Last week Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, announced that it was developing its advertising platform. Instagram has over 300 million users. Facebook has reached over 1.44 billion users. Facebook and, now Instagram, are constantly working to improve the user experience and make enhancements to have their users, essentially, never want to leave the social media worlds they help create.

With the ever-increasing push for high quality content coupled with great imagery and videos, this is an opportunity for nonprofits. We know that a picture is worth a thousand words and what is being rolled out now can be a game-changer for nonprofits that use Instagram.

The New Instagram Buttons
sign_up._taylor_morris_examplePreviously, when individuals on Instagram saw something that was of interest to them, for example, a product or service they liked (because of a great visual), they would take a screen shot of it. This was the best they could do and then hopefully remember to research it or buy it later.

Instagram is now adding the following buttons to posts: “Shop Now”, “Install Now”, “Learn More” and “Sign Up”. If you take a look at the pictures of what the sponsored ads will look like, you can see the buttons are nonintrusive and the look is seamless. This is meant to not impact the user experience.

Let’s say that one of your nonprofit followers on Instagram sees a great picture related to your mission and there is a “Learn More” button, they will be then taken to your site. If you’re really good at fundraising, you could send them to your donate page, which has even more reason now to be thoroughly engaging.

Perhaps you’re looking to get more individuals involved in your team event to help raise awareness for cancer or some other disease. Imagine the possibilities now that Instagram allows you to seamlessly add a “Sign Up” button, which features a great image above it! What if you’re doing a fundraiser and you have great visuals you post on Instagram as sponsored ads during the course of your campaign? You can tell quite a compelling story, raise more money and even gain more followers if you plan and market it well.

Social Media Sponsorship Opportunitiesshop_now._tieks_example
Instagram has benefited from being part of Facebook. We know that Facebook has pushed nonprofits away from organic reach to sponsored reach. The free ride is over and Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms need to make a profit, and they will do it through sponsored advertising. If you want to know more about Facebook and what sponsored posts means for your nonprofit organization, please click here.

As of this writing, I do not know what the rate will be for organizations that want to sponsor ads within the Instagram platform. However, you can bet that it won’t be expensive. Facebook already has two million businesses, nonprofits and others boosting their posts through paid sponsorship for as little as $5 USD. Facebook has built solid targeting and analytics functionality. Nonprofits who are paying to boost their posts or pages are easily able to target their audiences based on keywords, age, gender, etc. They are then able to see performance and know the posts that resonate better with their constituents, so they can enhance their messaging. Instagram will have the same type of targeting and analytic tools making advertising much more effective.

Stay tuned to this space for more on the changes in digital marketing and social media that are making it much more cost effective and easier for nonprofits to spend their precious dollars.

Author of “The Rise and Fail of Charities In the 21st Century: How The Nonprofit World Is Changing And What You Can Do To Be Ready.”

© 2015 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.