Adding a new marketing channel as a small business can feel pretty daunting. Thinking of what to post, remembering to post it, and seeing if it’s actually working are all big challenges. But if you’re selling things online, Instagram provides an opportunity with exploring for a few reasons:
There are now much more than 600 million users on the platform and that number continues to grow every day.
It’s highly visual - which means it’s a great place to show your products in action. And the native tools for filters can help make your photos even better.
You don’t need to create a lot of additional content to be successful. While Facebook and Twitter also have huge audiences, they require a much bigger commitment to writing shareable articles, blog posts, and that can take more time than you have to offer.
It’s becoming a very business-friendly platform (more on this in a minute).
Engagement is high for brands, about 10 times higher than on Facebook.
All of that means investing in driving engagement with Instagram is probably time worth spending. But the clincher is point #4. Instagram is investing in becoming very business friendly and users are not rejecting it.
In the past, some businesses have been slow to get on board because you can not actually include clickable links in an Instagram post. People have relied on constantly changing the main link in their bio to align with whatever they are posting about. Which is fine if you have a big social media team. But for the rest of us, it’s been an obstacle that has made Instagram a “when I remember to do it” marketing channel.
The Evolution of Instagram Ads
The good news is that this has changed now for paid advertisers. You can now include links to your website, or even better, specific product pages on your website within your ad calls to action to help drive traffic directly.
And here is the best part, even if you have not yet built up your Instagram audience organically, you can use the same types of audience targeting that exist in Facebook ads to promote your products to people who are likely to be in the market.
For example, imagine you sell highly fashionable golf apparel online. You could easily target your Instagram Ads at men and women between the ages of 18-30 in the United States who have expressed interest in golf on Facebook or Instagram.
Pretty awesome, right? There are a lot of options for campaign goals (choose “Conversion”) and ad types that you can dive into when you’re ready but we suggest getting started with something basic today. (For a full overview of Instagram Ad products, you can go right to the source here.)