So you’re about to start advertising on Instagram. You’re not alone. Count yourself among the more than 100 million advertisers who have taken to the photo and video sharing network. Read our tips on how to adapt your ad creative to captivate Instagram’s young and fickle user base.
Instagram is mighty. And with every year it grows mightier.
The photo and video sharing network is growing in leaps and bounds. It recently announced more than 600 million active monthly users, and over one million advertisers. But user numbers alone don’t tell the story. Instagram users are deeply engaged. 400 million of those users check the app daily, making Instagram’s daily user engagement officially on par with it’s big daddy, Facebook.
It’s not surprising that Instagram has proven itself to be an awesome platform for advertisers. But thriving as an advertiser on the social network requires a small learning curve — particularly if you are not a regular Instagram user.
The fastest way to an Instagram user’s heart is to blend in, just a little. Take the time to create images that are consistent with targeted users’ particular style and proclivities. This means studying your market to get your demographic targeting laser sharp. And it means keeping things real; never make your Instagram creative look like a big, garish ad.
Ready to build or optimize some ads on Instagram? Read on for our five tips on creating ads that engage and sell.
Link your ads to your Instagram account.
You don’t have to have an Instagram account to run ads on Instagram, but highly we recommend that you do. And make sure you link your Instagram Ads to your Instagram account. This may seem obvious; but it doesn’t happen automatically. Do this in your Facebook page settings: under Instagram Ads, click “Add an Account” and enter the login credentials for the associated Instagram account.
Make sure your Instagram account is impeccable.
Potential customers will check out your Instagram account for social proof. Before you begin running Instagram Ads, make sure your Instagram feed is well stocked with images that feature the lifestyle your brand represents. Don’t just feature product images; fill your feed with curated photos that tell a story about your brand. And be doubly sure that the URL in your Instagram bio links to shopable content. Every detail counts.
Make your ad images look natural.
One of the charming things about Instagram Ads is that they blend very seamlessly in users’ feeds. Don’t disrupt the flow with ads that look too overly designed to be ads. You’ll gain visitors’ trust and interest if you try to blend in. Make sure you use high quality images, but keep things easy and spontaneous, without too much staging or artificial light.
Know your target market.
One of the things we love about Instagram is its reliance on Facebook’s awesome targeting capabilities to deliver ads to precise audiences. But remember, Facebook users are different from Instagram users. Have a think about what makes your Instagram audience unique. Make sure you follow and study them before setting up targeting and developing ad creative.
Feature a product, but in context.
Instagram users like to consume stories about the people they aspire to be. Don’t just use a photo or video of your product. Show your product being used and enjoyed in its natural habitat. Start by tapping into your audience’s dreams and desires, and then explore ways that your product can be part of this aspirational lifestyle.
Use content that worked in the past.
Look at your metrics. If your company has an Instagram account, which photos or videos have generated the most likes and comments? Which images have performed well on other networks, or on your website? Start with these; adapt them, or use them as is. Chances are, if your followers or customers have already responded well to certain photos or videos, so will potential customers.
Make sure your forms & landing pages are mobile friendly.
Because people will be engaging with your Instagram Ad on a mobile device, it’s doubly important that when they click, they can easily do what you want them to do. Make sure all your landing pages are responsive for mobile, and adapt any forms and transactional content to be as usable as possible on mobile.
Getting it right on Instagram can be very rewarding. Advertisers talk about leveraging Facebook’s awesome targeting capabilities while gaining access to considerably more inventory. Advertisers — particularly small businesses — are using Instagram to target its young, affluent and engaged audience.
Capturing those millennial eyeballs is turning out to be lucrative; according to eMarketer, Instagram is expected to bring in $3.64 billion in ad revenue this year. If these are your people, and particularly if you are already advertising on Facebook, it’s worth taking Instagram for a spin, but make sure you do it right.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Social Ads Manager @ Bloom