Your Cheat Sheet to Advertising on Instagram

Instagram LogoSponsored content has been popping up on your Instagram newsfeed since late 2013. At that time, Instagram was being very selective in just who exactly was permitted to advertise on their platform, allowing only brands with existing successful accounts to post sponsored content. Now, businesses big and small can get in on the Instagram action. If you’re considering advertising on Instagram, here’s what you need to know:

1. You manage your Instagram advertising through Facebook

As most of you probably know, Facebook is the parent company of Instagram. What you might not have known is that the management and implementation of Instagram advertising takes place on the Facebook platform. The process is the same as creating a Facebook advertisement, and gives you the option to create a campaign that posts the same or similar ads on both social networks.

2. You don’t need to have an Instagram account for your brand to advertise, but you probably should

As long as your brand has a Facebook page, you don’t need to be on Instagram post an advertisement. Your Facebook group’s name and profile picture are used to represent your brand in the ad. However, there are several benefits to creating an Instagram account. First and foremost, Instagram provides the opportunity to connect with your audience and give them a better feel for your brand, especially if you’re trying to reach millennials. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you do not have an Instagram account, you won’t be able to respond to people who comment on the advertisement. One of the main benefits of advertising on social media is the conversational aspect, so limiting your brand’s voice is definitely a set back. Finally, your name might not display correctly without an account due to the character limit set by Instagram.

3. There are multiple formats to choose from for Instagram ads

When advertising on Instagram, brands are given the option of using a single image, video, or carousel format. The carousel format allows a brand to add up to five images to a post, which consumers can then scroll through. This is a unique posting option to advertisers, as the average user cannot post in this format. Additionally, sponsored videos are allowed to be as long as 30 seconds versus the usual 15-second limit. The value of a sponsored Instagram post can also be seen in its ability to include clickable external links.

4. There are more rules and restrictions than you may realize

Instagram follows the same policies that Facebook does in regards to what can and cannot constitute an ad on either platform. While there are the obvious regulations such as trying to advertise age-restricted material to a younger audience, or advertise inappropriate material, there are also a few restrictions that you might not initially think about. For example, according to Facebook’s ad policies, “ads may not include images with text that covers more than 20% of the image’s area.” This includes both logos and slogans. Another interesting thing to keep in mind while creating an ad for Instagram is that there are restrictions on wording that imply personal attributes. Essentially, they do not want an advertisement to appear to personalized or assuming. They provide an example stating that the phrase “Meet Christian Women” is acceptable, but “Are You Christian?” is not. Facebook reviews all advertisements prior to posting, and gets back to you with approval or denial within 24 hours.

Are you interested in integrating social advertising to your digital marketing efforts? We can help. Contact Starkmedia today and learn more about advertising on social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.