As consumers continue to find new ways to cope with digital information overload, communicating with them through visuals is a no-brainer. Visual content has become a top-of-list concern for all marketers—whether small or big businesses. There are different visual content platforms that marketers are making use of, and the most popular among them is perhaps Instagram. Marketers utilize both organic posts as well as Instagram ads.
One of the reasons why Instagram grew massively is because it connects people through visual content that captures people’s attention. Today, Instagram is the fastest-growing creative platform that houses 800 million active users worldwide. Since its release in 2010, Instagram doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down. The channel is proud to report that 60% of its users rely on their platform to research and discover products.
With so many active users fed with visual information on a daily basis, how will a business like yours keep up?
The solution lies in Instagram ads.
And why is that so?
Instagram content gets results. Period. So, unless you know something that nobody else does, you won’t be getting the full potential of this platform’s popularity without spending at least a little money on ads.
Instagram Ads Are More Complex Than Just Throwing Money at it, Though
Just like Facebook, it’s not enough to throw $50 at it and wait for the conversions to roll in. The content you advertise matters. Your captions matter. The call-to-action you use is vital, and targeting is everything.
Let’s dive a little more into how to use Instagram ads to truly find success.
In this blog post, you’ll have (at the very least) a basic understanding of Instagram ads that actually convert.
How to Create Instagram Ads That Convert
1. Define Your Objectives
Let’s begin by identifying the first tricky step in your game plan—determining the objective for your Instagram ads.
Depending on your business and industry, your objective could be increasing brand awareness, keeping engagement in your community, or driving conversions. If you want to attract new followers, you need to generate more likes, shares, and leads. If you want to increase your company profit, then you need to make your audience engaged and nurture these relationships. Whatever your plans may be, make sure that they will help you achieve the overarching goal of your ads.
Once you know what your goal is, you need to create the ad that will reflect that.
Fortunately, Instagram requires you to choose an ad objective at the very beginning of the process, which forces you to narrow down your goal and also allows you to really customize your ad based on your needs. Some of the objectives are brand awareness, reach, traffic, video views, lead generation, and messages.
You should also take into account how Instagram’s algorithm works. This aids you in creating a proper strategy that will help in developing your KPIs and metrics. Likewise, this will keep you on track without over-posting too much content that doesn’t get the results you’re looking for.
2. Make Your Ads Look and Feel Like Organic Content
You probably don’t want to make the mistake of publishing ads that look like ads. Why? Simple. People don’t enjoy being advertised to. They go on social media to have fun, be distracted, find entertainment, and maybe catch up with friends and family.
This means that you need to get creative, because an ad that looks like an ad isn’t going to get the job done.
Instagram ads that don’t look subtle can disrupt the user experience, hence reducing their effectiveness. Users tend to develop “ad blindness,” where they automatically ignore an ad, their eyes flying right by it. Most of the time, this happens when your ads are not appropriately creative or when you oversaturate a small audience. You don’t want people to skim right past you. You want to stop them dead in their tracks.
Content that looks natural and organic is far more likely to get responses rather than the ones that obviously appear as sponsored product promotions.
To avoid ad blindness, it’s essential for brands to create ad content that resembles their users’ feeds.
By doing this, you’re not only showcasing your brand’s relatability but you also increase your audience’s curiosity and attract new followers in the long run. You provide users with interesting content that blends well with their feed, instead of just pushing the sale. This is a great way of preserving relationships with your customers on social.
When done properly, your ads will blend right in with the organic content and won’t feel as obvious or jarring as other types of ads—while simultaneously standing out.
We know it might sound impossible to achieve, but we promise you can do it. Be real and authentic. Your audience will notice it, and they’ll appreciate you for it.
3. Use the Power of Influencers
As consumers become more skeptical of ads and brand-initiated content, they turn to influencers to keep up-to-date with the hottest trends across food, travel, fitness, lifestyle, tech, and many other topics. Consumers will always opt for a brand recommended by a trusted source over traditional marketing ads. In fact, according to Nielsen, customers tend to trust their peers over brand communication.
Brands should consider the use of an influencer marketing strategy to build trust, connect with customers on a personal level, and bring results to their business. When it comes to influencer marketing, Instagram dominates social media channels as it is reported to be the most preferred platform for influencers, according to 89% of marketers.
How does a business effectively run a campaign by collaborating with influencers? The key factors that they consider are the influencer’s credibility, relevance, and authenticity. A good example is the JOOP! ad campaign on Instagram Stories, which featured Toni Mahfud, a German-born artist and influencer. This campaign boosted the ad recall by 60% and lowered the cost per reach by 27%.
Remember to look for influencers whose aesthetic fits nicely with your own. Be sure that their followers are part of your target market. Additionally, don’t solely focus on their number of followers, because that doesn’t tell the whole story. You want to work with influencers who get amazing post engagement—likes, clicks, and comments.
If you can create a long-term relationship with an influencer, all the better. It really is such a powerful type of collaboration.
4. Tell Compelling Stories
As the leading platform for visual storytelling, Instagram lets you tell visual stories that yield real results that you can track. It would be a waste of effort and resources if you utilized Instagram solely for hard-selling with mediocre paid ads. This, unfortunately, seems to be the guiding methodology behind a lot of Instagram ads today.
But with how the platform gets more and more competitive every single day, quality content wins.
The right methodology instead should be creating a lasting impression with your audience. Remember—the story behind the photo matters as much as the image. For example, users who can’t remember your post won’t feel the urge to buy your product. Focus on making them feel something, as opposed to getting them to buy something. Money can’t be the main motivating factor here. But if you put your audience first, rest assured that the sales will eventually follow.
With storytelling, you’re able to transform photography and videos into stories that build a deep connection with your users. Identify with your audience and try to relate to them, and you’ll create Instagram ads that move them and stay in their mind.
5. Create a Strong Call-to-Action (CTA)
Just like your ads on other social platforms, your Instagram ads should also create a strong sense of urgency that drives the audience toward the desired action.
The good thing about creating ads on Instagram is that they allow you to test out different CTAs to find out what works best with your audience. You can just choose from a number of options. These options include “Contact Us,” “Sign Up,” “Watch More,” “Book Now,” “Learn More,” “Download,” and “Apply Now,”
For example, if you want to direct users to your website, “Learn More” is a suitable option. If you want them to make a purchase, “Shop Now” will work well. Going with the right CTA can make a real difference. A study by Nanigans found that choosing the right CTA button boosted their conversions by 32%.
Brands do very well when they know how to utilize CTAs properly. Meller, a Spanish brand that manufactures sunglasses and accessories, ran an Instagram Stories ad campaign to promote its two-for-one offer. The campaign helped to increase click-through rate by 20% and it lowered cost per acquisition by 35%.
CTAs might seem like a small detail, but they can make a huge difference.
6. Use the First Few Seconds of Your Video Wisely
If you’re running a video ad on Instagram, it’s of utmost importance that you put serious thought into the first two to three seconds of your video. You’re not going to get much more of a chance to grab people’s attention.
Whether you pique their curiosity, surprise them, grab them with stunning visuals, ask them a unique question, or take some other approach entirely, you need to find a way to hook them in, and fast.
Don’t play hard to get and make viewers wait, because they won’t.
Running a successful Instagram ad campaign is the perfect way to expand your reach, build brand loyalty, and generate results. While it may seem like a huge deal of a project, you just have to focus on creating a unique journey for your followers. Experiment with a combination of various techniques and strategies, split test your ads, and carefully track and measure your insights and analytics to see what’s delivering the best results.
Instagram’s algorithm is always evolving but with the tips that we discussed above, you’re on your way to mastering the platform and driving serious results using paid Instagram ads.
While paid ads are almost a necessity for any digital marketing campaign, we can stress enough how crucial organic posts still are. Consistent posting on your channels is a must. If you need help managing all of your social media platforms, sign up for a free trial with e-clincher today! We’re your one-stop-shop for everything and anything related to social media management.