Much anticipation has surrounded the launch of advertising on Instagram. For months, industry news teased the concept to marketers just itching to get the opportunity to tap into Instagram’s rising growth rate rounding out to around 400 million active users. Not to mention, the platform produces the best level of engagement rate for brands.
Sprout Social shared a particularly surprising brand engagement stat, “Instagram posts, however, generated a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21 percent. That means the app delivered brands 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.”
So now that we are free to explore the uncharted Instagram ad land, let’s get started by answering a few basic questions.
Does Instagram Advertising Require A Massive Budget?
When Instagram ads launched in 2013, many brands were left hanging when they realized Instagrams initial price tag would only accommodate the budgets of Madison Avenue’s top paying clients. Fast forward to 2015 and all brands no matter the size can advertise on Instagram. Here’s the best part, Instagram ad pricing is very similar to the cost of a Facebook ads campaign.
How Do I Create Instagram Ads?
One of the best things about Instagram advertising is that you don’t need to leave Facebook Power Editor to start creating your ads. Here’s a step-by-step run through for setting up your first campaign:
- 1. Set-up Facebook Business Manager:
2. Add your Facebook page to Business Manager:
3. Add Your Facebook Ad Account to Business Manager:
4. Add An Instagram Account to Your Ads Manager
Once you’ve entered the login information to your Instagram account successfully, you will be able to assign your Instagram account to a current Facebook Ads account like so:
When you’ve successfully added your Instagram Account to the desired ad account you will be advertising from, head back to business manager and find the ad account you assigned your Instagram account to:
From there, you will arrive into the ads manager for that account. When you get to the ads manager dashboard, navigate to Power Editor:
When Power Editor pops up, make sure you download your ads account to Power Editor:
5. Create Your Instagram Ad…Finally!
Once, you are all set-up and downloaded to Power Editor, create your Instagram ads as if you were creating a Facebook ad within Power Editor. You will create your campaign, set your budget and campaign length, identify your target audience, and create your ad exactly how you would when creating a Facebook ad. There is one important difference to take note of when creating your Instagram campaign. When you begin creating your ad set, you will need to select “Instagram” in the Placement section. Note that unless you want your ad showing on Facebook and Instagram, you will need to uncheck the boxes above “Instagram” as shown below:
Next comes the creative! Which brings us to our last question:
What are best practices for creating Instagram Ads?
Instagram seemed to hold out on letting advertisers migrate to the platform with the fear that commercializing the app would take away from its claim to fame as a creative hub for inspiring images. Therefore, advertisers are encouraged to uphold Instagram’s creative vibe when producing ad copy and imagery. The majority of Instagram ad campaign hours should be devoted to crafting images that blend into the Instagram’s established experience. Here are a few creative best practices to get you started:
Try showcasing your products in a real world environment: Stock product photography on a white background just won’t cut it for Instagram’s audience. Notice how Sperry and Hyatt Regency take everyday situations like hanging outside with a group of friends or preparing to travel with luggage and passports, and turns them into relatable images with copy that makes you feel as if you are a part of the experience. I’d be willing to bet that ad experience wouldn’t be as charming with a plain photo of Sperry shoes or a Hyatt Regency logo:
Make Your Product Photography Shine: Using product photography is definitely Instagram approved. However, use photos that showcase the product artistically and incorporate a bigger idea than just the product itself. Take a look at the way Chapstick personifies the typical “great stocking stuffer” holiday sales pitch with a jolly candy cane image:
Notice how V8 juice positions its new line of energy drinks around a festive Thanksgiving table setting and ties it all together with a relatable experience in the ad copy. My first initial reaction to this promotional image was “wow, that’s a beautiful Thanksgiving spread” followed by a “yes, Thanksgiving prep does wear me out.” Chances are on Thanksgiving morning when I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I’ll remember this ad and think about grabbing a V8 energy drink to give me that natural energy boost.
Increase Engagement and Visibility With Your Instagram Ads
If you’re investing your hard earned marketing dollars into an Instagram campaign, you might as well get the most for your money. To do this, make sure there’s a call to action in your post. In addition to using a CTA button in your ad, invite your followers to mention a friend in the comments section who may relate.
Another way to increase the visibility of your ads is to use hashtags that will insert you into desired conversations. However, avoid using a plethora of hashtags in your ad. You’re already imposing on a person’s social media experience with an ad so now might not be the appropriate time to go crazy with your hashtags.
Make Sure Your Images Are Sized Correctly
When designing your ad images, be sure to use Instagram’s recommend sizing guidelines which can be found in our handy social media sizing guide. It would be a shame to create a fantastic ad that doesn’t work with the specified space provided. It is also important to keep these size dimensions in mind when taking the photos so sizing for Instagram won’t drastically change what you were trying to capture.
Leave Sales Copy Out Of The Image
Try to focus on delivering you sales message visually and use the ad copy to drive home the message. Too much text in your image will make your ad disruptive instead of adding value to the user’s experience. Try hitting home the sales message with creative ad copy below the image instead of plastering it on top of your stunning image.
If you’ve reached the end of this blog post I’d say you are well on your way to creating a successful ads campaign on Instagram, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed feel free to contact our team for a little support. If there is an Instagram ads question on your mind that we forgot to mention; simply give us a shout in the comments section below, and we will make sure we deliver an answer. Otherwise, it’s time to put on your creative hat, login to Instagram, and go!