What You Need to Know About Instagram Promotions
It's not a secret that Instagram has overgrown its social media status and become a powerful marketing platform with a wide set of promotion tools for any business. If you own a brand, you totally want to have more customers buying your product and more followers sharing your content and promoting you. While other methods work great for that purpose, Instagram Promotions provide outstanding results for every marketing goal your business wants to meet.
Instagram Promotions is a paid feature that allows you to promote your post or story right from your feed. The only difference your promoted content will have is the "Sponsored" label above the picture or video. Use this feature to target more potential customers on your website, create a better engagement, get more clicks for your profile, or even make your brand awareness a few times bigger.
To make it work, choose your target audience, set a limited budget and time frame, choose the most liked or important post and a goal you want to achieve. Posts with a clearly defined call to action and promotion goal show the best results — do a little research to choose or create the best post you can to promote your business or product.
Some people mistake Promotions for Instagram Ads. While both features provide a top-tier promotion for your content, they are not the same to their core. Promotions are created to boost visibility and give your posts or stories more attention and engagement. Sometimes they work great to keep your online presence steady.
On the other hand, Instagram Ads can be considered as full-blown promotion campaigns and can be created only from Facebook Ad Manager. Also, Ads provide more detailed audience targeting as well as wider goals selection. Simple Instagram Promotions usually don't need it — they are more considered as a fast and easy-to-use in-app promotion tool.
How does it work?
The first thing you need to know before proceeding to create your first Promotions campaign: you need a Business profile to do so. If you haven't switched your account to Business, here's a quick step-by-step how-to guide:
- Go to your profile and tap the Settings icon from the menu in the top right corner of the screen.
- Choose the Account option and scroll this menu down. You'll find the switch for the account type — tap the appropriate button to switch your account type and complete the following procedure.
Now that you have a Business account, it's time to set up your first Instagram Promotion. You can choose any post from your profile, but sometimes Instagram suggests you promote your most popular posts — the ones that received more engagement than others.
Here's your quick guide on how to create a campaign for your post:
- Open your profile tab inside the app and tap the "Promotions" button.
- Go with the suggested post or choose any other photo or video you've published, and then proceed to step 3 via the "Next" button.
- Now it's time to select a goal for your campaign. If you want better visibility on this platform, more people to follow you, or more profile clicks, select the "More Profile Visits" option. If you need to direct uses to your website or online store, select "More Website Visits" — after that you can paste your URL and a catchy call to action. And finally, if you want people to order your product or services right from their feed through direct messages, choose the "More Messages" option.
- The next step is all about choosing the right audience. If you already have a stable and organic audience, just choose the "Automatic" option, and the algorithm will find people who share certain traits with your current followers. Or, you can create your own audience and choose a preferred gender, age group, location, and interests of people who you wish to see as your followers or customers.
- Now it's time to settle with a budget you're willing to create for this promotion and the time frame. Use sliders to adjust these settings, and after you're done, proceed to the next step.
- Review your post to make sure no mistakes were made. Now you can choose a payment method and hit that "Create Promotion" button to start the campaign.
It usually takes a few hours for Instagram to review your post and approve it. Once the platform does it, you receive a notification. All the metrics on your campaign will be available under the "Promotions" section of your profile page.
But what about Stories? They can also get promoted a similar way. With Stories, it works nearly the same — you can choose a picture or video from the archive. The next steps are similar to those with posts: target an audience, choose a goal, plan your budget, review, and pay. Keep in mind that only a limited amount of interactive stickers are eligible to be put on the promoted Stories. GIFs, emojis, music, and other stickers apart from mentions, tags, and polls can't be used for this kind of content, so make sure you're creating an appropriate campaign.
These Stories will disappear from your account in 24 hours if they're freshly posted, but will still run in other users' feeds throughout all the time you've set in the settings.
Our best tips on Instagram Promotions
A successful campaign is not only about the right settings. Some strategies described below will give you the best results if you use them separately or combine them for a better effect.
- Use relevant content both for your promo and for your profile. If you want to grab more attention, you really have only a few seconds to catch it. This is why you need powerful headlines, high-quality photos, and up-to-date captions. Tailor your posts to meet your general audience's needs and use user-generated content (feedback, reviews) to boost engagement on your page.
- Check your metrics to see what works best for your account. With the Insights tab, you can see which posts received the most likes, comments, or views over the last week, month or year. This is a great feature to track the most effective techniques and analyze mistakes. This data is also valuable in terms of your audience insights — you can see the demographics and some activity traits of your followers. Use this data to target your audience for your Promotions and create new relevant posts.
- Use call to action lines to boost activity on your profile. Your perfect promoted post should include this line — it can be an appeal to write a direct message, click the link to your website, visit your profile or buy something from your sale if you've organized one — the opportunities are limitless here.
- Create a custom targeted audience. While the automatic target audience suggested by Instagram can be actually representative, it's always best to create it manually. After all, only you know your followers and customers the best. Besides, the algorithm can miss some important features your potential followers have.
- Be consistent in your posting. The more often your profile is updated with new content, the better is your organic growth and overall activity. Also, regular posting means you have more data to analyze which content type works best for you and which points of your marketing strategy are the most effective.
- Experiment with content formats. Don't limit yourself to pictures in your profile. Try videos, Instagram TV, Reels, Stories, Carousels — each content type has its perks. For example, people tend to spend more screen time while watching videos in their feed, and Stories create a better engagement with interactive stickers. Experiment with your content type and analyze this data to improve your online performance.
Another question is which posts you can potentially promote on Instagram. There are a few powerful options you can choose from:
- product showcase posts. Show off the best qualities of your products and services by promoting a post with eye-catching media and a simple but efficient caption that includes a call to action at the end;
- introduction posts. These work the best if you seek a bigger brand awareness. Use a creative template in a video editing app to create a captivating video that tells a short story about your business. This way, you can get your potential customers acquainted with your brand and grow your audience;
- sale or another even announcement. If you create an event, you're interested in engaging more people in it. As for sales, the more people buy from you, the better. This kind of post needs a catchy and motivating caption with a bright headline and effective call to action;
- stories. InstaStories also can get promoted, so why not give it a chance? Besides, people tend to check their Stories feed first before scrolling down the posts on the main page.
There's no perfect recipe for a perfect Instagram Promotion. Instead, the best results are achieved through experiments and creative work. With this great feature, you can promote your business and get the most out of it: sales, new customers, visibility, credibility, etc.