How to Create Effective Instagram Ads


Since the social network was launched in 2010, Instagram has quickly climbed the cluttered hierarchy of social media. Today, it has over 1 billion unique users, every month. The photo and video sharing platform present businesses and advertisers with a large pool of potential customers. But any fisherman knows that just because there is water, doesn’t mean you will catch fish. Therefore, how can you increase your chances of bringing in leads via Instagram?

The good news is that 81 percent of Instagram users report using the application to research products and services. Heck, ⅓ of the most viewed Instagram stories are from businesses! So the opportunity is there. Creating effective Instagram ads ultimately boils down to the right marketing approach. We are here to help simplify what that looks like. Listed below are a few important tips to keep in mind before launching your newest ad.

1. Having Good Aim – Targeting 101

Arguably the most important part of an Instagram ad campaign is who the targeted audience is. The best-crafted ad won’t work if it isn’t hitting the right consumers. Therefore, prior to any other step, you need to define your ideal audince for the campaign. Some questions to ask might include:

Who is the targeted buyer (age, location, gender, income, etc.)?
What are their related interests?
What does our competitor’s social media ad audiences look like?
Which hashtags should I target?

A useful tool for helping discover the right audience and conversations surrounding your product or service might include Phlanx Influencer Auditor. This tool can provide you a free report of your competitor’s targeted Instagram audiences.

2. Strive for a Native Ad Look

Native advertising by definition is: “content that matches the form and function of the platform upon which it appears.” Basically, it’s an ad that doesn’t look like an ad — which is the best kind. Consumers are smart and know when they are being sold to. While this isn’t inherently bad, it does create a couple of problems. First, when Instagram users know they are looking at an ad, they are less likely to pay attention to it compared to an organic post. Second, consumers as a whole dislike being told what to do or buy. Therefore, if the ad is framed like information or a solution, the reception is likely to be better.

Moral of the story — when creating your ads, the content (video/photo/graphic/copy) needs to strike a look and feel that doesn’t scream, “I’M TRYING TO SELL YOU SOMETHING. PLEASE BUY IT TODAY.”

3. Make the First Second Count

This point overlaps with native advertising, but it is imperative to almost instantaneously gain the attention of the user with your ad. Instagram feeds are cycled through by scrolling up and down the page, and this is done quickly. Users scroll past posts at the speed of light if it doesn’t speak to them, therefore, that brief second you have to capture their attention needs to be impressive.

When planning out your content, analyze options as to what might get someone to stop and watch your video or read your graphic. Make the experience exciting and worth the wait. (Side note: how-to videos are currently the most popular form of Instagram videos according to users.)

4. The Golden Ratio

Instagram is best built for 1:1 ratios. Any organic or paid ad posts should be shot in the right dimensions (1080×1080) to avoid the image or video quality being distorted. Consumers demand the highest quality in the image-driven atmosphere of Instagram. No slip-ups are allowed. So invest in the necessary equipment to properly advertise your products or services.

5. Creative Call to Action

We discussed earlier that consumers don’t like being sold to or told what to do, but we still need to try and influence their next action after looking at our ad. So, incorporating a call to action that is both motivating and subtle is the perfect combination.

If the goal is to get people to click the link in your bio, you need to do better than including the comment, “Learn more by clicking the link in our bio!” Alternatively, Instagram allows for a “learn more” pop-up link on the ad itself that can reroute users to a website, landing page, etc. We have found this to be the most effective way of funneling page visitors from an advertisement’s call to action.

Need Help with Instagram Ads?

At Venta Marketing, we are helping businesses meet their goals head-on. As leaders in the digital marketing industry, we know the ins-and-outs of social media strategy and technique. Contact us today if you are curious about our services!