How Does Instagram Advertising Differ from Other Platforms?

By Denise DeSimone| 3 Min Read | July 25, 2019
Advertising on Instagram | Why Advertise on Instagram | Instagram's feed on their own platform

Social media advertising is a great way to reach target markets and meet your consumers (new and existing) where they are. With the multitude of platforms available for social advertising, differentiating between each is a vital component to your campaign’s success.

If you’re looking for new ways to advertise to your customer base, Instagram is a visually-centric and engaging social media platform that has experienced dramatic growth; from 90 million monthly active users in January 2013 to 1 billion monthly active users as of June 2018.

Approximately 80% of all Instagram users follow a business on Instagram, so there are plenty of opportunities to connect with customers. Let’s take a look at how to make Instagram advertising work for you.

How do ads work on Instagram?

Instagram is entirely visual. Users upload their pictures and videos with captions that include hashtags to connect with other users and gain traction for their content.

Advertising on Instagram works in the same way. Here’s the great thing for advertisers: At first glance the post appears almost exactly like any other. It’s not always immediately apparent that viewers are seeing an ad. The main difference between an ad and user-generated content is that a small icon will appear in the corner of the image that identifies the post as “sponsored” content. After viewing the ad in their feed, users can click on the post for more details where you can include information about or a link to your products or services.

How does Instagram advertising differ from other platforms??


Instagram ads are almost covert compared to Facebook’s more blatant advertising. Instagram users can enjoy a seamless experience that appears uninterrupted by advertising. Any sponsored content that does appear will be in relation to the user’s interests and look like part of their feed.


At first glance, Instagram and Pinterest appear to be very similar visually-focused platforms, but Instagram’s use of hashtags makes it unique in the way that content reaches its target audience. Pinterest lacks this kind of targeting ability. Instagram also offers a more diverse audience.


Instagram has a much larger audience than Snapchat and also offers less expensive advertising and free analytic tools, which Snapchat does not. We’ll admit that Snapchat has those fun filters, but they’re not much use for advertising.


Unique to Instagram, influencers have managed to cultivate large followings, and well, influence, on the platform. Advertisers pay influencers to promote or post about specific products, that are then noted with the hashtag “sponsored.” Although this subtle form of advertising can be expensive, it is incredibly effective if influencers are appropriate for your brand.

Instagram’s growing audience and growing influence make it a platform that’s hard to ignore when it comes to social media advertising. Your initial audience research will tell you if this is where your customers are, and if so, make sure to consider Instagram when planning your next advertising campaign.

For a targeted advertising approach that covers the most relevant social media platforms for your audiences, get the expert players at C-leveled on your advertising team. Give us a shout to learn more about advertising strategies and techniques that will have you talking directly to the right people in the right ways.

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