What are the benefits of creating an Instagram ad for your company? To start with, Instagram offers businesses a platform like no other.  It is the 8th most visited in the world, with 4.25 billion total visits per month. That is a lot of potential customers! 

Additionally, paying for advertisements does not necessarily need to be a large financial commitment. Instagram will try to get you as many results as possible for whatever budget you select — which can range from $10 a day to $10,000 a day. This means you can try your hand at an Instagram ad no matter what your budget is. 

Most importantly, Instagram ads are extremely effective. Read through some of Instagram’s case studies, which include Pizza Hut boosting their ad recall by 6% after adding branded content video ads on Instagram to the launch campaign for its 36-slice Super Limo mega-pizza.

Steps To Create An Instagram Ad

1. Once you decide to create an Instagram ad, the first step is to determine the objective. Here is a list of some common goals for a paid advertisement:

A blank Instagram posting square has a hand reaching out of it holding a magnet that is attracting likes, loves, and smily face bubbles.

Instagram advertising is like a magnet that attracts customers to your business.

  • Traffic to your website
  • Engagement to increase brand recognition 
  • Improved sales 
  • Increased app-installations
  • Additional video views
  • More social media followers

2. The second step to creating an Instagram ad is audience targeting. On Instagram, your ads’ audience can be broken down into numerous different categories, including:

  • Locations
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Languages
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Demographics
  • Connections to pages

As you can imagine, it is important to be as specific as possible with your targeting. You can spend all the money in the world on your ads, but if they are not reaching your target audience, it will not be very beneficial for your business. 

3. The next step is to determine which type of Instagram ad is the most effective for achieving your goal. Options include: 

  • Single photo ads
  • Carousel ads (multiple photos) 
  • Video ads
  • Instagram story ads

There are benefits to each type of Instagram ad. It is important to think not only of the content of your ad but of the best medium to achieve your goal. Instagram offers a variety of choices and the pros of each are listed below.

  • Photo ads
    • Visually compelling. 
    • Viewers can save and return to the post.
  • Video ads 
    • Up to one minute long. Allows you to tell the story of your business, present a problem and solve it or go in-depth about how a product works.
  • Carousel ads 
    • Up to 10 images or videos. 
    • Highlight multiple products.
    • Deep dive into the details of a single product. 
    • Take multiple angles. For example, show different circumstances where your product solves a problem. Or, if you’re selling accessories, demonstrate different ways of styling your product.  
  • Stories ads 
    • Seamlessly integrate into the stories of their friends. 
  • Ads in explore
    • More than half of Instagram use Instagram Explore every month.

If you choose to advertise with Instagram video, the most important thing is to grab the attention of the consumer immediately. There is no time to waste! Studies show an ad needs to compel a viewer to stop within milliseconds. Here are some tried-and-true tips for Instagram video: 

Hands hold a phone, with a video playing of a beach.

When you create an Instagram video ad, optimize it for mobile viewing.

  • Natasha Courtenay-Smith, CEO of digital marketing firm Bolt Digital, says a successful video needs to incorporate movement in the first three seconds.
  • The audio of the Instagram video will be muted by default. It is therefore crucial to add text or captions, so the viewers know what is happening. 
  • Make a video that effectively loops. This may include music that fades in the intro/outro of the video so that it seamlessly flows from the end of the video back to the beginning. 
  • Instagram has a feature where you can ensure your viewers are all connected to WiFi so that it isn’t a subpar experience due to lack of connectivity. 

Below is a list of ideas for Instagram advertisement visuals that are particularly successful for brands:

  • Identify a problem and show how your product or service solves it. 
  • Focus on one single goal. Don’t try to ask a viewer to follow you and make a purchase, for example. The total viewing time of your ad will be short, so the goal needs to be succinct and attainable. 
  • Fill the entire space. Optimize the size of your videos or pictures for Instagram’s dimensions so they fit in the frame. 
  • Use visual consistency. Use your brand’s font, color palate, tone and personality. 

One of the best approaches to avoid being skipped over is to make your Instagram ad look like a post created by a friend. In other words, make the ad not appear to be an ad. We see this increasingly with cosmetic and skincare companies, such as Glossier, who advertise to a teenage and young adult audience with advertisements that mimic:

Someone takes a photo of their rolls on a plate with jam. These advertisements are effective because they blend into an Instagram feed and therefore are not immediately ignored. They also feel authentic, approachable and familiar. Finally, it can make the ad appear as if the products are recommended by peers instead of being promoted by a corporation.   

The final step is to know your end goal. Do you want the viewer to immediately purchase your item or call you to make an appointment? Choose a button accordingly. The options on an Instagram ad offer many “call to action” buttons. Choose the option which caters to the goal of your Instagram ad and then create visuals that compel them to click. Some examples include:

  • Buy Now
  • Learn More
  • Visit Website
  • Install Now

A phone with the Instagram app.

Instagram has over 1.35 billion users, making it an optimal platform for marketing.

This article is intended to act as a guide to help you brainstorm your Instagram ad and make the decisions that will put you on track for a focused, successful ad that persuades your viewers to act. If you have questions or would like the assistance of a professional marketing agency, Three Girls Media is happy to help! We offer free, 30-minute consultations to learn more about your specific needs and let you know what we can do for you.

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