Advantages of Instagram Advertising

By Charissa Plummer

Instagram has over 600 million users worldwide—and 400 million of those users access the platform daily. If you are a millennial, or know a millennial, you’ve probably seen them casually scrolling through their social media accounts just to pass the time.

Now, if you’re not part of that generation, you may have a hard time understanding this habit. You may even roll your eyes and state that there are more productive ways one could spend their free time. And you might be right. However, as a marketer, you can see there’s an opportunity to capitalize on where millennials are spending their time.

How many of your institution’s social media fans and followers are millennials?

The number is likely lower than you would like. It’s possible that your bank has recognized this as an issue for some time, and has even made efforts to resolve the issue. Maybe you ran a Facebook contest or two but didn’t attract much of the millennial demographic—instead drawing in their parents and grandparents. Why might that be?

The short answer is the majority of Facebook users are non-millennials. The millennials are on Instagram more often than Facebook.

According to Instagram, 60% of its users familiarize themselves with a brand’s products and services using the platform. And of those users, 75% take immediate action based on the ad/post.

Financial institutions have a reputation for being hard sellers when it comes to their marketing strategies.

Unfortunately, millennials don’t necessarily respond to this tactic. Their generation is more of a collaborative one, hence their reliance on social media. And they trust mobile information more than any other generation. They are also known for being loyal until the end, and have an unparalleled ability to spread the word for crowdfunding via social platforms. Obtaining the loyalty of millennials through Instagram could be the first step in an effort to tap into this much-coveted demographic for your bank.

What Bridgewater Savings Bank learned.

Bridgewater Savings Bank ($520 million)—a multi-branch community bank located throughout southern Massachusetts—uses both Facebook and Instagram ads for marketing their products and for other promotions. Most recently, they ran a campaign that promotes their AddVantage Checking account with the use of Facebook Newsfeed ads and Instagram ads.

As you can see in the charts below, Instagram ads had greater success reaching and engaging a millennial audience, whereas Facebook ads reached a primarily older audience (baby boomers, Generation X, etc.).


These results indicate that if your financial institution isn’t capitalizing on this fact by advertising via Instagram, you may be missing a big opportunity. If you’re not completely sold on having Instagram—and don’t want or have the time to build and manage an Instagram account—that’s okay. You don’t need one.

Since Facebook owns Instagram, ads can be promoted through the Facebook Ads Manager without ever needing to create or log into an Instagram account.

Instagram ads give you many options to create appealing, attention-grabbing ads, with features such as:

  • Videos
  • Carousel ads
  • Story ads
  • The common picture ad

Not only do you have the great creative options that Instagram offers, but you also still are able to take advantage of the latest and greatest Facebook ad targeting options. If you are trying to target a millennial audience—but you want to narrow it down even further based on additional demographics, behaviors, interests, location, etc.—that capability is built in.

If you take the leap, you may find that the next time you see a millennial scrolling through their endless Instagram feed, they will stumble upon your bank and have a greater awareness of your brand, products, and services.

Charissa Plummer is a digital account executive at Pannos Marketing based in Bedford, NH. Pannos Marketing is an award-winning, full-service communications firm specializing in strategic marketing, public relations, social media, e-commerce and website solutions for financial institutions. Email: [email protected]. LinkedIn.