5 Ways to Build a Better Instagram Ad Campaign

So, you’re killing it on Instagram. You’ve got a beautifully curated feed, you post consistently, and you’ve learned how to leverage user-generated content from local influencers to grow your brand. Now’s the time to take your social media marketing game to a new level and increase exposure with Instagram ads. 

Instagram ads give brands the chance to put themselves in front of the platform’s billion users. And out of the ‘Big 3’ social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), Instagram boasts the highest user engagement level, with a recent study finding 75% of Instagram users take action after viewing an ad on the app. 

Interested in mastering the art of the Instagram ad? Keep reading to learn how. 

Types of Instagram Ads

As of now, Instagram offers 5 ad formats, all interwoven into user feeds and story experiences. 

When planning your Instagram ad, here are the 5 formats you’ll have access to: 

  • Photo 
  • Stories 
  • Video 
  • Carousel
  • Collection

Each format allows anywhere from 2-8 call to action buttons you can implement to drive viewers to your website, encourage signups, allow downloads, and more. 

How Do I Choose the Right Format for My Campaign?

Ultimately, the ad format you choose should be the one that makes the most sense for the product or service you’re selling. 

If your audience is used to you serving up gorgeous visuals, a photo or video-based ad would be a great way to share that content with new people in an on-brand way. Or combine the two in one post with the carousel feature. 

Or, maybe you’re running a one-time promotion or sale. In that case, Instagram Stories swipe-up CTA feature would be a great way to encourage people to act fast. 

How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost? 

Instagram’s ad model is based on cost-per-click and cost-per-impressions, with prices being determined through IG’s ad auction. While your brand’s individual ad expenses will be determined by a variety of factors, you can expect an average CPC of $0.70 – $0.80 for each campaign

However, be mindful that factors like target audience, ad feedback, and level of competition can influence your CPC. Make sure to budget accordingly!

5 Ways to Build a Great Instagram Ad Campaign

Research the Competition

Before you start building the killer ad campaign of your dreams, you’re going to want to scope out the competition. What kind of ads are others in your industry using? Do they seem to be successful? 

The easiest way to do this is by visiting competitor’s Instagram pages and clicking on links to their websites. Click on a few of their products, and open up your Instagram app again. You should start seeing their advertisements on your feed. Creepy? Maybe. Useful? Definitely. 

Know Your Audience

Now that you’ve gotten the lay of the land, it’s time to build your audience persona(s). What’s an audience persona? Essentially, it’s a symbolic representation of one segment of your target audience, which brands often create using real data and metrics. 

For example, if you sell skincare products for young women, you might tailor your content to attract the persona of a college-aged woman who likes to be trendy while staying on budget. 

When you develop audience personas, you’ll be in a better position to serve your target audience ads they’re more likely to respond to. 

Master Your Storytelling

What are some of the typical reasons you engage with an ad? Often, it managed to convey a story that interested you. 

The story you tell can come in different forms. The copy you write, imagery you use, and other elements like emojis, gifs, and even fonts can all subconsciously influence the story your ad is telling. 

No matter what kind of ad you’re serving, make sure you and your team sketch out exactly what kind of story (and takeaway) you want your audience to get out of it. Do you want them to feel inspired, educated, or feel FOMO? Locking this down will help you ensure your ad comes across exactly the way you want it to. 

Run Tests

One of the most important aspects of building a great Instagram ad campaign is knowing how to leverage A/B testing to fine-tune your approach. 

As the old saying goes, don’t put all of your eggs into one basket. Create at least two different versions of each ad and run them simultaneously against one another. This will help you gauge the performance of each and move forward with the one that’s more successful. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Adjust 

Once you’ve hit ‘publish’, don’t relax just yet. To ensure you get the most out of the time and money you spend on your ad campaign, you’ll want to monitor engagement and optimize your ad as it runs. 

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind: if your ad is doing well, increase your ad spend every three days. If not – shut it off and try again. 

Now that you know how to create a great Instagram ad, it’s time to put your skills into action. With these tips and tricks, your brand will be on its way to #InstaFame in no time!

Learn about more creative marketing strategies to get your brand seen by the right audience.