Thanks to Instagram, the days of begging potential customers to like and share your business posts are over. Now, as long as you’ve honed your hashtag game, it’s easy to use social media to reach exactly the right sort of people. But it’s not simply a case of tagging left right and centre – there are other tricks to making Instagram work for you. Here, we take a look at the best ways to advertise on the visual platform.

The good news is, Instagram makes it super easy for you to convert any post or video into an ad. Unlike other mediums, users have complete control, deciding everything from the content of the ad to who sees it and more. What’s more, adverts get posted directly from your account, which is great for brands that want to engage directly with their customer base.

According to research, a staggering 80% of Instagram users say they are influenced by the platform when considering a purchase. So, it seems, it’s vital for businesses both small and large to maintain a strong presence. Luckily, even if you’re just starting out, the scalable pricing system means that you can design a campaign to fit your budget. But with so many options available, which should you choose?

Essentially, Instagram offers six different types of ad formats: photos, videos, carousels, collections, stories and reels. And while all of them provide an opportunity to promote your brand, there are small differences between them. Choosing the right one is typically a case of knowing your target market – although it’s often a case of trial and error to see which format works best for you.

Many brands start off a simple photo ad, which only requires a single image to create and launch. But as you begin to explore the world of Instagram advertising, you might want to branch out. Video ads, for example, let you upload footage up to 60 seconds in length, while carousel ads give the option to include up to 10 images that users can swipe through.

If you’re a fan of the Snapchat-like Instagram Stories, meanwhile, you can also use this feature to create time-sensitive ads with an exclusive feel. Or, for something a little more lasting, you can also use the Reels format to promote your brand. Finally, collection ads show a series of still images like a slideshow, ideal for showcasing multiple products in one place.

Once you’ve chosen the right format and created your ad, it’s time to put yourself out there. But don’t forget that it’s not all about driving sales. Advertising through Instagram will improve your brand’s visibility and reach, increasing traffic and boosting engagement – all of which are essential to building a loyal and supportive customer base.