Instagram opens up for ads through API’s

Instagram opens up for ads through API’s. Last month Instagram announced that marketers can promote their posts on Instagram through Application Programming Interface. Getting little attention outside the tech world, this may well be the next billion dollar Social network channel. With more than 300 million users Instagram certainly is an attractive channel for advertisers.

If you have an account on Instagram you are well aware of the brilliant service developed for sharing images with your friends and followers. Instagram, owned by Facebook, is expected to have a revenue of 2.8 billion USD in 2017 only seven years after its launch. This is due to Instagram now switching on its API for ads.

Cost effective

Many companies have already used Instagram to market their products and services and building an audience without paying for ads. And they will continue to do so. The new opportunity will make it possible to boost your posts to a huge audience and at competitive pricing.

While the service tested its launch in Brazil, marketers commented that the cost/effect was ten times better than the same ads on facebook. This may change over time of course, but today Instagram stands out as being a very cost effective marketing platform.
While Instagram may be a newcomer on the Social media marketing scene, there is a strong value proposition for it to enter your marketing budget going forward.

Super simple to use

One of our favourite things about Instagram is its simplicity. It is very easy to use and not complicated at all. When you design your company profile there are only four options you can customise; profile picture, username, bio and website URL.

As you have such limited options, it’s critical that you make the most of it. Your profile picture should be a close-up of you or your company logo. With this limited space you need to find an image that resonates with your target audience and reflect your brand.

Your username should be your full business name, so users immediately recognise you when they search for your company. Instagram allow you to change the username, but that should be avoided unless you have made a mistake. This of course also go to your website URL.
Your bio is where you can describe your company and products or services. Ideally, this text should be short, informative and straightforward.

Following other users

The best way to connect and build an audience for free on Instagram is by following other users. They will get a notification and the option to follow you back. Instagram’s search bar and discovery feature are great places to start.

There are many tools available that make it easy for you to search for users by keywords or hashtags. Some tools like Iconosquare will even suggest related hashtags, so you can dig down and find highly targeted users to follow.
Hashtagify.me is another tool that will help you find the most popular hashtags for your sector, so you can mention that in your posts, and then be found by users interested in your products and services.

How do you get more Instagram followers?

Basically, the same strategies that drive likes and engagement will also bring you more followers on Instagram. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Focus on quality rather than quantity. Post often, on Instagram the more often you post the better, but don’t post bad stuff and if the response is low it is better to remove posts that have low engagement.
  • Use popular and trending hashtags. On Instagram the more hashtags the better. Use tools to find trending hashtags and those relevant to your line of business.
  • Engage with other users, like their photos and make comments. Engaging with other users will often make them engage back
  • Promote your Instagram account on your website and other Social accounts.
  • Use Call to Actions in your posts. Ask for feedback or offer a link for more information.

What should you post on Instagram

If your business is visual and photos, images and videos are a natural part of your business, then that is what you should post. If this is not the case we have a few suggestions for you.

Product shots are ideal if you have physical products. But there are many other ways to portray products. You can use visuals of customers using your products, images from a presentation or product launch, or a product demo video.

You risk losing followers if every post is about your products. So, it’s a good idea to vary your posts a bit. Use images of what is going on in the office or workshop, employees and co-workers and what is going on at a conference or show. There is a human side to every business.

Instagram is a great platform for competitions and giveaways. You can ask your followers to like your posts in order to enter into the competition or have them share their photos with a specific hashtag
Finally, humour and fun can never be wrong on Instagram. Sharing funny motivating or inspiring content can be a great way to get shares and new followers.

The new marketing options

The goal of marketing should always be to generate new customers at the lowest possible Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) Instagram is believed to have passed both Twitter and LinkedIn with the number of users, and it is continuing to grow at an incredible 50% since last year, beating all other large networks.

Instagram also have younger users than the other networks, so if you invest in Instagram followers they are likely to stay with you for a longer time. As much as 44% of Instagram users are below 30, compared to 23% of Facebook’s users.

Already back in 2013 Instagram started testing ads, but it is just recently that this feature is available widely and with the mentioned API’s that mean you will find it available in your Social media marketing tools. Until recently you had to spend 200.000 USD to be able to promote your posts, needless to say, something most companies would not afford.
With the new API’s however, this has suddenly changed and Instagram ads are now available for anyone at a competitive cost.

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