2018 was a great year for Instagram; the platform has never been more popular than it is now. Already on a fast-track to success since its launch in 2010, it seems to have gone turbo speed this year and has most definitely breezed past Twitter on the popularity side of things.
On the marketing front, Instagram is becoming one of the top channels, probably due to the fact that visual media has now become the most useful way to engage audiences compared to other online marketing channels.
Technology advancements for mobile, and the widespread use of smartphones and tablets by consumers may have played a part in Instagram’s success due to heightened capabilities and features the social platform can now offer users, but this merely speculative talk.
According to eMarketer, “the number of companies leveraging Instagram for advertising has steadily increased year over year, and this number is likely to surpass other social channels like Twitter”.
Most of marketers and brands success has been attained from Instagram advertising division, with the platform leveraging Facebook’s data-packed advertising algorithm.
Combining the two advertising social platforms allows multi-layer audience targeting, which includes analytics on users’ interests and behaviours, as well as demographic information.
Problem is, using Instagram won’t necessarily guarantee every marketer and brand success for every campaign. Consumers are picky and the same old “BUY THIS NOW” advert we see so often is just a waste of your marketing budget.
You need to go above and beyond your competition to stand apart and reap the benefits of creative ad copy.
Let’s take a look how you can make the most of your Instagram advertising campaigns in 2019…
Experiment With the Zoom Feature –
Essentially a pinch-to-zoom feature, Instagram has incorporated this feature into both photo and video content, allowing brands and marketers to do a little close-up marketing with their Instagram ads. Instagram listened to their users and implemented the feature due to plentiful requests to add this feature to the platform.
But how can brands use zoom properly?
It has been common practice to use advertising in the form of storytelling to market on users Instagram feeds. Brands and marketers didn’t take too long to start experimenting with the feature; some even tried the slow motion effects and filters.
Through the pile of rubbish some brand call advertising, some brands have embraced their creativity and made their ads shine the light on the bad, salesy ads being coughed out by their competitors.
The zoom feature can help you magnify engagement on your Instagram ads. One technique employed by brands is to include some sort of hidden gem that users can discover in your photos by zooming in.
Give it a try, just make sure you spend time to do it right!
Always Promote Your Best Content –
Carefully scripting ad copy and creating calls-to-action is a common practice for brands and marketers developing social media ad campaigns. For Instagram though, it doesn’t need to be so hard, and you may even have a greater impact on your audience…
Yes, I’m talking about using the abundance of content you have that you know your fans already appreciate.
Take some time to go through your old organic posts to find images that created the most engagement amongst your audience.
Simply re-purpose those pasts as adverts, and together with efficient targeting you will see a great response from a much wider audience.
Now, not every campaign you create will be a perfect success. There are many variables that make up a successful ad campaign, but you can improve your chances by using content you know your audience already likes.
Adverts Must Not Look Like Adverts –
If you’re trying to improve engagement and click-through rates on your ads, the key is to NOT create adverts that look like adverts.
Sounds straightforward, but brands fail time and time again.
Consumers are far more likely to respond to content that looks natural to the platform as opposed to an obvious product promotion. Incorporating people, employees, and customers within your images and videos is critical to maximising your content engagement.
Keep your organic posts native to the platform; i.e. images and videos that tell stories and request engagement from users. This might be from asking questions on a subject, or keeping your audience in the loop with news both in your business and throughout the industry you’re in.
Some consumers can handle the constant marketing efforts, but the majority hate the social platform news feeds being cluttered with obvious ads. Before you launch a new Instagram ad campaign, you must create quality content that adds value to your target audience.
Once your ads go live, your organic posts should mirror the theme and layout of the ads to help with the promotion efforts and give you a smoother transition between both of the paid and organic content ads.
Always Use A Call-To-Action –
With Instagram ads, you are able to add a CTA button near the image caption (bottom right side); it’s in the same place for your Facebook ads. The CTA button message can be changed as the platforms offer several variations to choose from.
Your CTA must be relevant to the ad set campaign – DO NOT have a “Buy Now” CTA when the next step of the advert is an infomercial page; instead have a “Learn More” CTA button.
The whole purpose of an ad campaign is to get users to take action; without a CTA button the ad is pretty much pointless.
Instagram isn’t keen on ads with a lot of text (20% I believe is the maximum) and it’s the same with Facebook. A well designed ad on Instagram shouldn’t need much text as the image or video should get the message out to users and generate enough interest or curiosity for them to click on your CTA.
The next step of your sales funnel can include as much text as you want; it’s not recommended, you should aim to use a short video for any information you need to convey.
Use Video For Promotion –
When I say Instagram, you automatically think of an endless stream of static images, especially those who aren’t on there often. You may not be aware how useful Instagram is for video promotion.
Videos instantly grab user’s attention on Instagram because they stand out from the static images as people scroll through the feed. Social media users love watching videos, especially the short ones.
When videos were introduced on Instagram, there were over 5 million videos shared in the first 24 hours.
Some brands struggle to come up with decent material for a video. If you’re struggling for ideas, turn to your followers.
Collect videos of your customers reviewing or using your products, maybe even use some footage of your brand at an event. User generated content is a powerful tool for building your brands trust within a community.
Theres plenty of options available, just make sure theres a CTA button for users to take action.
Image Carousels Tell Stories –
Oh the beauty of the image carousel!
You’re not stuck with a single image for your Instagram ads, you have a carousel platform which means you can showcase a number of images for your followers to browse through.
These types of ads are more commonly used for the e-commerce brands, but others can still use carousel ads effectively to sell their products or services.
For example, you may want to intrigue your audience with a story weaved into your images so as users go through them, each image will reveal the next part of the story.
A storyboard of striking images will connect with fans in a meaningful way, whilst highlighting the best parts of your promotion campaign, be it a service promotion, or a new product launch.
DO NOT just post product images and expect substantial returns; use images that reflect the experience your brand is offering through their products and services.
The carousel feature allows any brand to build a connection frame by frame, crafting your brands story into the images, and subtly improving the sales promotion behind the ad content.
How has your approach worked for your Instagram ad campaigns? Share your thoughts in the comments below…