DIY Marketing: Tell a story with Instagram

In DIY Marketing: The Basics, you saw just how many options you have for building your own marketing strategy. In this article, we are focusing on how you can use Instagram to advertise, reach new audiences, and tell the inside story about your organization.

Just a heads up: ads on Instagram are set up in Facebook (which are fully covered in DIY Marketing: Advertising with Facebook) and posts on Instagram can only done from a mobile device. You can only see your profile and react to other profiles from a computer.

A picture is worth more than words

In today’s digital age, people are more inclined to look at an image with a small caption than to read a post, no matter how good the content is. That is how Instagram has taken the world by storm: a platform that solely focuses on creating impressions with pictures.

Luckily, continuing education (CE) can really capitalize on this, by using images that related to specific courses and building advertisements, promotions, and posts that not only draw attention using stunning images, but also empower professionals with the content those images link to.

So how do you get started with Instagram? Well, if you don’t already have an account, you can simply go to (on a computer) and start one from scratch or using your Facebook information.

Once you are in, it will bring up a list of people you may want to follow. IF you want to do this now, you can, but we still need to finish setting up your profile. To do that, click on the icon of a person in the top right. This will bring you to all of your account, where you’ll see a big “Edit Profile” button. Press, take a look around, and start filling in your info!

What kind of marketing can you do on Instagram?

Instagram is one of the simplest social platforms to use, because it really only does two things: publishes pictures or videos with a caption, or publishes Facebook advertisements. Both aspects are vital to successfully using Instagram for marketing of any kind.

Due to the mobile and highly nature of Instagram. it has a very different audience than most other social platforms, and is frequented way more, meaning ads have massive exposure and reach.

The platform also lends itself to telling the story of organizations that normally go unseen — what happens with the employees or on the inside. Audiences resonate with businesses that use their Instagram as both information-delivery and fun/humor.

How to create Instagram ads

Instagram is owned and integrated with Facebook, which makes advertising both easy and odd. If you want an ad on Instagram, you have to have Facebook Business and build it there. Before that though, you have to tie your Instagram to your Business account. We will start there.

Log in to your Facebook Business account, go to your Advert Manager, and create a new campaign. You will follow all of the same steps to ad creation you would for a Facebook ad, which you can see at DIY Marketing: Advertising with Facebook. The difference will come in two place.

First, when creating your Advert Set, when you select platforms, you need to make sure Instagram is marked. If you only want to publish to Instagram, then only select Instagram.

Second, when you get to designing your ad, you will be able to connect your Instagram account using the “Add an Account” button with the Instagram logo next to it. All you have to do is put in your Instagram credentials!

Remember that Instagram image cropping is different than Facebook, so follow the guides in the ad builder. They will allow you to customize your crops of the same image for both platforms to make sure your ad stays beautiful!

Now you can build your ad from scratch or using templates, and have it publish directly to your Instagram feed. Include links, #, @, and fun content in your posts, and double check them using the Preview features to ensure you get the most out of your Instagram exposure!

How to post to Instagram

If you want to post to Instagram, the most important things to know are:

  • You can only add non-advertisement images to your account on a mobile device or tablet through the app.
  • You can include # and @ in your captions, but not links.
  • You are limited to content in your phone’s library or live captures.

To create an Instagram post, go to your Instagram app and make sure you are logged in. Your profile should look like this if you are a new user:

The large “+” button is the center of the bottom bar is where you want to click to create a new post. This will take you to a screen where you can select from your library, or take a new picture or video. You can also create gifs using Boomerang, combine photos with Layouts, or share multiple images as a Collection using the icon menu on the bottom right of the image preview screen.

Once you have selected your content, you can click next and choose the and editing you want. Anything from cropping adjusting color, going black and white, and even fun filters.

Once you have gotten your images or videos exactly how you want them, it’s time to build your post. The next screen will include the following, which you want to make use of as many as possible:

  • Caption, where you can write out information or fun details, and can include both # and @.
  • Tag People lets you select Instagram accounts and connect them to the image, increasing the reach and exposure and including friends, family, coworkers, or whoever you deem important.
  • Add Location geo-tags the post to a place, which is also searchable.
  • Social sharing lets you simultaneously post to not only Instagram, but other platforms you have connected with too, making the exposure and reach massive and multi-dimensional.
  • *Advanced setting lets you turn off commenting, which will prevent other users from posting comments, but they can still like or share.

To learn about creating Facebook advertisements designed for continuing education providers, check out our DIY Marketing: Advertising with Facebook article.

To learn more about Instagram marketing , refer to the “Get Started Advertising on Instagram” page.