How to Run Instagram Advertising in Singapore

How to Run Instagram Advertising in Singapore

Run Instagram Advertising

If your business isn’t running Instagram promotions, you are missing out on an excellent opportunity to generate more customers. The social media platform attracts over one billion active users every month and has significantly higher engagement levels than Facebook and Twitter. In Singapore, Instagram commands an impressive 82% of all social media activity.

The majority of people who use Instagram are millennials. Most of these users are shoppers, and they often follow brands that they like. If you post the right content, you are almost certain of generating leads to your business without implementing a sales pitch.

If you have no prior experience with Instagram promotions, don’t worry. This article covers all you need to know about Instagram marketing and how it can steer your business to higher levels.

Types of Instagram Ads

Instagram offers five ad formats – stories, photos, video, carousel, and collection. All of these formats integrate seamlessly into the users’ feed and stories without disrupting their browsing experience. Furthermore, Instagram allows you to choose from a range of call-to-actions to increase the effectiveness of your ad campaign.

Story Ads

The story feature on Instagram is a useful functionality used by more than 80% of users. There is a central pool of Instagram users who post stories almost every day, which means that a certain amount of fixed traffic can be generated from this functionality on Instagram. Hence, story ads are all about specific targeting and ad placement.

Story ads appear, especially when a user is switching between stories of two different users. These ads are back linked with a swipe-up option that directly takes the user to the brand service page or website. This is one of the most brilliant ways to redirect users to a brand website and content.

The only drawback of story ads is that they appear for a few seconds and cannot be revisited once seen. Although a disadvantage, once the users are aware of this, they most definitely swipe up as they do not want to miss whatever the content and brand has to offer. Story ads are generally targeted to potential customers, which increases the website traffic.

Photo Ads

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Photo ads are the most common type of advertisement on Instagram since photo-sharing is the most prominent feature of this platform. The photo-sharing feature of Instagram only allowed people to share pictures of their choice with people who follow them or follow, but now the trends have changed. In recent times, photos on Instagram are used for advertising and promoting several types of products, services, brands, events, and other things.

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Photos are a useful form of content presentation for whatever is being promoted. Additionally, the captions to the pictures uploaded provide more information to the audience about the product or services through the use of hashtags. The captions and hashtags involve more people, increase your promotional activities’ reach to a vast audience, and promote your product/services faster.

Brands and influencers use photo ads very adequately, filling their accounts with photo content to promote something.

Video Ads

Videos are hugely popular on Instagram – in 2017, the amount of time spent watching videos shot up by a remarkable 80%. As a result, Instagram made it easier for businesses to use videos to promote their brands. Many brands create video ads for digital media as the viewer rate is much higher compared to other mediums. Instagram allows 30-60 second videos to be posted, so brands are allowed to alter their video content accordingly to post full ads or teaser ads that have a link for the original ad on YouTube. 

Video ads are a creative and engaging way of advertisement and work exceptionally with many targeted audiences. For video ads, if marketing and promotion are done right, the views triple in a matter of minutes.

Carousel Ads

If posting one video or picture is not enough for your promotions, then carousel ads are the most effective way for an alternative. These types of Instagram posts allow a user to swipe through a maximum of 10 images promoting the same advertisement but keeping the user engaged simultaneously. Carousel ads can also work as sponsored ads if multiple products/services are advertised through different pictures.

As carousel ads support backlinking, it is an excellent way for brands to increase traffic on their website and sell new products and services. Carousel ads allow brands to spread their photo content through multiple images in place of cramping and stuff everything into one picture.

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored ads are business accou8nt options on Instagram that allow the business to promote their brands through posts via paid ads. These ads appear on the target audience feed with a direct link to the website or e-commerce store. These ads allow brands to directly sell their products to the audience and increase brand reach and following.

Sponsored ads are a great way to promote contests and giveaways if a brand wants to increase the number of participants. Increased engagement is also a requirement, and sponsored ads help by directing the audience to business profiles and websites.

Mapped ads

Mapped ads are not used by too many brands but are an excellent way to keep the audience engaged and interested while making sales. Recently BMW used this tactic that allowed the audience to choose their car functionalities through guided ads and finally reach the BMW website that showed them the car they designed and take things forward if they wanted.

A mapped-ad works well with product-based brands with increased click-rates. Although functionally efficient, setting up guided or mapped ads can be tricky and takes a lot of time.


A relatively new feature on Instagram is IGTV. Although new, brands and influencers have taken up this feature and have invested a substantial amount of time posting videos that are promotional but cannot be called ads. IGTV is still a developing platform but allows uploading videos up to 20 minutes, negating the earlier problem of video ads being under 60 seconds. This functionality of Instagram is an excellent platform for video ad promotion and lead conversion.

Collection Ads

Collections ads are the latest format of Instagram promotions, having launched at the beginning of last year. The most notable feature of collection ads is the purchase option that allows users to buy products directly from your post.  This standout feature arguably makes collection ads the most effective format of advertising on Instagram.

instagram promotions

Which Ad Format is the Best for my Business in Singapore?

The most significant consideration factor when choosing an Instagram ad format is your business goals.

If you are looking to improve brand awareness, videos and photos are your best bet. Ensure that the content is captivating, and complement it by including a compelling call-to-action with a link to your website.

For a business looking to boost sales, collection ads are the best option, as they allow users to link to your online store directly. 

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Lastly, if you want to show off a new product line, use carousel ads.

Regardless of your choice, ensure that it aligns with your mission.

Now that you know the different formats of Instagram ads let’s move onto the methods of running an effective marketing campaign on Instagram.

Create an Optimised Business Instagram Account

If you want to generate leads from your Instagram account, ensure that it is solely used for business purposes.  The nature of the content you post impacts the effectiveness of your ad campaign. Avoid posting personal stuff – if possible, don’t post anything about you at all.

The first step to optimising your Instagram account is including a link to your e-commerce website on your bio. Also, make sure that the business name and description alongside the link are accurate and compelling.

Secondly, it is crucial to maintain a consistent profile image. The image should be similar to the one used on other social networks, as this improves brand recognisability. Most importantly, keep it professional and simple.

Post Compelling Content

Visual content showcases your product to potential clients without you having to tell them how great it is. That said, avoid making content that appears pushy, as this is likely to turn away potential clients.

The easiest way to grab the attention of Instagram users is by posting unique content. Instead of pitching your products directly, show the value of your merchandise to your followers. This approach establishes trust and eventually turns passive followers into regular clients.

Always post high-quality videos and images. Blurred and clumsily cropped images are likely to harm your following.  Moreover, make the most of Instagram’s inbuilt filters and effects to enhance your content and stand out from other businesses in Singapore.

Keep in mind that Instagram heavily focuses on visual content. As much as adding a description, make your content appear unique, too much will make your posts feel out of place. The rule of the thumb is to minimise the use on text, especially within images.

Get More Followers

Posting excellent content is pointless if nobody sees it. The question is, how do you get followers on Instagram?

Use Hashtags

If you are wondering how to get followers on Instagram, a good place to start is including hashtags on your posts. Hashtags increase the visibility of your content. A user can see all content under a particular hashtag months after its original posting by clicking onto it. 

While hashtags are undoubtedly useful, using too much in one post has negative impacts. Posts that have more than five hashtags have low engagement rates. Moreover, it comes out as if you are trying too hard.

It is essential to get creative with your hashtag. Try to blend in keywords and a bit of creativity that identifies with your brand. Make sure that the link is in your profile and other social media, and take the game offline by having it on print ads, your physical store, and so on.

Engage Influencers

Consumers are likelier to purchase items recommended by famous personalities.  Influencers can also contribute significantly to pushing up your follower numbers on Instagram.

When choosing an influencer, consider their popularity and level of engagement. If they have a huge following but rarely post on social media, they are unlikely to be effective. Also, the influencer should be relevant to your product or service. For instance, if you sell beauty products, your influencer should be a model.

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Get Local

Another way of boosting your following is localising your posts. To see what’s trending in a particular location, say Singapore, go to the search page and choose the ‘places’ tab. Once this is done, type in Singapore and see all posts tagged to that location.

The essence of targeting particular demographic groups, interest, behaviours and locations is to increase the chance of generating leads. It is much easier to persuade users who are already interested in your product. Also, people will follow your account if they find content relatable.

Also, try to incorporate directions to your store in your Instagram ads. Some users, especially locals, might prefer visiting the physical shop over shopping online.

Share Your Followers’ Content on Your Profile

Sharing your followers’ content can significantly increase your popularity on Instagram. If a user spots a familiar face on your timeline, they are likelier to follow your brand. Likewise, the tagged user is likely to recommend your brand to their friends.

From a marketing perspective, tagging users who are using your products can influence the decision of other followers. Most people across the world, Singapore included, are likelier to purchase a product after they have seen another person using it in real life.

Remember to credit the user when you decide to share their content. Failure to do this counts as an infringement of image rights.

Post Regularly

If you are not posting regularly on your account, there are chances that your posts never reach the feed of your followers or are buried under other significant positions. Posting daily and updating stories enhance your profile analytics and place you on top. 

Additionally, posting regularly will also help your audience take notice of you and look out for your content regularly. Regular posting on Instagram is considered a sign of a dedicated

Engage Your Followers

After getting more followers, the next challenge is converting them into customers and keeping a hold of them. The best way of retaining your following is through engagement. Luckily, Instagram has one of the highest engagement rates among social media platforms.

A high engagement rate means that a business can easily communicate with its clients. As a business owner, this allows you to use clients’ feedback to improve service delivery, as well as build trust that converts your followers into loyal customers.

A compelling caption in each of your posts is a proven way of increasing engagements from your followers.  A popular tactic of initiating conversation is by captioning your content with questions. The caption should not solely describe what is in the image – make it attractive such that after reading, the viewer will take another look at the picture.

Additionally, the caption should be concise.  Nobody likes reading lengthy blocks of text. Create a piece that grabs attention and encourages the follower to take further action.

Besides smart captioning, you can boost engagement rates by using contests. Giveaways are a quick way of earning more followers and rewarding your loyal clients. That said, the prizes should be desirable and relevant to your brand, preferably one of your best-selling products.

You should start the contest by posting a startling image of the grand prize, accompanied by the details in the description section. After a few days, remind your followers of the completion by posting another photo of the award. When the designated period elapses, publicly announce the winner.

How To Use Instagram To Market Your Business In Singapore

Before running a contest, confirm that your account has a solid following and respectable engagement rates. A contest with little or no engagement is likely to tarnish your reputation.

The last and perhaps most obvious method of increasing engagement is by responding to your followers’ comments and messages. You should also like and follow other users’ pages and content, as this improves your engagement rates.

Gauge the Progress of your Instagram Promotions

In any marketing campaign, it is vital to measure the progress continually. This allows you to determine whether the current strategies are working and how you can adjust them to guarantee more leads and sales for your business in Singapore. Fortunately, the internet has several Instagram analytics tools to help you on this front.

The first parameter useful in gauging your success on Instagram is tracking reciprocity. This enables you to identify the users who have the most interactions with your posts. Precisely, you will know the follower who like, comment, tag and repost your content most frequently.

Once you know your most loyal followers, remember to give them a shout-out. This will not only improve your relationship with them, but it will also encourage to promote your brand further.

Density is yet another crucial metric in assessing the impact of your Instagram adverts. It tells you the time and days when your followers interact with your posts. Overall, the best time to post on Instagram is in the evening.

However, the level of engagement on your account largely depends on your target audience. If you are targeting the working population, the best time is in the evening or during weekends. On the other hand, if you sell products to the youth and work-from-home moms, it is advisable to post during the day.

Further, density helps with determining the frequency of your posts. You should post a maximum of three images or videos at the times when your followers are most active. The posts should be evenly spread out, say after every one hour, to avoid overcrowding.

Finally, make sure that you know your most popular posts. This metric is particularly crucial, as it shows the type of content that your followers find appealing.  As a result, you can create more useful posts in the future. 

Facebook Ads vs. Instagram Ads

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With a limited advertising budget, it isn’t easy to decide where to invest in social media marketing. Facebook and Instagram are two major social media platforms with overlapping users and a large audience pool. Although the two platforms have overlapping users, their specifics of interaction and demographics are very different. There are various advantages of running marketing strategies on both platforms, but running the same media content will not yield the same results.

Here are some of the main aspects of marketing ads on Instagram and Facebook and their differences for you to understand.

Ads management

Instagram and Facebook’s ads can be managed through Facebook ad manager. The single location for all ad resources make it easy for marketers to select multiple audience pool and platforms, and the results of all ad campaigns can easily be managed and downloaded.

Facebook provides various functionalities with multiple combinations to test out numerous ad previews, whereas Instagram follows the simple-is-best policy. Instagram allows you to set up your ad with an existing post or a new post with just a few taps and clicks. If you are looking for an easy interface with a big picture with all the necessary content, Instagram is the best ad management platform to choose from and use.

So, if you are looking to advertise and promote your products and services, and you are new to advertising, Instagram’s simple interface is the best place to be.

Demographics and Audience

A significant consideration for advertising on social media is the existing demographics and users. Although interchangeable, network demographics refer to the overall user base of billions of accounts on social media. The audience is the number of people that follow you on your account.

If you are looking to generate new followers, demographics are an essential part of the process as you will need to ensure that your desired target audience is already on the active network.

Instagram demographics is younger than that of Facebook’s and hasn’t changed drastically over the years. If you are looking to gain engagement, you will have to look through the app’s Insights for the audience presentation and feedback on your ads and posts. 

To have a successful ad engagement, you will need to have existing followers interact with the ads. The easiest way to do this is to boost a post on Instagram, which is accessible to both the networks without the ad manager

‘s utilization. Although young, Instagram has successfully tied with Facebook in terms of easy usage and functionalities when it comes to demographics. 


Instagram and Facebook have a significant difference in the presentation of content and their interaction. The basic functionalities of the range are the same, and the types are:

  • Carousel: more than one photo
  • Single Media: Image, Video, or Slideshow
  • Existing posts: Includes links that are already shared.

Although the same, Instagram cannot create in-caption links and generate call-to-action buttons to add links to the posts. The behavior of posts on Instagram is visual-oriented. The content provided by you for Instagram ads has to be appealing photos or videos first before adding any content to it. New content does not work well on this platform until there is an attention-grabbing image attached to the content that helps present the advertisement better.

If your advertising skills revolve around providing rich visual content, Instagram is the best place for you to promote your content. In case you have a varied range, which includes more words than pictures or videos, you should always go for Facebook as your preferred platform for ad marketing.


Well, you have completed an exhaustive guide on how to run your Instagram promotions.

Similar to other marketing strategies, Instagram ads will continue to evolve and improve, allowing businesses in Singapore to create more successful campaigns. This will further intensify competition in what is already a fiercely competitive platform.

Make sure that you keep abreast with the latest developments in this regard. Don’t let your efforts go in vain. If you fail to keep up, you will lose substantial ground to your competitors.

Get in touch with us for social media marketing services in Singapore. 



What are the types of Instragram Ads

– Stories Ads
– Photo Ads
– Video Ads
– Carousel Ads
– Collection Ads

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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