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Want to show ROI for your Insta activities? This is how you can set and hit targets worthy of showing off.
Are you generating tangible results from your Instagram activity? If not, it could be time to tap into the power of Instagram campaigns. Unlike your regular brand-building content on Instagram, campaigns are designed to help you hit a specific, measurable target and work towards a tangible business goal. Ultimately, Instagram campaigns are what will help you book out your client calendar, sell out your latest product release or significantly boost your Instagram followers. But to make the most of your first (or next) Instagram campaign, you need a plan in place and a thorough understanding of what campaign type is right for your business. Luckily, we cover all of that (and so much more) in this ultimate guide to Instagram campaigns below.
When it comes to using Instagram for business, there are broadly two types of content you’ll be sharing: Instagram campaigns and business-as-usual (BAU) content. You’re probably familiar with the latter, even if you haven’t come across this term before. In a nutshell, BAU content are ongoing, brand-building Instagram posts that aim to foster awareness and trust with your audience. This content is designed to keep your brand top-of-mind with current and potential customers and are shared on a regular basis (whether that’s multiple posts per day or a handful of regular posts each week).On the flipside, Instagram campaigns are specific marketing campaigns with a defined, singular goal. These campaigns run for a fixed period of time and have a clear, time-sensitive objective they are working to achieve. Plus, the goal of an Instagram campaign is targeted, specific and measurable, lending itself to driving conversion. Let’s put this another way: if your Instagram activity were Olympic events, your BAU content would be the Marathon while your Instagram campaigns would be the 100m final. When designing Instagram campaigns, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what action you’re encouraging users to take and how this will help you achieve a specific business goal. Commonly, Instagram campaigns are focused on:
Ultimately an effective Instagram marketing strategy will cover both categories of content. But, there are specific scenarios and reasons why you should be peppering Instagram campaigns into your social strategy, which we’ll dive into next.
Now, you’re probably wondering: if I’m already posting content regularly to Instagram, why the heck should I put more time, effort and money into running Instagram campaigns? While BAU content is essential to building brand awareness and fostering trust with audiences, it’s unlikely to inspire conversion at scale. Instead, Instagram campaigns complement your ongoing activity with highly targeted, goal-driven content designed to make a meaningful impact on your bottom line. Let’s dive into five of the key benefits of running an Instagram campaign:
If you’re looking to turn your Instagram marketing into a conversion driving machine, Instagram campaigns need to be a part of your overall strategy. These tailored, action-driven campaigns are what will turn your audience and followers into paying customers and allow you to show tangible ROI from your social media marketing efforts.
Like any marketing channel, Instagram campaigns aren’t right for every business. But, for those brands that are targeting the demographics that are using Instagram on a daily basis, running Instagram campaigns can accelerate your chances of success on the platform. Not sure if Instagram campaigns are right for your business? Let’s take a look at some of the key signs that indicate your brand may benefit from leveraging Instagram campaigns.
No matter what industry you’re working in, Instagram campaigns can help you tap into new, profitable opportunities on social media and show strong attribution from your social efforts to your businesses’ bottom line.
As you’d expect, it’s important to tailor the type of Instagram campaign you run to your business goals. Whether you have some marketing budget to leverage, want to grow your following or decide a contest is the way to go, here is a comprehensive list of the types of Instagram campaigns you can tap into.
Want total control over exactly who your campaigns reach? If you’re looking to amplify your Instagram marketing efforts, paid Instagram campaigns can be the answer. As the name suggests, paid campaigns dip into a portion of your marketing budget to serve Instagram ads and posts to specific Instagram users. There are stacks of different ad placements and formats available to paid campaigns, including:
While paid posts look almost identical to organic posts, one of the tell-tale signs that a post is promoted is the “sponsored” label. Plus, ads give you the ability to use clickable links and call-to-action (CTA) buttons (whether that’s ‘Shop Now’, ‘Learn More’, ‘Sign Up’ or whatever action best aligns with the advertisers’ campaign).How much does it cost to run a paid campaign on Instagram? This figure really depends on a few things:
While there’s no exact cost benchmarks, one of the best ways to check how much you’d expect to spend is to set up your Instagram paid campaign in Facebook Ads Manager. Once you’ve added in your target audience, objective, budget and ad schedule, check the graph labeled ‘Audience Definition’ and ‘Estimated Daily Reach’. This will show you the potential reach of your entire campaign and can help you assess whether you need to increase or decrease your budget to hit your campaign goals. How to create paid campaigns on Instagram Ready to start leveraging paid campaigns on Instagram? You have a few different options to bring your paid promotions to life on the platform.
Step 1: Choose your objective, which could include:
Step 2: Set your campaign budget and schedule:
This determines how much you’d like to spend on your campaign and how long these ads will run for. Tip: for total control over your campaign spend, we recommend using the ‘Lifetime Budget’ option which allows you to cap how much you’re spending on this campaign over its entire lifetime.
Step 3: Clarify your audience:
Now, it’s time to select the demographic of users you’d like to target. Here you can define your audience based on age, location, interest and behaviours or upload your own audience data (such as website visitors or subscribers) to create your target audience.
Step 4: Choose your ad placements:
This step is all about deciding what ad format best suits your campaign goals. Here you have two options:
Step 5: Design and publish your ads:
Now it's time to select the images, videos and copy that will best suit your campaign. Once you’re happy with the creative for each ad, hit ‘Confirm’ to launch your paid campaign.
As you can tell, there’s tonnes of powerful targeting opportunities with paid Instagram campaigns. That’s why more and more brands are opting to add paid spend behind their campaigns to supercharge their reach, boost conversions and drive powerful results.
Any posts that your brand shares to Instagram (without having to put a budget behind it) is organic content. This free content (from photos to videos to memes, Stories, IGTV and Reels) allows you to reach new audiences without making a dent in your marketing budget. When we talk about organic Instagram campaigns, we’re talking about a series of posts that are working towards a shared goal. Some examples of organic Instagram campaigns include:
The challenge with organic Instagram campaigns is this: you have less control over who sees your content. Plus, without the ability to target specific audience demographics, the reach of your campaign is limited, too. In fact, the success of your organic Instagram campaigns are heavily dictated by Instagram’s algorithm. In many cases, only a portion of your own followers will see every post you share, and your ability to reach new audiences is capped when using organic content alone. That’s why a successful Instagram marketing strategy leverages both organic and paid activity to build a community of engaged followers and amplify the success of each piece of content with a paid budget.
Building a thriving, engaged community on Instagram is what will help boost the results of all your Instagram effort. That’s why designing campaigns that boost brand awareness and grow your following need to be a top priority. When it comes to growing your following on Instagram, reaching new high-value audiences is the name of the game. You need to have a clear strategy for the target market and demographics you’re looking to target, otherwise growing your Instagram follower count will simply become a vanity metric. And here’s why: growing a large follower base of the wrong type of users (a.k.a. People who aren’t going to convert into paying customers) won’t provide any tangible results for your business. Instead, you want to focus on drilling down into your customer personas, identifying their needs, goals, challenges and pain points and using this to inform every part of your Instagram follower campaign. In practical terms, here are some the tactics an Instagram follower campaign might use to attract new, high-quality followers:
By building an engaged follower base filled with the right kind of users, you can ensure the rest of your Instagram marketing efforts deliver tangible ROI and make a meaningful impact on your business, too.
Did you know that Instagram campaigns generate an ad recall that’s 2.8x higher than other forms of online advertising? This metric is all about raising the awareness of your brand with potential customers on Instagram. The more users remember your brand, the more likely they are to choose you when deciding where to make a purchase. And Instagram is a powerful platform for inspiring purchasing habits. 75% of Instagram users take action after seeing a brand’s post (such as visiting their website), meaning the platform is designed to generate strong brand awareness. What makes Instagram perfect for hosting brand awareness campaigns is this: the platform offers unique tools and features that allow you to reach and gain the attention of new audiences. Some of Instagram’s top brand awareness tools and features include:
When it comes to running brand awareness campaigns on Instagram, your business has the ability to use both organic and paid activity to increase the visibility of your brand on the platform. These tools give the chance to connect with new audiences and showcase what makes your brand stand out against the competition.
Did you know that the average engagement rate on Instagram is 10x higher than Facebook? When it comes to driving meaningful action from your audience on social media, Instagram offers stacks of opportunities to leverage. When we talk about engagement campaigns on Instagram, we’re referring to campaigns that inspire users to interact with your content on Instagram. It involves tracking key metrics such as:
The key to running a successful engagement campaign on Instagram is to understand what will motivate your audience to interact and engage with your brand. To do this, you’ll need to regularly review your Instagram Insights and assess which content is inspiring the highest engagement rate from your followers. With this data on-hand, you’ll be able to design an inspiring engagement campaign that drives your audience to interact with your brand in meaningful ways. In practical terms, that means:
By running a campaign to boost your engagement on Instagram, you’ll be able to move your followers along in the buyer journey and prime them for conversion (whether that’s downloading your app, signing up for your newsletter or making a purchase).
Speaking of engagement, one of the most powerful ways to drive deep interactions and engagement from your audience is to run an Instagram contest. Not only will this boost the visibility of your account and help you reach new audiences, but it can also help you grow your follower base at the same time. However, before you get started it’s important to understand the strict guidelines that apply when running a contest on Instagram. First and foremost, you need to make it clear in all of your contest posts that Instagram is not involved in the competition. This means Instagram is released of any responsibility or involvement in your competition. That also means that you’ll need to figure out all of the tech and processes needed to run the contest on Instagram (as the platform is unable to assist with the admin side of running this promotion).Next up, you need to have a clear set of rules and guidelines for entrants to follow when taking part in your contest. This needs to cover:
Need some creative inspiration to inspire your first (or next) Instagram content? Here are some of our favourite contents formats to try:
Now, you’re probably wondering: how do you run an Instagram contest? Here’s an easy-to-follow guide to everything you need to know about setting up your next Instagram competition:
Set a clear goal for what you want to achieve:
Make sure you understand what results you’re looking to achieve (whether that’s follower growth, post engagements or the creation of UGC). Set clear benchmarks and KPIs to track your success along the way.
Plan your contest in advance:
The better prepared you are ahead of time, the better your contest results will be. That means understanding:
Make your contest easy to enter:
By reducing the number of actions and steps users need to take to enter, you’ll be able to boost contest entries and drive stronger results.
Offer an appropriate prize:
To incentivise participation, you need to ensure you’re offering a reward that is lucrative to your audience and will inspire them to take action.
Measure your results: m
Make sure you have clear benchmarks and metrics to track your success, including:
Looking to drive conversion from Instagram? That’s where this final Instagram campaign type comes in: sales or promotions campaigns. Unlike brand awareness campaigns, sales campaigns have one goal in mind: conversions. The aim here is to drive bottom-of-the-funnel activity to impact your bottom line. The key to running this type of campaign successfully is to ensure your audience is primed and ready to convert. This means sales or promotions campaigns should be run after you’ve built a loyal, engaged following through a follower growth campaign. That will ensure your sales campaign doesn’t launch to crickets or lead to a low conversion rate. So, how does a sales campaign work? Typically brands use this type of campaign to:
When it comes to executing a sales or promotional campaign, Instagram offers stacks of helpful features to streamline the path to purchase and help boost your conversion rate, including:
Plus, aside from Instagram’s shoppable features, there are a stack of powerful ways to use the platform’s other features to leverage sales campaigns. These include:
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Now we’ve covered all the main types of Instagram campaigns (and how your business can leverage them), let’s walk you through how to execute your next Instagram campaign from start to finish.
As we’ve discussed earlier, there are stacks of different campaign objectives you can choose to guide your Instagram campaign. Ultimately, these objectives will define the goals you’re striving to achieve and the targets you set for the campaign, too. In broad terms, the main campaign objectives you can choose from include:
And here's why setting these campaign objectives and goals are important:
Once you’ve settled on the broad objective for your Instagram campaign, it’s now time to define what that means as a campaign goal. The SMART goal setting framework is one of the best ways to give your campaign objectives a clear focus and parameters to measure success. Here’s what the SMART framework translates to:
If you’re running a paid campaign, you’ll be able to select this objective at the start of your ad set up. However, if you’re running an organic campaign, this objective should be top-of-mind and used to set out the strategy and tactics you’ll use to hit your goals.
With your overall campaign goals and objectives in place, it’s time to assign these goals tangible targets. And that’s where campaign metrics come in. Each campaign objective has a key selection of metrics you should be tracking to determine whether you’re on or off target. Here’s a definitive list of campaign objectives and the associated metrics you should be tracking:
Once you’ve narrowed down what metrics are aligned with your campaign objective, it’s time to set KPIs and targets to hit. The best campaigns have incremental targets that you’re working towards during your campaign as well as end of campaign KPIs that you’ll review in your post campaign report. Again, make sure to give each target a defined goal, time frame and exact metric to track your success. And if you’re not hitting these targets? Make adjustments to your campaign as you go (whether that’s changing budgets, the target audience or switching up the messages and creative used in your ads).
Now, it’s time to get planning. With your objectives and targets in place, it’s time to map out what steps you need to take to bring your campaign to life. You should set aside anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for the planning phase of your Instagram campaign to give yourself enough runway to put your ideas into action. The time it will take to plan your campaign ultimately depends on the complexity of your activity. For example, if you’re planning to engage 20+ influencers to help drive sales for a new product launch, this will take significantly longer to plan than a simple email sign up campaign. In general terms, some of the key steps you’ll need to take when planning your campaign include:
The more time and energy you put into the planning stage of your campaign, the more effective it will be in hitting your desired goals and objectives.
With your plan in place, it’s time to put your campaign into action with a campaign content calendar. This document will act as a guide to hold you accountable and explain what content is going to be published (and when).To help you create your campaign calendar, here’s a guide to what kind of information it should include:
Make sure to schedule all of your campaign posts in advance to take the guesswork out of running your Instagram campaign. This will ensure you never miss a post or spend too much time manually publishing each post you’re planning to share.
Once your campaign has wrapped up, the work isn’t over. The best Instagram marketers understand the value of reviewing performance and tracking how your campaign measured up against your original goals and targets. To conduct this post campaign review, here are a few key steps to follow:
Last, but not least, is your post campaign activity. Once you’ve hit your goals (whether that’s driving new subscribers, sales or followers), it’s time to follow up with these users and inspire action from them. Once your campaign has wrapped up, take some time to consider how you can make best use of these new leads for your business. That might include:
The goal here is to continue the conversation with your new audience and keep your brand front-of-mind with them to inspire brand loyalty and even advocacy. So, there you have it. Instagram campaigns have the ability to drive meaningful results for your business and turn your Instagram followers into paying customers. By understanding which campaign type is right for your business, planning your activity in advance and having clear benchmarks for success, you’ll be in the best position to generate tangible ROI from your first (or next) Instagram campaign.
Regardless of the latest Instagram algorithm updates, it’s important to do your own research and check which of your posts are performing the best, as the AI models that control the Instagram algorithm are changing all the time. What works well now may not be working for you in six months. That’s why reporting is so important when it comes to social media marketing.
Sked Social is a powerful social media marketing tool with the ability to streamline your content scheduling process and save you hours every month. But it also has comprehensive social media reporting functions that can help you track the performance of your content from month to month. Regular reporting is crucial if you want to create high-performing content that reaches new users.
If you want a comprehensive social media scheduling and reporting tool that allows you to automatically schedule content for TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and every other major social media platform, Sked Social is the one for you.