Instagram just hit half a million advertisers. But things haven't always been that rosy: When the company introduced its advertising capabilities, there was a lot of disgruntlement from users. Now, well into its foray into ads, Instagram is not only still alive but blooming.
However, even with that many advertisers, you’ve got to step up your game to be noticed. Here are some tips on how to achieve that:
1. Native-like visuals
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We’ve witnessed an evolution of the platform going from a simple photo-editing app with wacky pseudo-vintage filters for hipsters to one of the leading platforms for artists. Instagram has become less about in-the-moment images and more about perfectly-orchestrated flatlays.
Are you interested in advertising on Instragram? If you are, the first thing you absolutely must take is consider your visuals and how native they look to the platform. In a sense, your promoted content should “blend in” and look like an organic part of the native feed.
2. The first two lines of your copy
While images are the most important element on Instagram, don’t forget that great copywriting can make your ad that much more effective. Keep in mind, though, that Instagram shows only the first two lines of copy. Everything else is hidden under the “Read More” link. So, you want to make sure you get your message across as quickly as possible, and that the core message is conveyed in those first two lines.
3. Entice your audience.
It is crucial that you know your audience. Not only does it help to target the right people on Instagram, it is also one of the determinants of the success of your ads. When you know your audience members, and correctly target them online, your costs per click will be extremely low. Plus, when you know whom you're talking to, you'll know what to say to them. What are their needs and struggles? Their interests? How can you entice them to click on your ad?
Finally, if you know something about the people you're talking to, you'll know what kind of imagery they like and what their Instagram feed looks like. Is its tone inspirational and pretty? Or casual and silly?
4. Be aware of the context of your ad.
One thing advertisers often overlook is the context in which their ads are being served. Context is essential not only because it makes your ads look organic and unforced in the feed. It’s also a key detail because the same ad can perform completely different in two different situations.
What if visitors are casually scrolling through their feed in the grocery store lane on a Tuesday night? They probably will forget all about your fancy nightclub that has a free cover on Saturdays. But what if they’re out on a Saturday night with some friends and the ad for your bar, which is 15 minutes away, comes up? They'll be likely to check it out.
Related: How to Run Effective Instagram Ads
Be aware of what advanced capabilities are possible.
To set the time frames when your ad will be shown and to to precisely pinpoint your audience, you need to employ Facebook Power Editor. This tool has amazing tools and features, like targeting people based on the technology they use, determining whether they’re connected to wi-fi, recognizing the language they speak at home, etc.
For example, if you’re advertising an app that’s available on only one of the two major platforms (Android and iOS), you probably want to target the right devices. You might also want to target people only when they’re connected to wi-fi, because your chances of a download will be much lower otherwise.
Overall, Instagram advertising is very exciting. It provides you with an opportunity to reach a huge young audience that actually pays attention to your messages. While half a million advertisers sounds like a lot, sponsored messages on other platforms are much more crowded at this point.
So, take advantage of all the powerful tools available and sprinkle in creativity and understanding of your goals.