Instagram advertising platform was officially launched in September 2013. The service was gradually rolled out to countries all over the world two years later and wasn’t open to Nigerian users until November 2015. At the onset, premium brands were the only ones that could afford to advertise on it. Things have really changed as small scale businesses can even use it to advertise without spending a dime.
With over 500 million active users and an advertiser base of 500,000 which was barely 200,000 in February, there are so many opportunities for business owners and the competition on the platform isn’t that much compared to Facebook, especially in Africa as a whole. Majority of Instagram users are below 30 years of age and the platform is very appealing because the content it offers is visual in nature. Ads on Instagram can take different forms that include photos, videos and carousels. Let’s take a look at how to make the best use of this photo sharing platform as a tool for marketing.
Use high quality pictures and videos
Whether you are using photos taken by you or from another source, it goes without saying that the photos’ quality is the number one factor that determines how the advert will turn out to be. Blurry or very low quality photos and videos will fail to convert. Another thing to note is that in cases where a service is being offered instead of a product, relevant pictures that align with users’ activities and interests are required. There are around 27 filters on Instagram, you can stick to a particular filter depending on personal preference or the tone of your brand.
Organize a contest
People are always curious whenever brands are giving out gifts. Who doesn’t love freebies anyway? Hosting a giveaway can go a long way in creating brand awareness and growing follower base. It’s up to you to decide if it’s necessary to partner with another brand or not. To enter the contest, you need to decide whether users will follow your account, like a photo, comment, share a photo or tag friends. Existing hashtags or unique ones can be used to make posts easier to find and make the brand more visible. Remember that the first thing that attracted users is the prize, so don’t promise what you won’t be able to deliver. The prizes could be a weekend getaway to an exotic location, products, services or gift cards. Once the deadline has been fixed, it’s time to launch the contest while ensuring that it is well promoted.
Consider paid ads
The only thing that makes sponsored ads on Instagram different from normal posts is the presence of the blue sponsored tag at the top. They appear like any regular post and can come from an account that you are not even following. It is a service offered directly by Instagram to business accounts. Alternatively, an Instagram influencer can be paid to post about a brand’s account plus the products and services that they offer. Influencers on Instagram have a large follower base. It is imperative to go with accounts that are right for your brand. The benefits that come with this decision include more post likes, rapid increase of followers and clicks on the URL of your bio.
According to a recent report, Instagram ad revenue is predicted to reach over $2 billion globally by 2017, yet it is still underutilized by most businesses in Africa. Instagram is a creative platform on its own and adding one’s dose of creativity will make posts irresistible.