Instagram Ads- Ingredients for a Successful Campaign

Instagram Ads- Ingredients for a Successful Campaign

January 5, 2016

With recent reports, ad revenues from Instagram are estimated to be worth more than $2 billion worldwide by 2017- outpacing both Twitter and G+. It’s therefore no surprise that the ad-route is becoming more and more attractive to many businesses especially restaurants and hotels who have photogenic products and services.

As the buzz of Instagram’s full blown ads for ‘all businesses of all sizes’ subsides, many small businesses are left confused with the vast amount of information out there. A simple Google search for ‘Instagram ads’ will return about 602,000,000 results – many of which contradicting and irrelevant to helping you make a successful campaign.

We all know Instagram is growing and becoming a necessary tool to attract and retain customers but what are the ingredients for a successful ad campaign?

We’ve come up with 5 tips to help you launch your first ad campaigns.

1. Know the advertising formats available on Instagram.

There are 4 ad formats you can purchase and manage through Facebook’s Power Editor and through Instagram’s ads API. Whichever format you choose, your campaign will feature a ‘sponsored’ icon where the timestamp is normally found and a call-to-action button on the bottom right corner. The call-to-action button allows your audience to click-through to another page giving you the opportunity to promote bookings directly on the platform. These call-to-action buttons include: Learn More, Book Now, Download Now, Shop Now, and Sign Up.

Here are the 4 different formats you can choose from:

– Photo ads. This format is what we’re used to seeing on Instagram- a single image on the feed. The difference between a photo ad and a normal post is that it will feature the above- a sponsored icon and a call-to-action-button.

– Video ads. The first video ads appeared on Instagram in 2013 however, Instagram has since introduced two new changes to this ad format. The changes were designed to give ‘ads a more cinematic feel’ and to give more flexibility to your campaign. You can now post your video ads in landscape mode- a move that is in line with their recent formatting update. Secondly, Instagram also increased its 15 seconds cap on videos ads and increased the cap to 30 seconds. Both changes allows for more creative flexibility when it comes to generating your content. You should keep in mind that users will need to activate the sound on videos to hear it. It is therefore essential that the content you create is based on stunning visuals rather than sounds.

– Carousel ads. Carousel ads, allows you to upload multiple images to a single ad campaign. The format allows your audience to view additional images by swiping left on the post. Carousel ads are a good option if you who want to tell sequenced stories and are perfect for conveying your brand’s unique narrative.

– Marquee ads. This format is the newest out of the 4. It is a one day campaign and guarantees impressions and the placement of your ad at the top of your audience’s Instagram feeds. This format is designed to ‘drive mass awareness’ and is a good option for increasing brand awareness.

2. Create Stunning Content

Content is absolutely king as the platform places photos and videos at the forefront. Couple this with the fact that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and absorbed 40% more than just plain text means that time should be taken to create visual content that stands out. When creating content, you should keep the mobile channel’s features in mind- campaigns that work on Twitter and Facebook may not work on Instagram so tailor your content to the mobile platform.

3. Make your ads blend in with organic posts

According to Nielsen, an American global information and measurement company, 92% of consumers trust authentic content from peers more than traditional looking ads from marketers. The most successful campaigns unsurprisingly blend seamlessly with organic posts. Your audience will therefore find overtly promotional ads disruptive to their feed and will simply scroll past your campaign or hide it. In order to be successful, your ads should look as native as possible regardless of format.

4. Use Facebook tools to gain engagement

The advantage of being owned by Facebook is all Facebook targeting tools can leverage your Instagram ads. Facebook’s personalised targeting capabilities mean you can choose to ‘target the people you care about’ based on location, age, demographics, gender and interests. You can also reuse your premade targeting from Facebook campaigns on Instagram campaigns giving you the option to cross promote on two of the largest social media platforms at once.

5. Collect data and gain a better understanding of your audience.

With the vast amount of information and data available, many brands can easily fall into creating and implementing strategies based around myths. To provide the best experience for your audience, you need to really understand them. The best way to do this is to monitor and collect information on your previous posts and campaigns to build a picture of what works best. You can do this by using the many social media monitoring tools available. Many of which charge a small monthly fee but there are a few free tools available such as SimplyMeasured, Union Metrics and Iconosquare. Social media monitoring tools are great for giving insight on you audience’s behaviour such as when they’re most likely to engage and the type of content they prefer. Valuable data which will help you tailor and optimise your future campaigns.

While larger businesses have better opportunities to create Instagram ads through partners, Instagram has and is constantly making improvements to their platform so all businesses can get more out of it. With 400 million users, it is a great platform to advertise your hotel and restaurant and with our tips and the right approach you can keep your audience engaged and make your brand stand out.


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