How To Leverage Your Instagram Audience with Paid Ads

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So, you’ve spent a bunch of time building your Instagram community. Now what?

There are plenty of free ways to leverage this audience by doing things like promoting your products regularly and having a nice sales funnel set up that starts from the link in your bio. But have you considered paid ads? They are a great way to continue expanding your following and target a relevant market with your offers.

Using Facebook ads manager you can run a variety of ads that utilise your Instagram (or Facebook page) audience in order to help grow your account and make more sales.

I have a picture tutorial of where to go to find these features at the end of the post.

How to Gain New Followers with Paid Facebook Ads

First of all, once you have built a little audience of relevant users in your target market, you can use that data to create a lookalike audience in Facebook ads manager. If you use the tips I outline in my free e-mail course you will build a fantastic base following to use for a lookalike audience.

This lookalike audience is an audience of people who are most like your current audience. This is crazy powerful!

All you have to do is create a graphic or short video that says something along the lines of “Want to Learn More about [what you do]? Swipe Up!” Or “Love [what you offer]? Swipe Up to be inspired!” Whatever value you offer, simply add a call-to-action of ‘Swipe Up’ if they are interested. Set the link to your instagram profile (www.instagram.com/yourusername) and you’re good to go.

What to do if you don’t have a relevant following yet

This method will not be effective, however, if you don’t already have a relevant following. You can also use paid ads instead of a manual method to attract your initial followers by creating a custom audience to target. All this means is instead of Facebook determining who would most like your account, you input your target market data (everything from location to age range, job title, job industry, marital status, interests, and so on) from scratch. It’s super easy!

This is your awareness funnel

Marketing has three basic levels: awareness, consideration, and conversion. I highly recommend having ads and/or organic strategy that hits each of these three levels in order to funnel potential customers toward a sale.

When you are gaining new followers to your profile this is the ‘awareness’ stage. They are introduced to who you are and what you do. So long as you share valuable, engaging content and client results/testimonials they will also enter the consideration phase!

The consideration phase is where a potential customer starts building trust toward your brand. The most potent and simple way to do this is through social proof like testimonials, reviews, and other user generated content.

How To Advertise To Your Followers Using Paid Ads

When someone follows you they’ve gone from being a cold lead to a warm lead (unless they are a customer who has purchased from you before, of course). Yay! They’re a step closer to buying. But how to get them to actually buy?

A lot of the actual marketing strategy depends on things like your pricing, target market, and so on. A high cost item that takes a lot of consideration before purchasing may need a more involved and complex funnel than a low-cost product designed to be a novelty or spontaneous purchase.

However the main thing to know is that you can make ads that target people who have engaged with your Instagram profile. So, instead of throwing away money advertising your products or services to a cold audience you can spend that money on your warm leads who are far more likely to convert to a purchase because they’ve already gone down the path from awareness to consideration.

In a nutshell: this method saves money and makes your paid advertising strategy far more cost effective.

You can even do things like set up another custom audience of people who made a purchase (so long as your FB pixel is all set up!) and EXCLUDE that audience from seeing your sales ads.

This Method Works With Multiple Channels

You don’t have to use this set up only for Instagram! I have a similar set up for people who subscribed to my e-mail course (another warm audience). I never advertise my services to a cold audience because they are high-cost/high-consideration services (ok, I tried advertising straight to a cold audience once and it was a waste of money - no results whatsoever). I advertise my free e-mail course and social channels and then create custom audiences to retarget those users.

How To Create a Custom Audience in Facebook Ads Manager

First thing’s first: you need a Facebook ads manager account set up, and your Instagram profile needs to be a business profile connected to a Facebook page. Once you’ve done that you’ll be able to follow these steps:

Open up the ads manager menu and go to ‘Audiences’ in the ‘Assets’ column

Open up the ads manager menu and go to ‘Audiences’ in the ‘Assets’ column

Then click ‘Create A Custom Audience’

Then click ‘Create A Custom Audience’

Click ‘Engagement’ at the bottom of the list

Click ‘Engagement’ at the bottom of the list

Then choose ‘Instagram business profile’

Then choose ‘Instagram business profile’

Then you can choose precisely which types of engagement you want to target - personally I choose ‘Everyone who engaged’ and change the number to the past 30 days. Then simply name the audience and click ‘create’ audience. It will then save!

Then you can choose precisely which types of engagement you want to target - personally I choose ‘Everyone who engaged’ and change the number to the past 30 days. Then simply name the audience and click ‘create’ audience. It will then save!

How To Create A Lookalike Audience in Facebook Ads Manager

Navigate to the same ‘Audiences’ page as described above, then ‘Create a Lookalike audience’ to bring up this menu. Under source click ‘Create New’ and choose custom audience. It’s the same process as described above for the custom audience - just choose Engagement > Instagram business profile. Set the Audience size to 1 and enter a location if relevant. Click create audience to save!

Navigate to the same ‘Audiences’ page as described above, then ‘Create a Lookalike audience’ to bring up this menu. Under source click ‘Create New’ and choose custom audience. It’s the same process as described above for the custom audience - just choose Engagement > Instagram business profile. Set the Audience size to 1 and enter a location if relevant. Click create audience to save!

How To Use These Audiences in Ads

In the ‘Audience’ section of the create an ad tool simply click in the custom audiences field to bring up your saved audiences! Then you’re done!

In the ‘Audience’ section of the create an ad tool simply click in the custom audiences field to bring up your saved audiences! Then you’re done!

Ads Management Services

If you need help with paid ads I offer both coaching/training to set up a custom strategy for your business, as well as ongoing ads management. Feel free to book a discovery call to chat about your needs and options!