The Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram Ad Creative

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[Image Via: iDownloadBlog.com]

One of the great things about the new Instagram ad platform is that it’s very compatible with what brands are already used to using Facebook ads. If your brand advertises on Facebook, you are at an advantage and the process of expanding into Instagram advertising should be a seamless process for you. You’ll have the ability to apply the same creative and target audience as you do with your Facebook ads. However, it’s important to remember that Instagram is all about high-quality visuals, so customized creative is key.

The Do’s:

Andrew Waber, Manager of Market Insights and Media Relations for Nanigans, discussed best practices for Instagram ad creative.

  1. Do utilize natural light and high resolution photos to not only fit in with the organic feed, but to stand out.
  2. Do remember that excessive branding can overpower content. In order to resemble organic content, display your logo subtly or showcase your brand’s signature color.
  3. Do let the visuals be the focal point and speak for the ad. Keep text to minimum or include it in the caption section.

Carolyn Berk, Content Marketing Associate for Nanigans, also weighed in on the matter by providing some noteworthy bonus tips:

  1. Do connect with your audience by showcasing real-life situations and objects. Increase your CTR (click-through rate) and to make your creative more memorable.
  2. Do stand out by using bright colors that will catch your audience’s eye.
  3. Do use content that hasn’t been seen by your audience before.
  4. Do dedicate each ad to just one of your products.

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The Don’ts

Blaise Lucey, Senior Content Strategist at Bitly, highlighted 7 reasons your ads are not converting and what to avoid when it comes to your Instagram ad creative:

  1. Don’t be too professional. The traditional corporate ad will stand out in a bad way. Try using candid shots or behind the scenes photos. Anything that is typical to what your audience is used to on Instagram.
  2. Don’t forget to tell a story with your ad. Connect with your audience by conveying a funny or inspirational message.  
  3. Don’t use loud call-outs and banners. Instagram ads already have a default call-to-action button so focus on the content and the click will come soon after. Banner ads on mobile screens are the equivalent to pop-up ads. Therefore they are not visually appealing to your audience and will be ignored.
  4. Don’t use shadowy or generic people. Avoid coming off like a stock photo by using generic images. Instead, try photographing an influencer!
  5. Don’t let you product just sit there against a blank backdrop. Immerse the product you are trying to sell into a lifestyle by adding a compelling background like a city skyline.
  6. Don’t use too much text or borders. This will draw away attention from what your ad is all about.
  7. Don’t forget to try video ads. Showcase your brand or product in motion using a video series, interviews, and action shots.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Carousel Ads

In March, Instagram launched carousel ads which gives brands the ability to showcase multiple images within an ad. Users can experience a sequenced story by swiping through the images of a panorama or snippets of an action shot to tell a bigger story. There are universal style tips that should be considered when using carousel ads. Instagram’s creative strategist, Derek Eehevarria-Scott, walked AdWeek through some tips for how to build a carousel.

  1. Do make the initial image stand out on its own. It shouldn’t necessarily rely on the images to follow. After all, some users may not choose to continue swiping through the carousel.
  2. Do come up with creative ways to hint at what come next after the initial image.
  3. Don’t use long and dense captions.
  4. Do use a landing page for your call-to-action button that continues the tone of the ad creative and is a page that is mobile friendly.

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Final Thoughts

Creating compelling ad creatives is really in your brand’s best interest. It’s a big investment but a great way to drive traffic and revenue. By following these do’s and don’ts, your ads will have a better chance of performing well. One last rule of thumb is to always test your creatives before putting money behind them to ensure an adequate return on your investment. 

What tricks do you use when making Instagram ad creatives? Share with us below and don’t forge to follow us @hashtag4thegram!

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