5 Steps for Creating Effective Instagram Ads - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

5 Steps for Creating Effective Instagram Ads

Instagram is a powerful marketing platform. Its striking visual format, along with the numerous features the company has rolled out in recent years, makes it a superb vehicle for reaching your target market in ways that are meaningful. One way to boost your results even further is to advertise.

A lot goes into an effective social media advertising campaign. It requires planning, knowing your ideal audience and a lot of tweaking. You may even need to bolster the strength of your current profile by taking time to buy real Instagram followers or collaborate with influencers within your niche.

Having an engaged audience already in place will ensure better advertising results. Take a look below to get started with five steps for creating effective Instagram ads.

1. Know the Competition

Knowing what the competition is doing is definitely a smart move when it comes to any sort of marketing. The concept certainly applies to direct advertising. Checking out competitor ads may take a bit of time and effort, but the insights are worth it. Instagram ads run on the platform for Facebook ads.

Therefore, you’ll need to visit a competitor’s account on a mobile device, then click on their product links, taking you to their website. When you return to scrolling Instagram on that same device, it’s likely the Facebook pixel will be triggered and you’ll soon see an ad for that competitor in your feed.

You can then take time to check out the imagery used, along with the copy and call to action. Take note of the number of likes and other engagement the post generated. Use these insights as inspiration for your own campaign. Try to find an angle to make your ad unique, though. How can you improve upon the competition? Repeat the process to research other competitors.

2. Set Your Goals

Once you get a feel for what others in your industry are doing with their ads, you can then focus on your own goals and purposes. What do you want your advertising campaign to achieve? Is it more followers you desire or more active engagement of the audience you currently have?

Perhaps you want people to visit your website with the hopes of converting those visits to sales. Knowing your marketing motivations is crucial to setting up an ad that serves you well and gains desired results.

Instagram actually makes the process relatively simple by offering you a list of objectives from which to choose. How you choose will affect the ways in which your ads are presented, along with the rate you pay. Some of the choices you have for creating your objectives include brand awareness, traffic, reach, engagement, and conversions. You can even shoot for more specific goals such as determining app installs and video views, depending upon your needs. Instagram will provide you with instructions for each type of ad target you choose.

3. Decide on Targets

Creating Instagram ads also requires determining which portion of your demographic to target, which is greatly dependent upon your original campaign objectives. Fortunately, Instagram also offers you a lineup of choices with regard to these, such as location, gender, age and language. In addition, you can take things a step further by creating a custom audience of those users who have already visited your site or a Lookalike Audience made up of individuals that are most like your current customers.

Each of these options allows you to get down to the nitty-gritty of the types of people you want to see each ad campaign you create. Bear in mind that you can create several different campaigns, each with a different objective and target audience. Custom Audience targeting lets you upload a database of your current customers so that only those users will see your ads.

With a Lookalike Audience, Instagram will create a target based on the demographics of your current customers, allowing you to reach new users who are likely to follow you or make purchases. Because Instagram uses Facebook’s advertising platform, much of this process is interlinked. For example, you can use your business’s Facebook page as the model for your Lookalike Audience. If you can’t afford ads, you can also use an Instagram bot to grow your following.

4. Create Your Ad

Now we’ve reached the creative stage in which you get to take the information you’ve gathered and turn it into a physical ad. This is where all the information you’ve collected will be used. Keep your intended audience, purpose and tone in mind when creating your Instagram ad to be sure you best meet the objectives you’ve set forth.

The first thing you need to do is choose your ad type. This can be a photo ad, video ad or Carousel ad. The first two are rather self-explanatory. Carousel ads let you add several photos at a time to your add, which gives you room to be creative with the ad’s use. Experiment to see which work for your campaigns. The Instagram interface will walk you through the process of setting up your ad.

5. Track Results

Even when your ad campaign goes live, you still aren’t finished with it. You’ll need to study analytics to determine which aspects are successful and which you will need to tweak. If you don’t make adjustments, you’ll probably just be wasting your ad dollars.

The Ads Manager of Instagram is the simplest place to track initial metrics. It’s here you can see data that revolves around audience, metrics, and placement. Play around with it and choose the data you most wish to keep track of. Monitor the progress and make adjustments accordingly by increasing your spending on well-performing ads and canceling ones that aren’t doing well.

Creating effective Instagram ads is a process. It will take practice, along with trial and error. The investment is definitely worth it if you want to significantly boost your marketing results.

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