The stakes are high for advertisers on Instagram. Since the platform rolled out paid advertising in 2013, it has become a powerful force. In fact, the service just opened up for businesses of all sizes back in September, and companies have been quick to seize the chance to up their Instagram game and reach more of the 400 million monthly users on the app.
Of course, Instagram has been cashing in on this, with the company expected to make nearly $1 billion in revenue in the next four years. It’s not surprising, although they’ve been notoriously secret about pricing on paid advertising, estimates range from $500,000 to $1 million per month.
So yes, the stakes are definitely high. Marketers can delete and replace a bad Instagram post, and even a poor strategy can improve with time. But when you’re spending thousands, or possibly millions, of dollars on paid advertising that will put your brand in front of a much larger audience than just your own followers, it’s important to get it right.
Here are three essential tips to make sure your ad campaign gets a return on your investment.
1. Make Your Ads Look Native
A study cited by Fortune found that banner blindness is manifesting on social media platforms. Just as website users became desensitized to banner ads on web pages, user engagement with brands on social media platforms is falling.
Combat this effect by keeping your ad content appealing to viewers. Ads that blend in with other organic posts are likely to be viewed more favorably than something that looks like spam.
Take one of Instagram’s success stories, Capital One. There’s nothing particularly visual (or interesting) about banking services, but they saw their slogan, “What’s in Your Wallet” as an opportunity to create the creative, striking and personal images that are common place on the app. The nine pictures they circulated ended up boosting ad recall by 16 percent.
2. Consider videos
Video advertising on Instagram just got easier this February when Instagram rolled out its first 60 second ad campaigns. Previously, the platform only supported 30 second videos.
There’s no better way to stand out from a static image than with a dynamic video, but getting viewers to spend a whole minute on your video is a bit of a risk. It may be safer to stay on the short side, but the most successful 60 second ads have captured viewer interest in the crucial first 10 seconds with visually striking elements – For T-Mobile, it meant harnessing the power of Drake!
Keep in mind: Instagram does not automatically play audio on posts, so don’t rely on special sounds to catch a viewer’s attention.
3.Use a Call to Action
Paid ads come with a pretty powerful feature: the ability to include outbound links. Not only can you link back to your website, but you can do so with a sleek looking call-to-action button. In fact, market experts have found that Instagram seems to be having pretty great success with direct response ads, showing that they’re good for more than just brand messaging.
Seize this opportunity to link to your landing page, website or other content that you couldn’t otherwise on an organic post.