Instagram is teeming with brands fighting to tell their story in an authentic way but thriving in this space is an art form that requires a skillful balance. Managing to capitalize on the capabilities of Instagram to drive customer conversions can be done in two ways. You either opt for Instagram ads to create more awareness for your brand or you go the other way of getting influencers on Instagram to derive more exposure for your products. Deciding on which way is the best for successfully promoting your brand on Instagram is a conundrum that a lot of brands struggle to crack.
That’s the reason why we are going to analyze the effectiveness of Instagram Ads vs. Instagram influencers for marketing your offering and creating brand awareness on the platform.
Making the Case: Ads or Influencers?
Social media platforms have made it easier for brands to market their products and engage with customers and Instagram has become a hotbed for advertising today. The image-sharing social network has also improved its ad solution which now allows brands to use direct install buttons, like “Sign up”, “Shop Now”, and “Install Now”. They can also take advantage of demographic and interest targeting as brands can use Instagram’s API when they’re working on big campaigns.
All these features have made marketing on Instagram through ads easier for brands. Reports suggest that Instagram ad revenue is set to top more than $4 billion across the world in 2019. So, it’s not a surprise to learn that more brands are now more inclined to go down the online ad route.
Before Instagram made changes to their ad solutions, influencer marketing was the method most brands used to reach their audiences and target customers. When it comes to deciding which method is more profitable in 2019, you need to ask yourself some crucial questions, like:
- What are you trying to achieve?
- Do you want customer engagement?
- Is it brand awareness you’re after?
- Do you want to increase your followers?
The answers to these questions will allow you to make the right marketing choice. To elaborate on that, we’ll further highlight some considerations.
Brand Affinity vs. Awareness
If you’re trying to increase brand awareness, the best course of action is choosing Instagram ads as you get immediate results. You also get detailed insights into customer behavior through Instagram’s business tools. These tools allow you to measure the effectiveness and performance of individual ads and the ad campaign as a whole.
Even though using ads to increase brand awareness is a goal worth pursuing, most brands are looking for brand affinity i.e. encouraging users with a brand’s content on social media. That’s harder to achieve with ads and this is where influencers come into the picture.
One of the major strong points of influencer marketing is that it is authentic and reaches out to customers. Users who follow influencers are going to have a different perception than users who follow brands on Instagram, mainly because influencers don’t push out ad content all the time. So, when influencers do share promotional posts, it comes off as organic and genuine.
In the end, the question becomes more about the outcome your brand desires on Instagram. Do you want to build affinity and long-term relationships with your target audience? If yes, influencers are the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re after raising awareness and seeing immediate results for your campaigns, then Instagram ads are what you should choose.