Local business owners need their brand, products and/or services to be seen or found by potential customers. Instagram ads are a powerful way to do this.
Here’s a quick start guide.
Wanaka attracted more tourists than ever in the past year and the population is growing. That means more potential customers or clients, and probably competition too. Visitors, or future residents, might also only be here for a short time. So it’s essential to reach them before and during their visit.
Today we will focus on how to reach Wanaka visitors using Instagram ads.
Firstly, let’s begin with some brief basics. Instagram is a free-to-use social media platform owned by Facebook. Users share photos and videos in different formats to followers, who can “like”, comment or share posts. It’s one of the most popular social media networks, and because of this, it’s a potent digital marketing tool.
Facebook Ads Manager
To advertise using Instagram ads you will need a Facebook Ads Manager account linked with a credit or debit card. You can learn more about the Facebook billing process here.
You’ll need to convert your Instagram account to a Business version too. Open your app, tap the gear icon and scroll down. It’s as simple as a tap.
Note: Creating Instagram ads is a little simpler from the app, however, many experts recommend using a computer. This gives even more options for post and story advertising, along with increased targeting options.
Open your Facebook Ads Manager and tap the green “Create” button. You’ll see a variety of objective options. We’ll look to use Brand Awareness or Reach here because it keeps things easy.
Brand Awareness suits the use of video rather than still imagery. If you don’t have video available, the Reach objective could bring better results from static images.
Note: Other objectives are used ore by businesses using integrated digital marketing. If you’re looking for more information about this, contact us.
It’s time to look at targeting. This can be frustrating and confusing because some options just won’t work in New Zealand. We’ll stick to easy ways to target your potential customers in this blog.
Note: As a business owner, you (should) know who buys your goods or services. That’s a great place to start! As always, if you do need help, get in touch.
If your business is in Wanaka, and your customers are visitors, the obvious choice for a target location might seem to be the town itself.
However, are your potential customers likely to look at their Instagram feed while they take in the sights? Or will they be at #thatwanakatree taking photos and videos?
You might, therefore, look at two campaigns: One for popular locations where people to stop on their way to Wanaka, and likewise one for people in the town.
And if you sell online, you could also run ads for people who have recently visited Wanaka and may place an order on your website.
Note: This relies on some presumptions and leaves out the background work needed to make your Instagram ads perform. Please reach out to us for further information.
Targeting: Age and Gender
Some products or services certainly appeal to specific age groups and genders. Think of the people you want to engage with your ad. For example, how many 18-24 year-old people will need construction services? Will many 55-65-year-old visitors go to a DJ set that starts at midnight? Does showing Instagram ads for women’s clothing to men make good business sense?
The key here is, of course, to think from the audience perspective. What are your customers probably interested in? Try entering a few of these interests into the space titled “Detailed targeting”. This is one of the hardest parts to get right, so it will probably take while to master. If you want to save time, contact Aspiring Digital. We’ll help you with some easy wins, and show you how to run effective tests.
You can choose where your ads may be seen. Facebook Ads Manager gives you the option to be seen right across their network. Obviously today we’re focussed on Instagram.
To select Instagram, click “Edit placements”, then uncheck all the other options.
Aspiring Digital can advise on when and how to use all of the placements. Just send us a message and let us know you need social media advertising help.
You can set a daily budget or a lifetime budget that suits your marketing spend. Facebook gives an estimation of results based on the cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM). This is simply your budget divided by the CPM. For example, if you have a daily budget of $30 and the CPM is $15, you’ll probably get around 2,000 impressions per day.
In reality that doesn’t mean 2,000 people, as some of the same people might see your ad more than once. There’s also a chance that your ad isn’t delivered. If this happens, you might have targeted too specifically, or one of your competitor ads beat your ad to the newsfeed.
That last part comes down to a whole bunch of factors. Social media advertising experts make it their business to know how this works, so ask us for help.
Setting a lifetime budget also allows the option of deciding which time(s) of the day your ads are potentially seen. Which leads nicely to our next tip…
The timing of an ad reaching a potential customer is important. If an Instagram ad is ready to go but the people you’ve targeted aren’t using the app, it won’t be seen. You need to hop into your customer’s shoes again.
For example, say you’re a cafe owner selling coffee and food. You want to sell people their morning flat white. So, it seems like the obvious thing to do is advertise in the morning, right?
There’s a problem with that. It’s going to be hard to get an Instagram ad for a flat white into their feed at 6.30am! People are usually too busy getting themselves, or maybe their family out the door. So they won’t be on Instagram.
Solution: Try running social media advertising for your coffee in the afternoon and evening to raise awareness. Set up the breakfast and lunch deals from 6am-12noon, because if someone sees the ad for coffee, visits and orders, browses “the gram” and sees the lunch ad… You get the idea!
That’s a fairly specific example and an easy one, too. Construction service may perform better at lunchtimes, evenings and weekends. Holiday activities like heliskiing might appeal between 1pm-4pm on weekdays. That’s because people get bored at work, and out comes the phone.
Sometimes you need to experiment to find out what works, but thinking about what’s most likely is worth it.
Instagram Ads format
Four formats are available for Instagram ads:
This puts an image into the feed. This Instagram ad looks similar to a photo post.
Similar to the photo, this places a video in the feed.
Instagram stories are short images or videos. They use 9:16 format. Instagram ad stories are very powerful for online sellers.
4. Carousel ad
Carousels can use images or video, or a combination of both. Users can swipe and see additional content in a single Instagram ad.
Note: The Canvas ad format is also available in Facebook Ads Manager. This requires a lot of content and setup. We won’t touch on it in this blog. If you are interested in Canvas ads, reach out.
Next up, you’ll need to select your content.
Whichever creative process you use, content must above all be relevant to the audience you’re targeting. So it makes sense that targeting should drive your content creation plan. This is reasonably true right across social media advertising.
You can simply re-purpose organic content for Instagram ads. So if you’ve got a post with high engagement (likes, comments, shares), it’s a fantastic start. It could also be useful to design other similar Instagram ads with the content.
Tip: Look at the insights available in your Instagram app. Discover who engaged and apply it as the targeting! It can also help to make yourself a “works” and “doesn’t work” guide.
UPDATE: Our handy Content Creation tool is now available. See How To Create Great Content Using Social Media Targeting!
Call to Action:
Instagram ads include different Call To Action button options. These include:
Note: Some “CTA’s” are only available for specific business types.
You can see the potential of Instagram ads for your business! Restaurants or cafes can use “See menu” or “Book now”. Businesses who want emailing lists might use Sign up or Download. Job advertisers can use Apply now.
Once you’ve chosen a call to action that works for marketing your product or service, you’re almost ready to launch your Instagram advertising campaign
Finally, your Instagram ads must pass Facebook’s review process. This is mainly based on how much text is in the image, because Facebook like photos to look like photos.
Save time and check your Instagram ads’ imagery here: Facebook Text Overlay Tool.
Another factor can be the words you’ve used in the text part of the ad (copy). There are literally pages defining Facebook’s prohibited or restricted content.
Because we want to try and save you some time: Avoid controversial topics like politics, firearms, sex, drugs, and most importantly weight loss.
Once you’ve checked your ad content, hit confirm. Your Instagram ads will publish soon after, with results viewable via Facebook Ads Manager.
Instagram ads are a crucial part of almost any digital marketing strategy that includes social media advertising. We’ve touched on getting set up to advertise, creating ads, and also targeting, along with approvals. Hopefully, you’ve found this overview useful. If you’d like to know more, let us know. If you know someone who would find this helpful, please share it with them.
Remember, our primary focus is enabling businesses to leverage digital marketing. We can train you or your staff to use digital marketing tools, and we offer digital marketing as a service.