Our world is becoming more and more reliable on the instant and endless supply of information all around us. Social media has become as important to most people now as television and the newspaper were in years past. That’s why it’s more important than ever to maximize your reach to potential audiences by using social media to advertise.
One of the fastest-growing social media platforms is Instagram, known for eye-catching photos and visually pleasing content. The platform has more than 1 billion active users, so a carefully designed ad on Instagram can expand your audience quickly. Make sure your ads are outstanding with the following six tips.
Choose photos carefully
Make sure your ad is an attention-grabber by using visually compelling, high-resolution photos. If you’re designing a single-image ad, use an image that is about 1200x628px. This will ensure that your ad will be as clear and sharp as possible.
Use a similar photographic style for all of your ads. This will, again, reinforce your brand’s image and identity. Also, make your photos personal – instead of taking photos of just a product, include a person using your item. Keep in mind that Instagram posts are selfies, photos of families and friends, etc. You want your ad to look like it belongs in an Instagram feed.
Stay in Brand Identity
Keep your ads consistent with your brand identity in all of your posts. Choose a color palette that reinforces your brand identity and use it in all of your ads. This will keep all of your materials true to your image and complimentary of each other. Use the same basic design elements in each of your ads, too, to keep continuity in your look.
Include a hashtag with your ad – choose tags that bolster your brand and your product. Hashtags make it easy for your target audience to search for your product, share information about it, and drive traffic to your product’s Instagram feed.
You can also include popular hashtags in your ad in order to show up on popular feeds and raise your brand’s awareness. But, don’t use any hashtags that do not match your brand’s image. Use only tags that complement your brand’s image and purpose.
Make your ads engaging
Include a strong CTA, or call-to-action, in your ad. This will allow for audience engagement with your ad. It will also show your audience clear paths for action and avenues to follow. It’s easy to include CTAs in Instagram ads – choose one that matches your brand and product goals and directs your viewers to do what you wish when they see your ad.
Instagram banners can be used for a CTA – when users click on an ad in their feed, a banner will appear at the bottom of the user’s screen and ask them to visit your store website, download an app, etc. When the banner is clicked on, a website opens within the Instagram app.
You can also allow purchases directly through your ads, which again increases engagement with your audience. You can enable this feature in the Instagram app itself under Settings. If you don’t see a shopping option under Settings, your account hasn’t yet been approved for Instagram Shopping features. Your account may still be under review for this approval – wait a few days for the approval process, then try again.
Keep it Simple
Keep your ads simple. Remember that people scroll through Instagram quickly – if your ad is too “busy,” people won’t be able to understand it. Bear in mind that people will only be seeing your ad for a few seconds. You want to make sure it’s easy to understand. If you think your ad won’t be understood at a glance, try to simplify it.
One way to keep your ad simple is to minimize the amount of text on your ad. If there is too much text, it can make your ad too difficult to understand at a glance. Also, Facebook, which owns Instagram, will reject any image that has too much text – if 20% or more of your ad’s pixels are text, Facebook will not allow your ad to be posted.
Don’t use all capital letters in your ad – Facebook may reject it. Also, if you include too many exclamation points or your ad seems like spam, it may be turned down by Facebook. And keep in mind that once your ad is posted, it cannot be edited, so proofread it carefully. It would be helpful to have someone else take a look at your ad, too.
Test different kinds of ads
Instagram allows ads of several different formats – select your format based on the kind of impact you want to have on your audience. For example, Instagram stories are full-screen, vertical images that appear among other story posts. Even though they include a tag showing they are sponsored content, they’re meant to blend. Keep in mind that these kinds of ads disappear after 24 hours, though.
You can use video ads on Instagram, too. Videos can be between 3 and 60 seconds long, include room for 2,200 characters, and can include a CTA. Social media marketing trends show that video views on Instagram have drastically increased, meaning a video ad has a higher chance of being seen now than ever before.
Carousel and collection ads allow you to deliver a deeper story about your product by including more than a single image. These ads allow you to showcase your brand’s image, products, and more in a single ad but through multiple images.
To sum it up
Make your Instagram ads the best they can be – choose dynamic, high-resolution photos that properly reflect your brand and product; keep your designs in line with your brand identity; use hashtags that can make your content searchable and sharable; make your ads engaging with CTAs and the purchase-through-ad feature; keep your ads simple and easy to understand at a glance; and choose the type of ad that best reflects your brand and product.
Using these tips can help your ad stand out and grab attention on this fun and fast-growing platform. And by using Instagram’s settings and tools, you can design ads yourself, saving money and eliminating the advertising middleman.
About the Author
Emily Lamp is a professional writer, working closely with many aspiring thinkers and entrepreneurs from various companies including Noria, a digital marketing agency in Chiang Mai that provides SEO backlinks services. She is also interested in technology, business growth, and self-improvement. Say hello to Emily on Twitter @EmilyLamp2.