When Instagram launched the opportunity to advertise on their platform, there were 2 camps: the ones who didn’t agree with the change and the ones who couldn’t wait for it to happen.
I was in the second camp because I still believe that advertising does not only help brands reach a new potential customer but it also helps the user find what he was looking for on the internet.
Once everything was ready on Instagram and the opportunity to advertise on the platform was available for everyone, I started seeing a lot of good ads but also a lot more bad ones.
So we thought that it might be a good idea to launch an infographic to educate the community on how to design their Instagram ads and what to focus on when they want to launch their ad.
This infographic got a lot of attention and was also featured on big publishers’ websites. But still there were ads that didn’t reach their full potential, and guess what, they also didn’t get the results the advertiser wanted from them.
So, before we start going deeper into the topic, I just want to let you know that reading this article will help you understand what you have to do in order to create a good looking Instagram ad and also how to have a better understanding of this platform.
1. Go Native by Platform
There was a time when I didn’t agree with the Instagram users who uploaded photos taken with a camera or who uploaded graphic design created on their computer. I thought Instagram was meant for photos taken with a smartphone and uploaded directly to the platform.
But then I looked closer at this app and found an interesting thing: if Instagram wouldn’t let you upload any other visual on their platform they would definitely find a way to stop it. But instead they let you upload any type of visual content (photo and video) on their platform. Why? Because they want to be the ultimate best social media network for visuals via smartphone.
So, if you start scrolling down your news feed you can see what kind of visuals the users you follow are uploading on the platform.
Now try looking at things from a marketer’s perspective, If people who are in your brand community are creating a certain type of visual, then why would you create another type when creating your instagram ads.
Why do you use standard stock photos or mockups with a laptop or a phone in which the user can see your website?
These are not the kind of visuals that help you engage. These are ads people can see on a billboard or on Facebook.
Think more natively by platform and start looking at your community.
What type of visuals are they using? What kind of photos do they upload? What kind of content generates more engagement?
Just some random question that might help you create the next Instagram ad that will get more clicks, likes and comments.
2. You don’t have an Instagram account
A photo posted by Katai Robert (@katairobi) on
Let me ask you – Why don’t you have an Instagram account if you advertise on this platform? Because it’s kind of a silly thing to invest in a platform you have no interest in and most of all, maybe your users are not even on this platform.
Think about this, you advertise on this platform and someone that’s part of your target sees the ad. So they’re thinking “Great, another ad that popped up in my face. Let me see who these guys are and what they do!”
So he click on your instagram profile, but he gets nothing because you don’t have an Instagram account. Now you already know what’s next. The user will click the report button and you surely don’t want this. Right?
What you can do? First and foremost, start looking at your audience and see if they use Instagram. Talk to them via other social networks, do an email survey but the best thing you can do is pick up the phone and start talking to them. See if 40 from the 50 people you talked to, use Instagram daily or weekly.
Then go on Instagram and search your brand’s name. See if there are people talking to their community about the experience they had with your brand. If you see that there are plenty of photos and videos with your photo, then you should definitely start being active on Instagram.
Start engaging more. Don’t just post random visuals but also connect with the user, give them your like and comment.
Make them part of the community.
And after all this, you can start doing advertising on Instagram. Because you will understand the anatomy of an Instagram users, the DNA of the community but mostly, you will know how to reach the right audience to get the results you want.
3. Very long description
The regular Instagram user doesn’t have plenty of time to read the entire description below the picture in their newsfeed.
Don’t believe me? Start looking at people around you that use Instagram and just watch how they scroll through their dashboard. How fast are they doing it? How much time are they spending writing a comment? How much time are they spending to write a description?
Instagram is a visual platform where you can also write a description. What I want you to understand is that Instagram is a visual platform. So, the core of this social network are visuals.
If you want to write a long description about your brand or your product/service, use platforms that are dedicated to long written content, such as Medium, LinkedIn, Pulse, Facebook Instant article or even your blog.
But if you want to have an engaging Instagram profile, use a short but powerful message.
I only gave you 3 reasons why people don’t engage with your instagram ad but I believe that maybe there are plenty of other reasons. So, start by checking these 3 points on your list and then look at how it’s going.
Is it bringing more results than before or less?
If there are less than before, let me know in a comment and I will try to help you optimize your Instagram ad.
Photo by jarrett.hendrix