In the age of social media, it’s more important than ever for retailers to advertise on sites like Instagram. But with everyone advertising on the same platform, it can be hard for your company’s Instagram ads to stand out. Make sure you reach your target audience and stay ahead of your competitors. Familiarize yourself with the type of ads Instagram offers, and some best practices for how to use them.
Types of Instagram Ads and How They Work
There are multiple ad types available to retailers on Instagram, and they all work a little differently. Below is an overview of Instagram ads you can choose from:
- Stories Ads – Stories ads are full-screen advertisements that appear between user stories; these ads feature a swipe-up call to action, linking users to an external webpage or shop. Stories are one of Instagram’s most used features, so ads of this type have the potential to reach a wide audience.
- Photo Ads – Photo ads show up between posts on users’ main feed. You can choose to promote specific products, sales, and services. Photo ads can lead users to specific pages on your site, or your Instagram page.
- Video Ads – Video ads give users a more in-depth look at your business. Ads can run up to sixty seconds long, so you have ample time to showcase your products in action.
- IGTV Ads – Instagram has been beta testing and they expect that broadcasting ads over IGTV will be available in the coming months. When users select an IGTV video, an ad up to 15 seconds long will play beforehand.
- Explore Ads – The Instagram Explore tab is designed to help users discover new content they may be interested in. Many Instagram users browse the Explore page, making it a great place to reach new shoppers.
- Collection Ads – Collection ads are one of the stronger forms of advertisements on Instagram, as they allow viewers to purchase products directly from the ad itself. Merchants must first connect to an Instagram Instant Experience Storefront.
- Carousel Ads – Carousel ads allow retailers to present a series of images or videos within the same post. Carousel ads are great for storytelling or highlighting multiple products.
- Instagram Shopping Ads – Retailers who are set up with Instagram Shopping can use these ads. Viewers select a product and read its description directly within the app. They can then choose to visit your site to complete their purchase.
Tips for Effective Instagram Ads
With so many retailers advertising on Instagram, it’s vital that your ads are effective. Take a look at the following best practices to help your ads stand out:
Appeal to Your Desired Audience
One of the most important aspects of advertising is finding your target audience. Be mindful of your audiences’ needs and wants. Focus on how your product or service will solve a problem based on those needs. Lastly, take note of how your audience changes over time and make sure your advertisements match.
Include a CTA
Utilize Call-to-Action Buttons! A strong CTA should tell someone what they should do, and give them the motivation to do so. Instagram makes it easy for retailers to include a variety of CTA buttons that can be placed on photos or videos, depending on the action you want your viewers to take.
Write Clear and Concise Ad Copy
While Instagram is known as a photo-sharing application, using text wisely can make or break your ad. Too much text may bore the viewer; after all, a picture is worth a thousand words. But too little text can leave them feeling confused, with no urgency to learn more about your product or service. Two lines of text are automatically displayed below an Instagram photo or video, so make sure you utilize your text wisely. Anything longer than two lines gets cut off, and users have to decide to select “read more.”
Don’t Make Ads Look Like Ads
Instagram users aren’t always looking to shop, so stumbling upon an obvious ad could put them off. Make sure your ads look like they belong on a social media site where images are the main focus. Using eye-catching photos and videos will encourage viewers to click for more information.
Let Your Posts Influence Your Ads
One tactic for keeping your advertisements on-brand and looking natural is to post a few images that match the theme of your new ad. This way, your ads look like they fit your page’s theme no matter what.
Keep Engaged with Your Audience
Now more than ever, brands are using social media to connect with the people buying their product or service. Staying active with your audience builds a positive reputation that can help entice both new and returning customers. Liking images, commenting on posts, and responding to comments are easy ways to engage your audience.
Test Your Advertising
As with most endeavors, it’s important not to get complacent. Try to switch things up when possible. Not only do you want ads to get to the right audience, but you also want to keep that audience entertained and intrigued. Otherwise, your sales may not catch their eye. A/B testing and retargeting are great ways to make sure you’re getting the right ads to the right audience.
There are a number of factors that dictate whether an Instagram ad will be effective or not. Reaching the correct audience and giving off the right impression are vital to keeping sales high for online retailers. By following these tips, you can create and maintain effective Instagram ads that can help you boost your sales and increase your social media presence.
Looking for more tips on social media advertising? Check out our blog on how to create effective Snapchat ads.