If you are running Facebook ads it makes sense to run Instagram ads to widen your audience. They run off the same platform so co-advertising is very straight forward. The platform has a huge and growing audience and it very relevant to the Irish market.
You must have a business Instagram account. If you have a connected Facebook Business Page, it will pull any advertising payment options from here. If you don’t have a connected Facebook Business Page, you can add a payment method to your account - this is covered in the PROCESS section further on.
There are a couple of ways to advertise on Instagram, here we will cover the simplest way to do this - boosting (promoting) existing posts from your profile page. For more complex requirements, there is a process through an Ads Manager function but this is generally used by marketing and advertising professionals.
You can boost image/video posts and stories, choosing who they go to and how much you want to spend. Your posts can be linked directly to your Instagram account, a website address or your direct messages.
Depending on your goal for advertising, you can create specific types of post and attach a relevant call to action. For example:
Create a post announcing that you are taking on new clients - your call to action would work best by encouraging people to direct message you on your Instagram profile.
Raise awareness of a speciality - if you have written a blog about Eating Disorders and wish to draw attention to it (to encourage sharing and credibility) you would opt to have a link back to the article on your website.
For general promotion of your practice, a great place to start is by looking at your existing posts to see what type of content attracts the best engagement.
To minimise your financial outlay, you can apply a small limited budget to your ads and test certain audiences, different areas, interests, age groups etc. Test a few different audiences and see who works best for you.
Firstly, you will need to add a payment method (credit card, PayPal or ad credit voucher) to your account. You will find this in your profile menu under Order and Payments / Promotion Payments / Payment Methods. In this section, you will be able to set total account spending limits, update tax information, view statements and charges and manage billing frequency.
Return to your profile page and create the post or story that you wish to promote. Video ads can be a maximum of one minute long.
Please note that platforms tweak their processes regularly but will follow similar steps.
When you click Next you will be asked to define your audience. Click on Edit or create new to develop a new audience for your campaign
You will then be prompted to define your location. You can select countries, cities or towns.
You will then be offered audience expansion, to market outside of the specific locations given. I suggest starting with your known locations and expanding after a test period.
In the next section you can narrow down your audience by age, gender and interests.
In the next section you will enter how much you want to spend per day and how many days you want your campaign to last. Use the sliding scales to make changes.
As part of EU law, you must confirm who the beneficiary and payer (of the ad) are. If different to your Instagram Business name, enter the details here.
Finally you will be promoted to review all of your ad campaign details. When you are good to go, click Boost post. Instagram will review the ad and post when approved.
Reach - how many accounts you reached
Engagement - how many accounts interacted with your account
Profile Activity - profile visits, follows and email button taps
Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing sectors of social media promotion and can be extremely beneficial as it works on the basis of trust and referral - the most powerful marketing tools there are.
For ethical reasons, we are not suggesting paid sponsorship of your services. This is general advice on how to work within this growing space in a genuine, principled way and to allow your services be discoverable to an audience who may be interested in them.
For Psychotherapists, there is definitely space for this activity when the influencer is relevant and the content is aligned with what you are offering. The goal here is to add truth and value to an influencer’s message, for example, if they are discussing addiction issues, anxiety etc.
Influencers can be particularly helpful during the startup phase of a practice when a practitioner is looking to build awareness of who they are and what they do.
‘Influencers’ are simply social media members with a large following. Many choose to structure sponsorship deals and advertising collaborations, however many operate as community spaces to share information and engage with their followers. This is the space most relevant to Psychotherapy services.
KEY REASONS TO ENGAGE
People trust people more than brands or businesses
A service is introduced as a friend recommendation
They are reaching their audience on personal level
Where applicable, this referral can come from an experienced point of view
Influencers can generate genuine interest and engagement
Good influencers are also strong storytellers and can communicate your service well
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT INFLUENCER TO APPROACH
You should be using your Instagram account regularly & for at least six months before you engage with this activity. By following many people in the Psychotherapy and general Instagram ecosystem, you will start to see who some key figures or influencers are.
Follow them, watch and listen over time. Are they aligned with your services and values?
If there is an influencer who discusses topics and themes relevant to your services, only then is it worth considering. It should only be a natural extension of the conversations they have in with their followers (community).
Review their language, type of humour, don’t expect them to change and don’t try to change them - only if you are comfortable with their communication style, reach out to them. Go back through their posts, highlights and any IGTV videos, this is the best way to get a strong read on their tone and values. This helps to minimise any risk of working with the wrong person.
CONTACT THEM DIRECTLY
Once you are happy with your choice, send them a direct message from your practice account. Include the following information:
Who you are, what services your practice offers and your expertise
That you have been following their account for some time and note that they cover subject x (addiction, OCD etc)
You provide services to treat people with this issue - add link to that section on your website or any blog articles you have written.
You are: open to new appointments, willing to discuss this issue in an Instagram live / Q&A etc, to be tagged / link article for more information.
You can work with the influencer on a format that suits you both, and the timing of such. If their following is quite large, be prepared for sudden increased traffic on your account - this is why agreeing timings is very important. Think about the type of communication you are open to, whether you want to state that you are open for queries or simply adding website links to information articles on your website. Of course, if you are taking on new clients, make sure that your preferred contact methods are referenced, be they direct message through socials (preferable here) email, form on website, phone etc.
Ahead of all of this, make sure that your own profile has been populated with posts to show proof of existence and expertise.
As previously mentioned, it is not advisable to enter into a paid collaboration as this may dilute the ethics of your service.