Cost effective advertising is essential for an online business to become profitable. There are plenty of paid marketing strategies available, but without a huge advertising budget, you could soon go bust, and purchasing customers only to lose money, is a vanity project only the rich can afford. Advertising on Instagram is an exception to the rule and minimal outlay can provide impressive results.  

For an outlay of a mere few dollars per day, your Instagram ads can reach an entirely new audience. Instagram is owned by Facebook, with similar options for advertising, but Instagram ads are less expensive and more visible when page browsing. A small business can compete with Fortune 500 companies on Instagram.

Most people are unaware of the Instagram advertising potential. After all, the site is better known for promoting trivial photos of food or the latest angle of a Kardashian behind. It seems like Instagram is the domain for rich kids with expensive tastes and plenty of time on their hands. But hey, aren’t they the type of customers you’re looking for?

From The Gaswerx Instagram

From The Gaswerx Instagram

Why advertisers avoid Instagram

Instagram content has a reputation for being frivolous, self-centred and tacky. After all, who would make a serious purchasing decision while browsing the relative merits of cup cakes or cat breeds? It appears on the surface that advertising on Facebook is far more superior and paying a little more for promotional ads will reach far more users, ultimately converting a percentage into customers.

Facebook also provides a facility to put more content in the ad and therefore it translates better in a desktop situation. Recent figures disclose that Facebook has 1.79 billion active monthly users, and online marketers unanimously agree that Facebook advertising is a strong base for success. But should it be a case of Facebook versus Instagram advertising? Why not use both? There are certainly some advantages that Facebook doesn’t possess, making Instagram a valuable additional stream of web traffic.


Four advantages of advertising on Instagram

Instagram is a great way to gain a business foot-hold while refining advertising techniques. For minimal outlay even the smallest entrepreneur can make substantial inroads into creating a customer base. Here are four reasons to try Instagram advertising.

1) Brand awareness

A business, product or service requires recognition prior to establishing a customer base and sales. Instagram ads provide superior brand recognition as the advertising post appears on the vertical home feed. In other words, page viewers are forced to look at each post, including your ad, before moving on. At the very least, page viewers will see your name, photo, logo, business name and content.

Many people click ‘like’ on an Instagram ad simply because they appreciate the general content they are viewing. When someone likes your Instagram content it’s probable that Instagram will recommend your future posts to that person. Facebook, on the other hand, requires further engagement derived from liking or sharing for your ad to stay current. Most advertising on Facebook plummets way down the page and out of sight in no time. Of course, with a large advertising budget and many thousands of friends, Facebook advertising is totally plausible and should remain an important focus for your advertising and marketing strategy. However, liking an ad on Instagram has more potential to create a chain reaction of ad views.


2) Targeting the right audience 

It’s worth checking out Instagram to get a feel for user types and the advertising style that will best reach them. Online advertising works best when there is some resonance or overlap between the page and advertisements. A well-chosen and appreciated ad can reap tremendous rewards. There are hundreds of Facebook advertising targeting methods that are translatable to Instagram, all without diversions such as timeline, chat and various menus placed all over the page.


3) Making clickable links for Instagram

Instagram post links aren’t clickable. The alternative is to highlight, copy and paste to open the link on a new page – an option most mobile Instagram users will avoid. Instagram users are primarily the ‘now’ generation, and they expect convenience and immediate search results. Fortunately, Instagram ads are clickable and a great way to drive mobile traffic to your website or blog.


4) Targeting wealthy young people

Surveys reveal that a quarter of all teenagers from wealthy families consider Instagram their most active social platform. The purchasing capacity of this demographic shouldn’t be overlooked as they are soon to enter the workforce with considerable buying power.

Instagram has a ‘like’ button but no ‘unlike’ button. This creates a very positive advertising environment compared to Facebook. Instagram advertising is cost-effective, convenient, visible and shareable, making it a valuable addition to your other online advertising strategies.