Instagram, just like any other platform has become flooded with ads. While some are well targeted for you, you see some and wonder how they got to your feed in the first place. Either ways, ads are everywhere. And as a fashion, food or image oriented brand, this is one of the platforms you should be looking into to place ads. And if you have not yet, it’s never too late to start.
Like any other platform, ad performance varies depending on your KPI and how well it is set up. It’s up to you as a digital marketer to set up the best possible relevant ads, with the least possible amount of money spent and a reasonable and achievable key performance index (KPI).
So how do you go about running a successful Instagram ad campaign?
Before we go into tips, let’s run through the ad formats available on Instagram
Photo Ads: Businesses can tell their story through beautiful imagery. Whether it’s inspiring people to see your brand differently or to take action, they offer a clean, simple and beautiful creative canvas.
Video Ads: Video ads offer the same visually immersive quality as photo ads on Instagram – with the power of sight, sound and motion. And now, you can share videos up to 59 secs long and in landscape format.
Carousel Ads: Carousel ads bring an additional layer of depth to photo ads. People can swipe to see additional images and a call to action button takes them to a website to learn more.
Now that we have that cleared out, let’s get into the tips for winning at Instagram advertising. There are no guarantees in business, but there are things that can be done to increase our chances of success. Understanding and applying these following ten elements will boost the odds of your brand generating growth for your business via Instagram advertising.
1. Great Images
That’s what the platform is about after all, Instagram is a photo sharing platform, and as such is built around visuals. Brands using this platform well have only one thing in common which is fantastic photos. Using high quality image for Instagram ads would increase sales, top of the mind recall and brand reputation. Good images tend to flow naturally with other images on the platform (people will be absorbed before they know it’s an ad). Take this picture from 1qfoodplatter for example
In as much as it is an ad, you don’t want to make that so obvious. While it can be tempting to place your brand logo all over your visuals it is advisable to keep it on a “low key”. Don’t let your logo overshadow your communication. That way you won’t lose people before you attract them. Your creative elements should speak for your brand. Notice how little the Fashpa logo is on this post
You should understand by now, the reason why your ad should be able to blend in naturally with native posts. Although the 20% text rule doesn’t apply on Instagram, but going by Instagram algorithm visuals filled with text won’t reach a large audience (it’s an unwritten rule) so not only are you purposely reducing the chance of your ad doing well you are also breaking rules. As earlier mentioned let your creativity speak for you. Say all you want but represented in images.
4. Less Copy or Caption
We know that social media users don’t have long attention span, so no they can’t read all that epistle you want to put in your update copy. Keep it short like you would in a natural post. Just as your images don’t have too much text well so should your caption or copy. Sometimes less is more, keep it simple and short.
One of the things that made this platform powerful for ads is that Facebook in its wisdom chose to integrate Instagram into their simple yet effective advertising processes. So, your chances of doing it right are higher than having to work with a new channel. Before finally going live with ads, you need to test and see it performance. Find out what your audience loves or ignore. If your target the same kind of audience of Facebook with an ad type, there is no guarantee that the same practices will work on Instagram. You need to run a few mini campaigns to help you understand what triggers a positive reaction. E.g. The same audience that likes the video of a girl skipping on Facebook, might ignore it on Instagram.
6. Instagram and Facebook are not the same
Although both platforms are owned by the same people and the ad integration works together and is quite seamless. This doesn’t mean that the two networks from an advertising point of view are the same. Both platforms have different demographics (Instagram’s user base is younger i.e. minorities makes up the larger portion) and user behaviors (based on research, users are two times more likely to engage with a brand on Instagram than on Facebook). Here’s Access Bank celebrating a Facebook milestone on Instagram for example. In my head, I’m like… errr… but I don’t like you on Facebook
That’s the whole point of advertising. You want them to take an action. As you already know the only clickable link is the one in your profile. You can add CTA’s to suit your KPI and skip the usual “link in bio” reference. CTA’s available on the platform include Shop Now, Book Now, Learn More, Sign Up, Download, Watch Now, Contact Us and Apply Now. This also applies for your organic posts, at least let people know how to take the next step.
8. Landing Page
After crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s on the platform you need to make sure that whatever page you are directing them to which is your landing page is intact. Instagram is a mobile platform so there is need to make sure your landing page is mobile optimized. Surfing a non mobile responsive landing page is really frustrating and you lose them after creating such a great ad.
9. Use Hash tags
Another difference between Facebook and Instagram is hashtags. On Facebook, hashtags aren’t all that prominent while on Instagram they are everything (Hashtag is bae). Going by the first tip, you need to fit in naturally and this includes adding hashtags. Use as much as you can, but ensure they are relevant. Personally, I choose quality over quantity when choosing hashtags. Adding hashtags is a must, and according to a study conducted by Track Maven, posts with more hashtags generated the most interactions. In this post, Hotels.ng has included no hashtags and no call to action. At least a phone number would have been nice. Just let me know how to take the next step.
10. Use Ads To announce Discounts & Increase Engagement
Get creative and come up with different ways to engage with your audience through an Instagram ad. Focus on making your fans feel special and appreciated so they are willing to take action. Secrets may not make friends, but they make fans. Surprise your followers, give them something to talk about and let them know how much you love them by sharing exclusive discounts.
Advertising on Instagram has proven to be effective especially for businesses whose major target audience are youths and women. As Instagram user base increases rapidly on a monthly basis, businesses should take advantage of these ads for a higher reach.
Are you interested in advertising on Instagram but you don’t know how to? Not to worry, our future blog post would explain a step by step process of running Instagram ads.