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7 Tips For Excellent Instagram Ads

With Instagram unleashing it's advertising platform to New Zealand marketers back in September we've taken some time to get familiar with it's ins and outs.   

Taking what we've learnt this post will cover, the key objectives attainable from Instagram Ads, the steps for creating ads and top tips for creating successful Instagram ad campaigns.


Why Instagram Ads ARE A Digital Marketers Dream

With over 300 million active users, the power of Facebook behind it and its impressive engagement rates it isn't hard to see why marketers have been keen to get on board with Instagram ads.  For further evidence take a look at Hootsuite's Long List Of Instagram Statistics.

One significant factor that should gain the attention of marketers is that the way Instagram is consumed, with users scrolling through the timeline, means that an ads placement produces a 100% view rate.  Essentially an ad served on Instagram is an ad viewed.  In the new age of adblockers this fact can guarantee one's ad spend is resulting in ads viewed.


Getting Started With Instagram Ads

1. Begin My Connecting Your Instagram And Facebook Accounts 

While you actually don't require an Instagram account to serve ads to its platform there are definite advantages to having one.  Namely an Instagram timeline is going to help provide more brand identity to interested people as well as enabling you to convert paid clicks into ongoing Instagram followers.  

So if you have an Instagram account the first step is to link it to your Facebook account as that is where you will create your advert.  You do this by going to 'Settings' on your Facebook Page then clicking on 'Instagram Ads' and the 'Add An Account' button.  From there you can either create a new account or login with an existing account to connect. 

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2. Use Power Editor To Setup Ad 

Next you need to access Facebook's Power Editor to begin the process of setting up your advert.  Power Editor is available through the 'Ad Manager' platform listed in your left hand menu or under 'Manage Ads' in your top right menu.

If it is your first time using Power Editor you will be asked to download your account information to continue.

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From there Facebook has provided guidance for creating Instagram Ads in Power Editor.


Instagram Ad Types

Understanding that different businesses have different offerings, Instagram has provided a range of direct response buttons to suit.  

  • Shop Now
  • Install Now
  • Learn More
  • Sign Up 

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In addition Instagram has recently introduced Carousel Ads designed to help tell more of a story by including more images as shown below, the four images can be scrolled through within the same post.    

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Objectives For Instagram Ads

Currently Instagram provides three choices designed for achieving the following objectives:

  • Clicks To Website

This could serve as a way to generate leads for a service, encourage customers towards an ecommerce store or lead people to a landing page for more information.

  • Video Views

With Instagram's video capabilities advertisers could utilise this feature as a way of demonstrating a product in action. 

  • App Installs

For those wanting to promote their company's app, an App Install ad will display a 'Install Now' button that links to the app store for installation.


tips for creating top performing instagram ads

1. Create Instagram-Like Ads 

To create successful ads for Instagram you need to get familiar with the way it works and most importantly people interact with it.  What you'll soon realise is that followers don't react simply to a sales pitch but more often to visually outstanding images.  So rather than simply taking a photo of your product, think about a shot that shows your product in a setting or a shot that relates to your brand's theme.

2. Crowdsource Instagram Content

Repurpose photos that your fans take with your product for adverts.  Chances are your fans are better at creating photos that appear native to the platform.  Just be sure to credit the followers image and if appropriate offer them a reward for their efforts.

3. Harness The Targeting Features Of Facebook

As mentioned earlier in the getting started section, you create Instagram Ads through the Facebook platform.  There is good reason for this, it gives you access to the powerful targeting features.  As with Facebook Ads you can tailor your audience by age, gender, interests and more to reach your target customers.  

4. Make Use Of The Different Instagram Ad Formats

Instagram has provided various ad formats that help to serve the objectives listed above as well as simply increasing brand awareness.  It is important to know what you are seeking to achieve before selecting the type of ad to use.  For a lead generation objective a single image with a 'learn more' direct response or call-to-action button will be sufficient.  If you are promoting a specific range of products a carousel would help to show different photos for each item.

5. Understand The Basics Of Photography

Keeping in mind some simple guidelines for good photography will help to begin with a good photo.  Think of the rule of thirds (breaking your shot into thirds both horizontal and vertical to guide your composition), symmetry to create a balanced shot, and a clear focal point (ideally that highlights what you're promoting).  

6. Include Branding In Ads

To help an ad's brand recognition when people are scrolling through their feed, include a consistent branding element within your ads.   

7. Take Advantage Of The Video Ad Format

Video is the new star of social media and with Instagram providing a video ad format is an opportunity to make the most of your audience's preference for video.  

When producing a video ad keep in mind:

  • Video can only be 15 seconds, so get to the point.
  • Audio doesn't autoplay so make your ad work without sound.
  • Videos play on continuous loop, check it transitions to the beginning smoothly.