In 2013, Facebook advertising had already been around for a few years, but many entrepreneurs were still slow to adopt it for their business. For some, the advertising channel was just a source of confusion. Heck, maybe it still is today.
If you were advertising online in 2013, you’ll know exactly why that year was special. That was the first year Facebook launched video advertisements — and wow, if you ask me, the results were tremendous. Back then, you could run a video advertisement and get an insanely low cost per click, which usually meant high return on investment (ROI), as long as you had a good product to sell.
The reason I mention this is because, for most marketers who have been around the block, you’ll hear the stories of “the good old days,” when advertising was super cheap and extraordinarily profitable (at least in comparison to today). You may even have some of those stories yourself.
The good news is that right now in 2019, there are still worthwhile social advertising strategies and techniques available. That’s right — the “good old days” are still here. I find that most marketers are unaware of how powerful some of the new features out there are, so I’m going to explain three of the top social media advertising techniques that you can use to create visibility and profits for your company.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
1. Instagram Stories Ads
Those quirky 15-second videos you see on Instagram are actually my preferred, No. 1 choice for present-day social media advertising. The reason is simple. Instagram (and concurrently, Facebook) Stories ads are relatively new, and as with most new advertising techniques, costs are currently low compared to other more time-tested strategies.
If you’re new to the scene, let me give you a quick background. A few years ago, Snapchat created the “stories” product, and Instagram later launched its own version. A “story” is a 15-second video that people film, often about their day or something funny, which lasts for 24 hours on their Snapchat or Instagram profile. Most people use stories just to have fun or, in some cases, give quick value.
Now, for the good stuff. Here’s why you want to pay attention to Stories:
We, as users, tend to respond to stories differently than a traditional news feed ad. When someone sits down to watch through their Instagram stories, they are often in a much more relaxed state of mind. They are used to seeing funny, quick 15-second videos. So, if you can make your ads engaging and match this type of content, they have the potential to do well.
Another benefit of Instagram Stories ads is that they only need to be 15-second videos (and they can even be still pictures). So, if you have a hard time getting creative, you only need to produce 15 seconds of content. Easy.
Start testing Instagram Stories ads today — in my opinion, this is probably the most important opportunity to immediately utilize.
2. Instagram Feed Video Ads
Now that you understand Instagram Stories ads, let me tell you about the second most profitable ad source, in my opinion: Instagram feed video ads.
It’s no surprise that videos can be powerful, especially with so many people using services like Netflix or YouTube. And today, many people are inclined to watch quick videos versus long-form videos. That makes your job super easy as an advertising creator.
Here’s what you need to know about Instagram video ads: First of all, they only need to be 60 seconds. They actually can’t be longer based on Instagram’s parameters. Another good thing about Instagram video ads is you can post them onto your Instagram profile and then boost them. So by default, you can get a lot of traffic directly to your profile page.
If your company has a strong presence on Instagram, you can potentially gain more sales due to the social proof you’ve created on your page. For example, if your brand page has 50,000 followers and someone sees your ad, they may be more inclined to like and trust your brand because 50,000 other people also seem to like and trust it (because they follow it).
And if your brand is new and doesn’t have that many followers, don’t worry. Instagram has advertising options to help you find more followers, which leads me to my next point.
3. Instagram ‘View Profile’ Ads
The theme today has been Instagram ads, and your Insta toolkit wouldn’t be complete without using some “view profile” ads. A view profile ad is actually more of a call to action than a type of advertising. Let me explain.
In traditional advertising, you would have an ad (say, your 60-second video) and then a call to action (this is a link to sell your product or get the viewer of your ad to take action). On Instagram, you can make the call to action “view profile.” What this means is that instead of sending the person clicking on your ad to a sales page or to another website, you can send them right to your Instagram profile.
Now, you might say, “Why would I do that when I could send them to a link to buy something?”
Here’s why: You can use this type of advertising to get followers, build up social proof and set the scene to maximize and amplify your other advertisements.
When people view your profile, they may follow, like or comment. So, when you run other ads in the future, other people will see the follows, likes and comments, and they may be more likely to do business with you based on your social proof.
In my opinion, view profile ads are super powerful, and they are a perfect complement to the other tools in your tool belt.