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Two Things Brands Need to Know When Advertising on Instagram

  • by: Jenny Wolfram
  • On: 3, Nov 2016
6 min read

A few weeks ago Instagram announced that there are 500,000 active advertisers on its platform. Furthermore, 1.5 million businesses have converted to a business profile since the launch of Instagram Business Tools in February this year. In other words, brand building through Instagram's ads and ad-buying process becomes more popular, with the promise of efficiently reaching new customers, but also with the necessity of knowing how to strategize and measure.

It’s clear that marketers have spotted a great opportunity and jumped on the chance to utilize Instagram advertising to connect with prospects.

“Businesses have been an important part of the Instagram community since the beginning and continue to be an essential place for businesses to grow," a spokesperson for Instagram said. This person also added that since the launch of  its own advertising program, more than one billion actions related to ads were made.

What do we know about these business profiles? As James Quarles, Instagram's VP & GM of monetization, declared to TechCrunch: "We have a great diversity of industries: consumer goods, e-commerce, retail, and technology. In the ad-buying process,  a retail company for example will be able to include the direct link to its e-commerce site in the targeted ad, following the well-known Facebook model."

Now more than ever, brands recognize the opportunity that Instagram provides and based on's State of Retailing Online 2016: Marketing and Merchandising, 37 percent plan to boost their spending on Instagram in the near future.

If you’re investing in advertising on Instagram and are keen on managing a 5 star Instagram presence, here are two important things to take into consideration:


1. Seize opportunities in the comments section

Our studies show that on average, 1 in 20 comments that for example a retail company receives on their Instagram ads are Customer Inquiries with people asking questions such as “where can I buy this product”, “Is this product available in my country?” or “Does this come in red?”. Replying to these inquiries in real time leads to increased ad performance and happier prospects and customers.

Actions conducted by The Social Habit are showing that 32% of customers who have tried to contact a brand, product, or company through social media for customer support, expect a response within 30 minutes. This also applies to comments on Instagram ads.

For global brands that may be investing a lot in Instagram ads and receiving comments around the clock in a multitude of languages, prompt responding may be hard to organize.

Here we recommend utilizing a response solution like BrandBastion’s that is able to post responses on your behalf to frequently asked questions received on your ads in several different languages ensuring that you’re seizing opportunities around the clock.


2. Don’t let spammers hijack your ads

When an Instagram ad reaches a lot of people, it will most certainly as well attract a multitude of harmful comments. Companies in retail especially receive a lot of unauthorized selling where commenters are trying to free ride on the reach the ad receives, to promote their own products. Spam, racism and inappropriate comments are also frequently spotted on Instagram ads.

Removing these types of harmful comments enables the prospects you reach to focus on your ad instead of conflicting calls to action in the comment section. It also keeps your fans safe from disturbing comments and protects your brand from social media crisis that may easily occur if things get out of hand in the comments section.

Instagram’s own moderation tool that was launched in September only applies to Instagram accounts and not to Instagram ads, which is why it can’t be utilized in this context.  It’s also important in order to keep your ads clean from harmful comments to be extremely accurate in the moderation, as otherwise you risk upsetting fans and removing comments that aren’t actually harmful.

Many brands utilize BrandBastion’s moderation for their Instagram ads, as the moderation is very customizable and also highly accurate by the use of artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning and trained human specialists.

To summarize the above, if you’re investing in Instagram advertising, it’s worth taking into consideration the two points above on how to best utilize opportunities displayed in the comments section, as well as how to best keep your fans safe.

After all, there are over 500,000 active advertisers on Instagram so to stand out, you need to do things just a little better than the rest.


Learn how we can help with responding to comments and preventing harmful comments such as spam from impacting your brand.


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