As you may have noticed, Instagram recently introduced a new feature where businesses can “sponsor” posts. These posts show up on users’ feeds regardless of whether they follow the brand or not. As the popularity and influence of Instagram increases, this new option is a great tool for businesses to advertise their brand. I like Instagram sponsored posts because I think that they are a more personal way to reach and communicate with consumers that traditional advertisements.

There are three different kinds of Instagram Ad formats:

  • Photo Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Carousel Ads

Photo and video ads are exactly what they sound like. Carousel Ads are a little bit more interesting. People can swipe in order to see additional images and to see a new dimension of the brand or product. I think that either Carousel Ads or Video Ads are the smarter business moves to pick as you are able to provide a much deeper look into the brand. Since the app is limited to visuals, it is important to get the most out of the visuals as possible.

With these three posts, there are a number of objectives that can be supported:

  • Clicks to Website
  • Website Conversions
  • Mobile App Installs
  • Mobile App Engagement
  • Video Views
  • Reach and Frequency
  • Page Post Engagement
  • Mass Awareness

These different features have the power to increase both exposure and engagement of a brand. These features are great because you can actually measure the success of your advertisement based on the engagement that occurs. Additionally, these objectives separate sponsored posts from any normal Instagram post.

There are four essential features in the creation of an Instagram advertisement.

  • Your Instagram handle (brand name)
  • Featured image or video
  • Call to action (how to get the customer to engage)
  • Caption! Make sure your caption is interesting and inviting in order to capture the attention of the user.

The great thing about Instagram is how effortless it is for its users. These ads are a great idea for businesses to gain brand awareness because as users are scrolling, they will take note of the unique image that is appearing on their screen.

The success of these kinds of advertisement has been seen with many established brands. The online retailer Gilt used Instagram ads in order to increase downloads of their mobile app and saw an 88% lift in mobile app installs. Birchbox took advantage of video ads and created an Instagram video campaign. Not only did it result in a 12 point lift in brand awareness, but also a 26 point lift in ad recall. Chobani, the greek yogurt brand, faced an issue with people believing that it was strictly a breakfast food. After their Instagram ad campaign, which reached over 4 million people, they saw a 7 point lift in people who considered Chobani at any time of the day.

Not only is the Instagram community constantly growing, but so is the mobile sphere. It is imperative that brands take advantage of the way that people are engaging with their phones.