Put in One’s Two Cents: Should You Use Instagram Ads for Your Small Business?
I’ve been using Instagram for 5 years, even before the platform changed its brand logo, before they added Instagram story feature and of course before Instagram ads were popular. Last year (if I’m not mistaken), I started seeing Instagram story ads appearing after one or two stories of my friends’. This got me thinking, “Is using Instagram Ads really popular these days? Is it worth it?” With this in my mind, I can’t help thinking of my clients and you. For the past two years, I have been the person in charge for my clients’ social media content strategy. My SEO team has done Facebook ads so many times, but we never had a chance to help clients with Instagram ads because some of our clients are reluctant to invest in Instagram ads. Simply put, they are still in doubt even until now. Well, I hope that kind of doubt ends today after what I’m going to share with you in this article.
Before I start explaining about how Instagram Advertising works, let me tell you a little story about my friend who has been running a skincare business for over 3 years – a successful one at that. And what I’m going to share with you today is partially based on my friend’s experience in using Instagram ads. Here’s what she told me, “There is one thing that I’m freaking scared of; having no money left. Even before I graduated from the university, I started looking for any business opportunity because I was so afraid of not having money after I graduated. At first, I was doing fashion business but it didn’t end well and went bankrupt.” I was so surprised to hear that because the current skincare business she has been running is actually going well, so I asked her, “What about after bankruptcy? Did you have any money left after that?” What even surprised me more was her answer after that. “Yes, but I only had $30. I was so frustrated. A few months later, I found this skincare company that was really popular and in high demands. I thought that maybe it would be great to be their distributor or reseller.” I said, “But you only had $30 left, how did you become their distributor like what you are doing now?” She answered, “I didn’t immediately sign up for being their distributor yet. I used dropship system so I still had my $30. That $30 I had left was used for Instagram Ads.” This indeed got me curious. I mean, I have always been curious about Instagram Ads and when someone mentioned that, I couldn’t help asking for further information, “Can you really use Instagram Ads with just $30?” She said, “Generally speaking, no, $30 was not enough actually, but I used all the $30 I had for a little bit of Instagram Ads and it was enough to attract some new customers although not that many people. Thankfully, I’ve got audience from that, not just some bot followers or those who only follow because they want a followback. From that, I kept going until I finally got 60,000 followers on Instagram and had much money to become an official distributor, so now basically I make about $14,000 per month.”
I don’t know about you, but I was so inspired by her courage to put all her $30 for social media ads. It takes a strong will and a person willing to take a risk to be successful. The conversation I had with my friend made me enthusiastic to tell you about Instagram Ads and why you should invest in it. First, let’s see how Instagram advertising works. Basically, there are several types of Instagram Ads that I’m sure you might have often seen both in the Feed and Stories section of Instagram – the “Sponsored” on the top left, the call to action at the bottom of the image “Learn More”, “Shop Now” or “Sign Up.” When a user clicks on the banner, they are sent to the webpage you designated for the ad. Instagram makes it easier for you to specify your ad’s objective and target audience before running your ad. Aside from that, you can also define your budget and choose the ad format you would like to run including video and photo options. When your ad is running, you can track your reach and clicks as well as make adjustments to try to get even better results.
Instagram for business is suitable for businesses with visual products, service-based businesses and even tech companies, because Instagram is a social media platform with advanced targeting options, high engagement and proven sales generation. Among the major social networks, Instagram has the highest engagement. Also, their targeting method is very effective. Why? Well, you often search for fashion stuff on Instagram, and it is not surprising if you find fashion ads both from the Feed and the Instagram Story section, which means they are targeting the right audience.
Instagram ads are a wonderful way to make your business found by new prospects. Spend some time going through the steps to make sure you are making the most of the advertising features available to you. When you are getting used to setting your Instagram ads, you will have better ideas of what kind of content will work best for your business. Remember that one important key of establishing a successful business is courage. When you have the courage to take risks and responsibilities, as well as do your best, everything else will follow.