Since they launched in October of 2013, Instagram Ads were only available to big brands that met a specific set of criteria. Recently, the ability to advertise on Instagram and reach its 400 million users became available to all businesses, making it crucial to implement them into your online advertising strategy.

How Do Instagram Ads Fit Into My Online Advertising Strategy?

As many know, on April 9, 2012, social media giant Facebook agreed to terms to acquire Instagram for one billion dollars, and the deal was finalized about a year later. The new online advertising infrastructure used to facilitate ads on Instagram is the same infrastructure used to facilitate Facebook ads.

Instagram Ads function very similarly to Facebook Ads, and can be created on the same platform. While not all of the Facebook Ads Objectives are currently supported for Instagram ads, plans are in place to roll out additional capabilities incrementally over time.

Currently Instgram advertisers are able to market to users with the following ad types:

1. Clicks To Website

This type of Instagram ad funnels online advertising traffic to your website. As with facebook ads, there are a number of different call-to-action buttons available to fit the context of your promotion like, “learn more” or, “shop now” among others.

OMNI Instagram Online Advertising
Instagram Online Advertising

2. Mobile App Installs

Given the mobile nature of Instagram, it should come as no surprise that ads promoting mobile app installs are among the first to launch.

3. Video Views  

Videos are a great way to make a post stand out in a crowded news feed. One of the most interesting features of the video ad is that advertisers are able to promote videos that are 30 seconds in length rather than the typical 15 second limit. Not only will this feature give advertisers a bit longer to secure the attention of their target audience, but it will also allow for TV commercials to be easily translated into video ads on Instagram.

4. Mass Awareness

With this type of Instagram ad, advertisers are able to drive mass awareness to an expansive audience with guaranteed impressions. This type of ad can only be placed through special order from Instagram. Potential applications include product releases, movie premiers etc.

The most notable omissions to date would seem to be the ability to promote posts made on your business’s Instagram account and the ability to attract new followers to your business’s Instagram account.

Why Are Instagram Ads Important to My Business?

The biggest reason that your business needs to pay attention to Instagram is that it’s one of the most widely used mobile applications available, and is poised to become of the most powerful mobile online advertising platforms we’ve ever seen.

The writing has been on the wall for years, but with each passing day, and each study completed, it becomes more and more obvious that the world is on the brink of a mobile data explosion.

The graphic below shows the projected growth of mobile data use in the coming years. Mobile data use is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 45% from today through 2020. In other words, the mobile data growth we’ll see in 2019 alone will exceed all of the mobile data ever consumed from the first time it was offered through the end of 2013!

Online Advertising - Global Mobile Traffic Chart - 3

Source: Ericsson Mobility Report June 2015

Trends this distinct are impossible to ignore. With an Internet future that will be highly mobile, ads platforms like Instagram will only provide increased value to advertisers for the foreseeable future.

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