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Instagram: The Social Network You Can't Afford to Ignore

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Marketers have long been aware of the benefits associated with making content visual. The Social Science Research Network has found that 65% of people are visual learners, meaning the majority of people you want to reach will respond better to content that contains videos and images. When it comes to getting your content in front of as many eyes as possible, using social channels is vital. In terms of using social networks to appeal to audiences on a visual level, Instagram is by far the most effective.


Instagram is a platform designed to showcase visuals. Its user base is growing steadily, with conservative estimates suggesting it has over 800 million monthly users and over 500 million who open the app daily. For advertisers and marketers, being able to target such a huge number of engaged people is an incredibly attractive proposition.

Instagram currently has over 2 million active advertisers. These advertisers are attempting to bolster their marketing efforts by getting products and services in front of people they would otherwise struggle to reach.

However, with so many advertisers using the channel to target people, it makes sense to first understand exactly who you want to reach, why this is the case, and how you can do it most effectively. The most effective social media advertising campaigns are not necessarily those with the most money behind them. Often, the brands that succeed are the ones that understand the value of social media for business growth, make user experience a priority, and take the time to define their market segmentation.

Bigger (and Better) Ads

If you have yet to embrace Instagram, fear not. Setting up ads is relatively painless, and after the platform's latest raft of changes and updates, there has never been a better time to get involved.

Instagram has now made it easier for businesses to create full ads that can be used within Instagram Stories, one of the app’s primary features. When content is uploaded via Facebook’s Ads Manager function to create an Instagram ad, it will be automatically converted into the full-screen Stories format, making ads more in keeping with surrounding content.

Instagram also recently launched shoppable posts. According to Jim Squires, Instagram's head of business, this move fits with Instagram's goal of creating a “seamless shopping experience” for its users. This new feature allows users to purchase goods simply by tapping on a brand’s post, after which they will be taken directly to the product page.

"People come to Instagram every day to discover and buy products from their favourite businesses," states Squires. "We want that to be a seamless experience. Whether it's a local artisan, florist, or clothing store, shopping directly on Instagram has never been easier."

The Bigger Picture

While it would be remiss of us to encourage anyone to use just one channel to try and reach their target audience, advertising on Instagram should be part of your marketing mix. With the capacity to reach target audiences in a way that is both efficient and engaging, it is a channel that can bolster your brand’s reputation, and increase sales, extremely quickly. Learn more about AdRoll's Instagram advertising platform for campaign management.

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