6 Things Every E-Commerce Business Should Know About Instagram Ads

Instagram Ads

When I started my online store last year, I was mainly doing it for fun. It was a huge learning experience, and still is to this day. I have been in digital marketing for years, but marketing a new brand and new products was new territory. Of course, people always talked about Facebook ads, but when I tried them, they weren’t making me as much money as I had hoped.

So instead, I took my talents to Instagram. Even though Instagram is now Facebook’s baby brother, there is still a different type of users/buyer on the platform. I had built up a sizable organic Instagram audience, so I decided to try my hand at Instagram ads instead. Jackpot! I was able to find my tribe, get them engaged with my ads, and convert them into customers.

Instagram Ads

While I think a lot of e-commerce businesses are using Instagram organically, I don’t believe enough of them realize how the advertising side of it can turn it up a notch. Learning from experts, as well as trial and error, here are 6 things every e-commerce business should know about Instagram ads.

Related: 3 Steps to Starting a T-Shirt Business

1. You can target just as specifically in Instagram ads as you can in Facebook ads

Part of the allure of Facebook ads is the fact that you can target down to the letter. You can find people based on their location, age range, marital status, interests, and even online activity. This targeting can also be used by Instagram because most accounts are linked together.

2. You can create a custom audience based on people who interacted with your Instagram profile

Along with the great targeting for new leads like I mentioned above, you can now target people who have interacted with your Instagram profile in the past! You can choose between people who have watched a video you posted, or people who have interacted with your Instagram profile in general. This is a great way to take your brand awareness campaigns to the next level. People may visit your page once and never come back. But if you keep showing up in their feed, this is the best way to target them.

Instagram Followers meme

3. Instagram ads have multiple placements

You used to only have Instagram ads available to show up in people’s feeds. Now, with the introduction of Instagram stories, you’re able to advertise when people are catching up on stories. One thing you need to know about advertising in Instagram stories is the objective.

At the moment, the only objective you can choose at the time of publishing is Reach. These types of campaigns are great for brand awareness, but not optimized for Website Clicks, Web Conversions, or Mobile App Installs. However, this is a great place to get a running start, as many businesses aren’t utilizing it yet.

4. Instagram ads are great for retargeting campaigns

Have you ever thought about purchasing something, didn’t for whatever reason, then an ad for that very product seemingly stalks you around the Internet? It’s called retargeting, and it’s an awesome way to re-engage people who abandoned their cart before checking out on your website. I mostly see these ads on Facebook, but you can do the same with Instagram ads too. As long as your pixel is installed correctly on your website, you can show your retargeting ads to people as they’re browsing through the Gram.

Retargeting meme

5. Instagram carousel ads are great for storytelling

You’re not restricted to just one photo for your Instagram ads. If you have a product that requires a bit of demonstration, or even one like a t-shirt and you want to show off different sizes or colors, the carousel ads are great for this. You choose several photos instead of just one, and people are able to swipe through them before they get to the last image/tile that takes them to your website if they click on it.

6. Be sure to include specific tracking URLs for the landing page of your Instagram ad

As an e-commerce business, obviously you’re attempting to drive traffic to a specific product you want people to buy. So you just plop in that product’s URL right?

Wrong Gif

In order for you to truly be able to determine how effective your Instagram ads were, you want to include UTM parameters to the URL. In regular speak, UTM parameters are some additional characters at the tail end of your URL that helps you determine which form of advertising someone visited the page from.

For example, if I’m running a Facebook ad and an Instagram ad for the same product, I want to know which one is performing better. Outside of the Facebook Insights, it’s great to look at the progress in Google Analytics, because you can do a deeper dive as to what time someone visited, how many pages they visited, etc. You can either create your own UTM parameters using the Google URL Builder, or you can hire someone on Fiverr like I did to help you create them.

Online advertising is changing everyday, especially as these social networks find new features to deliver to its users. We’ll continue to research other ways to advertise your e-commerce business. What other network are you curious to learn about?

Instagram Ads for Ecommerce