Instagram is a fun platform where you can share photos of anything you want from the perfect breakfast you made last week and photos of your posing pets to videos of your killer dance moves at the club and selfies from the cab ride home. Instagram lets you share your life in photos, but it’s not just for fun. Instagram has become a serious and seriously useful business tool that is becoming more important and relevant every year. With more than one billion active users and 80 percent of accounts following a business on Instagram, it’s a tool every business should include in their marketing strategy.
As useful as Instagram can be, the key to getting more followers and making the most of it is knowing what content to post and how to run successful ad campaigns. If you aren’t sure how to get started on a campaign or are having trouble getting the results you want, the following tips can help you optimize your efforts and start running more successful ad campaigns this year.
1. Set Goals for Your Ads
If you want your ad to be successful, you need to decide what result you want to come from your campaign. Do you want to get purchases, signups, downloads, or site visits? Perhaps this week you’re looking for site visits, but next week you’re hoping for purchases. Just make sure that you set a goal and choose the appropriate goal when building your ad campaign.
2. Really Narrow Down your Audience
No ad will be as effective as you want it to be if your targeting covers general groups. If your product is stylish yoga accessories, not only should you be trying to get your ad in front of middle-aged women located in the New Jersey area who like to do yoga, you should be trying to get it in front of middle-aged women in the New Jersey area who like to do yoga, are interested in fashion, and who like to accessorize. Thanks to smart devices and big data, it is possible to really narrow down your target audience, and it’s something you need to do to make your ads more effective.
3. Find the Right Format
Instagram offers a few different ad formats. You can publish an ad with a single photo and text, publish a carousel ad that will rotate through photos, publish an ad in the Instagram Stories section, and so on. You’ll want to consider the goal for your ad as well as your ad’s purpose when deciding on the format. For example, if you’re showcasing a single product, one photo is enough, but if you’re advertising a new line, you may want to feature a few images in a carousel format. It may not seem like a big deal, but the formatting of your ad can affect its engagement.
4. Focus on the Photo(s)
Whether you’re displaying multiple photos, just one, or are using a video in your ad, the image type and quality matter. Did you know that inspirational quotes, photos of people your customers admire, photos from behind the scenes, and customer photos have been proven to perform quite well? Choosing the right image to pair with your ad and ensuring that it’s high-quality and eye-catching will make a bigger difference than you might think.
5. Don’t Neglect the Text
Although Instagram is a visual platform that focuses on images and videos, the caption and hashtags that you use are just as important. Your text needs to be interesting but informative and relevant without getting too long and wordy. It’s important to keep your hashtags relevant and useful as well.
6. Include Strong Calls to Action
Not only should your text been interesting and informative, but you also need to include a strong call to action at the end. Even if it seems like what you want the viewers to do should be obvious, make sure you tell them. If you don’t let them know that you want them to follow the link in your bio or like the post, they may skim over it without thinking to take any action.
7. Set the Right Budget
You definitely don’t want to overpay for ads, especially if they aren’t working as well as you’d hoped, but you can’t go too conservative on your budget either. If you run out of money too soon, you won’t get as much out of your ad as you could’ve. The budget you should set will depend on how long you want the ad to run, how often you want it to appear, what type of ad it is and what your goal for it is. It may take some research, but it’s worth getting the budget right.
8. Wait for the Right Time
Believe it or not, there are better times than others to publish posts and ads on Instagram. Luckily you don’t have to figure it out by trial and error—the studies have been done for you. The best days of the week to post, (by a small margin), tend to be Wednesday and Thursday, but ultimately Mondays have the lowest engagement. The best times of day to post vary based on the day of the week as well, but on Wednesdays, it’s around 5:00 PM and Thursdays it’s between 7:00 AM and 11:00 PM.
Ultimately, knowing the best days of the week and the best times of days to post can help you make the most of your ad campaigns and see better results.
9. Keep Track of Your Ads’ Performance
Running ads is one thing but keeping track of how they do and what’s getting the most engagement, etc. will really help you to run more effective and successful campaigns. If you don’t know what’s doing well, you can’t replicate it, and if you don’t know what’s doing poorly, you can’t make adjustments. It’s as important to keep track of your ads after you publish them as it is to make sure they’re perfected and ready to be released in the first place.
10. Review, Revise, and Repeat
Once you have an idea of how your ads are performing, it’s important to look them over, analyze what needs to change, make those adjustments, and then run them again. It’s an ongoing process but keeping up with and putting the necessary effort into your ads is the best way to ensure that your business runs successful Instagram advertising campaigns over and over again.
What trick have you found helps your ads perform better?