Insights

Nine Rules of Instagram Promotion for Small and Medium Business ~5 min

Aitarget reveals the main «not to dos» for Instagram and share tips on effective promotion on the platform

With 110 million users as of April 2019, the United States is the leader in Instagram popularity. But with more than one billion users worldwide, the photo-sharing and editing social media platform may be a great marketing starter for anyone starting their business.

But if you’re going to use Instagram to promote your business, how should you go about it?

At Aitarget we’re here to help. Here are nine pointers to keep in mind on the ‘gram.

1. Do not be afraid of Instagram

So back in 2010 social media marketing wasn’t a must. Today, it is. That’s the reality. Even if you’re unsure about its merits or don’t know what you’re doing, you need to break out of social media jail and get to work. You can’t avoid social media marketing in today’s age.

Worried you don’t have visual content? Doubt you can find an audience for your products on Instagram, have no experience with social media marketing?

Forget the excuses, and give it a go. Your expectations may be overturned, and you’ll find you can easily and successfully make an offer on Instagram.

Here is an example. Avito (a Russian classified ads service) didn’t use Instagram for promoting a job searching service because of audience specifics. Nevertheless, as soon as Instagram was added to the campaign with Lead Ads, CPL dropped by 80% and leads per day raised seven times.

2. Do not try to use all the placements

If you’re just starting out with social media marketing, focus on Facebook and Instagram.

This recommendation comes from companies who’ve grown rapidly from start-up to successful businesses. One example: Scentbird (a perfume delivery service), which scaled in the US market from $0 to $2.5 million in monthly marketing expenses and in the first six months attracted 20 thousand subscribers to its service thanks to Facebook and Instagram.

Not paying attention to such placements will threaten any plans to scale your business, says Oleg Popov, Head of Growth at Scentbird. “Your main channel will always be either Facebook or Google – in some cases both,” he explains. “If you have not mastered these fundamental channels, then you will never have a scale. You can focus on Facebook and Instagram for a long time, while you grow, and make them work. If they do not work, you need to change the product.”

3. Do not forget the Pixel

This is a fundamental rule no matter what promotional channel you’re using.

Facebook Pixel is a piece of code generated in Facebook Ads Manager and added to your website code. This will collect and transmit information to Business Manager about how customers behave prior to conversions, what they do while on your website, and whether your expectations are being met.

DO NOT neglect to instal this tool, which collects vital data on the behaviour of potential customers.

4. Do not let hashtags fool you

Do not use a lot of hashtags - they are inefficient. If there are too many, Instagram will block publication of your ad or limit its showing. Correct targeting will bring you better results.

5. Do not aim to reach everyone

There seem to be products that are designed to be promoted on Instagram - for example, travel-related items. Even if this is your case, carefully target your ads.

Travelata online travel store spends up to 20% of its performance marketing budget on Instagram, while receiving from the channel about 5% of total sales.

For successful promotion, Travelata advises that businesses carefully set up internal analytics in order to optimise the cost of attracting a client and targeting.

“The network’s audience is very large and without these tools it would be impossible to achieve decent CPL performance,” said Oleg Kozyrev, Travelata Marketing Director.

Travelata chooses to target young people from 24 to 35 years old with a focus on a female audience and couples with children.

6. Watch your aim while making creatives

If you’re a brand newly entering the market who wants to tell your story, use video creatives.

Video creatives have the advantage of showing more in a single ad. In addition, users interact with video much better than with static creatives.

“All tools work well for different purposes,” says Julia Maryina, manager of Belmarco children's furniture manufacturer. “Various contests and interactive mechanics increase activity, targeting brings leads, and bloggers increase recognition, which also subsequently leads to sales.”

When choosing a placement, pay attention to the Stories: according to Aitarget statistics, they almost always cost less than other placements. If you have a lot of products that can be shown, use dynamic product catalogue advertising and retargeting.

7. Do not be rude

On Instagram, your communication with the audience becomes personal.

“Beginning advertisers should immediately pay attention to the quality of their published content and, very importantly, to the quality of their communication with potential buyers,” says Julia Maryina of Belmarco. “No engagement mechanics will work if the buyer is cheated or ignored on behalf of the company.”

Communicate clearly, and with respect and honesty.

8. Do not expect instant leads

Like any algorithm, Instagram needs to learn how to deliver your ads to the right users. Results may not be instant, but will come over time and can escalate. Stay the course.

Anastasia Tabunova, a leading brand manager at Aitarget, explains why you should not rely on the result immediately after the launch of the ads: “The first few days, social media algorithms rock the campaign and determine the most effective audience. There should be enough budget in these early days. Further, the adset is gaining positive karma and the algorithm is already trying to collect the maximum results at the lowest price.”

The daily ad budget is highly dependent on the value of your product. The strategy for selling expensive watches and affordable cupcakes will differ. Calculate your cost per conversion and determine your daily ad budget so that it covers at least five conversions.

9. Do not leave it as it is

Do not forget to analyse the results and test hypotheses using the dashboards of Facebook Ads Manager and split testing. Read about all the measurement and analytics tools on Facebook Business.

How to get the most of Instagram

In summary, Instagram promotion can be effective for any business.

But, to start well:

  • Do not be afraid to use the platform for your audience, even if, at first glance, it is difficult;

  • Focus on the channel and make quality promotion;

  • Collect audience data using Pixel to use for promotion;

  • #minimalism, that’s it;

  • Use targeting in order not to spend the budget on irrelevant users, but at the same time not to make the audience too narrow;

  • Choose formats that suit your goals;

  • Treat clients with respect – many of them can use Instagram for direct communication with you;

  • Do not look for a magic button and instant sales take-off;

  • Analyse the results and look for growth points.