What Small Business Owners Need to Know about the New Instagram Ads

Posted by: Chris Marentis

What Small Business Owners Need to Know about the New Instagram Ads



instagramWe in the local social media marketing industry have been seeing more and more Instagram photos popping up all over Facebook. Social media users can’t get enough of Instagram’s cool photo editing and sharing features, and it’s a perfect complement to Facebook.

When Instagram announced its plans to introduce advertising to its platform, some users were enraged. Of all the major social media networks, Instagram had been the last one to turn to advertising. Although its initial announcement wasn’t specific, according to Hubspot, it’s now clear that the Instagram Ads will be available “soon.” Like most other social media networks, the Ads will be designated as “sponsored” photos.


What This Means for Small Business Owners

Because Facebook now owns Instagram, the new Instagram Ads will employ data from both Facebook and Instagram, which allows for even more precise targeting. However, people who have an Instagram account but not a Facebook account will still see the Ads; the only difference is that they’ll be targeted to users based only on their Instagram interests alone.

Right now only a handful of companies have access to sponsored Ads. The group is made up of companies who have already seen viral organic support from their unpaid advertising. Before the tool is made available to everyone you might want to keep an eye on how the tool performs for the first batch of advertisers and start brainstorming how to incorporate it into your business’s social media strategy. If it’s a good fit, being an early adopter will mean there are less businesses in your industry vying for user attention.


Are Instagram Ads Right for Your Small Biz?

With all of the new online advertising products available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The truth is that not every advertising opportunity is right for every small business. If you dabble in every type of online advertising that’s available, you’ll spread your resources too thin, which will make it difficult for you to see results in one particular area. That’s why it’s best to talk to local marketing experts about which types of online advertising will be the best fit with your marketing goals.


The Next Steps for Small Business Owners

Because this is a new advertising platform, early measurements of users interactions with paid advertisements may not be a clear reflection of the long term trend. For the first few weeks, it may be helpful for business owners to take a look at some of the Instagram Ads to get a feel for which types of Ads are effective and which aren’t. That way, you’ll have an edge on your competitors if you decide to start running Instagram Ads of your own.

Chris Marentis

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, Founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses about their marketing efforts, Marentis provides insight on what it takes for small businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s evolving digital environment. His notable career includes creating the foundational blueprints for online marketing, e-commerce and content branding for AOL’s Interactive Marketing group, where he served as Senior Vice President. While CEO of Clearspring Technologies, Marentis developed one of the most widely adopted venture-backed Web 2.0 technology platforms. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.

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