Tips to Create Quality Instagram Ads
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When it comes to brands on Instagram, your organic posts are at the mercy of the algorithm. This is why, from brand awareness to special offers and straight to conversions, Instagram ads are one of the social media tools with the biggest potential to boost your small business. But just like with any form of advertising, creating high-quality Instagram ads that drive click-through is no easy task. Here we’re going to break down some information and tips for making Instagram ad campaigns that move the needle, no matter your industry, products, or services.
Know Your Audience
Right up front, before you spend too much time working on eye-catching imagery and video ads that pop, you want to build yourself a great social media marketing foundation by knowing your audience. This is because who you’re trying to reach will help you determine the best way to reach them. That includes format choice (which we’ll cover in a little bit), as well as targeting and building custom audiences for your campaign, and incorporating Instagram automation, too.
There are a number of key factors to pull together as you collect your audience information, even beyond the basic demographics. For example, with Instagram ads, you are able to consider your target audience’s interests, behaviors, and connections, all of which help you paint a clearer picture of a prospective customer and reach them with a more effective ad and message.
Looking to reach all-new customers with your eCommerce campaign? Be sure that you also consider the Lookalike Audience tool, which helps your ads reach new Instagram users and prospective customers by using an existing custom audience and the information that you’ve provided about them.
Plus, be sure to take a look at trending hashtags and compare those with what your audiences are using or following. Hashtags are a great way to follow what other brands are doing as well, especially within the same space as your business. You can gather information about their ads, and also customer opinions, all of which may help you develop both your audience and your marketing strategy more completely.
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Choosing the Right Instagram Ad Format
With a better understanding of your audience, or even multiple audiences that you want to test your ads on, it’s time to consider how you’ll create Instagram ads, and what types of ads you’ll use. After all, different types of content have different engagement rates with various audiences, but all can be valuable depending on your Instagram marketing goals.
The options that you have to choose from are:
Instagram Photo Ads
Clean, simple, and with the appearance of organic Instagram posts in the user’s feed, single-image photo ads are a great choice for a first place to start—especially if you want to highlight products or events, for example.
Instagram Video Ad
Nothing grabs potential customers’ attention in a social media space quite like video. And Instagram video ads allow you to take advantage of that with up to 2 minutes of video. If you have a range of products to highlight, or want to create a strong brand awareness campaign, video ads are a terrific choice.
You can advertise in stories on Instagram as well. Like the image ads, they appear organic and blend into the Instagram feed with the other content. They also appeal to Instagram users because they are interactive content that is only available for a short time, and that makes them intriguing.
Instagram Carousel Ads
Want to highlight more? You can! Carousel ads allow you up to 10 photos or videos that users can swipe through, letting you showcase more products or really give in-depth information about a particular product’s features and benefits.
Instagram Collection Ads
Like the image-based ads, collections feature a showcase image and several smaller images below, offering multiple opportunities to showcase products or features. Additionally, the CTA on collection ads directs Instagram users to a unique experience when they click, but without taking them out of the app.
Instagram Explore Ads
Social media users looking for something new and interesting to add to their Instagram accounts will frequently use the “explore” page. And this is a terrific place to showcase your company to audiences with similar interests and follows.
All of these choices are terrific advertising options, but you’ll want to spend some time considering your goals, marketing strategy, key metrics, and other factors so that you can optimize your campaign and choose the ad formats that make the most sense for you.
Two Ways to Create Winning Instagram Ads
When you’re ready to get started creating ads on Instagram, you’ve got two options:
Build ads within the app
This is the easiest place to get started because you’re simply promoting posts that your brand has shared on Instagram. For many small businesses just getting started, this option makes the most sense because you can choose particularly interesting posts to promote, or even use whichever posts have gotten the most organic engagement.
Use Instagram Ads Manager
Facebook Ads Manager is the much more robust of these two options but is also where you’ll get much more control over the audience, placements, budgeting, and more. For robust campaigns, this is the place to really take control of your ads.
Again, which method you choose will depend on a number of factors. But they both give you a powerful way to grow your Instagram followers, brand awareness, and ultimately sales or other engagement.
Top Tips for Instagram Advertising
Before you get started, consider some of these additional pieces of advice that can help you start strong with your Instagram ads.
- Test different formats—When considering all the ad formats we mentioned earlier, don’t rule any of them out completely. The best approach is to test multiple ad types, including different ad copy or imagery, and really hone in on what is most effective for your audiences.
- Constantly refine your targeting—As you grow and learn more about your customers and your followers on social media, you should review and refine all along the way. Making effective ads is an ongoing process, not a one-and-done project.
- Optimize your ad budget—Facebook’s budget optimization is designed to help small businesses, including yours, by finding the right place to apply your ad budget. Best of all, the only thing you have to do is turn it on when setting up your Instagram ad campaign.
The Bottom Line on Instagram Advertising
So, now the big question—what does Instagram advertising cost? Well, the answer here is both wide open and also good news. The fact is, your Instagram ad budget can be whatever you can afford. And while that’s not terribly specific, it is true.
But, when it comes to actual dollar figures, you’re going to be paying per click or paying based on the number of impressions. With cost-per-click, the range for ads on Instagram can be anywhere from $0.20 per click all the way up to $2.00 or more. The average in 2021, for example, was around $1.25 per click.
The other option, Cost Per Mille, is useful if you prefer impressions (in the case of brand awareness or a new company launch, for example). In this case, 2021 data showed that the average cost per thousand impressions on Instagram was $8.51.
While both of these price ranges might sound significant, remember that your custom audience building and the time you spent upfront will help you narrow down and focus your ad reach, helping you to make the most out of your ad spend by reaching the right people with the right message, and inspiring them to take action.
Get Started with Instagram Ads
Hopefully, our tips and info presented here have helped take some of the mystery out of advertising your business on Instagram and even inspired you to get started. Once you do, you’ll see that Instagram advertising offers you a higher potential for clickthrough rates, great audience targeting tools, and, with any luck, excellent results.