A staggering 1 billion people use Instagram each month. And more than half of Instagrammers follow brands, making them the social networkers who are most likely to do so.
If your business isn’t utilizing Instagram to grow and connect with an audience, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to get in front of engaged consumers. Hootsuite found that 60 percent of Instagram users discover products on the app, and 75 percent take further action, such as visiting a website. However, with 72 percent of marketers stating they plan to increase their usage of Instagram, it’s becoming more and more difficult for brands to stand out online.
In a previous post, we broke down what type of content Instagrammers want to see from brands. But posting organic content only gets your content in front of those who follow you. Brands that want to spread brand awareness to larger audiences outside of their immediate followers are promoting, or boosting, content. And not just any content, they are promoting influencer-generated content (IGC).
IGC sees 8x the engagement compared to brand-directed content because it is tailor-made for social media. Instead of sticking out like a sore thumb on users’ feeds, IGC gets attention for the right reasons. It’s authentic, aspirational, and extremely high-quality. And compared to brand-directed content, its scalable, high value, and high performing.
People use Instagram to communicate and discover. Because influencers are consumers themselves, they resonate with other shoppers who look to them for product recommendations. By promoting influencer content, brands provide new audiences with social proof from reputable sources. If a user sees an influencer they trust promote a new product, the trust is then transferred to the brand itself.
So, if you’re already working with influencers, boosting posts is a simple strategy that can produce massive returns.
What are boosted Instagram posts?
Boosted Instagram posts are posts that brands pay to promote to a broader audience. They look just like sponsored posts, but boosting an existing post is different than running a normal ad because you are not creating a new ad set. Instead, an organic post is shown to a predetermined audience that extends past the original poster’s followers.
Boosting posts is beneficial for anyone looking to:
- Maximize impressions to build brand awareness and recognition
- Increase conversions from sales, click-throughs, and more
- Increase brand loyalty in an organic and authentic way; influencer-generated content shows the brand’s product/service in the most relatable way
- Leverage existing engagement from organic posts, and create transferable engagement
- Create mutually beneficial relationships with influencers; by boosting their posts, you’re giving them tons of new exposure.
The best part of putting spending behind organic Instagram posts is that the posts are already live on Instagram. Choose content that performed well organically, then boost it to an even larger audience.
Boosting posts is a strategy especially useful for increasing followers and social engagement. And because Facebook Ad’s set of tools provide you with a plethora of targeting options, you can target even the most granular audiences. And once you’ve built your target audience, you can encourage them to convert with CTA’s from “shop now,” “visit profile,” and “learn more.”
When creating your CTAs, keep your brand’s marketing goals in mind. For example, if the goal is brand awareness, opt for a CTA that leads people to your website to learn more. If the goal is sales and conversions, lead users to a product page or shopping page.
Ways to boost a post on Instagram
Instagram’s Branded Content Ads
Instagram recently announced Branded Content Ads. This in-app tool allows you to boost posts from influencers that you’ve worked with through Instagram's “paid partnership” tool. Brands have the ability to select targeting criteria based on age, location, and interests. However, these posts only appear on Instagram, not Facebook. Brands also have the ability to add CTAs to drive traffic to your website. Overall, this option is slightly more limited when it comes to targeting capabilities, but it is a simplified solution for beginners. Check out how to set up Branded Content Ads here.
Gain advertiser access
Gaining advertiser access from the influencers you work with is the option that gives you the most control over targeting and media spending. Once you have advertiser access, the influencer’s Instagram Account will appear in the Instagram section of your own Business Settings in Facebook Ads Manager. Then, you have the ability to use highly customizable targeting options to target audiences in whatever way you see fit. These posts can appear on Facebook, Instagram, and even stories.
An alternative would be to repost influencer content on your own Instagram, and boost the post as you would any ad with Facebook Ads Manager. This option allows you to maintain control of targeting settings. However, posts coming from influencers often have higher conversion rates. By promoting your own post, you lose out on the “social proof” and can potentially see fewer conversions.
Leave it in influencers’ hands
As a last resort, you can provide influencers with a budget to boost their own post. As a brand, you’d have to be very clear with targeting instructions to ensure that all ads are set up correctly. We only recommend this solution to brands that do not have the bandwidth to create their own ads, or for brands working with influencers without business Instagram accounts.