Love it? Hate it? Don’t care about it?
It doesn’t matter…
If you want to succeed on your quest to become a Facebook marketing powerhouse, then you are going to need to learn how to use Instagram ads in conjunction with your Facebook campaigns for maximal results.
And if you don’t?
Let’s just hope you have a good physical therapist.
Because you can expect to receive a righteous ass-kicking from your Instagram savvy competitors.
What’s that you say?
You want to save money on medical bills, spare your ass from a good ‘ol fashioned “whopping” and generate boat loads of revenue through a complimentary social channel?
Read on to find out how.
A Brief Look at the Demographics and Platform
So many of you reading this are probably thinking, “Geez David, you seem pretty adamant about using Instagram ads…
What’s the big deal?”
1 BILLION… That big enough for you?
I am referring to the number of active users on Instagram, of course.
Of these 1 billion, approximately 50% of their users are active every single day.
And nearly 55% of all 18-29 year olds on the internet use Instagram.
Are you beginning to realize why this might be important?
Now let’s take things a step further.
In addition to an impressive set of demographics, Instagram also boasts a much higher engagement, ad lift recall, and response rate than Facebook due to the highly visual and native appearance of Instagram ads.
For example, look at this Levi’s ad below.
Do you see how the ad looks almost identical to a native Instagram post?
Here’s yet another reason that Instagram is quickly becoming a dominant force in the social media advertising game.
Look, Facebook is still alive and well, but Instagram is quickly gaining popularity (especially among millennials) and anyone who is not cross promoting their offers on Instagram is missing out BIG Time.
So now that you understand why I want you on Instagram, let’s dive into how to use it for the greatest possible effect.
How to Create and Optimize Instagram Ads for Fun and (a Crap-Ton) of Profit
Advertising in Instagram is actually pretty easy, however, there are a few things that you should keep in mind in order to optimize your ads and ensure that you maximize your profits.
1. Facebook Advertising is NOT the Same as Instagram Advertising
Before diving into Instagram ads in all their glory, I want to point one thing out…
Facebook advertising is the not the same as Instagram advertising.
Sure they are owned and operated by the same people, but as social channels, they are wildly different.
With Facebook, you can run an ad that relies almost entirely on long form text and achieve great results.
With Instagram, almost all of your effort should be devoted to creating an eye catching image and a short but compelling call to action that will convince viewers to check out your offer.
Instagram is a visual social channel.
You need to remember this and treat it as such.
You can’t just rehash old Facebook ads and post them to Instagram… This is a recipe for failure.
So keep this in mind as you go through the rest of this article.
Facebook and Instagram, while complimentary advertising channels, are two totally different beasts, and your methods for attacking them should reflect this reality.
2. Don’t Make Your Ad Look Like an Ad
Remember earlier in the article when I told you that one of Instagram’s biggest strengths is that it’s ads look like native posts?
This is only true if you make your ad look like a native post.
Use simple and appealing pictures that could easily be mistaken for a normal post and avoid being overly salesy in your caption.
For example, check out this ad from Lemon & Line.
Do you notice how the image doesn’t appear to be directly promoting anything?
There’s no obnoxious overlay text, the image is simple and well taken, and the caption does little more than describe the product.
It’s ads like these that mesh well with the look and feel of Instagram’s native posts and generate the most engagement and ROI.
3. Use Video Ads
One of the difficulties of advertising on Instagram is that it’s a notoriously fast paced platform.
What do I mean by this?
Well, due to the visual nature of the platform, the amount of time that a person will spend looking at your ad is pretty small.
People scroll through their feeds at lightning speed and unless they have a strong reason to hover on a particular post or ad, they will spend less than 2 seconds looking at your offer.
An easy way to avoid this problem is by using video ads.
If you know how to create a compelling video that hooks viewers from the start, you can have their full undivided attention for 60 seconds, drastically increasing the odds of a click through or conversion.
I could write an entire book on Instagram video ads… And maybe I will.
But until the publishing deal comes through I recommend that you check out this article, and this one, annnnndddddd this one here too.
4. Leverage User Generated Content and Brand Evangelism to Increase Engagement
One of the best ways to promote your company on Instagram is to leverage user generated content or UGC.
According to a study conducted by Ipsos MediaCT1, user generated content increases the trust in your brand by more than 50%!
That’s a pretty big deal when you think about it.
And luckily… It’s not that hard to convince loyal customers and followers to generate content you can use for your advertising.
For example, let’s say that you run an online apparel store and already have amassed several hundred loyal customers.
Send out a mass email to all of your current customers with the subject line “We’re Running a HUGE Giveaway to the Person with the Best Camera Skills…”
Then, in the email, explain to your customers that you are looking to collect some badass pictures of your gear being used in the big bad world.
Entry is simple…
The customer must follow your Instagram page, take a picture of themselves or someone else doing something cool while wearing your apparel, and then tag you in it… That’s it.
Then, once the contest has concluded, you will select 3 lucky winners to receive one of your best selling items completely free.
You will now have dozens, if not hundreds of high-quality user generated images and videos that you can use to promote your company for (literally) years to come.
5. Don’t Forget About Retargeting
If you have been reading my blog for more than 0.2 seconds, then you probably know that I am a big fan of retargeting…
I have helped clients generate 6 and even 7-figures of revenue with strategic retargeting campaigns and I personally believe it is one of the most powerful weapons in any online marketer’s arsenal.
And if you want to dominate Instagram advertising… You’ve GOT to retarget.
Luckily, since Instagram and Facebook are both owned by the same company, the actual steps for executing a retargeting campaign are exactly the same on Facebook and Instagram.
However… Their utility is slightly different.
When retargeting on Instagram, I recommend that your #1 focus is to follow up on abandoned carts.
Install your pixel on your website and the second that someone starts and then abandons their cart, enter them into your retargeting audience.
Then, after about an hour or so, create an automated ad that will show up in their news feed with a (not so) subtle reminder that you are still waiting for them to come back and complete their purchase.
I recommend that you throw in something to sweeten the deal (like a coupon or free shipping) to increase conversion rates and maximize your ad spend.
This tactic is particularly powerful for Instagram Ads because of the visual nature of the platform.
When someone adds one of your products to their cart and then leaves, 99% of the time, their only point of contention was the price (or unexpected total in the cart/checkout).
Whenever they see an image of that exact same product PLUS some overlay text (which is acceptable in this instance) offering an extra 10% off… you will make your offer all but irresistible.
Over the past few years, Instagram Adverting has been picking up speed and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
I strongly advise every single one of you reading this (yes that means you) to get started with Instagram advertising TODAY.
Use the tactics discussed in this article to integrate Instagram into your social media marketing strategy and I promise that the results will make it worth your investment.
It’s not an easy platform to master and requires a significant amount of trial and error.
But if you can hack it… The rewards are worth it.
Do you have any questions about Instagram advertising? Any tactics you have used that generated great results? Let me know in the comments below.
CEO, Convert ROI
David Schloss, an online entrepreneur who began marketing in 2007 from his college apartment, has helped hundreds of businesses improve their website traffic, customer acquisition, and revenue using social advertising.
His business, Convert ROI, manages over $2.5 MILLION per month in paid advertising via Facebook and Instagram.
He was been rated as one of the top “Experts to Watch” by Forbes Magazine, has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, and been interviewed on various podcasts and web shows around the topic of social advertising.