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Dec

2

2016

How to Increase Engagement Using Video Thumbnails in Your Emails [Live Event]

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Are you looking for new ways to experiment with your email marketing and increase engagement and conversion?

With video in general becoming a more and more important content format for marketers, we put our heads together with the folks at Wistia to see how using video thumbnails in your email marketing affects engagement. Spoiler alert: It makes a huge difference, and we want to share the results with you.

Join HubSpot Marketing Manager Chelsea Hunersen and Wistia Partner Coordinator Margot Mazur on Wednesday December 14 at 1 p.m. EST for the big reveal of brand new data. They’ll show you how to successfully incorporate video thumbnails in your brand’s email and marketing strategies.

More specifically, you can expect:

  • Never before seen data on video thumbnails in email
  • Wistia & HubSpot’s own experiment results
  • Tips on how to include video thumbnails in your email and marketing strategy
  • Bonus: Answers to questions submitted by actual audience members!

Save your seat now, and don’t forget to submit your questions.

email engagement using video

Oct

25

2016

The Marketer’s Guide to Mobile [Free Kit]

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As marketers, we know that the term “mobile optimization” can sometimes seem like just another hot button term these days. And the actual process of optimizing your brand’s site can be somewhat intimidating.

In hopes of making the whole process a little less daunting, we teamed up with Localytics to bring you The Marketer’s Guide to Mobile.

This five-part kit will walk you through the best practices of mobile marketing, help you decide whether or not your brand should have an app, and bring you up to speed on how mobile has evolved over the past couple years.

More specifically, you’ll learn:

  • The state of mobile marketing today and the importance of getting your marketing completely mobile optimized.
  • How to optimize your website and the most important factors to keep in mind when working with your web team or freelancers.
  • Best practices for mobile marketing and ensuring your efforts are passing the test.
  • How to tap into the app ecosystem and why that matters for your business.
  • What’s next in mobile: How to keep on top of mobile trends so your business continues to rank on search engines and bring in leads and customers.
  • *Bonus* Flowchart: Should you build an app or not?

Download your copy of The Marketer’s Guide to Mobile now.

free guide: guide to mobile marketing

Oct

18

2016

How to Get More Twitter Followers: 10 Expert Tips [Free Kit]

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Unless you’re a celebrity or a household name brand, it’s really difficult to build a substantial following on Twitter. Maybe you’ve made it to a couple thousand followers but can’t seem to bump it up any more. 

Frustrating, isn’t it?

The good news is that HubSpot put together a helpful kit — How to Get More Twitter Followers — filled with everything you need to know about increasing your brand’s following and generating business from your Twitter account.

In the kit, we’ll share a couple big levers you can pull to gain quality followers for your brand’s Twitter account (not the ones you pay for). You’ll also find tips on the best practices around when and what to tweet, as well as a bonus Consumer Insights Report from the experts from Twitter. 

More specifically you’ll learn:

  • How to optimize tweet copy for maximum return.
  • How to use captivating visual content to engage followers.
  • Best practices and inside tips for promoting your handle.
  • How to run Twitter campaigns to increase your audience and prove ROI.
  • When to use Ad Campaigns to move the needle on followers and leads.
  • How followers become loyal customers and brand advocates.

Download your copy of How to Get More Twitter Followers here.

free kit for growing followers on Twitter

Sep

30

2016

How to Master a Successful Marketing Campaign in Trello [Free Guide]

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Efficiency, collaboration, communication, and meeting deadlines — these all seem pretty relevant to your team’s success, right? Especially when running big marketing campaigns with a lot of moving pieces.

Whether you’re the solo marketer at your company or part of a 25-person team, staying organized and accountable is super important to executing marketing campaigns. That’s where Trello comes in.

Trello is a free, easy-to-use organization and project management tool that just so happens to be an awesome tool for marketers. It can help you keep your company’s largest and most involved marketing campaigns organized. (If you’re not sold, it might be convincing to hear that 16 million other users are already taking advantage of it.)

HubSpot went ahead and teamed up with Trello to bring you a free, step-by-step guide on How to Master a Successful Marketing Campaign in Trello to streamline your efficiency and collaboration beyond belief. Say goodbye to multiple shared Google Docs and never-ending email chains once and for all.

More specifically we’ll touch on:

  • Establishing a productive workflow for getting from start to finish that keeps your whole team involved and on track.
  • Developing key channels of communication within your team and across the organization.
  • Gaining perspective on success with visual retrospectives, accessible resources and a winning framework that can be recreated for your next campaign.
  • Achieving focus on the ultimate goal: more leads, sales, and buzz for your business.

Download your copy of How to Master a Successful Marketing Campaign in Trello.

free guide: how to manage a marketing campaign in Trello

Sep

26

2016

How Networking Can Help Your Small Business Grow [Free Guide]

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Networking is not just about meeting people, it’s about meeting the right people — the people who can help you move your business or career forward. 

Whether you’re looking for referrals, word-of-mouth support, co-promotional opportunities, or just business advice, knowing how to build relationships and make the most of networking opportunities is key.

That’s why Alignable and HubSpot teamed up to put together this The Business Marketing Crash CourseFrom events, to making connections, to turning those awkward coffees and lunches into productive relationship building, we’re confident you’ll get something out of this guide. 

More specifically, you’ll receive:

  • How to say “no” to isolation and increase your relationships.
  • The levels of networking connections and how to approach each as a newcomer.
  • Building, engaging, and maintaining your network.
  • The people, places, and things you need to grow your network.
  • The Networking Funnel: optimizing your business at all stages.
  • Much more about networking and how to customize it for you!

Download your copy of The Business Marketing Crash Course now.

free guide: the business networking crash course

Sep

20

2016

How to Create Banner Ads That Get Results: A 10-Step Guide [Free Ebook]

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Banner ads get a bad rap, and are often thought of as old-school due to their disruptive nature. But believe it or not, there’s way to make inbound-y banner ads that actually drive results.

However, even marketers that recognize the value of banner ads struggle to design ones that don’t seem spammy, let alone ones that get desired results.

You have to learn how to present the right message, to the right audience, at the right time, which is why HubSpot and Bannersnack teamed up to bring you How to Make Banner Ads That Don’t Suck.

In this guide you’ll find 10 steps for creating high-quality banner ads that generate the results you want and help you reach your goals.

More specifically, you’ll receive:

  • The basics of banner ads: sizes, files, and formats.
  • Design tips and best practices on choosing color and imagery.
  • How to write the best copy for your banner ads.
  • Tons of good examples from real brands.
  • Much more on creating inbound-y ads to actually drive results.

Download your copy of How to Make Banner Ads That Don’t Suck here.

free ebook: how to make banner ads that don't suck

Sep

16

2016

How to Create & Use Beautiful Infographics in Your Marketing [Live Master Class]

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Infographics are an awesome way to present information. When you combine data visualization, contextual information, and graphics, it’s much easier to capture and maintain the attention of your audience.

However, creating well-designed infographics that actually help increase your traffic can be quite the process. With so much information, where do you start? What colors should you use? Which data should you represent?

That’s why HubSpot and Venngage are joining forces to bring you a live master class on September 27th where Venngage Co-Founder & Chief Data Viz, Eugene Woo, will discuss everything you need to know about creating and using infographics in your marketing.

More specifically, he’ll cover:

  • How to incorporate infographics into your content strategy.
  • How to optimize infographics for your funnel.
  • Best practices and design principles to live by.
  • How to visualize different types of data.
  • How to organize data, information, and graphics effectively.
  • Much more about using infographics in your marketing!

Save your seat for How to Create and Use Infographics in Your Marketing today.

free infographics master class

Aug

25

2016

How to Attract, Hire & Train the Best Marketers for Your Team [Free Ebook]

Training_and_Hiring_Marketers.jpg

Hiring marketers for your company is not an easy job. Ironically, a lot of it is actually about marketing to potential candidates. But the best marketer’s out there know when they’re being marketed to, and are therefore tuning out the old-school recruiting noise.

Those copy-pasted job descriptions filled with buzzwords and new challenges aren’t going to suffice anymore, which is why HubSpot Academy and Udemy for Business teamed up to bring you: How to Hire and Train Marketing All-Stars.

In this ebook, you’ll learn how to focus on career context to attract your target candidates, as well as how to spot future marketing all-stars who will be able to make their mark on your company.

By the end of this ebook, you’ll know:

  • How to reach your target candidates.
  • How to spot future marketing all-stars.
  • The inbound recruiting framework.
  • How to deliver on your promise with career training.
  • A new model for career training.

Download your copy of How to Hire and Train Marketing All-Stars now.

learn how to hire an all-star marketing team

Aug

22

2016

How to Revamp Your Advertising Strategy for Today’s Customers [Live Google Hangout]

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Since 2006, inbound marketing has been helping businesses create more meaningful online experiences. In short: The inbound methodology focuses on pulling people toward your company and product rather than expecting them to come to you.

And in today’s highly-digital and ad-blocked world, your advertising strategy should be no exception. Combining the inbound methodology with your advertising means inviting people to engage with your brand, rather than interrupting their daily lives with your ads.

While using this strategy may sound like a no-brainer, it takes a lot of thought. You need to know your audience to be able to really connect with them. This is why HubSpot and Kissmetrics are joining forces to teach you How to Advertise Effectively in Today’s Digital World.

During this Google Hangout, you’ll learn:

  • How to advertise in a way that aligns with inbound marketing.
  • How to segment your audience and optimize your advertising strategy.
  • Examples of companies advertising successfully today.
  • Improving and measuring your advertising ROI.
  • Common mistakes people are still making with their advertising efforts.
  • Advertising on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
  • Much more about effectively advertising in today’s digital world.

Want to join us? Here are all the details:

  • When: Wednesday August 31 @ 2 p.m. ET // 11 a.m. PT
  • Where: Live Google Hangout
  • RSVP: Click Here

live Hangout: how to advertise effectively

Aug

1

2016

How to Use Social Media at Every Stage of the Funnel [Free Guide]

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Consumers turn to social media when making a purchase — that much we know. They might search for information prior to purchasing and then again, post-purchase, for customer service and company updates.

Knowing this, it’s imperative that your company is there, providing them with the resources they need to choose your product over your competitor’s.

The best way to do this is to break down the customer lifecycle into four stages: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. This makes it much easier to create content according to each customer’s mindset. For example, you might focus on shareable, engaging content to attract new customers, or you might try out a loyalty program for delighting your current customers.

No matter what stage your customers are in, social media is a great tool to nurture them through the funnel. That’s why HubSpot and Bitly joined forces to bring you How to Use Social Media at Every Stage of the Funnel.

Download this free guide to receive:

  • A high-level overview of the inbound methodology as a whole.
  • A breakdown of the buyer’s journey and the different lifecycle stages a customer goes through when making a purchase.
  • How to use social media to attract, convert, close, and delight customers.
  • The different metrics to measure your success with social media at each different stage of the funnel.
  • Real examples of companies using social media successfully.
  • Much more about using social media to nurture customers through the funnel!

Download your copy today by clicking here.

Social Media at Every Stage of the Funnel

Jul

29

2016

A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Instagram

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With 500 million active monthly users, Instagram offers a unique opportunity for marketers to reach their target audiences through ad campaigns.

The other perk of advertising on Instagram? The ads can look almost no different than regular posts, making them much less invasive than other ad types.

But setting up ads on any platform requires a lot of thought: What should your target audience look like? What should your copy say? What image should you use? Not to mention, the more technical aspects like what size your image needs to be or how long your ad should run for. Download our essential guide to Instagram advertising here.

To simplify the process, we’ve put together a checklist to help you set up a campaign, one step at a time.

How to Create Instagram Ads: A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Instagram

If you’ve ever set up a Facebook ad, you’re about 75% of the way there. After Facebook acquired Instagram back in 2012, the platforms conveniently merged, making setting up Instagram and Facebook ads merely the difference of a couple clicks. So even though your intent is to run ads on Instagram, all of the ad setup, budgeting, scheduling, and creation is done through Facebook’s platform.

To start, log in to your company’s Facebook portal and select the account you wish to use. (Note: To run ads on Instagram you’ll need to use a Facebook Page. Pages are specifically for businesses, brands, and organizations, while regular Facebook accounts are for personal use.)

1) Select an editor and create your campaign.

You can create Instagram ads using a few different tools:

When choosing which tool to use, you’ll want to consider both your company size and the number of ads you plan to run at once. If you’re managing a large number of campaigns, or you’re looking for really precise control over your campaigns, you might want to lean towards the Power Editor. However, the Ad Manager suits most marketers’ needs, so that’s what we’ll use for the sake of this article. (For more on the Facebook Ads API option, check out this page.)

Once you’ve selected an editor, you’ll see an option to either view all campaigns, or create a new one. To get started with an Instagram ad, you’ll want to create a new campaign.

2) Choose an objective.

You’ll notice that there are several different campaign objective options to choose from here. However, in order for your ad to be eligible to appear on Instagram, you’ll have to choose from a slightly shorter list:

  • Boost your posts
  • Send people to your website
  • Increase conversions on your website
  • Get installs of your app
  • Increase engagement in your app
  • Get video views

Instagram_Ads_Objective.png

For this article, we’re going to select: “Send people to your website.”

When you select this option, you’ll be prompted to name your campaign. This may seem like a simple task (and it is) but it’s a good idea to have some sort of naming convention or set process within your company. This will make it easier for you to keep campaigns straight as you continue to create them.

Here at HubSpot, we like to name them in this format:

Company Department | Content/Offer/Asset Being Advertised | Date | Name of Creator

3) Choose your audience.

If you’re just starting out with Instagram advertising, odds are you won’t know exactly which audience you want to go after. This will come with time, and you may just have to play around with it at first. (If you want tips to help you choose the right audience, check out this page.)

During this step, you’ll find that the platform’s built-in targeting can be as simple or as extensive as you need it to be, with options such as:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Relationship
  • Education
  • Work
  • Financial Status
  • Home
  • Ethnic Affinity
  • Generation
  • Parents
  • Politics (U.S. only)
  • Life Events
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Connections

You can create what’s called a custom audience to reach people who’ve already interacted with your business, or a lookalike audience to reach new people on Facebook who are similar to your most valuable audiences.

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The ads platform also allows you to save the audience you create to be used again at a later time, which can be good if you’re experimenting and want to remember the exact audience you used for certain campaigns.

In terms of the objective we selected — “send people to your website” — we’ll want to target a more specific group of people: the type of people that are actually going to be interested in the content we present.

To do this, you’d jump down to the “Detailed Targeting” section, and search for different demographics, interests, or behaviors that apply to your target audience. Here’s an example of a (very small) audience, just to show you the different ways you can target certain people:

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To give you a sense of the audience you’ve chosen, Facebook provides an “audience definition gauge.” This gives you immediate feedback on how narrow or broad your audience is, as well as the estimated reach number of your ad. Since we didn’t add very much criteria to our targeting, you’ll notice that the audience appears “fairly broad.”

FB_Audience_Details.png

4) Set your placement.

This step is the biggest differentiator between setting up Facebook ads vs. Instagram ads. To move forward with the Instagram ad, you’ll want to uncheck all the boxes except for “Instagram.”

Ad_Placement_Instagram.png

5) Set your budget and schedule.

You have the option to select either a daily budget or a lifetime budget for your campaign. The difference is this:

  • Daily budget sets your ad up to run continuously throughout the day, meaning that the algorithm will automatically pace your spending per day. Keep in mind that there is a minimum daily budget depending on different factors in your campaign, usually around $1.00.
  • Lifetime budget sets your ad up to run for a specified length of time, meaning the ads algorithm paces your spending over that entire time period.

The other aspect to setting your budget is setting your schedule. You’ll need to choose exactly when you want your campaign to start and finish running, down to the minute. There are also options to set parameters so that your ad runs only during certain hours of the day or during specific days of the week. You can find these options in the “Ad Scheduling” section.

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Set your optimization for ad delivery.

Here you have three options that will influence who sees your ads:

  1. Link Clicks (which is what the platform recommends): Your ads will be delivered accordingly to get the most clicks to your website at the lowest cost. This is all based on the platform’s algorithm.
  2. Impressions: Your ads will be delivered to people as many times as possible. Ever see the same ad on your newsfeed all day long? That company is most likely using this option.
  3. Daily Unique Reach: Your ad will be delivered to people up to once a day. People may see your ad multiple times, but at least not multiple times a day.

Set your bid amount.

This determines how effectively your ad is delivered. When you look “behind the scenes,” you’re competing with other advertisers trying to reach a similar audience in a constant auction.

You can choose either Manual or Automatic. Automatic leaves it up to Facebook’s algorithm to deliver your ad — ideally getting you the most clicks for the lowest cost. Manual allows you to set a price for link clicks. If a link click is worth a lot to you, try setting a higher than suggested bid, and your ad will be displayed over a competitor with a lower bid.

You can choose to pay based on impressions or link clicks. This is up to you.

Set your delivery schedule.

You have two options for the delivery of your ads:

  1. Standard: shows your ads throughout the day.
  2. Accelerated: helps you reach an audience quickly for time-sensitive ads.

(Note: the accelerated delivery option requires manual bid pricing.)

Name your ad set.

This step is for internal purposes. Simply give your ad set a name so that you can identify it later.

6) Set your ad creative.

Choose your format.

This is where your creativity comes in. Here you’ll decide what you want your ad to look like, which will depend on your original objective, of course.

On Instagram, you have a couple different options for your ad:

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Single image, video, or slideshow.

Instagram_Ads.png

Image Credit: Marketing Land

 

Yes, they’re warm. Yes, they’re gooey. Yes, they’re delicious. Our new chocolate chip cookie is here! ??

A video posted by dunkindonuts (@dunkindonuts) on May 18, 2016 at 7:25am PDT

Multiple Images (also called “Carousel”).

Up to 5 images or videos for the viewer to scroll through, at no extra cost.

Instagram_Carousel.png

Image Credit: Instagram

We actually ran some tests to see which type of ad performed the best for different purposes. Check out the results in here.

Once you pick your ad type, click on it and you’ll be prompted to browse and upload your imagery, whether that be images or a video.

Upload your media.

For any ad type, the Facebook ads platform recommends you don’t include more than 20% of text. Previously, an ad with over 20% of text wouldn’t even be approved to run, but it has recently changed to more of a suggestion than anything. Learn more about the rules and guidelines here.

Some requirements for Instagram ad imagery:

File Type

  • .jpeg
  • .png

Text/Caption

  • Recommended: 125 characters
  • Maximum: 2,200 characters

For square of video Instagram ads …

  • Recommended Image Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Minimum Resolution Accepted: 600 x 600 pixels
  • Image Aspect Ratio: 1:1

For landscape image or video Instagram ads …

  • Recommended Image Size: 1200 x 628 pixels
  • Minimum Resolution Accepted: 600 x 600 pixels
  • Image Aspect Ratio: 1:1

7) Set your page & links.

Connect your Facebook Page and Instagram account.

Select the Facebook Page of the account you want your ads to come from, even if you’re not planning on running them on Facebook. (If you’ve made it this far in the Ads Manager, you are already logged into a Facebook account.)

However, since our intent is to post ads on Instagram, you’ll need to connect your Instagram account to your Facebook ad account. To do so, click “Add Account” (you’ll need your Instagram username and password to do so).

If your business doesn’t have an Instagram account, you can still run ads on Instagram — they’ll just come from your business’ Facebook Page instead. In other words, your Facebook Page name and profile picture will be used to represent your business within your ad as it runs on Instagram.

Add the website URL.

Next is a very important step: putting in the website URL to which you’re trying to drive more traffic. If you’re using marketing automation software, be sure to create a unique tracking URL with UTM parameters for this to ensure that you’ll be able to keep track of traffic and conversions from this ad.

(HubSpot customers: Learn more about creating a tracking URL here.)

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Add a headline.

This is not usually displayed to viewers of your ad on Instagram, but it’s always a good idea to complete it just in case. Enter a brief headline describing where people will visit.

Create a caption.

You have up to 2,200 characters — but don’t go crazy. Facebook recommends you keep your text under 125 characters, which is the amount that’s displayed without needing to click “more.” (Read this for tips on how to write good Instagram captions.)

Select a Call-to-Action.

There are several different options for your CTA button, depending on what the page you’re taking visitors to looks like. You can choose to have no button, or select any of the following:

  • Learn More
  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Download
  • Hope Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch More

For our sake, we’ll stick with “Learn More,” as we’re just driving people to our website.

Once your image is uploaded and your text is set, check out the preview of your ad to make sure everything looks right.

At this point, you’ll have the option to edit the “Advanced Options,” but only if you wish to. Advanced Options include adding tags, changing your display link, entering URL parameters, setting up sponsors, and opting in or out of pixel tracking.

8) Place the order.

Once everything is all set, you’re ready to place your order. Doing so is pretty easy: Just click the big green button in the bottom left corner.

place-order-final-image.png

As always, be sure to check over everything — especially since your ads have the potential to be seen by a large audience. If you want someone else on your team to take a look at them before they go live, set your schedule to include a delay, but still place your order.

You run the risk of losing all the work you’ve done if you don’t place the order right away so we’d encourage you to place it first, and then go back and adjust the timing if need be.

9) Report on the performance.

Once your ads are up and running on Instagram, it’s important to keep an eye on how they’re doing. You can go back in and tweak most aspects of the ad, so if you catch a mistake you made or your image isn’t doing as well as you’d like it to, you can go in and alter these things.

You can look at results of your ads in two places:

  1. The Facebook Ads Manager
  2. Your marketing software

In the Ads Manager:

There’s a sophisticated and extensive dashboard that provides users with an overview of all their campaigns. Without customizing any settings, you’ll find data on reach, cost per result, and amount spent.

In the upper right-hand corner, you’ll see a button that says “Columns: Performance.” If you click the drop down menu, there’s an option to customize columns, which allows you to choose the specific data you want to see. There’s data ranging from CPC or CTR, to things much more specific like “Adds to Cart” for ecommerce stores.

Here are the categories that the available metrics fall into:

  • Performance (reach, results, frequency, etc.)
  • Engagement (post likes, post comments, post shares, etc.)
  • Videos (video views, average percent of video viewed, etc.)
  • Website (checkouts, payment details, adds to cart, etc.)
  • Apps (installs, engagement, cost per app engagement, etc.)
  • Events (event responses, cost per event response, etc.)
  • Clicks (unique clicks, social clicks, CTR, CPC)
  • Settings (start date, end date, ad set name, delivery, bit, ad ID, and objective)

image_9-1.png

With your marketing software:

With so many metrics to track, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture. To truly track your success, take advantage of your marketing software and the UTM codes you used in your ads to measure your ads’ full-funnel effectiveness.

Looking at the specific tracking codes through your marketing software will help you keep track of how many leads (or better yet, customers) you actually generated through your Instagram advertising campaign. This ROI information can then be used to inform other campaigns down the line.

If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can create unique tracking codes for your Instagram campaign by following the instructions here. All you’ll need to do is plug in the URL, attach a campaign, and choose the source you want the URL to be attributed to in your Sources Report.

Once your ad launches and you start getting traffic and conversions to your website, you’ll be able to easily track how many visits, contacts, and customers you’re generating.

Have you seen success with Instagram ads? Let us know in the comments section below.

free guide to advertising on Instagram

Jul

29

2016

A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Instagram

Instagram_Ad.jpg

With 500 million active monthly users, Instagram offers a unique opportunity for marketers to reach their target audiences through ad campaigns.

The other perk of advertising on Instagram? The ads can look almost no different than regular posts, making them much less invasive than other ad types.

But setting up ads on any platform requires a lot of thought: What should your target audience look like? What should your copy say? What image should you use? Not to mention, the more technical aspects like what size your image needs to be or how long your ad should run for. Download our essential guide to Instagram advertising here.

To simplify the process, we’ve put together a checklist to help you set up a campaign, one step at a time.

How to Create Instagram Ads: A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Instagram

If you’ve ever set up a Facebook ad, you’re about 75% of the way there. After Facebook acquired Instagram back in 2012, the platforms conveniently merged, making setting up Instagram and Facebook ads merely the difference of a couple clicks. So even though your intent is to run ads on Instagram, all of the ad setup, budgeting, scheduling, and creation is done through Facebook’s platform.

To start, log in to your company’s Facebook portal and select the account you wish to use. (Note: To run ads on Instagram you’ll need to use a Facebook Page. Pages are specifically for businesses, brands, and organizations, while regular Facebook accounts are for personal use.)

1) Select an editor and create your campaign.

You can create Instagram ads using a few different tools:

When choosing which tool to use, you’ll want to consider both your company size and the number of ads you plan to run at once. If you’re managing a large number of campaigns, or you’re looking for really precise control over your campaigns, you might want to lean towards the Power Editor. However, the Ad Manager suits most marketers’ needs, so that’s what we’ll use for the sake of this article. (For more on the Facebook Ads API option, check out this page.)

Once you’ve selected an editor, you’ll see an option to either view all campaigns, or create a new one. To get started with an Instagram ad, you’ll want to create a new campaign.

2) Choose an objective.

You’ll notice that there are several different campaign objective options to choose from here. However, in order for your ad to be eligible to appear on Instagram, you’ll have to choose from a slightly shorter list:

  • Boost your posts
  • Send people to your website
  • Increase conversions on your website
  • Get installs of your app
  • Increase engagement in your app
  • Get video views

Instagram_Ads_Objective.png

For this article, we’re going to select: “Send people to your website.”

When you select this option, you’ll be prompted to name your campaign. This may seem like a simple task (and it is) but it’s a good idea to have some sort of naming convention or set process within your company. This will make it easier for you to keep campaigns straight as you continue to create them.

Here at HubSpot, we like to name them in this format:

Company Department | Content/Offer/Asset Being Advertised | Date | Name of Creator

3) Choose your audience.

If you’re just starting out with Instagram advertising, odds are you won’t know exactly which audience you want to go after. This will come with time, and you may just have to play around with it at first. (If you want tips to help you choose the right audience, check out this page.)

During this step, you’ll find that the platform’s built-in targeting can be as simple or as extensive as you need it to be, with options such as:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Relationship
  • Education
  • Work
  • Financial Status
  • Home
  • Ethnic Affinity
  • Generation
  • Parents
  • Politics (U.S. only)
  • Life Events
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Connections

You can create what’s called a custom audience to reach people who’ve already interacted with your business, or a lookalike audience to reach new people on Facebook who are similar to your most valuable audiences.

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The ads platform also allows you to save the audience you create to be used again at a later time, which can be good if you’re experimenting and want to remember the exact audience you used for certain campaigns.

In terms of the objective we selected — “send people to your website” — we’ll want to target a more specific group of people: the type of people that are actually going to be interested in the content we present.

To do this, you’d jump down to the “Detailed Targeting” section, and search for different demographics, interests, or behaviors that apply to your target audience. Here’s an example of a (very small) audience, just to show you the different ways you can target certain people:

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To give you a sense of the audience you’ve chosen, Facebook provides an “audience definition gauge.” This gives you immediate feedback on how narrow or broad your audience is, as well as the estimated reach number of your ad. Since we didn’t add very much criteria to our targeting, you’ll notice that the audience appears “fairly broad.”

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4) Set your placement.

This step is the biggest differentiator between setting up Facebook ads vs. Instagram ads. To move forward with the Instagram ad, you’ll want to uncheck all the boxes except for “Instagram.”

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5) Set your budget and schedule.

You have the option to select either a daily budget or a lifetime budget for your campaign. The difference is this:

  • Daily budget sets your ad up to run continuously throughout the day, meaning that the algorithm will automatically pace your spending per day. Keep in mind that there is a minimum daily budget depending on different factors in your campaign, usually around $1.00.
  • Lifetime budget sets your ad up to run for a specified length of time, meaning the ads algorithm paces your spending over that entire time period.

The other aspect to setting your budget is setting your schedule. You’ll need to choose exactly when you want your campaign to start and finish running, down to the minute. There are also options to set parameters so that your ad runs only during certain hours of the day or during specific days of the week. You can find these options in the “Ad Scheduling” section.

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Set your optimization for ad delivery.

Here you have three options that will influence who sees your ads:

  1. Link Clicks (which is what the platform recommends): Your ads will be delivered accordingly to get the most clicks to your website at the lowest cost. This is all based on the platform’s algorithm.
  2. Impressions: Your ads will be delivered to people as many times as possible. Ever see the same ad on your newsfeed all day long? That company is most likely using this option.
  3. Daily Unique Reach: Your ad will be delivered to people up to once a day. People may see your ad multiple times, but at least not multiple times a day.

Set your bid amount.

This determines how effectively your ad is delivered. When you look “behind the scenes,” you’re competing with other advertisers trying to reach a similar audience in a constant auction.

You can choose either Manual or Automatic. Automatic leaves it up to Facebook’s algorithm to deliver your ad — ideally getting you the most clicks for the lowest cost. Manual allows you to set a price for link clicks. If a link click is worth a lot to you, try setting a higher than suggested bid, and your ad will be displayed over a competitor with a lower bid.

You can choose to pay based on impressions or link clicks. This is up to you.

Set your delivery schedule.

You have two options for the delivery of your ads:

  1. Standard: shows your ads throughout the day.
  2. Accelerated: helps you reach an audience quickly for time-sensitive ads.

(Note: the accelerated delivery option requires manual bid pricing.)

Name your ad set.

This step is for internal purposes. Simply give your ad set a name so that you can identify it later.

6) Set your ad creative.

Choose your format.

This is where your creativity comes in. Here you’ll decide what you want your ad to look like, which will depend on your original objective, of course.

On Instagram, you have a couple different options for your ad:

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Single image, video, or slideshow.

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Image Credit: Marketing Land

 

Yes, they’re warm. Yes, they’re gooey. Yes, they’re delicious. Our new chocolate chip cookie is here! ??

A video posted by dunkindonuts (@dunkindonuts) on May 18, 2016 at 7:25am PDT

Multiple Images (also called “Carousel”).

Up to 5 images or videos for the viewer to scroll through, at no extra cost.

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Image Credit: Instagram

We actually ran some tests to see which type of ad performed the best for different purposes. Check out the results in here.

Once you pick your ad type, click on it and you’ll be prompted to browse and upload your imagery, whether that be images or a video.

Upload your media.

For any ad type, the Facebook ads platform recommends you don’t include more than 20% of text. Previously, an ad with over 20% of text wouldn’t even be approved to run, but it has recently changed to more of a suggestion than anything. Learn more about the rules and guidelines here.

Some requirements for Instagram ad imagery:

File Type

  • .jpeg
  • .png

Text/Caption

  • Recommended: 125 characters
  • Maximum: 2,200 characters

For square of video Instagram ads …

  • Recommended Image Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Minimum Resolution Accepted: 600 x 600 pixels
  • Image Aspect Ratio: 1:1

For landscape image or video Instagram ads …

  • Recommended Image Size: 1200 x 628 pixels
  • Minimum Resolution Accepted: 600 x 600 pixels
  • Image Aspect Ratio: 1:1

7) Set your page & links.

Connect your Facebook Page and Instagram account.

Select the Facebook Page of the account you want your ads to come from, even if you’re not planning on running them on Facebook. (If you’ve made it this far in the Ads Manager, you are already logged into a Facebook account.)

However, since our intent is to post ads on Instagram, you’ll need to connect your Instagram account to your Facebook ad account. To do so, click “Add Account” (you’ll need your Instagram username and password to do so).

If your business doesn’t have an Instagram account, you can still run ads on Instagram — they’ll just come from your business’ Facebook Page instead. In other words, your Facebook Page name and profile picture will be used to represent your business within your ad as it runs on Instagram.

Add the website URL.

Next is a very important step: putting in the website URL to which you’re trying to drive more traffic. If you’re using marketing automation software, be sure to create a unique tracking URL with UTM parameters for this to ensure that you’ll be able to keep track of traffic and conversions from this ad.

(HubSpot customers: Learn more about creating a tracking URL here.)

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Add a headline.

This is not usually displayed to viewers of your ad on Instagram, but it’s always a good idea to complete it just in case. Enter a brief headline describing where people will visit.

Create a caption.

You have up to 2,200 characters — but don’t go crazy. Facebook recommends you keep your text under 125 characters, which is the amount that’s displayed without needing to click “more.” (Read this for tips on how to write good Instagram captions.)

Select a Call-to-Action.

There are several different options for your CTA button, depending on what the page you’re taking visitors to looks like. You can choose to have no button, or select any of the following:

  • Learn More
  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Download
  • Hope Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch More

For our sake, we’ll stick with “Learn More,” as we’re just driving people to our website.

Once your image is uploaded and your text is set, check out the preview of your ad to make sure everything looks right.

At this point, you’ll have the option to edit the “Advanced Options,” but only if you wish to. Advanced Options include adding tags, changing your display link, entering URL parameters, setting up sponsors, and opting in or out of pixel tracking.

8) Place the order.

Once everything is all set, you’re ready to place your order. Doing so is pretty easy: Just click the big green button in the bottom left corner.

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As always, be sure to check over everything — especially since your ads have the potential to be seen by a large audience. If you want someone else on your team to take a look at them before they go live, set your schedule to include a delay, but still place your order.

You run the risk of losing all the work you’ve done if you don’t place the order right away so we’d encourage you to place it first, and then go back and adjust the timing if need be.

9) Report on the performance.

Once your ads are up and running on Instagram, it’s important to keep an eye on how they’re doing. You can go back in and tweak most aspects of the ad, so if you catch a mistake you made or your image isn’t doing as well as you’d like it to, you can go in and alter these things.

You can look at results of your ads in two places:

  1. The Facebook Ads Manager
  2. Your marketing software

In the Ads Manager:

There’s a sophisticated and extensive dashboard that provides users with an overview of all their campaigns. Without customizing any settings, you’ll find data on reach, cost per result, and amount spent.

In the upper right-hand corner, you’ll see a button that says “Columns: Performance.” If you click the drop down menu, there’s an option to customize columns, which allows you to choose the specific data you want to see. There’s data ranging from CPC or CTR, to things much more specific like “Adds to Cart” for ecommerce stores.

Here are the categories that the available metrics fall into:

  • Performance (reach, results, frequency, etc.)
  • Engagement (post likes, post comments, post shares, etc.)
  • Videos (video views, average percent of video viewed, etc.)
  • Website (checkouts, payment details, adds to cart, etc.)
  • Apps (installs, engagement, cost per app engagement, etc.)
  • Events (event responses, cost per event response, etc.)
  • Clicks (unique clicks, social clicks, CTR, CPC)
  • Settings (start date, end date, ad set name, delivery, bit, ad ID, and objective)

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With your marketing software:

With so many metrics to track, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture. To truly track your success, take advantage of your marketing software and the UTM codes you used in your ads to measure your ads’ full-funnel effectiveness.

Looking at the specific tracking codes through your marketing software will help you keep track of how many leads (or better yet, customers) you actually generated through your Instagram advertising campaign. This ROI information can then be used to inform other campaigns down the line.

If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can create unique tracking codes for your Instagram campaign by following the instructions here. All you’ll need to do is plug in the URL, attach a campaign, and choose the source you want the URL to be attributed to in your Sources Report.

Once your ad launches and you start getting traffic and conversions to your website, you’ll be able to easily track how many visits, contacts, and customers you’re generating.

Have you seen success with Instagram ads? Let us know in the comments section below.

free guide to advertising on Instagram

Jul

28

2016

101 Marketing Ideas to Help You Generate More Business [Free Ebook]

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Planning, organizing, and executing a full-blown marketing strategy is no easy feat. However, there are tons of creative ways to generate more business for your company without overhauling your entire marketing strategy.

By focusing on smaller aspects of your marketing at a time, making changes to your marketing strategy is much more realistic. For example, you might take advantage of an upcoming holiday and run a campaign around it, test out new a marketing email template, offer a new type of loyalty program, or make it your goal to up your social media presence. There are tons of untapped opportunities waiting for you to take action on.

That’s why we combined brainpower with Square to bring you a list of 101 Marketing Ideas to Generate More Business. Whether you’re just starting up your business or simply looking for new, creative ideas to generate new business, these 101 ideas are just what your business needs.

What’s inside?

  • Tips on aligning your sales and marketing efforts.
  • Tips on engaging with the community and marketing for your customer’s desires.
  • Ideas to improve your social media and email marketing automation.
  • Different things to test out for your business to see what works.
  • A variety of different marketing ideas for brick and mortar locations as well as e-commerce stores.
  • How to create and promote high-quality content.

Download your copy today by clicking here.

Marketing Ideas to Generate Business

Jul

21

2016

How to Increase Your SEO Traffic in 30 Days [Free Daily Planner]

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Setting up proper SEO for your website is no easy feat — especially when you’re dealing with constantly changing algorithms. However, as search engines continue to evolve, it’s becoming more and more important for marketers to keep their content fresh and properly optimized.

While it’s tempting to implement a bunch of quick fixes to get your page ranking in the short term, it’s important that you’re also planning a strategy that will scale in the long term. This requires you to continuously redefine your strategy over time by using sustainable and proven best practices. Download our free planner to learn how to step up your SEO traffic in just 30  days.

To help you out, HubSpot & OnPage.org teamed up to bring you these best practices in the form of a handy 30-day planner. Each daily tip will help you step up your SEO game so that you can rank higher in search by the end of the month.

More specifically, you’ll learn:

  • How to standardize your URL structures to increase ranking.
  • Tips on ensuring clean website navigation to comply with desktop and mobile algorithms.
  • How to create better, more search-friendly content and headlines.
  • How to improve your site’s loading speed.
  • How to sign up for Google Search Console, Analytics, and more.
  • Tips on monitoring progress and success.
  • 25+ other tips on increasing your SEO game.

Click here to download your free copy today. 

Increase SEO Traffic

Jul

14

2016

What Does the Future of Facebook Advertising Look Like? [New Data]

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While the content your business creates is important, delivering it to the right people is easily half the battle. Using Facebook’s paid tools to expand your reach might be a no-brainer, but leveraging them to their full potential is another question entirely.

Facebook’s advertising platform allows marketers to effectively target a specific audience, which makes it far easier to deliver content to the people that actually want to see it — resulting in higher engagement. Additional functions help you build credibility and relevance when users see and interact with your ads.

But while these tools are helpful out of the box, tailoring your ad strategy requires a solid understanding of your competitive market, as well as what works and doesn’t work on the network. And that’s where HubSpot and Social Bakers’ new ebook The Future of Facebook Advertising comes in.

In this ebook, you’ll find data from over 4.5 million Facebook and Instagram ads to help you perfect your Facebook advertising tactics.

More specifically, you’ll learn:

  • The latest trends in Facebook advertising from several different regions.
  • How to improve your ad campaigns according to each trend.
  • What the global competition looks like, and how your region compares to others.
  • Which types of Facebook ads are becoming more and less competitive in each market based on CTR, CPC, ad distribution, and budget.
  • What you as a marketer can do to outshine the competition.

Click here to download The Future of Facebook Advertising: New Data on Facebook and Instagram Ad Trends from Around the World.

future facebook ads ebook

Jul

6

2016

How to Optimize Your Emails for Mobile: 10 Tricks Every Marketer Should Know [Live Google Hangout]

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As a marketer, you know how powerful email can be to generating leads and nurturing prospects through your funnel.

But have you ever wondered if you’re really getting the most value out of the channel?

If you’re not optimizing your emails for your mobile audience, you’re missing out. Over 50% of emails are opened on a mobile device, making it crucial for marketers to master capturing the attention of their mobile readers. 

If you’re looking to learn more about mobile email optimization best practices, tune into a live Google Hangout with email marketing experts from Litmus and HubSpot.

In this 45-minute discussion, Litmus’ Justine Jordan and Jason Rodriguez and HubSpot’s Nick Barrasso will share their advice for designing high-converting emails for your mobile audience. 

Want to join us? Here are all the details:

  • When: Tuesday 7/12 @ 2 p.m. ET // 11 a.m. PT
  • Where: Live Google Hangout
  • RSVP: Click Here

Want to learn more about mobile email optimization? Click here to save your seat for this live event.

join a Google Hangout with email experts

Jun

28

2016

The Complete Guide to Instagram Advertising [Ebook]

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As of just last week, Instagram hit a major milestone: the platform doubled its monthly active users to 500 million in just two short years. What’s more, over half of those monthly users — 300 million, to be exact — are active on the platform daily. That’s a whole lot of action.

All that said, it should come as no surprise that Instagram has become a place of interest for businesses. And with the massive potential audience in mind, those businesses are looking for ways to create meaningful, quality experiences through Instagram’s ad solutions.

You see, ads on Instagram are separate from posts to your account, allowing for much more freedom and a bigger, more targeted audience than just your followers. And while you have to “pay to play,” the benefits of Instagram advertising are notable.

To help you learn more about how to effectively advertise on Instagram, HubSpot teamed up with Iconosquare to bring you The Essential Guide to Instagram Advertising.

Here are a few thing we cover in this guide:

  • Integrating Instagram ads into your current advertising strategy.
  • Setting clear campaign objectives focused on improving your business.
  • Creating an optimized Instagram ad with our step by step guide.
  • Monitoring performance metrics and moderating engagement with your Ads.
  • Insights and takeaways from exclusive experimentation.
  • Bonus: Cheat sheet “The Perfect Instagram Ad.”

Download your copy here to get started with Instagram advertising today.

free guide to advertising on Instagram

Jun

27

2016

The Ultimate Guide to Social & PR Branding [Free Toolkit]

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Every brand has a story, but great brands that know how to tell that story well. Whether you’re selling coffee, bookcases, or enterprise software, the reality is that the competition is higher than ever before.

Having a compelling brand story is key, but remember: your story is more complicated than just words. Your brand story is communicated through visual identity, tone of voice, PR, and social media channels. Sure is a lot to keep up with, huh?

While churning out endless content hoping something hits the mark may feel like the solution, it’s definitely not. In order to stand out and rise in rank, you have to really connect with your audience. And as much as we wish there was, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ formula for that. Every business is different.

That’s why HubSpot and MOO teamed up to bring you this Social & PR Branding Kit. From setting goals to vamping up your social media game, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll walk you through the process of communicating your brand story online, offline, in social media, and in the press to help you win new customers, retain existing ones, grow your brand recognition, and gain that competitive edge.

More specifically, this kit includes:

  • How to craft a valuable ‘About Us’ page that people will read and remember.
  • How to identify clear objectives focused on your brand vision and goals.
  • What to post on social media, as well as why, and when to do so.
  • A breakdown of different social networks.
  • How to tell if your social media strategy is working.
  • How to build media relationships and write killer press releases.

free guide to social and PR branding

Jun

2

2016

The Essential Guide to Sales & Marketing Alignment [Free Kit + Templates]

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Back in 2011, the Aberdeen Group released a study that claimed highly-aligned organizations achieved an average of 32% year-over-year revenue growth, while their less aligned competitors saw a 7% decrease. Today, smarketing continues to serve as one of the largest opportunities for improving business performance.

While aligning your sales and marketing teams sounds like a no brainer, it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. It’s likely that both sides realize the need to work together to meet their demand and revenue goals, but the two teams are notorious for their complex, and sometimes even contentious, relationship.

To help you navigate this complex relationship, HubSpot has teamed up with Prezi to bring you The Essential Sales and Marketing Alignment Kit. The hope is that as you get closer and closer to total alignment, you’ll find dramatic improvements in your marketing ROI, sales productivity, and overall growth.

In this three-part kit, you’ll get everything you need to align your sales and marketing teams each month, quarter, and year. More specifically, you’ll receive:

  • An agenda template for monthly “smarketing” alignment meetings to ensure effective communication.
  • A template for service-level agreements (SLA) between marketing and sales.
  • Four foundational tips on working and communicating better with your sales team.
  • Tips on how to promote collaboration between teams to improve ROI and sales productivity.
  • Information on how to open up the right lines of communication to promote healthy, regular teamwork.

Download your copy of The Essential Sales and Marketing Alignment Kit now.

free sales and marketing alignment kit

May

16

2016

How to Retain More Customers: A Handy Guide to Creating a Positive Customer Experience [Ebook]

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We’re willing to assume that customer growth is important to your business, but creating an effortless customer experience that inspires retention is kind of complicated. 

Most companies spend the majority of their money trying to bring in new customers, but did you know that increasing customer retention rates by 5% can help you increase profits by anywhere between 25% to 95%? It sounds like customer retention is worth putting some time and effort behind, huh?

Retaining customers all comes down to the experience you’re providing for them. And you’ll want to provide them with an experience that — from start to finish — requires the least amount of effort from them. Even if your product or service is the best in its class, you need to make sure your customer is satisfied enough with their experience to continue choosing you over your competitors. 

How can you implement an effortless experience to keep your customers loyal? Check out this free guide — How to Keep Your Customers Coming Back — created in partnership with Zendesk. In this ebook, you’ll learn:

  • What makes customers become loyal and how to achieve loyalty for your brand
  • How to provide an effortless experience for your customers across all channels
  • How to build trust with your customers and give them reason to stick with you
  • How to provide exceptional customer service and use feedback for improvement
  • How to reduce the need for context-switching along a customer’s journey to support
  • How to solve for your customer’s problems before they even happen

Ready to get started? Click here to download the free guide today. 

Learn more about HubSpot Classroom Training!