I will be first to admit I barely use Instagram. There are multiple reasons for that, but #1 being that it is all done from my phone and #2 being that you cannot attach a link to an image.
However, in the world of social media marketing, Instagram offers a huge platform, with an audience of more than 1.16 billion people.
As of July 2021, 31% of Instagram users were shown to be between 25 and 34 years old. The second-largest group, at 25.7 percent, was between the ages of 18 to 24. So, it definitely appeals to a younger audience and that is something to consider when marketing your books.
Because I promised to experiment with each platform, I ran an Instagram ad. It was very similar to running a Facebook ad, as far as the steps to set it up.
- Start with a Goal – What do you want to get out of your ad? Most likely, the answer is more sales, more Website visits or more followers.
- Identify your Audience – We’ve already explored the importance of this step in the Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads posts. Who is most likely to buy your book? Who is most likely to follow you? These are questions you have to ask yourself and answer honestly. The right answer cannot be “everyone.”
- Refine your content and Message – What do you want to say? The content of your message is equally as important as any other step in setting up an Instagram Ad. The rule of thumb, is that your message needs to make a person ‘feel’ something. And don’t forget an image is a must. Without an image, you have no Instagram post.
- Develop a Hashtag – This is different from other ads in that you do need to create your own hashtag. It can be hashtag your author name, your book title, or a book series. However, keep it short and sweet. No more than three words strung together. For example, #AuthorJanSikes, or #GhostlyInterference or #StoryEmpire. You get the idea.
- Select a Placement – Once you have your message crafted with the image and hashtags, choose where to place your ad. There are fifteen options available to you in Instagram. But you need to uncheck ALL of them except Instagram Feed.
- Decide on a Budget – For my ad, I chose a budget of $20. That was what I could afford. Of course, your budget is totally up to you.
- How many days do you want to run the ad? – That is also up to you.
- Pick a format – Do you want to choose a single image, video, carousel, or Instagram stories?
- Add your website URL – This is imperative to an Instagram ad. It can either be your Website URL, your Amazon Author Page or a book link (which can be a universal link).
- Create a Headline – Make it something eye-catching!
- Pick a Call to Action – Purchase, Follow or whatever it is you are wanting the viewer to do.
- Link to your Website – This is an extra step in creating an Instagram Ad, but one you don’t want to skip.
- Do a Final Review – Make sure everything looks the way you want it before you hit publish!
And because I promised to experiment with these different advertising avenues, I posted a photo to Instagram of my book, Ghostly Interference, along with the bronze medal award it received from the Readers Favorite 2021 Book Awards Contest.
The results were not earth-shattering. For the $20 I spent, you can see for yourself, the ROI was very minimal. I’d be surprised if one sale came from the ad.
However, I do not want to discount the power of this social media platform. I think I simply haven’t taken the time and effort required to develop a presence. I’d love to hear from you. Have any of you had success using Instagram? If so, tell us what works for you!
Also if you’ve missed other posts in this Book Marketing Series, you can find them below.