Why Is Instagram Advertising Important to My Local Business?

When Instagram first emerged on the scene, almost a decade ago, it wasn’t that much different than any other social networks at the time – It was mostly packed with selfies, fluffy cats, and pictures of food.

Fast-forward nine years later and its transformation from a simple photo-sharing app to a full-blown marketing tool is nearly complete as more than 500 million active users are using the platform daily, with over 71% of them are people under the age of 35. 

Its simplicity and user-friendly concept are what made this network one of the best platforms for businesses to reach and connect with their target audience. With new opportunities, Instagram seems to be a good choice for the vast majority of businesses. Now, besides standard marketing goals, you can send visitors to your website or a landing page, as well as generate new leads – we’ll show you how.

**Before we go any further, we need you to check whether you’ve converted your Instagram company account to a business profile. Making the switch is pretty easy. Open your Instagram mobile app, and under Account Settings, you’ll see an option called “Switch to Business Profile.” Make sure your profile is set to Public. Private accounts can’t switch to Business Accounts.

After that, it’s recommended that you connect your new Instagram business profile to your Facebook business page. Keep in mind that you must be an admin of the Facebook page you’re wanting to connect, and you can only connect one Instagram Business profile and Facebook page together – makes sense, right?

It doesn’t matter what type of business you own in Hudson Valley, Instagram ads are a perfect platform to reach the local audience.

One of the most common misconceptions about Instagram Advertising, we hear from business owners in Hudson Valley are “I am a service provider, Instagram only works if you sell products”, “It’s only for big players”, or “I own a brick-and-mortar store, we don’t sell stuff online”. All very far from the truth.

First off, let’s take a quick look at your Instagram business profile – what do you see? Your business contact info is there, including your phone number and email address, which makes it easy for people to contact you with just a few taps on the screen. Also, your profile will even show where you are on a map and can show users how to find you, and with Instagram being mobile-first social network – this is an extremely valuable feature for people who see your Instagram ad while walking by your location. It starts to make more sense, doesn’t it?

Depending on what you want to achieve, Instagram will allow you to select one of the following ad objectives:

1. Brand Awareness – This objective will help you reach people more likely to be interested in seeing your ad.

2. Reach – If you select this objective, you can maximize how many people see your Instagram ads and how often. Unlike the previous objective, the Reach ads might not be relevant to all people who see them.

3. Traffic – This objective will allow you to send people to your website, landing page or app store.

4. Engagement – This objective will get more people to see and engage with your Instagram post.

5. App Installs – If you select this objective, you will be able to send people to the app store where they can download your app.

6. Video Views – This objective will let you show your promotional videos to your target audience.

7. Lead Generation – With this objective, you will be able to create lead gen ads and collect info such as phone number or email address from potential leads.

8. Conversions – This objective will encourage people to take a certain action on your website or app.

Which objective you will choose also depends on users’ spot in their buyer’s journey. 

We’ve learned so far what you can achieve with your Instagram ads, so let’s now take a look at the different ad formats you can run on Instagram.

1. Single Image Ads – This is typically a basic image ad, enhanced with a call to action button and promoted to audiences you can target through the Facebook Ads Manager, including custom audiences.

2. Video Ads – Instagram users love videos! In fact, they love videos so much that the time spent watching videos on Instagram in 2018 grew more than 80% compared to 2017. Note that your videos must be 60 seconds or shorter and are usually uploaded in Square (1:1) aspect ratio, although other formats work too. 

3. Carousel Ads – This type of ad allows you to use multiple images in carousel format, these are similar to the carousel ads which have been very effective through the Facebook platform and are ideal for showcasing different variations of the same or similar product.

4. Instagram Stories – This type of ads expire after 24 hours, which makes them an ideal format for promoting limited-time offers. You can also choose how often your target audience will see your ad in that 24-hour time-frame.

As you can see, there’s a right ad for every type of business, regardless of what you do and sell. You only need to know which one is the right one for your business. So, should you be using Instagram ads to attract more people to your local business? Yes! 

If this seems too complicated for you or you simply do not have enough time to do it yourself– let us know.  We’ve been helping Hudson Valley businesses break through all the noise for 3+ years.