In last week’s post we started a discussion on how in most recent years, social media has proven to be one of the fastest growing online platforms. Today, we’re looking at Instagram, and how to use it to advertise your business for explosive growth.

Instagram users have multiplied dramatically since the platform’s creation in 2010. From the launch of the network until now, numerous new features and evolutions have been introduced in terms of design, search functions, filter choices and of course, advertising options.

As Instagram’s community of users has grown to over 500 million users, the platform has evolved to accommodate the ever-expanding need for brand advertising. This timeline shows the major milestones that Instagram has seen over the years. Especially, when it comes to ads and the number of active users on the platform.

Instagram is about visual images. Therefore, it shows the right picture of what people are to expect when they see an ad.

Instagram ads

Instagram Ads

People who use Instagram for Ads tend to receive the following:

1. Direct lead generation of their businesses.

2. Great brand visibility or exposure.

3. Opportunity to drive traffic to a website/blog or e-Commerce site.

4. Pay-Per-Click which streamline payments to results. No click, no pay.


So, how can you advertise on Instagram?

Still Photo Format– In still photo ads, the photo appears directly over an image in a webpage. This can be as display ads or product listing information, overlaid in editorial images. Users can hover to the firm’s website just by clicking on the image. Three beneficial reasons for using the image ads is that they are highly engaging, contextually relevant and in line with editorial content.

Video Format– Technological inventors have taken advertising to a large scale. This is done by the introduction of video ads which is the fastest growing opportunity online today. As well as the most promising online advertising formats. Instagram users have been giving the power to use video ads at a growing pace to pass. More understanding is passed to their followers using this strategy, which can in turn, be used for promotional campaigns and bonuses.

Carousel Format– You need multiple images sometimes to fully describe a product. Also, an instructional video is needed to give customers/consumers detailed information about how a product should be used. When a situation like this arises, users are advised to use the carousel format of Instagram ads. This allows for multiple images and videos. With just a swipe right or left, customers can see it all.

Multiple pictures can also provide a bigger picture of your ads. In addition, leaving a positive effect on the memory of your followers.

Do you know that we remember 80% of we see and 30% of what we read?


A case study of Beats

Dr. Dre (Beats) is a leading audio brand founded in 2006 by Dr Dre and Jimmy Lovine. Through its family of premium consumer headphones, earphones and speakers, Beats introduced an entirely new generation to the possibilities of premium sound entertainment. Beats was acquired by Apple Inc. in July 2014. The result was 15% higher click-through rate compared to other channels; 29% increase in purchase lift; 11 times lift in traffic to website and 16 times lift in unique user engagement. Its target audience was already active on Instagram Stories, so Beats by Dre knew it needed to make a mark with the new ads in stories format.

To test the format, the team partnered with media agency PMG, marketing agency Laundry Service and creative agency, Anomaly. They produced three videos for Stories in two distinctive styles. The first video, which promoted its Beats X campaign, showcased different celebrities demonstrating a product feature, magnetic earbuds. The other two videos were more focused on the Beats brand and featured product shots showing the colours of the new Solo3 Icon collection.
All the videos were developed specifically for the Stories format. They were shot in vertical video, which is becoming more popular as audiences increasingly engage with their favourite brands on mobile devices. After testing these different ad creative styles against one another, the Beats team found that product-focused Stories, which also included clearer calls to action, scaled better than its lifestyle-focused Stories.

Instagram Stories also drove an overall 15% increase in click-through rate compared to Instagram link ads. And the click-through rate from Stories was also stronger than that from other advertising channels.

Here is what the Head of Agency has to say:“Given the strong initial performance of  our Instagram Stories, we’ll continue to test, especially from a creative perspective, to determine what performs best for the Beats brand. Stories will definitely be an element of future campaigns.” Nick Drabicky, head of agency strategy, PMG

In part 3, the final post in the series, I will show you how to use Facebook ads successfully.


Michael Usiagwu is a freelance writer and inbound marketing consultant who works closely with (B2C) business-to-consumer and (B2B) business-to-business brands. He provides content that gains social media attention and increases search engine visibility. He shares actionable marketing ideas via his writing business. You can connect with Michael on Twitter, LinkedIn and at

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