6 key considerations for budgeting

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Despite the rebranding at Meta – the company formerly known as Facebook – advertising options on Facebook and Instagram are expected to remain as we know them for the foreseeable future.

It is hoped that recent attention from public hearings will encourage the company to address its shortcomings.

At the same time, user engagement with Facebook and Instagram ads and campaign performance appears to justify additional budgetary investment in these portals.

With their integrated ad management platforms, it is quite easy to scale a Facebook campaign by extending it to Instagram.

In fact, many advertisers do this without scrutiny and then look at performance on both platforms as if they were a single entity. It may well give positive results.

However, for the most efficient budget allocation and a more refined strategy, it is recommended to approach both portals on a case-by-case basis.

So when should you advertise both on Facebook and Instagram and when is it best to just use one of them? The answer depends on the following 6 considerations:

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  1. Audience reach.
  2. Ad format.
  3. Public consideration stage.
  4. Support text content.
  5. Organic efforts within the platform.
  6. Campaign management resources.

1. Increase your audience up to 25%

In January 2021, 75% of all Facebook users were also on Instagram. This suggests the potential for up to 25% more reach by running your Facebook ads on Instagram as well.

However, because this is an average, the actual incremental range may be smaller. To be sure there is a noticeable gain in range, use the Audience size estimation tool to estimate the size of the potential audience on each platform.

If the difference is less than 10%, it is not recommended to work on both Facebook and Instagram.

The vast majority of users on one platform may have seen it on the other before, and the minimal potential gains likely won’t justify the work on your part to manage and account for this small level of incremental performance.

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2. Benefit from the unique ad formats of each platform

Instagram continues to evolve its ad formats, now even supporting some e-commerce features.

Even so, Instagram tends to be a destination for general inspiration and idea research rather than for users determined to transact.

Facebook, on the other hand, tends not to have the high impact formats that would impress a user like an Instagram ad would.

Consider only posting on Instagram if imagery is a dominant consideration, especially if it is aimed at having a very memorable impact.

If a short video is used for the purpose of building engagement with the video, Instagram is also the recommended first choice.

Facebook is a better focus for all “lower funnel” strategies, especially for ecommerce or conversion campaigns where the transaction will take place outside of the portal on a separate site.

Instagram users tend to be earlier in their thinking journey and tend to prefer to stay on the portal.

However, if your images are more functional than evocative and activity in the portal (e.g. comments, shares) is more important than visits to non-portal traffic, consider working on both platforms.

3. Tap the intent of your audience

As discussed above, Facebook and Instagram users tend to lean in opposite directions when it comes to their intention.

Each platform attracts users at all stages of the marketing funnel. Still, Instagram tends to encourage higher behavior in the conversion funnel, encouraging navigation and high engagement with visual ad assets.

In contrast, Facebook supports many lower funnel behaviors that allow users to buy, sign up, and perform many other transaction-related actions.

Consider prioritizing Instagram for top-of-funnel audience strategies and Facebook for bottom-of-funnel efforts.

If possible, run multiple efforts on both platforms, but with different creative elements and messages so that each effort is best suited to the user’s intent in each of these phases.

On the other hand, if you are developing a mid-funnel strategy, having the same approach for Instagram and Facebook is enough.

4. Adapt the content of the supporting text

Instagram is primarily a visual channel. While users are used to reading support text, Facebook is a better channel to use if important support information needs to be shared within the ad unit.

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This includes not only the text that can be included in the visual, but especially the text part of the header and description fields.

If a moderate amount of text is needed, both platforms can be effectively leveraged.

However, if more than two sentences are used, Facebook is more likely to take the time to read it.

5. Develop synergies with your organic efforts

Whether it’s on Facebook or Instagram, your ad will be associated with your profile – and your organic feed, by extension. If your biofeed has not been active, consider increasing biologic activity until the paid social campaign.

Paid ads give users the ability to log in and see your organic profile.

Anyone who doesn’t know about your business and (thanks to your captivating ad) now wants to know more may very well want to navigate to your organic profile.

It will be a bad user experience if they find out that the organic profile has had little activity.

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If your organic presence on Facebook or Instagram isn’t very strong, consider limiting your ads only to the platform with a stronger presence.

6. Resource allocation to optimize each platform

While many reporting and configuration tools are shared between Facebook and Instagram, for better performance and analysis of results, it takes a good understanding of each platform.

This requires specialized resources with knowledge of each platform and the time to invest in the management of each platform. If this is not the case for your team, avoid stretching your resources too much and focus only on Facebook or Instagram.

The extra focus will pay off in the depth of optimization, which would be sacrificed if the same team had to do the work twice on two platforms.

Other ad formats and capabilities will undoubtedly emerge as Meta evolves. Stay tuned and use these six criteria to decide whether it’s better to work on both Facebook and Instagram, or to focus all your efforts on one.

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Featured Image: Shutterstock / metamorworks


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