The influence potential of Instagram is not something marketers should ignore. Surpassing the active user count of Twitter, Instagram is rising the ranks of social networking at a rapid pace. More than 400 million users check in regularly to view the latest posts and images.
This image-based social platform resonates with a younger audience than many with 70% of the user base identifying as younger than 35. Global Web Index’s recent data suggests than more than half of Instagram users follow their favorite brands and 44% turn to the platform for researching upcoming purchases.
Instagram Sponsored Ads Guide
Add the new Sponsored Ads feature of the platform and you have a platform perfect for serving highly targeted ads with outstanding potential for conversion. Instagram even helps marketers out by keeping Sponsored Ads similar to regular posts in appearance. All you’ll find different about the post is a small “sponsored” tag in the upper corner.
Instagram differs from other social platforms in another important way—Instagram integrates into the lifestyle of millennials. It’s also seen as a place where businesses create real connections with audiences due to the stricter requirements for creating posts. This has cultivated a community that is more engaged and interactive than many others.
So how can you tap into the potential of Instagram? The process easier than you think. It all boils down to inspiration and information.
Before you can communicate your message, you must stand out and capture the attention of viewers. Most often you accomplish this through design. Worried about your design skills? Content Creator and Canva both offer easy to use templates to make creating attractive Instagram images a breeze.
After you have their attention, create a message and offer value that drives the reader toward your intended target.
Looking for ways to accomplish this? Consider these 7 tips!
Use Composition to Enhance Engagement
With its lifestyle-centric branding, using images with people, objects or relatable moments works best. However, how you frame your image can encourage interaction as well.
A good starting point is to use the rule of thirds. This simple concept is a proven way to know you’re placing elements of your image for optimal impact. Just imagine a 3-by-3 grid on your image. Now frame your subject in one column.
If you need a live example, most cameras and smartphones feature an option to enable the grid. Frame a few shots and examine the results. You’ll realize the potential of this tip.
Use Focal Points to Stand Out
Most successful Instagram posts are the most simple. You need to communicate your message and grab attention in a matter of seconds. Fail to do so and you’ll just be another post that viewers flip past.
Consider the following examples:
Both highlight a single aspect of the photo to great effect. The text placement and typography help to accent this focus instead of fight for attention. Above all, they’re both simple.
One of the biggest mistakes marketers make when creating Instagram ads is loading an image with information. Instead of creating interest, this creates confusion. Consider a campaign with multiple images if you’re attempting to market multiple products and services.
Create Atmosphere to Draw Viewers In
Much like any other form of marketing, creating compelling Instagram ads is all about creating an experience and telling a story. Instead of telling viewers why they’ll love your product or service, create an add that allows them to imagine what having your offering would be like.
Like in the previous point, remember to let your image do the talking. So keep text placement and wording simple and concise. Use contrast to make test easy to read or features such as Content Creator’s stickers to make text pop without having to resort to a wall of text.
These ads from Nike and W Hotels showcase the technique:
Place Content Before Branding
While branding your Instagram content is important, slapping a giant logo on your post or creating pushy promotional ads won’t attract viewers.
Incorporate logos and other branding in a subtle manner. Consider the impact of typography, framing and filters. If you can create an emotion or experience that resonates your brand message, this will serve you better in your analytics than bold logos or flashy stickers.
Stand Out in the Stream with Color and Contrast
Bright colors and striking images are a great way to ensure that you stand out as users scroll through their posts.
L’Oreal uses this to great effect in the following examples:
Both are clean and concise yet hard to miss.
The vibrant pinks and reds of the fingernails and watermelon in the first image draw the eye in an instant. The strong typography and bold background of the second communicate their message with just a glance.
If you’ve researched content or social marketing, you’ve seen this tip time and time again. However, consistency is essential on visual platforms like Instagram.
By providing a consistent image with every ad, you create recognition among viewers. Using a similar style between regular and paid posts can help to blend your sponsored options seamlessly into the streams of your viewers.
Consider these examples:
Much like tip number 4, the goal isn’t to shout your brand into the face of readers. Instead, create an experience that is unique and identifies your brand at a glance. MVMT Watches accomplishes this by using a consistent set of fonts, bright lighting and close-up framing.
Trunk Club also shows how easy it is to keep your posts consistent while varying your image style in their recent campaign.
Using a Serif font creates an upscale look while the top-down perspective and close-up framing create a consistent experience across a range of products.
Looking to create a similar effect? Content Creator’s Cinzel, Gentium Basic and Libertinage fonts are very similar.
Images First, Text Second
While it might seem obvious for an image-based social network, it is important to keep your overall ratio of text to image in your ads as low as possible. A good upper boundary is 20 percent.
So where do you put your copy? In the body of your post.
However, using sparse text in your image can perform well for driving traffic. A great example of this is showcased in these ads by Chatbooks.
By using the image to showcase their call to action, they keep their message simple. Including a promotional code provides incentive for viewers to follow through. All while well-chosen and framed images communicate an experience that speaks volumes about the brand.
Keeping your text simple also has another benefit. When paired with Canva or another design tool, you can create a wealth of ad options without spending hours of your day. This means more variety in your campaigns and more chances to convert viewers into clients or customers.
So with these tips, you’re ready to turn Instagram into your playground. Do you plan to jump on this latest trend? Have a tip we might have missed? Did you use any of these to help optimize your ads with great success? We want to hear about it! Drop us a line in the comments below!