Facebook Ads vs Instagram Ads: Six Key Considerations For Budgeting

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A new article on Search Engine Journal asks where should you allocate your social ads budget, to Facebook or Instagram? Learn how to evaluate based on your goals.

Despite the rebranding as 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. With their integrated ad management platforms, it is simple enough to scale a Facebook campaign by extending it to Instagram. So when should you advertise on both Facebook and Instagram simultaneously and when is it best to go with just one of them? The answer depends on the following 6 considerations:

  • Increase Your Audience Reach By Up To 25%: As of January 2021, 75% of all Facebook users were also on Instagram. This suggests the potential of up to 25% more reach by running your Facebook ads on Instagram, as well.
  • Benefit From Each Platform’s Unique Ad Formats: Instagram continues to evolve its ad formats, now supporting even some ecommerce features. Instagram tends to be a destination for general inspiration and idea browsing rather than for users determined to transact. Facebook, meanwhile, tends not to have the high-impact formats that would wow a user the way an Instagram ad would. Consider running only on Instagram if the imagery is a dominant consideration, especially if it is meant to achieve a highly memorable impact.
  • Tap Into Your Audience’s Intent: As alluded to above, Facebook and Instagram users tend to skew in opposite directions when it comes to their intent. Each platform attracts users within all stages of the marketing funnel. Yet Instagram tends to encourage more upper-funnel behavior encouraging browsing and high engagement with the visual ad assets. By contrast, Facebook supports lots of lower funnel behavior allowing users to purchase, sign up and perform lots of other transaction-related actions. Consider prioritizing Instagram for upper-funnel audience strategies, and Facebook for lower-funnel efforts.
  • Tailor The Supporting Text Content: Instagram is a primarily visual channel. While users are accustomed to reading some supporting text, Facebook is a better channel to use if significant supporting information needs sharing within the ad unit. This includes not only the text that may be included within the visual but especially the text part of the heading and description fields. If a moderate amount of text is needed, both platforms can be effectively leveraged.
  • Develop Synergies With Your Organic Efforts: Whether on Facebook or Instagram, your ad will be associated with your profile – and your organic feed, by extension. If your organic feed has not been active, consider ramping up organic activity leading up to the paid social campaign. Paid ads give users the option to connect and see your organic profile. Anyone who is not familiar with your business and (thanks to your captivating ad) now wants to learn more may well want to navigate to your organic profile.
  • Resource Allocation To Optimize Each Platform: While many reporting and setup tools are shared between Facebook and Instagram, for best performance and analysis of results, one needs a strong understanding of each platform. That takes having specialized resources with knowledge of each platform with the time to invest in managing each platform. If that is not the case for your team, avoid stretching your resources too thin and focus on just Facebook or Instagram. The extra focus will pay dividends in the depth of optimization, which would be sacrificed if the same team had to do twice the work on two platforms.
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