Social Savvy: How Businesses are Leveraging Instagram for Advertising Success

Given its vast reach (more than a billion monthly users), impressive targeting tools and advertiser-friendly demographic, Instagram is a natural choice for brands. Every day thousands of businesses leverage the power of the platform to reach potential customers and burnish their brand image.

To help you better understand how these companies are succeeding, let's take a closer look at how Instagram is being used to drive advertising results.

The value of Instagram Stories

The Instagram Stories feature (which lets users posts photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours) was a massive hit after being launched in mid-2016. Today, more than 400 million people use the Stories feature daily. And, according to Instagram, more than one-third of the most viewed stories are created by brands.

So why have Stories proven to be such a profitable feature for advertisers and marketers? It's not just about the vast Instagram audience or the right demographic. The platform also offers the functionality to make the kind of content that engages viewers and keeps them watching.

Businesses are using the Stories feature to support regular Instagram posts by offering behind the scenes videos that show interesting aspects of the company. One example: A restaurant might show its patrons how a favorite dish is made -- and then target that video to people who have already posted about it on the platform. Digital storytelling -- when done well -- is one of the most effective ways to spark and maintain user interest.

Instagram offers built in tools that allow brands to target users (and later track performance) through the use of simple APIs and ad managers. Because Instagram shares demographic data with its parent company Facebook, advertisers can rest assured that the platform's ability to target niche audiences is quite powerful. 

Getting started

Creating ads on Instagram is a simple process which can be done a variety of ways, including via Facebook's Creative Hub, the Facebook Ads API or directly through the Instagram app. 

Once the process begins, businesses are asked to choose an advertising objective. This can include things such as:

  • Reach
  • Web traffic
  • App installs
  • Brand awareness
  • Conversions
  • Video views
  • Leads

Once an objective is chosen, the Ads Manager feature makes content creation a straightforward process -- putting the power of digital storytelling in the hands of any business.