How to advertise on Instagram

Instagram is one of the largest social networks, with a quarter of the entire adult population using it. In terms of demographics use is somewhat heavier among women (which is true for most social media), and much heavier by Blacks (47% of Black Internet users are on Instagram) and Hispanics (38%) than Whites (21%).

Instagram admanager

Since Instagram is owned by Mark Zuckerberg, it’s been totally integrated with Facebook. Instagram advertising is done through the Facebook Ads Manager and gives you all of the targeting options of Facebook, such as location, age, gender, interests and so on. You can also use Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature and upload a list of people, such as current customer or prospect emails, that you’d like to reach. You don’t even need an Instagram account to advertise on Instagram, just a Facebook account.

Since Instagram is a visual/photo platform, social media wizards will advise you to go with the flow with your ads, that the most successful Instagram advertisers don’t use traditional ads but post beautiful photos that convey their brand and are worth looking at in their own right – just the kind of images a person would post, and might even like. Like this ad from Levis:

Levis jeans ad on InstagramOn the other hand, this ad for a project management tool got over 20,000 likes and very few negative comments – which is especially surprising to me since it’s a B2B ad, and I think of Instagram as more of a B2C play.
project management software ad on InstagramBut if properly targeted, perhaps a B2B ad can work, too. The real test is whether this or any other campaign achieves its objectives. As always, test and see what works for you.