Instagram, huh? Making everyone’s lives a little bit brighter since 2010.

That ‘brighter’ comes with a double-meaning, though. Yes, when you scroll through your feed, life may feel brighter. It’s nice to look at pretty pictures that people have carefully edited.

But brighter also because the app is so aspirational. Everybody’s life looks brighter than it really is on Instagram.

It isn’t just social networking: it’s lifestyle networking!

Not to knock it. People find great ideas and share uplifting experiences in this way. And these are the points that make it so great for advertising.

Enter Facebook. The social network giant figured out that Instagram was an untapped marketing goldmine and bought it up for a billion dollars in 2012.

They’ve transformed it into something quite different from what it was. Multiple posting formats where it used to be plain square photos. And ubiquitous advertising, ‘seamlessly’ popping up in your feed or between your stories.

It’s a great success. More than 200 million users visit a business from Instagram each day.

Nearly three-quarters of them have been influenced by Instagram when making a purchase. And 80% of users follow a business.

If it’s all new to you, the good news is that it’s mostly pretty intuitive.

If you have a solid background in business or marketing in general, setting up ads is only mildly more complex than making a regular, consumer post.

Let’s take a look at how to get started with Instagram advertising.

The 7 Types of Instagram Ads

The first thing is to check what kinds post you have available to you as an advertiser. The one you choose will depend on your business, your objective, and the content on which your campaign is built.

The classic single image ad is based on the traditional Instagram post.

You just need one demanding image, to which you can attach a text – so long as the image is doing the hard work.

It’s important to remember you’re bustling up against users’ friends’ pictures, so you don’t want to give the hard sell. Something that looks like ‘real life only better’ should do the trick – not a perfect catalogue shot!

The single video format gives you a chance to add text or links. Short and sweet is best. A narrative that pays off quickly and shows your product in motion.

The carousel in Instagram advertising is a combo of stills or videos that a user can scroll through at their leisure, if you can catch their attention in the first place. A collection or step-by-step instructions work particularly well.

The slideshow is a more basic version, which scrolls by itself, with optional music.

You can use up to ten still images with this one. So it’s a good way to get some movement without demanding your customers have an up-to-date phone that can process video.

A collection is a mix of stills, images, or slideshows, with more complex linking functionality that you can track through third party apps such as Buzzsumo.

The Instant Experience is a strange one. It’s kind of like a simple game or interactive you can create. So it’s kind of cheesy, but develop an addictive one and you can really hold your audience’s attention.

And Stories Ads are solo images or videos that slip between users’ stories.

Instagram Advertising Tips: Choosing a Campaign Objective

As with Facebook Ads, when you create an Instagram Ad you will be prompted to choose the objective of your campaign.

That way, the ad tools can help you to produce the most effective ad.

If you’re an Instagram marketing whizz, you’ll already have done your research and figured out what your objective is. But for small business owners who are new to all this, it can be handy to get a better idea of what the different terms mean.

Brand awareness is quite a general kind of approach.

The point is that consumers should become familiar with what your brand does and what’s unique about you, so that they turn to you when they need you. Or, you can capitalize on that awareness with a more focused campaign once you’re better known.

Reach is not so different. Your main goal is to get your ad in front of as many people as possible. Getting your name out there in this way will be considered a success, regardless of sales or other engagement to which it leads.

Video views is kind of attached to brand awareness and reach. Your main point is to make a noise. Selling comes later.

Traffic requires a bit more from your audience. You will include a call to action to encourage them to visit your website.

You’ll use the number of users that click through to assess whether your campaign was a success or not.

App Installs is more active still. You need your audience to trust and value you if they are to spend precious time and memory space downloading your app. How will it improve their lives?

Engagement in Instagram advertising is about the Likes and comments you get. It’s a great way to develop a relationship with your customers.

Lead generation is where you collect details about your customers. It might be as simple as getting more follows, or you might invite folk to join your mailing list.

And Conversions is a big one. This is where you entice users to fulfill a specific action – more often than not, buying something.

Setting up your ad

The Instagram interface remains relatively simple, so to set up your ad you need to head to your Facebook business homepage and go Create > Ad.

Pick Guided Creation and choose your objective.

Each one will give you different options, so even if you think you know which one you want you may need to go back and forth a few times to make it fit.

Then name your campaign and set up an ad account. After this, you can choose your audience and pick Instagram as your platform of choice (under ‘Placements.’)

Set your budget and schedule.

It’s often best to start small while you get used to the tools and figure out what your audience responds to in terms of Instagram advertising.

You can capitalize on this information as you progress to bigger and bigger campaigns.

Then simply choose your format, add your content and text, and you’re away!

Remember that getting an Instagram Ad up and running is the simple part. True success comes from understanding the mechanics of marketing and the specifics of your audience and you goals.

Get this right, pair it with some awesome content, and things could look very bright indeed with your Instagram advertising efforts.