Factors affecting your Instagram Ads

Instagram when launched in October 2010 and was mainly used as a photo-sharing app, with photo frames being of square aspect ratio (1:1) and 640 pixels which matched the display ratio of the iPhone at the time. In those years people used Instagram to mostly share random photos of objects, people, thoughts, and themselves which expressed their life and personalities. However, if you scroll through anyone’s posts now, you have to see people’s life experiences in 4K resolution. As the years went on, Instagram has not only built its platform to being advertising friendly for big brands, but also for regular people who own small local businesses to optimise their revenue

In 2020, Instagram added the shop button right on its home page thus, making it more seamless for customers to own the products, services, and experiences which they often see on the 'Gram'. According to Instagram’s statistics, 60% of people discover new products on the platform. There are more than 200 million-plus visits on the business profiles present on Instagram daily.

This article will help you understand how the Instagram ad algorithm works and what you have to get right for Instagram to push your ads onto your desired target audiences:

Since you advertise to regular customers who mainly own a non-business account you have to think like a consumer.

We know that Instagram likes to keep a record of our activities, especially the kind of posts that we’ve liked previously. This gives them an idea of the user’s preferences and keeps showing the users similar content on their feed/explore page. Therefore, to get people interested in your content you must post consistently so that you feature on people’s feed/explore page. Keep in mind that spamming your followers with posts and asking people to constantly follow you will result in either people muting you or blocking you or worse Instagram limiting your reach. So be wise with your timing and post content that people want to see consistently.

You want your photos to be liked and reshared and for video posts, it is “views” which counts to get a higher engagement ranking on Instagram

This brings us to the second factor: time. The algorithm goes beyond the usual engagement indicators such as likes, comments, and shares to get you maximum visibility and reach. To take full advantage of that it is essential for you to know when is the best time to post your features. This depends upon the time when your users are most active. In general, lunchtime from 11 am to 1 pm or in the evening 7 pm to 9 pm are the best timings to post. This also depends on the location of the majority of your followers. For example, if you are from Auckland and the maximum of your followers are from U.S.A, you have to post your content keeping in mind the time when followers have an active presence on the Gram. You can use the Facebook Ad Manager to schedule your Instagram posts so that you can make the most out of your posts at the golden hour of the day.

Next would be the number of followers. It is always good to have a vast number of followers for your account; however, Instagram has it's ways of tracking down ghost and fake followers. We often come across profiles who may have millions of followers but when you see the number of likes and views it is not even one-tenth of the follower count. Now we understand that not every follower will come across your posts and interact with those, but when there is a huge gap between the numbers it could mean that a large number of your followers are fake accounts or ghost followers. Instagram periodically removes such accounts from their application and this would do more harm to your brand than good when suddenly your followers' counts take a nosedive.

The same rules apply when you are creating content in the format of IGTV, Stories, or Reels. The more interactive you make the content with your followers; Instagram will further push your content on either of these formats. Don’t be disheartened if you are not able to secure the likes of the people who come across your posts. Remember the viewing time users spent on your posts is also an important factor the algorithm considers before showing them more of your other/similar posts.

In all Instagram is definitely a fantastic platform to create brand awareness and increase engagement. The unique editing tools, filters, and engagement tools (polls, ask a question on Stories) gives us marketers several options at our disposal to create good, relevant, and high production value content. Thus, once you master the Instagram algorithm, it will certainly help your business to grow your audience.

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