5 Best Practices For Effective Instagram Ads

September 17, 2015

Digital and social media marketing has matured so much that it’s no longer acceptable for brands to be in the space without a plan. Having the ability to post ads on Instagram, instead of just sharing striking images, is a whole new ballgame for a lot of marketers. Learn the five best practices all brands should implement when advertising on Instagram.

1. Drive Engagement With Video Content
Red-Bull-Video-AdYou may have heard it before, but social isn’t just about liking and sharing. It’s about engaging and interacting with your fans. The same goes for when you’re posting ads on the platform. Don’t just slap something together hoping your followers won’t notice that you’re selling them something. Tell your brand’s story with as much creativity and thought behind your ads, as you do with your content marketing posts.

Videos are going to be a key way to reach your customers in an engaging way on Instagram. Videos give you a 15-second window of opportunity to bring your brand to life. Video ads allow you to use humor, teasers, flashy images and catchy music to grab your audience’s attention and keep them coming back for more.

2. Use Hashtags To Keep The Conversation Going
Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter, they play an important role on the Instagram platform, and an even more important role with your ads. Create meaningful hashtags for different purposes such as, new product launches or contest campaigns. Pick one or two that are unique to your product or campaign, and don’t be afraid to promote it across all of your social networks. Involve your audience by asking them to post a response, share with their network, or enter to win a contest by using your hashtags.

3. Use Authentic Social Influencers To Tell Your Story
Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes, you don’t want them to feel they are being pushed into buying something, or feel bombarded with ads when they’re just trying to browse Instagram. Tell a congruent story with your image posts and advertisements. Just because you know you’re posting an ad, doesn’t mean it has to be boring and informational. A business Instagram account isn’t an island off by itself. It should flow from your overall content and social media marketing strategy and your brand persona.

This is your chance to use carefully selected social influencers to create inspiring imagery to tell your story and connect with your audience on an informational and emotional level. Think about your Instagram ads as a bridge that connects your fans to your brand. Using social influencers will show people who you really are, what you stand for and why you have a loyal following that loves you.

4. Optimize Your Posting Schedule To Maximize Opportunities To Buy
In order to be successful on Instagram you have to participate on the platform regularly, not just when you feel like it. This doesn’t mean you change your entire strategy to focus on pushing your ads. It means you spend time preparing meaningful ad posts and work them into your schedule to create a natural flow that aligns with your brand.

To see the biggest return from advertising on Instagram you need to build a well thought out posting strategy. As mentioned above, your ads and posts need to work together interchangeably to keep a cohesive experience. Use the Instagram Scheduler app to keep your regular posting schedule organized and automated, so you can focus more on strategically placing ads at the right time.

The biggest advantage of Instagram advertising is the native look and feel of the ad formats. However, some users might quickly scroll past an ad taking in your message, but without taking action. By making your Instagram account shoppable you can extend the lifetime of your ads by creating posts that have the same call to action. This enables your fans to take action even after the advertisement is not visible in their feed.

5. Use Ads To Share Exclusive Content & Discounts To Increase Engagement
Get creative and come up with different ways to engage with your audience through an Instagram ad. Share exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, give an insider’s look at how a product is created or run a photo contests with your ads. Focus on making your fans feel special and appreciated so they are willing to take action. Secrets may not make friends, but they make fans. Surprise your followers, give them something to talk about and let them know how much you love them by sharing exclusive discounts.

Social media advertising is an important part of your business success, so don’t just wing it. Use these tips to brainstorm ways your brand can advertise on Instagram with positive outcomes. Put in the appropriate time and effort to formulate a roadmap, so that with each ad you post you’re delivering value and connecting with your customers. Learn other helpful tips to gain more Instagram advertising ROI.

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