As one of the most popular social media networks, Instagram has 2 billion active users, making it a great marketing channel for all brands.
If you have an Instagram presence and your account gets likes, comments, and Direct Messages, that's great. But if you want to get in front of more eyes and receive direct reactions from your target audience, advertising on Instagram has great potential.
What is more, social media like Instagram are more accessible (compared to traditional media such as television and print media) and your adverts go to your brand's target audience.
Instagram marketing tactics offer flexibility with the added advantage of having immediate responses. This allows you to adjust accordingly if need be. This article will guide you on the best practices for using advertising on Instagram.
Why Should You Invest in Instagram Ads?
As mentioned earlier, there are many advantages of advertising on Instagram.
The most popular reason for using Instagram is that you are guaranteed that your target audience will be able to see them.
This is because the AI and data collected by Instagram allow you to narrow in on who exactly you want to see the advert. Aspects like demographics (age, sex, geographic location) and the user's interests are based on things they interact and engage with through comments, likes, shares, and saves.
We are billions of people online and offline; that's a lot of noise for anyone or a brand. Running advertisements on Instagram puts you above average by allowing more views to your target audience. This is better than making posts and hoping the algorithm will push your content.
What is more, Instagram ads come in all forms and types.
When people on Instagram see a promoted post advertising your brand, it inspires them to take action. They may view your profile, Direct Message, comment, or like your post. You want any of these actions as it sets you up for tremendous success. The Apps algorithm will purposely push your content to people with similar interests. You waste no time or resources advertising to non-interested parties.
Placing an advert or promotion allows you to achieve your goals faster. If you have a special offer or sales or want more engagement, whatever the goal, it will be realized faster. This is because the advert is reaching more people with a high interest in content such as yours.
If it has higher conversion rates you were hoping to achieve, the adverts are the way to go. You will have more success in getting responses regarding purchases, get more followers on Instagram, and a new audience on your page and what you offer.
All in all, Instagram ads help to beat a lot of your competition by a few miles and be on people's minds.
To inspire your next Instagram ad campaign, let's learn from the best practices.
1. Show Your Product Line With Carousel Ads
This feature has to be taken advantage of.
If you consider print media advertisements, you pay for every square inch of paper you take up. Having a carousel advert allows you to add from two to ten images or videos to give your audience an immersive video-like experience.
The best part of this feature is that if at any point you want to stop the carousel format, users can scroll through the content manually and pay closer attention to elements they are interested in.
A good example of using this strategy in Instagram ads comes from J.Crew. As big fans of cross-selling, J.Crew made the most out of carousel ads to target buyers who had previously only bought within one product category and show off its other product categories.
Not only did J.Crew show its product line to potential customers, but it also got 35% incremental lift in multi-category customers.
2. Include Product Tags With More Information
It's not enough to post your content and small captions, especially if you sell something. Luckily, Instagram gives you an opportunity to include product tags and therefore provide a targeted audience with more information.
The best part is these product tags apply in Reels, Stories, in-feed, IGTV, and Live video.
When running Instagram ads, you can tag up to 10 products in a single image and make your ad better. Why? When interested users tap on the tags, not only can they read more about featured items, but they can also learn more about the prices. It positively affects the impulse purchase.
Case in point:
To promote its Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale, Fresh created Instagram ads with product tags to encourage viewers to make a purchase.
Just within 4 days, the campaign received 32% more sales from Instagram ads with tagged content and got 8X more content views.
3. Team up With Niche Influencers on Branded Content
There is always power and influence in having greater numbers.
To go far in anything, you need support from other people who share your dreams or interests.
On social media, there are different content niches. It is important to always know your niche from the start. This is to know your competition and allies.
Collaborations allow an audience who may not know you to discover your content and boost brand trust. The only condition is that the influencers and brands you collaborate with have to make sense of your niche. Stay within what you create. If you do food reviews, collaborating with restaurants is an expected collaboration. You risk confusing your target audience and losing some if it's off your niche.
For instance, the skincare brand Clinique Australia worked with beauty influencers on authentic branded content ads. To get genuine reviews, Clinique sent its products to 10 selected content creators and asked them to share their personal experiences with using the product.
Working with niche influencers had great results: in comparison with brand photo ads, the campaign got 54% lower cost per purchase, 8.7 return on ad spend, and 1.8X higher return on ad spend.
4. Offer a Time-Limited Discount
Everyone loves a bargain.
It doesn't matter how much money a person has. Discounts psychologically pique our interests and draw in our focus. Having a perception of scarcity by putting a time frame puts pressure on a person to act faster rather than 'save for later decisions happening.
When you include a time-limited discount as a part of your advertising plan, you get more interest and a higher likelihood of purchase. When it comes to Instagram ads that drive results, this strategy has become one of the most effective best practices.
Aise shows an effective usage of this tactic in its Instagram ad campaign. To highlight its products, Aise created an ad that demonstrated the range of sizes available and offered a discount.
With a short lifespan of its offer, the campaign has a 30% average higher conversion rate.
5. Interact With the Hooked Audience
Only some of those who view your advertisement will show interest through engagement.
Focus on those who follow, like, comment, and Direct Message your page. This is because these people took time out of all the noise online to show interest.
Respond and reply accordingly to them, like their comments, especially if positive, and never leave a comment hanging. If the information asked is sensitive, indicate you have Direct Messaged the response in the comment section. This allows the audience to know you respond and care.
But if you want to take the next step and interact with your audience, draw inspiration from Dunkin and include interactive elements like polling stickers in your ad campaign. Not only can you increase user engagement, but you can also collect customer feedback and learn more from your target audience.
Results show that the polling sticker increases 3-second video views in 9 of 10 campaigns, so isn't it worth giving a try?
6. Tell Brand Stories That Engage
People love a good story they can attach to the brand or product.
Being authentic and relatable is one of the things people online like about their favorite content. Having a relatable story moves you beyond just being a rand, but now it's a life story that you can go through the emotions and feel a deeper connection to that surface-level information.
A brand story in an advert will allow people to understand you better and engage because of your relatable humanity and vulnerability. It gives a perception of being open and trustworthy that you share an intimate part of your business beyond the actual product or brand.
When Gravastar decided to tell more about its brand and products , the company ran an ad campaign through Instagram Reels to create engaging and interesting videos that hook the attention.
Stories drive results and the above-mentioned campaign got a 78% higher return on ad spend from cell with Reels ads and a 35% lower cost per conversion lift from cell with Reels ads, compared to business-as-usual cell.
7. Aim at Lead Generation
Social media is a great resource for generating targeted leads online.
When used as part of your advertising strategy, Instagram will allow you to gain new leads. These leads are important as they become customers; if you do it right, they become loyal customers.
It would be best if you always aimed to make new leads.
A successful Instagram manager knows how to get more leads with ads, but if you need inspiration, take a look at the case study from Bliss. To raise brand awareness and reach more potential customers, the company made a descriptive video about its services and included a form to collect leads.
With a focus on short Instagram instant forms, the campaign got a 40% lower cost per lead and a 2.5X higher conversion rate.
Instagram is a fantastic app to advertise on as it has many features and tools supporting your brand.
You can create, adjust and monitor your entire advertisement from start to finish. It is more affordable than doing it on traditional media, has immediate responses, and reaches a global audience simultaneously. Social media advertising is here to stay, so get on board.