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George Groves
Technology Journalist

George Groves is a writer interested in all forms of technology, creativity and digital trends

George Groves
Technology Journalist

George Groves is a writer interested in all forms of technology, creativity and digital trends

As a social platform, Instagram has been celebrating an explosion of attention in Australia – and businesses are the latest to benefit.

In the last year, Instagram became the fourth most popular social platform in the country with five million users. Considering Instagram’s average engagement rates are up to 60 times higher than Facebook, advertising on the platform could amplify this even more.

We’ve previously written about Facebook’s advertising offering, and the good news is that advertising on Instagram uses the same system. Budgets, targeting and optimisations work exactly the same for Instagram as they do for Facebook. It’s as simple as selecting Instagram as a placement when you setup your ads. This also means the recent data endeavours by Facebook also apply here, so it isn’t hard to keep your social media campaigns on the same page.

We’ve rounded up some tips to get you using Instagram like a pro.

Three young women taking a selfie in a cafe

Tip 1. Use Instagram as the personification of your brand

Facebook is great for wide reach and brand awareness. Twitter is brilliant as a customer service channel. Instagram advertising is different.Because there is no clear distinction between a person’s private account and a business’ account, the platform gives businesses the opportunity to showcase personality, creativity and most importantly, a sense of humanity.The brands with the biggest and most engaged audiences are ones that post content that people can relate to on a human level. And yes, this includes selfies.Burberry, one of the first brands to use Instagram advertising put out a behind-the-scenes content series of their creation process. The post to the right generated over 56,000 likes.As well as this, when you engage with your following on Instagram, you’re actually talking to a bunch of creators armed with a camera in their pocket. This opens up many opportunities to utilise user generated content in your feed.

Tip 2. Share with Facebook to optimise effectively

One of the compelling features of the Instagram advertising offering is that it shares the same trading system as Facebook. This means promoted posts can be shared across the two platforms. If you choose to run your Facebook and Instagram spots in the same ad set then the system will automatically optimise for the best performing placements.

By selecting the “Placement” breakdown option in the Adverts Manager you’ll be able to see where your advert performs best.

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Tip 3. Tell a story in 15 seconds

Instagram lets users post videos up to 15 seconds long which auto play in the news feed.

Like on Facebook, they do play with the audio switched off unless the user taps on the post. So keep this in mind with your creative.

7-Eleven Australia’s #flavourfest campaign used video very well. It used videos to showcase abstract representations of the raft of flavours available, focusing on compelling visuals to tell the story without the need for audio.  

Tip 4. Use carousels for high impact

Another great way to tell stories on Instagram is with carousel ads. Only available on paid placements, multiple images can be placed next to one another in sequence, with users able to flip through them like a comic strip.

One simple yet super creative execution of the format was British food retailer Tesco, who sliced an image of a skewer, with users seeing the next group of ingredients with every carousel slide. Using this image in a carousel format allowed users to see the delicious ingredients up close.

Example: Kofé

A café in South Melbourne is trying to capitalise on the high foot traffic that passes by in the morning. How can they get more customers through the door?

Advertising goal

Raise local awareness of kofé as the place to get a coffee before work.

How to do it

Aligning to the theme of starting your day, a series of photos can be promoted to generate social interactions and awareness of the brand.

This activity will help kofé generate a follower base to communicate and interact with.

Targeting

A combination of age, geographic and time-based targeting could be used. For instance, by targeting people 18-49 whose current location is South Melbourne, kofé can reach both people who live in the area or are passing through on their way to work. Adverts can be timed to run in the morning.

Performance and evaluation

Looking at reach, impressions and engagement rate will give an understanding to the effectiveness of the campaign. Once an engaged following is established, special offers or loyalty rewards can be introduced to boost return on investment.

It's a wrap: Things we heart

  1. Show your brand's lifestyle
  2. Engage and talk to your followers
  3. Go for high impact
  4. Use the same data as Facebook
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