The Advertising Developments of Instagram

The Advertising Developments of Instagram

As Facebook Business Partners, Net Natives were one of the first to be given insight into Instagram’s latest advertising developments and its’ most recent roadmap. The great news for Education Institutions is that it is no longer only possible to advertise on the platform if you’re called Coca Cola or Nike. With three vast areas of development, Education institutions are finally provided with the opportunity to leverage some of Instagram’s advertising capabilities. So what exactly are these and how can education institutions take advantage?

 Advanced Targeting

Instagram rightly highlights that users come to the platform to follow brands, influencers and people that they are interested in. Most importantly, users want to see images that reflect things they care about. For Education Institutions engaging content at the right time of the year is key; check out my top tips here.

Just as with Facebook, targeting options will be expanded to enable advertisers to reach specific prospects based on their demographics and interests. This will make it far easier for education institutions when targeting prospective students about specific courses or from specific countries.

Over time, Instagram will enable advertisers to tap into a wider range of demographic and interest data, plus target specific users based on information businesses already have about their own customers. This is similar to Facebook’s Custom Audience targeting, and is one of the targeting methods Net Natives’ has been employing for the last 18 months to reach enquiry or applicant data on Facebook.


Instagram have not only advanced their targeting options, but have now expanded their ad offerings to include action-oriented formats and clear call to actions.


Far surpassing the ‘like’ button, users can now take action directly from an ad by signing up to a website, buying a product or downloading an app. These direct-response formats are invaluable for education institutions, providing prospects with clear call-to-actions which, until now, has been extremely difficult due to not being able to implement links into the image title.

Buying Ads

Over 2 million advertisers actively use Facebook to market their business, and Instagram are now finding a way to leverage this, ensuring the platform can be used for buying, managing and measuring the success of ads. Instagram quotes,

“We will start by opening the Instagram Ads API [application program interface] to a select group of Facebook Marketing Partners and agencies, and we plan to expand globally throughout the year.”

Just as Facebook and Google have an API for advertising businesses, soon Instagram will join in, allowing education institutions to buy ads to engage prospective students. You can register your application for Instagram’s API here.

Though there is obviously still a way for Instagram to come before it is 100% accessible to education marketers, these new developments are extremely exciting and promising for the world of education advertising.

In the meantime, as Instagram succinctly points out,  you need to “start developing your organic presence and strategy for Instagram” as an Instagram identity is imperative to advertising on the platform.

For insight into how to start building your Instagram presence, contact us here.