Advertising On Instagram: When, Why and How?

Instagram has 300 million monthly users, 70% of them have searched for brands on the app. What happens when they search for you and nothing results? They give up, lose interest and forget about it. That’s 210,000,000 people. Meaning, a good portion of them could be searching for you, and you don’t want them to give up on you, you want them to get on board that wooden door and hold on.

You know a picture is worth a thousand words, quite literally. It’s no surprise that Instagram has become the fastest growing major social platform, when 90% of information transmitted to our brains is visual. Facebook posts that contain images receive twice as many comments as simple text or links, so Instagram cuts out all the unwanted text for users and creates a purely visual platform. This is perfect for us marketers, we can target these users in a way which they will actually absorb.

Instagram should be your go to place for visual campaigns, but you have to cater your content to Instagram. It’s a very particular platform, with 91% of all users engaging with content daily, and 42% claiming Instagram as their source for currency in trends. We’ve learned a few things along the way with advertising on Instagram, both with targeted sponsored posts and general branded content, and here they are.


Besides their prefixes, there exists a difference between the two – your inspirational content is temporary. It’s a “wouldn’t it be great to be like that” type thing, it’s in the front of consumers’ minds for seconds, perhaps minutes if they’ve still got a grip on their concentration span despite the millennium, then it’s gone. Your aspirational content, on the other hand, is rather striking. It’s an “I’m going to be like that” type thing. Consumers can interact with your inspirational postings, but they’re not likely to be long term lovers – when they are aspired by you, they’re in for the long haul, to keep on that journey abreast of you.



Know who you’re talking to, talk like them, know how they behave and behave like them. It’s a little more tricky to do than it sounds – you need to understand what triggers your audiences’ emotions, and begin to play with the ammunition. At the same time, you also need to remain a sense of authority, you are still the brand and you still know the most about what you do than anyone. Which means, relating to how your audience behaves without coming across as “trying too hard”, and since the majority of Instagram users are millennials, that is very dangerous territory to enter. Try to understand what your followers respect the most about you and uphold those characteristics, but play with all the others. Take photos that your audience might expect from their friends, without losing your authority, keep them realistic.



Instagram is, as aforementioned, a visual platform. It’s the place consumers go to see fun, interesting and relevant photographs, because it’s easier to consume than anything else – so keep it that way. By all means, put all the details of the image, deal or product in the description, just minimise your text overlays. Capture them with your image and teach them in your description – when your audience is scrolling yours or their Instagram feed, their eyes are going to glaze over anything that needs to much effort to understand, and for most, reading an image is unwanted loss of energy.


We’ll leave this one with a quote from Cornell University:

“The study… found that ‘experiences’ are more rewarding than ‘things’ because of the way people tend to evaluate their happiness by comparing themselves with others. For example, it is easier to feel crummy about some possession of yours if you learn that someone else has a superior version of it. “Experiences are inherently less comparative,” says one researcher, which means they tend to bring happiness regardless of other’s.”

We Are Anthology manages social media media for brands. If you’re looking for someone to nurture your brand on social, head over there and see what we can do for you. Or reach out to