#27 Instagram Advertising for Small Business

Should you be using Instagram advertising for your small business? It's a question a lot of people have so I was thrilled to have Jordon Meyer join me on the show this week to talk about Instagram advertising, why it's a good idea, and how to get started. 

Jordon is the Founder and President of Granular, a leading PPC agency based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Jordon and the team at Granular have managed over $50 million in pay per click ad spend, ranging from startups to leading companies like Best Buy, Master Lock and Summerfest. He is frequently asked to write and speak on the topic of search marketing. His most memorable moment in PPC is spending over $300,000 in a single day, during Cyber Monday at Best Buy. He also initiated the implementation of Shopping Ads at Best Buy; before he joined the team they were not using PLAs.

Instagram advertising is your opportunity to get in front of specific audiences. Instagram uses the same audience data as Facebook, which lets you get REALLY specific.

Where do you start with Instagram Advertising?

You need to go to the Facebook advertising platform to advertise on Instagram. 

You create an ad as you would for a regular Facebook campaign and then select Instagram from the choice of options for where it should be displayed (newsfeed, sidebar, mobile, Instagram, etc.).

Instagram Advertising for Small Business.jpg

When you create the ad however, make sure to create it with Instagram in mind and run it only to Instagram. This will give you better data and probably better results compared to just pushing an ad to Instagram that was planned for Facebook. 

Setting up targeting strategies is really important: Who do you want to have see the ad? Geographic area? Age? Gender?

Make sure you have the Facebook ad pixel installed on your website. This will allow you to target ads to people who have already been on your website (called warm leads).

Are Instagram Ads Effective?

Instagram ads are the only clickable things in your Instagram newsfeed which gives them a huge advantage (though they now require two clicks instead of just one, to confirm you are looking to leave the Instagram app and that you didn't click accidentally).

Questions to ask yourself when advertising on Instagram:

1) What's your goal?

  • Are you hoping to have people click through to your site?
  • Watch a video?
  • Download an app?

Think about what you're looking to have happen before you start advertising.

2) What is your budget?

You can start fairly low: $50 - $100

3) How long do you want to advertise?

Pick a start  date and end date - two weeks is a good test length. By having a start and end date you have clear data afterwards to measure how your ad did.

4) What's your end goal?

Write down what you want to have happen in the end: More page likes? More downloads? More sales? 

5) Who are you targeting?

Sometimes people think if you're using Instagram you have to target who they think are on Instagram. With the power of the targeting with Facebook and Instagram ads you can target so specifically that even though your audience may not make up a huge percentage of the people on Instagram, you can find them and advertise specifically to them.

#25 - Simple Digital Marketing Tips with Rebecca Stanisic

Planning, blogging, email marketing, Facebook, Instagram and content creation –these are topics familiar to myself and this week’s guest, Rebecca Stanisic from A Little Bit of Momsense. You may remember Becky from episode 19 where we discussed how to create engaging online content for your community. It was through this discussion as well as many coffee dates that Becky and I decided to put together a one day live Digital Content Framework Planning Day on May 5th in Ottawa, Ontario.

Create Digital Content: A Framework Planning Day

The Framework Planning Day will focus on blogging, Facebook, Instagram and content creation – with the idea that attendees will leave with the ability to create a digital content plan and with content ideas and a plan they can put into action right away.

Here is some of what we will be discussing:

Planning Tips

One of Becky’s biggest planning tips is to utilize any common planning tools available – for her it is a Google calendar and physical planner. She uses her Google Calendar to input and keep track of deadlines. She also inputs fake deadlines that act as a reminder i.e., if she has not started a project by such-and-such a date, she is reminded by a pop-up reminder on her smartphone, computer or tablet that she needs to start now. This allows her to effectively plan her work days.

Another planning tool Becky uses is a physical planner in which she also inputs daily deadlines and events in a way that shows her what her week looks like. This allows her to easily say yes or no to last minute opportunities as they arise.

I use goals – and not just the goal to make more money. I write out specific goals in my planners and calendars. Think about what your specific goals are. These goals could be growing your mailing list by a certain number by a specific date or getting a certain number of likes on your Facebook page by a specific date. By writing these specific goals out or inputting them in a digital calendar, it will keep you accountable. These goals can then help with what content you want to share and create online.

Blogging Tips

Becky built her business around her blog. One of her blogging tips is to write in drafts. This helps get content out there even on days when your creative inspiration is at a minimum. Write out your ideas in drafts and then they will always be there for you when you need them.

My blogging tip has to do with format. Make sure your blog posts can be easily skimmed. Readers are often overwhelmed at the amount of online content available to them, so sometimes a quick read is what they are looking for. You can make your blog 'skimmable' by adding an image, and using headings and subheadings. The use of headings gives readers the outline of your blog and they can then decide whether or not they want to read further. Images and headings also increase your search engine optimization (SEO).

Email Newsletter Tips

As an avid newsletter reader, Becky prefers nuggets of information with links and images she can click that redirects her if she wants more information. Doing this drives traffic back to your website, which is your ultimate goal.

Many businesses and bloggers have a tendency to think they don’t need to send newsletters frequently and then when they do send them, their newsletter is jam packed with too many articles, images and news. Newsletters should be as brief, therefore instead of sending your newsletter quarterly, try sending bits of information once a week or even bi-weekly; send less information more frequently versus sending a lengthy email every three months.

Social Media Tips

According to Becky, businesses and bloggers need to pay attention to Facebook and Instagram for sales conversions. Curate your content based on your followers or who you follow. Constantly paying attention to your followers and those who follow people similar to you, helps you find potential new relationships and find new people you may be interested in learning more about. Doing this creates a rich feed that will tie into quality content that you can then share with your readers. 

Facebook, and soon Instagram, rely on engagement in order to show more people what you post. A common question I get is how to get people to engage with content. My main piece of advice is to ask simple questions. Keep your questions simple so that people can answer without thinking. Your goal is to get people talking and simple questions are the most effective way to do that. Once people get used to engaging with your content they may be more inclined to consistently engage.

Content Curation Tips

Finding good content does not mean finding and sharing viral content because there is no guarantee that it will do well on your page. Instead find content that is equally or more interesting and share that – become a leader in sharing things that are new and different.

Look for content by looking at your stats; where are people coming from? Are there certain social media posts that were popular and drove people to your website? Find similar content to those posts and share them.

Think about what you want people to know. Keep your content in line with what you want people to know about you and your business.


Becky and I will be digging deeper into these tips and sharing much more in our live one day Content Planning Framework Day on May 5th. If you’re in the Ottawa area we hope to see you there! 

Episode 1: Instagram

The goal of the Social Media Simplified podcast is to introduce entrepreneurs to online tools that can grow their business. This episode focuses on Instagram. Instagram is an online tool that most small businesses should be using, but aren’t – yet. 

What is Instagram?

Instagram takes pictures and short 12-second videos and shares them on a variety of social networks including Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and so on. 

People can like or comment on a photo or video shared on Instagram.

What makes Instagram different?

Unlike Twitter and Facebook, you cannot share or re-post Instagram content without using a third party app or physically copying and reposting.

It’s a visual social network with its own unique following. It’s a tool where you share images and tell a story.

What businesses should use Instagram?

If your audience is younger than 30, then your business should be on Instagram. Younger people are spending less time on Facebook since their parents and grandparents started joining it.

To determine if your audience is on Instagram simply ask them. Casually connect with them via Facebook, in person, on the phone or through e-mail marketing.

Visual businesses, such as florists, restaurant owners and artists – if you sell or produce a product then you should be on Instagram taking incredible pictures of that product.  

What do you share/post on Instagram? 

Think about what you want your customers to know and then figure out how you can capture and share beautiful images that support that message i.e., what you sell, how you can help, how you can give value.

If you have a blog, such as I do, (my blog is Kids in the capital), share things that relate to that blog. We share things such as what we’re making for our kids to eat, silly things they did, and craft ideas.

You want people to know what kind of products you produce and how they can be helpful. Share images of finished products and explain how they’re used. Instagram has a lot of space for accompanying content; so don’t feel like you can only write one sentence. 

Tell the story of your turn around times, exciting new launches, and include links to clients and celebrate their wins.

Instagram Tips

- Links in Instagram posts are not clickable, which is frustrating for business owners looking to link to a specific product or call-to-action. 

- Instead of having the link in your Instagram bio directing to the homepage of your website, change it whenever you want to direct people to a specific product or page. 

- Instagram isn’t about selling; it’s about sharing and building community.

- Use hashtags. Hastags are how people find new accounts and Instagram content to like and follow. Try at least 4-8 hashtags per post. Experiment and see what works best for your content. 

- Tag other people you think would be interested in your post. This works well with contests, i.e. tag a friend who would like a specific product, etc.

Links mentioned in this post:

Kids in the Capital

Lara Wellman’s Instagram

Kids in the Capital Instagram