Does your small business want to advertise on Instagram? Instagram has launched a new advertising API, which will soon let anyone purchase advertisements on the photo-sharing platform.
Previously, businesses could only advertise on Instagram the old-fashioned way: by purchasing ads from the company's sales team. This method was disadvantageous to small businesses because it favored companies with big advertising budgets and dedicated marketing teams.
Instead, the new API automates the entire process to both lower costs and give marketers more control. Soon, anyone can buy ads without a middleman, opening doors to businesses of all sizes and ad budgets. [Instagram for Business: Everything You Need to Know]
The new model will be a lot like advertising on Facebook and Twitter. Businesses simply have to open an account and go through the self-serve tool to create and purchase ads.
It will also allow businesses to manage ads on their own, giving them more freedom to schedule when and how long ads will run. This system provides marketers with more flexibility because they will no longer need to coordinate with Instagram's salespeople to launch and make changes to their campaigns.
Like Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads, Instagram's new advertising platform also offers analytics tools to monitor ads and campaign performance. It was also previously announced that Instagram will be using Facebook's ad-targeting tools to help businesses reach the right audiences and get the most bang for their advertising buck.
Currently, Instagram ad units are just like any other Instagram post — a photo or 15-second video — with the addition of carousel slides, which lets users swipe through different images within a single post or ad unit to boost engagement. Instagram has yet to announce if any other types of ad units will be available, but it's likely safe to assume ad units will stay the same.
Instagram also has yet to reveal when the API will be widely available, but the company says it is expanding its advertising partners and will be making it accessible to all businesses.
To learn more about advertising on Instagram, visit business.instagram.com/advertising.