Instagram Advertising The Targeted Message


Instagram launched as a free photography platform in October of 2010. Just 18 months later, Facebook bought Instagram for one billion dollars. Not bad.

At the time, Facebook was investing heavily in the development of their advertising platform. This platform focused on “interest” and “lifestyle” based targeting  – and it was perfectly suited for Instagram as well.

Even though these social networks share an advertising management console (meaning you can control both Facebook and Instagram advertising programs through a single interface with shared features) marketers are afforded a number of different creative opportunities with Instagram specifically. This includes Sponsored Stories, Instagram Takeovers, and of course, influencer marketing.



Running a successful Instagram advertising campaign starts with understanding your community – or the community you are looking to connect with.

What will provide these individuals with the most possible value? How can we produce content that fits seamlessly into their news-feed, and doesn’t feel like advertising at all? This is often achieved through Influencer Marketing.

Influencer Marketing is simply an endorsement from an individual that carries clout within a specified community. It could be an athlete, musician, or a well known business person. However, it can also be a “micro-influencer,” such as a community activist or local fashionista. The idea is to match the brand or business with an Influencer that truly believes in the product or service they are representing. This creates authenticity, trust, and a social proof message that is more likely to generate interest, engagement and sales.

Influencer Marketing takes the form of photos, videos, sponsored stories, Instagram takeovers, and much more. From the perspective of the Brand, Influencer Marketing represents a way to leverage existing communities of interest. From the Influencer’s perspective, they are afforded an opportunity to highlight products or services that they believe in while putting some extra coin in their pocket. It’s a win-win arrangement, and when executed properly, it brings great value to the Influencers community as well.

In order to run a successful Influencer Marketing campaign, it’s important to find the “right” influencer. What does the “right” Influencer look like? First of all, their community needs to reflect the geographic boundaries of where the Brand is looking to sell.  Secondly, the Influencer needs to be representing a product or service that is a natural fit. It shouldn’t feel forced or contrived. Thirdly, the Influencer needs to strike the right balance between organic content, and promoted content. Otherwise the messages become too salesy, and the Influencer runs the risk of appearing as though they’ve “sold out.”

Once the proper Influencer is identified, it’s important to take a holistic view towards the campaign. What are the digital assets? Where are we driving traffic? What is the ultimate end goal?

Once these questions are answered, a formal strategy can be put forth with specified KPI’s to ensure the campaign delivers upon the predetermined objectives.



Once upon a time, Andy Warhol claimed that “in the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes.” Decades later, it has proven to be a prophetic statement.

It is reported that the average person has 5 social media accounts, and they spend one hour and forty minutes per day on social media. As marketers, we are trained to pursue attention – and right now public attention is clearly focused on channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Snapchat.

Perhaps more importantly, people trust people before they’ll ever trust a brand. So Influencer Marketing represents an opportunity to achieve maximum reach through authentic means.

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“Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art.”

– William Bernbach

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