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Tuesday, September 08, 2015

3 new Instagram ad tools healthcare marketers should know about

Melissa Welling, Editor     

Update: Since this post was published, Instagram has opened up advertising to all businesses. The company has also made 30-second video ads available. Read more about it on the Instagram for Business blog.

Is your hospital or healthcare organization using Instagram? If so, you'll soon have the option of advertising on this popular social platform.

Instagram has been experimenting with advertisements by using a limited number of brands for more than a year. Starting this fall, advertising will be available to "businesses of all types and sizes."

Here are 3 of the Instagram advertising tools your hospital will soon have access to—and some ideas for how you might use them: 

1. Carousel ads. These ads allow people to swipe through a series of images. They can also include a link to your website. 

Healthcare marketing ideas: Document new construction with a series of photos from the same vantage point—then create a carousel ad showing the building rising. Or have your nutritionist show step-by-step photos of how to create a healthy salad. Video ads can be great for this too (see how @bonappetitmag does it). 

2. Direct-response ads. These ads let you create specific calls to action like "Sign up" and "Learn more" to let people take the next step directly from your ad. 

Healthcare marketing ideas: Pair photos of the taste-testing fun at your healthy cooking classes with a "Sign Up" button. Or put an authentic face to your fundraising campaign—while telling followers how they can give. Remember: To really inspire that next step, be sure to capture lively images that show real people learning, caring and having fun.

3. Enhanced ad targeting. Instagram is working with Facebook to help you target ads to specific groups of people based on things like demographics and interests.

Healthcare marketing idea: Targeting the right audience is an important part of advertising on any channel. If you're promoting a women's health service like mammography, put your ad in front of women who are in the appropriate age group—you might even want to create separate ads with images specific to women of different ages.

Learn more about Instagram advertising

Want to know more? Here's a quick reading list we've put together:

And now that your Instagram inspiration is flowing, here's a recent article from Ragan's Health Care Communication News to muse upon. It offers even more ideas and tools for enhancing your healthcare brand using this popular channel—from creating flipagrams to analyzing your Instagram engagement. 

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