When used right, Instagram is a great marketing tool. Big and small companies alike long discovered the power of social media marketing and have had a full go at it. Social media influencers milk the platform for all its worth. But, as someone starting out, the question remains: do you have to pay to get noticed?
To pay or not to pay?
Imagine this. You're an inventor, you come up with a great tool to connect people, and you make it free - to some point, because, after all, you need to make money too. That's social media. It's free, for the most part. But if you want to conduct your business on there, is free going to cut it?
The answer is no, not really. To use the words of Marina de Giovani, "You need to play the game."
Instagram has more than 700 million users. That's a lot of people. A good way of taking advantage of that is by using the targeted advertising system that Instagram offers. You get to choose which demographic gets to see your post and for how long your post remains in circulation. Is your target audience people who love Taylor Swift? Tick that. People who have curly hair? Tick that too. People who love pies? Tick that too. Instagram will then show your post to these people, giving you a better reach and higher chances of engagement than when you just post normally without having a selected target audience. Better reach, higher engagement = more awareness of your brand. Paid promotions are so lucrative that they have become a business model for some. If you have aesthetically-pleasing feed but are struggling for views (so many of us in this boat), you've probably been contacted by a few of these companies offering to do your Instagram promotions for you. Can you do that? Well, if you have the money, there's nothing stopping you.
Instagram ad facts
i) Instagram has one of the most advanced social media advertising targeting platforms available.
ii) You can make a business profile on Instagram.
iii) You can track the progress of your ad, including reach, leads, and sales.
So, do you have to pay for Instagram advertising? I guess that depends on what you want. What is your goal? What are you using the platform for? Most importantly, it also depends on your budget.
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