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How To: Get The Most From Your Instagram Ads

Instagram is constantly growing...and it's not just for the younger generations! In fact, the over 40's was the fastest growing demographic last year. According to eMarketer, the number of companies leveraging Instagram fro advertising has steadily increased year over year, and this number is likely to continue.

With this comes us marketers! Likely due to the fact that visual media is far more useful for engaging audiences that other traditional marketing channels online.This popularity is caused by the expansion of mobile technology and the widespread use of smartphone and tablet applications.

So what's the big deal? Much of the success that marketers have been able to attain from the platform comes from Instagram leveraging Facebook's data-packed advertising algorithm. Having two advertising platforms allows for multi-layer audience targeting, including everything from basic demographic information to analytics on users behaviour and interests. 

Ads though must go far beyond the traditional "buy this now! approach in order to stand apart from the competition and reel in new leads and customers. With that in mind here's how to get the most from your Instagram Ads.

#1 Promote Your Killer Content

Generally companies take to generating new content for their ads by carefully scripting their ad copy and developing CTAs (call-to-actions) which have the greatest impact on their audience. If you want to have more impact with your ads, following this approach is not a good idea! You already have a wealth of content that you know your fans appreciate! You also want to take all the juice you can for your SEO from your content marketing campaigns. 

Look back to your previous campaigns and re-purpose those posts as ads to get a huge lift in response from a wider audience. 

#2 Improve Targeting

The fact that Instagram draws on the user data from Facebook's ad platform ensures that you can really hone down on your audience within Instagram too. However, you have to know how to leverage different aspects of the platform to really make it work for you and your brand. Aside from the standard targeting mechanisms there are some other features that can help you narrow your focus.

Lookalife audiences is something we've been taken advantage of for a while and get HUGE results from! The idea is that you create a custom audience for your ad that replicates your existing followers. It get's really interesting when you're creating audiences from those who buy your products or services. This is a feature that marketers and ad agencies have been fantasizing about since FOREVER! To put this feature another way, you target ONLY those demographics that are buying. It's like finding repeat customers over and over.

This is all made smoother with Facebook Pixel who's aim is to monitor and track conversions from Facebook and onto your website. Pixel then tracks what that potential customer is doing on your site and allows you to use this on their ad platform.

Since the average cart abandonment rate is over 68%, remarketing through Instagram can be a great way to win back any lost customers. Using the advanced targeting features will get your ad in front of the most relevant audience segments, which should improve your click-through rates. 

#3 Tell A Story Using Carousels

You don't have to be stuck with just a single image for your Instagram Ads. The Instagram platform has featured the carousel function, similar to Facebook, for a while now and it's with good reason. It allows you to showcase more images to your fans which, as an image based platform, is great news!

If you're trying to sell a product or service, creating a story through your content is going to catapult your results 10X. Intrigue your audience with a storyboard through the carousel function, highlighting the best parts of your brand but also connecting with your fans in a meaningful way. Don't just post product images, use the photos that represent the experience of your product or service and how it makes people feel. With Instagram’s carousel feature, you can build a connection from frame to frame, crafting a story and subtly enhancing your sales pitch within the ad.

#4 Promote with video

Most people using Instagram, especially those not using it often probably imagine an endless stream of static images. They forget that Instagram is a great channel for promoting your videos! 

Video is something we've been bullish on for a while now because it stands out from all other content right now! People love watching videos, and depending on which platform, shorter can mean better results.

When Instagram first introduced videos, there were more than 5 million videos within just the first 24 hours. If you put product videos in front of your customers, they are nearly twice as likely to make a purchase, especially if you couple it will a CTA button.

If you're having a hard time coming up with material for a video, turn it around to your audience. User-generated content is particularly powerful as it helps you build trust with your community. Ask for videos of your customers with your products on location or at events. Share their enthusiasm for your brand and promote those videos through ads. 


When you create ANY ad you should already be using a CTA button near the image caption. The Instagram CTA button is in the same sport for Facebook ads. The button offers you several choices in the messaging of your CTA. If you find one relevant to your use it!

“Hands down, Instagram has been the most successful platform for acquiring high quality app users. We’re familiar with Facebook’s ad management platform, which has really helped us optimize our campaigns quickly since Instagram uses the same interface.”
 Kris Armstrong, Director of Marketing for Clover
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