? The easiest way is through your ecommerce platforms. Some of them have integrations that make the process easier, for example, Ecwid by Lightspeed. Connecting your Ecwid catalog to Instagram will enable you to create ads promoting your products in different formats automatically.

Advertising on Instagram enables you to connect with your ideal customers through precise targeting options, retargeting strategies, and Lookalike audiences.

Instagram’s targeting options allow you to reach people based on interests, behaviors, demographics, and more. This allows you to narrow down your audience and ensure that your ads are seen by people who are most likely to be interested in your products.

Retargeting strategies allow you to show ads to people who have interacted with your brand before, increasing the chances of conversion.

Lookalike audiences help you find new potential customers who share similar characteristics as your current audience.

Also, you can enhance your ads’ performance by linking the Meta pixel. It is a code that tracks user behavior on your website, giving you valuable data to optimize your ads and target them better.

With Ecwid’s integration with Instagram, all these targeting options are made even more accessible. You can easily select which products to advertise on Instagram and customize the ad according to your target audience. This allows for a more personalized approach that resonates with potential customers.

Follow these instructions to connect your Ecwid product catalog to Facebook and start advertising on Instagram.

Best Practices for Instagram Ads

Now that you get the idea of Instagram advertising, it’s time to discuss some best practices that can help you make the most out of your ads.

Test Organic Content Before Advertising

To gain a deeper understanding of your audience’s preferences, focus on creating organic content that resonates with them. Then, analyzer the response to this content to determine which aspects to amplify through paid ads.

This strategic approach ensures that your paid ads align closely with what engages your audience, boosting the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

Keep in Mind Technical Requirements

When setting up your Instagram ads, make sure to follow Meta’s technical requirements. They are different for each format:

Ad format Image type Resolution Ratio Maximum file size Minimum width
Photo ad JPG or PNG At least 1080 x 1080 px 1:1 or 1.91:1 30MB 320 px
Carousel ads JPG or PNG, MP4, MOV or GIF 1080 x 1080 px 1:1 or 1.91:1 Image: 30MB Video: 1GB 320 px
Video ads MP4 or MOV 1080 x 1920 px or 1920 x 1080 px 9:16 to 16:9 Up to 4 GB 320 px
Story ads JPEG or MP4 1080 x 1920 px 9:16 Up to 30 MB 320 px

Sticking to these requirements ensures that your ad will be displayed correctly and won’t get rejected by Instagram.

Use Sound to Enhance the Video

Data shows that 69% of users scroll through social media without sound. So, make sure your video ads are good to watch without sound and use sound to surprise those who have it on:

  • Use visual elements to convey your story and main message without sound
  • Include captions for voiceovers or scripted audio
  • Use text overlay to emphasize your key message.

Ensure Your Messaging Is Clear

The first few seconds of your video ad determine whether users stop scrolling to watch. So, kick off with your key message and show off your branding right from the get-go. Instagram suggests including branding in the first three seconds for increased recall.

Wrap Up

By leveraging the power of social media advertising and using Ecwid’s integration with Instagram, you can expand your reach and attract new customers. With advanced targeting options and data-driven insights, you can create highly effective ads that drive conversions and increase sales for your business.

Don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity to grow your online presence and boost your bottom line with Instagram. Start advertising now and see the results for yourself!

The post Understanding Instagram Advertising for Ecommerce Businesses first appeared on Ecwid | E-Commerce Shopping Cart.