Since October of 2015, we have been creating, running, and testing Instagram Sponsored ads. It’s now 2019 and we are still running Instagram Ads.
I’ve become obsessed because I think the platform is the perfect way to advertise certain products or services. It’s not just for branding. We have used Intagram ads for Plumbers, Body Sculpting, Helicopter Tours, Marketers and more.
Intagram has worked for all of them. This post was orginally created back in 2015. We are now going to update it with the latest information on Instagram.
Here’s your 2020 Instagram Marketing guide.
Instagram has come out with Stories and all the new features, it’s becoming a great tool for businesses.
Here’s a quick screenshot of the most popular social media networks.
Instagram ads are one of the most powerful tools we have as business owners.
Our path has not been all roses, but we have been able to achieve a huge ROI. Whether you’re looking to spend $5 a day advertising to a single zip code or $50,000 a day reaching fans everywhere, you can find your ideal target audience.
Make sure you give us some love and comment if you have any other ideas or suggestions below. I want articles to be the go-to place for Instagram Ads.
Before we get started I want to explain something about Instagram.
Instagram was purchased by Facebook for an obscene amount of money.
They control Instagram advertising. The way you advertise on Instagram is through the Facebook ads manager. When I show you how to create ads I will be using Facebook’s Ad Manager.
I have had some people get confused in the past and have no Idea how the 2 of them are connected.
Let’s jump into the top 7 things I have learned running Instagram Ads.
1. Instagram does not scale perfectly. There is a sweet spot.
What do I mean by this?
Let’s say you are spending $20 dollars a day on ads and your cost per conversion is $1.89. Common sense would tell you that if you increase your daily spend to $100 your cost per conversion should stay at $1.89 or close to it (assuming you have a big enough audience).
This has not been the case. As you will see, by the image below every time I increase my Instagram daily spend, my cost per result increases. Often times it will triple the cost. How do you overcome this?
You create more ads. Instead of increasing your daily spend, I suggest you create more ads. For now, that has been my workaround and it is working.
Over the past 3 years there has been a big change in this. It is more scaleable, but the cost of Instagram leads are higher than Facebook.
Here is a screen shot of our Facebook Ad Manger where we show you the cost per. You will see that Instagram is a lot higher, but we have found the quality to be better.
2. Lookalike Audience or Custom Audience will give you excellent results.
Facebook (Instagram) is under pressure from Wall Street to produce earnings. They can not do this unless advertisers are spending money. Advertisers will not spend money unless it is working. The more our ads produce for us, the more we will spend on Facebook and Instagram.
It’s a vicious cycle but one that benefits all of us. Facebook has taken everything they have learned from Facebook ads and applied it to Instagram ads.
Facebook/Instagram wants you to be successful, and their algorithm is extremely good at finding your ideal customers, as long as you give them the parameters.
Custom audiences and Lookalike audiences offer a simple and automated way to put your message in front of an audience that you know will perform well.
Here is how you will do that.
A. Create a custom audience from your Conversions. Meaning, place your conversion pixel on your Thank You page.
B. Create a Lookalike audience from your Conversion audience.
3. Instagram Does Work For Direct Response Advertisers
When Instagram Sponsored Ads appeared in 2014, it was for brand awareness. Now, we are seeing direct response advertisers getting big results.
Instagram is a direct response advertiser’s dream. You can create highly visual static ads or video ads and drive traffic to your landing pages.
It’s extremely easy to communicate your message which is what direct response marketers need.
Here are a couple of examples.
4. Your Target Audience Is Most Likely On Instagram
If you are searching for Lawyers, Doctors, CEOs, CMOs, Mothers, Fathers or Teenagers you are going to find them on Instagram.
Instagram currently has 300 million active users. Your target audience will be there.
The money is made in the audience. The most common mistake is people do not spend enough time researching their audience. Spend a couple of hours creating the perfect audience. Not 5 minutes!
5. Video Ads Create Better Engagement
A little unknown fact about Instagram ads is that you can run 60 second sponsored video ads. You are not limited to the 15-second video post.
Instagram has increased the amount of time you can run a video as long as you are running an ad. This is a nice little benefit. A 60-second ad is that it gives us a chance to deliver our message.
With video, you are able to deliver your message with words, images, and music. It’s much more entertaining and useful for your future customers.
It’s kind of a no-brainer.
These last two lessons are more for encouragement and motivation and might be the most important.
I have added a whole section to the bottom of this Articles where I give you a simple guide on why kinds of videos work.
6. Don’t quit too soon. You are going to screw up and lose money
Like everything that is worth doing, Instagram ads take money and endurance. If you have zero budget, don’t plan on running Instagram ads. If you’re a whine bag and expect instant results, try the yellow pages and Radio ads. Their ads always work…haha
And another thing…
I can’t tell you how many times I get people wanting to run ads with zero budget. If you can’t pay, you can’t play.
If you do have a budget, be prepared to make mistakes that will cost money. Keep moving forward. As long as you have a good product that produces value, you will get buyers.
7. It Is Only Going To Get Better
Since we started running Instagram ads in October, Instagram advertising interest is skyrocketing. Costs are going to increase, but at the same time, it is only going to get better.
Facebook is losing traction and Instagram is gaining. I can’t believe the amount of time and energy wasted on scrolling through Instagram posts.
Even though I want to advertise to 30+-year-olds, my ads are still being shown to 15-year-olds. Things like that will get adjusted.
Instagram will improve their platform and their targeting options are going to also get better. Instagram wants to get the right ad in front of the right people.
Don’t miss it.
Instagram Case Study
45 days ago we took on a Click that does HD Body sculpting. It’s a type of liposuction that gets rid of fat in a couple of hours.
Within a day we created the website, built out the social media account, and started running ads.
You can see by the screenshot below that Instagram produced 123 Consultation in a 30 day time period.
I have created video tutorials on How to Run Instagram Ads. There are also other blogs that will give you some tips.
The struggle is real. It is Jan 13th and I have yet to put my first post out. But I have a great excuse, #ydrawcruise2016. Each year around this time we take our employees and their spouse on a cruise. This Instagram post sums it up.
I have so much I need to show you, so let’s jump in.
You’re about to read the absolute best information on Instagram Video Ads for 2016. A guide on YouTube and Facebook is coming later. I will share this information in 3 separate posts (hopefully, they all will be done in the next 7 days).
This year is going to be a big for my companies! What about yours? Have you set your goals? Are you using Instagram, Facebook and YouTube ads? Are your ads in place? I am about to show you a marketing plan you need to have in place.
Instagram Video Ad Update.
Instagram ads became available to the public toward the end of 2015. We were prepared and had been waiting for the time when we could start running ads on Instagram. Facebook was already working well so we were excited for this new platform.
When that day arrived, we were ecstatic to hear that we can run 30-second video ads. We quickly took action and created 30-second Instagram Video ads for Ydraw and a couple for our dental clients.
Here’s what they look like:
(You’re seeing the full version of the dental video.) The Video ads were cut from our YouTube and Facebook videos. YouTube and Facebook allow for longer ads. Once you have the video in place, you can start running Instagram Video Ads.
Open up your Facebook ad manager and create an ad
Create a target audience. (Spend a lot of time on this step. The money is made in your audience creation.)
Select where you want that ad to run. Pick Instagram.
Upload your video and write the text for your ad.
Run the ad **At the bottom of the post there’s a question and answer section with detailed instructions. **
I put together a simple tutorial on how to run Instagram Ads. You can gain instant access by filling out the form. I created this just for you guys because I am so nice… 🙂
This is where everything gets really exciting. Just yesterday I called my sales rep and asked him how many new Ydraw clients came in from Instagram. On Monday, we closed $18,000 in sales just from our Instagram ads. If I spend $18,000 on ads, that would not be that impressive.
$120 dollars that day on Instagram ads. Do the math. Those are some scalable numbers. Meaning I will be able to up my ad spend drastically and get a lot more sales.
That is the key to scaling any business. You find a source that will generate a lot of leads and traffic, make sure the numbers work and increase your ad spend quickly. Here is a screenshot on one of the ads that I am running.
*People Taking Action: 55,796 (The number of unique people who took an action such as liking your page or installing your app as a result of your ad. For example, if the same person likes and comments on a post, they will be counted as 1 unique person.)
Here is the actual Instagram Video Ad. One of the reasons the ad is so successful is the fact that whiteboard animation videos work great and it helps that our video is entertaining. When creating your video you have to remember to entertain first and educate second. If you do it right, people will comment, like, and share you post. The power of Instagram comes from the comments and shares. It’s not just about the traffic and leads. If you need a video you are always welcome to visit Ydraw.com. We will do everything for you.
For those of you with a very tight budget, you can start running ads for $5 dollars a day. We have a couple of clients that spend $5 and get great results. Here are some numbers from one of our Dental Clients. He spends about $5 a day on this ad. You can see he got 46 website visitors for $36.62.
Now that you see how effective Instagram video ads can be are you ready to get started? You can choose to do this for yourself, or we would be happy to run your ads for you. Click here if you would like to sign up.
Here’s a list of different targeting options you might want to consider (this list does not include everything).
Remarketing: Anyone who visits your website
Conversion Lookalike Audience: Track your conversion and then create a lookalike audience.
Standard Audience: Your ideal client (soccer mom, 38 years old, San Diego, etc…)
Customer Audiences: We can target your customers
All Contact: We like to take all of your contacts and run Instagram Ads to them.
Once your audience is nailed down you will need to create your ad. Just follow the tutorial or the instructions below.
Good luck and let us know if you have any questions. Keep an eye out for our next posts. This is part one of a three-part series. In the next couple of days, you will find a guide on Facebook Videos Ads and YouTube Video Ads.
If you found this information helpful, leave a comment or share it. This helps me know what type of material is helping your business.
Have a great day! Thanks for reading the…Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook Marketing 2016.
Instagram Sponsored Ads Question and Answer
Q. How Do I Add My Instagram Account To My Facebook Page?
A. Go to your Facebook page and in the top-right of your page click Instagram Ads. To add an existing Instagram account to your page, click Add an Account. Enter your Instagram account’s username and password, and click next.
Go to your Facebook Page and in the top-right of your page click Instagram Ads. If you need to create a new Instagram account, click create a new account, enter an email username for the Instagram account, and click next.
An email will be sent to the email address specified. Follow the directions in the email to set the password for your new Instagram account.
You should now have an Instagram account connected to your Facebook Page. Whenever you use your Facebook page to create ads that will run on Facebook, you can use your new Instagram account to show those same ads on Instagram.
Q. Should I Run Ads On Both Facebook and Instagram?
A. Yes, but make sure you create 2 separate ad sets/campaigns. Facebook and Instagram will tell you differently but they want you to spend more money…
We started running Instagram ads about 10 days ago and so far, the numbers have looked pretty good. There is money to be made and I am loving the platform. In the coming weeks I am going to continue testing and fine tuning my campaigns. I will keep you posted on the progress, so keep an eye out for future emails and posts.
Below, I am going to give you The Lessons We Have Learned In Running Instagram Ads.
Instagram sponsored ads allow local businesses to tap into their local markets. We have been running and testing ads for small businesses like dentists, lawyers, chocolate companies, orthodontists, etc.
Here are some of the lessons we have learned along the way.
Let’s first start off with the cons of Instagram ads.
1. Targeting is a bit off
When I set up Instagram ads, I like to keep my demographics very specific. An example would be: I only like to run ads to people who are between the ages of 30 and 55.
That is not what is happening. I get a lot of teenagers seeing and liking my ads. This is a red flag to me and has an effect on my ROI.
This doesn’t stop me from running ads though, because when you are an early adopter you have to live with the growing pains. And besides…the numbers are still looking good.
2. Cost is rising
Within a couple of days the cost per click started to rise. I am now around 49 cents per website click. When I first started running the ads, my cost was around 17 cents per click. Either way the ROI is still there, and a rise in costs is to be expected.
3. Fake Instagram Accounts
Instagram, like Facebook, is loaded with fake accounts. People will use fake accounts to grow their audience, which skews the numbers a bit.
Now, that we have covered the cons of Instagram ads. It’s time we talk about the pros.
1. Instagram ads are working
Yes! Instagram ads are working and I think it is going to produce a lot of business for companies, including my own. A lot of eyeballs have navigated from Facebook to Instagram.
A great example would be my wife and all of her friends. They spend so much time scrolling down through Instagram. On a side note, many men have found that is it taking a big toll on their bedroom life.
Maybe I am not kidding.
The point is…your audience is there and the clicks will come.
2. It’s going to get better
They are fine tuning the system and over time, Instagram is going to get better at finding your buyers. Don’t wait too long to jump in.
3. Early adopters are being rewarded
Early adopters are rewarded with cheaper clicks. Like all other PPC platforms, Instagram costs are related to supply and demand. Marketers tend to ruin everything and they will eventually take over Instagram.
How to run Instagram Ads Successfully
Over the last 10 days, we have learned some tips and tricks that will help you run a successful Instagram campaign. I will give you the list first.
The more targeted the better
Your image is a big deal
Create a call to action
Offer something of value
Landing pages should match your ad
The More Targeted The Better
Although you get cheaper clicks by running to a larger audience, you are not going to get as many leads. When I run an ad to business executives, advertisers, marketers, CMOs, etc, I do not get the results I am looking for. My audience is too broad.
An example title would be…”Do you need Online Marketing?”
I get traffic, but I do not get much interaction in the form of comments and website visitors.
If I run a specific ad to a targeted audience, I get a lot better results.
Here is a Instagram ad screenshot. You can’t see it but within 12 hours (it took 10 hours to get approved) I had 14 comments where people had shared this post with their dentist or orthodontist and I received 168 likes. (10 hours later it was at 289 likes and 31 comments. The comments were people sharing the post with dental practices.)
Notice how this ad is targeting dentists and orthodontists. I am not just targeting CEOs or CMOs. The target is a specific occupation and I’m mentioning their occupation in my ad.
I hope that makes sense…
The Image Is A Big Deal
Your image has to be disruptive. When a user is scrolling they are usually moving pretty fast. If your image doesn’t apply to them right away, it will get skipped.
Here is an image that I tested for fun. If you know anything about Instagram, you will understand the power that Ryan Gosling has over Instagrammers. It is kind of a big joke but at the same time it works.
This ad produced a lot of likes and people did pass it around, but it did not produce leads. All I care about are the leads.
Create A Call To Action
Tell your audience what you would like them to do. Instagram does let you choose your call to action during the ad creations phase (see below), but I would suggest putting it on your images also. The ad below is a great image but I did not add the Call To Action like I should have.
Offer Something Of Value
This is pretty self explanatory. Give them a reason to click on the ad. People love FREE!
Landing Page Should Match Your Ad.
Your landing page should have a similar message to your ad. You want to keep the user experience the same. I would even go as far as the same color and images. If you are offering a 14 day trial on your ad, make sure you have that same offer on the landing page.
There you have it; those are just a few of the Lessons We Have Learned About Instagram Sponsored Ads.
Transcript For You Readers (there are errors)
[Start of video Why you should be running Facebook and Instagram Ads]
[Beginning of recorded material]
Jace: Good morning everyone. This is Jace over here, at Yinc Marketing and Ydraw. I am just calling to give you guys a little bit update on Instagram ad. So, let’s jump right in.
First off, Instagram ads are working tremendously. I’ve been running all types of tests from little campaigns I’ve created, a couple of new funnels just to see what kinds of clicks… We are running more tests; for example there is some carousels that we’re going to be trying; over the next couple of weeks we’re going to be expanding into some video ads. Couple of things like that, just to see what kind of traction we can get.
So, let me show you why these Instagram ads are so important and why you should be using them. So, I’m kind of running a simple campaign to dentist and orthodontist. Obviously, that’s a big deal. I did write a blog; if you want to refer back to blog it was last week about things that you need to do to improve your conversions with you Instagram ads. That’s one of the things you need to speak specifically to a certain audience. So, whether you’re writing one for lawyers, dentists, orthodontists, doctor, small business, you just need to be very specific and it’s going to help you on your conversions’ rates. So, let me show you why Instagram ads are so good right now. As you know, whenever anything new comes out, they still have their issues. So, there are some things, there are some problems with Instagram ads. One of those problems is they still haven’t got the audience note down. So, I get a lot of clicks from people, who are not in my target audience; like I always go for 30 years and older, well I’m getting a lot of young kids clicking on my ads, seeing my ad. So, just know that there are some growing pains when you get started.
So, let’s talk specifically for dentists and orthodontists, and you guys can apply this to any other type of business. So, one of the biggest, the most powerful things with Facebook and Instagram ads is the audience. You are able to go in here; let me expand this out, just so you guys can see it. So, let’s assume that you are a dentist, and you’ve been running phonebook ads, or you’ve been running yellow pages, those Valpak ads. And you’ve been doing a lot of those things. Well, here is something that’s nice about Instagram and Facebook. Now, they run on the same platform too, just so you understand that.
So, I go in here; let’s say that you are a dentist in San Diego. Then I’m going to expand this. So, you can create an audience; and let’s go location, we’re going to go to San Diego. And this is where it gets nice. So, you’re not going to waste a lot of money on people who are not in your area. You can go smaller net; let’s say, let’s go to a 10 mile radius within your practice. You can go down to zip code, do whatever you want.
Now, what we want to do is follow, and what we don’t want to do is restrict this. Your audience may be older; your audience may be younger. I like to go 30 years and older, just that’s who buyers are; you are not going to find a lot of buyers underneath thirty years of age. So, a lot of times you’ll be running a campaign, your numbers might not look that great. If you go adjust your age up to 30, you’re going to have some better numbers. Change this. I like to go down to sixty, unless you’re targeting some type of senior citizens. If you’re doing that, then you need to go higher.
And now I’m going to go women. Obviously, I’m going to go English, because most of the times it’s the women or it’s the parents that are going to decide, if they’re going to take their kid to the dentist. A lot of guys are working, so I like to eliminate that to just women. Got it?
Interest; you can say soccer mom. Isn’t that funny? Soccer mom right here; there is 1.28 million. So, you can say soccer mom; you can be a homemaking; you can be a parent. So, here are their interests. You’ll see, right now there’s 100,000 potential people in San Diego that we can target this ad to. And you can get very specific. So, you got interest. If there is anyone that’s got an interest in like let’s say you’re building a home or real estate, you can always define those interests, and there is a lot of stuff you can do with that. Like if you go over to Amazon, you are able to find like a magazine. Let’s say parent magazine; so Natural Parent Magazine, Today’s Parent Magazine. So you can target those people that are looking for those magazines or who have interest in those magazines. Makes sense?
Behaviour; you can go in here and say okay, I want somebody who is as a company, industry, seniority, charitable donations, job roles. I didn’t show you guys this.
You can go with relationship, in a relationship, relationship status. So, let’s go with complicated; let’s go with married. Got it?
And you can go with education, you can go with finance, net worth, home; do they own a home, do they not own a home. So, let’s say home ownership, home owners, parents. Actually, you can just go moms. That’s interesting. Strict that out. Take all these out.
160,000 people. Can you see how I’m doing that? So, that’s a good audience. 160,000; if you want to get more to find, you are more than welcome to, but you can see why a dentist in San Diego would want to market to mothers, who are 30 years and older and then they can run their ad. So, once you have your target audience defined, all you do is click there, create you audience, and then you can create an ad; a very customized ad asking those mothers to come in. Now, I hope you can see the benefit over running some type of print ad or yellow page ad; is just you can be so much more targeted. And that’s where your audience is. Think of how many mothers are on Instagram in the night. My wife, all her friends, that’s what they use. They use Instagram. So, the nice thing is Facebook bought Instagram, so you can run Instagram ads through your Facebook page, or through your Facebook ad manager. Got it?
So, of you guys have any questions about this… But that is the power behind Facebook and Instagram; you are just able to target an audience and put an ad in front of them. Now, this is not near as qualified as a typical search ad. You still want to be ranked on SEO. You still want to be at the top of search engines just because when somebody’s searching for it, they are more likely to buy. But Facebook and Instagram are a little bit different due to the fact that you are just putting it out there in front of them. So, if they have a need for a dentist or orthodontist, they’re going to see that ad and be like hey, what’s going on, especially if you make some type of offer. Get them to click on your website. Once they’ve clicked on your website, you can even go further. You can run a different ad to them. You can retarget them.
There is a lot of capabilities with Facebook with custom audiences. Though if you’d like, you can come into here and say I want to create a new custom audience. Anyone who’s come to my website- You can create an audience of visitors to your website. You can also go in here to customer list and import all of your customers. So, if you have a customer list of say 5000 people that have come to your practice over the last 10 years or something, whatever, you can take your list, upload it into Facebook. It’ll track all of their accounts. Then, you can start running them ads. So, instead of sending people out a birthday letter or anything like that, you might want to try to send them some Facebook ads. And you can get real creative; you can run a specific ad to somebody to get him to come back in; a lot of things you can do. Got it?
So, that’s just a few capabilities. If you have questions let us know. You can go over to marketinghy.com or ydraw.com if you’re looking for a video. Ydraw.com Email me, call me; let me know if you have questions. We would love to help. We do have a three-day trial, or a seven-day trial period going on. If you’d like us to set up your Facebook and Instagram ads, we will do that. We’re only taken one dentist, one orthodontist per city. So if you’d like us to do that, let us know, but there you have it. Short and sweet. Talk to you guys later.
Use Instagram to your marketing benefit, without annoying your followers.
Instagram, we’ve all heard of it. Most of us probably use it. But we probably use it for personal use. We post pictures of our food and our workouts, and our cats and children, and our cats and our food…did I mention food and cats? You get the point.
But Instagram is a terrific platform for marketing. They don’t yet allow you to purchase ad space, but they are owned by Facebook…so, let’s all enjoy the time without ads while we can. There’s something great about not having ads on Instagram. It allows us to be more personal with our followers and our potential customers.