Instagram now has over 2 million advertisers on the platform, which is sure proof that the platform has well and truly become a place for business. But with so many advertisers already in situ, how can you create an Instagram ad that stands out, and get your business noticed amongst the masses?
How to Create a KNOCKOUT Instagram Ad
If you’re just starting out, never fear! Being new to advertising doesn’t mean you can’t create amazing, effective Instagram Ads.
These 3 smart steps will show you how to do just that:
1. Getting started with Instagram Ads
Whereas there used to be 2 options for creating and editing Ads for Instagram – Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor –, there’s now only one (much easier) version that combines the editing features of Power Editor with the usability of Ads Manager. Facebook announced the change in September 2017, stating “By focusing our efforts on improving a single platform, we hope to bring greater efficiency to our advertisers”. Finally!
Of course, you can boost posts from within the Instagram app itself, but for a more comprehensive and targeted campaign, I would definitely recommend using Facebook Ads Manager.
For the Ad to appear on Instagram, you must connect your Instagram Business account to Ads Manager. To do this, simply click on “add an account” under Instagram accounts.
Now you can get on with the specifics of creating your ad!
2. Understanding objectives
The first and foremost priority is to determine what you want your Ad to achieve. Whether you’re looking to increase traffic to your website, get more engagement on your Facebook posts or generate new leads for your brand, the campaign objective is an essential step to getting the job done.
If you decide to advertise exclusively on Instagram, there are eight objective options:
The choice of objective should match your overall business goals. Think: “why do I need this Ad?” If you’re still unsure, a good “test” objective is always the “clicks to website” option, as it’s easily trackable and quantifiable. The format of your ad will partly depend on your goal. You’ll have the option to decide between a carousel, single image, video or slideshow post. Or, if you’re not using the traffic objective, you can also select the new collection format, which offers a full screen ad experience on mobile.
Once you’ve chosen your campaign’s objective, you can begin designing your Ad.
3. Selecting and optimizing your Creative
Choosing single image or carousel formats
High-quality visuals are essential to a successful Instagram ad. If you’re selecting a single image format, your image really needs to speak volumes and make it clear what the ad is about. Yes, make sure it fits in to the Instagram feed aesthetic, but don’t worry about it ‘blending in’ – people should know that it’s an add for it to be effective. You’re not trying to trick anyone with your ad, and if you are, then you’re definitely targeting the wrong audience.
Above all, you’ll want to bear in mind is that the image or video you choose should properly represent the offer you’re promoting. If you’re selling software, don’t use a picture of a cute kitten just to get clicks – this will backfire.
Design recommendations for images:
Image size: 1,080 x 1,080 pixels or 1200 x 628 pixels
Your image should include little or no overlaid text
Caption: text only, up to 125 characters
Image ratio: (1.9:1 landscape)
Choosing a video or slideshow format
A multi-clip video is a great way to showcase many quality images at once, particularly if it’s relevant to your brand to showcase your work through clips: depicting a tutorial or a recipe for example, with steps to follow. Bear in mind that a video must be understood even if the sound is off, or users will quickly lose interest.
File type: .mp4
Caption: text only, 125 characters recommended
minimum resolution: 600 x 315 pixels (1.9:1 landscape)/600 x 600 pixels (square)
minimum length: 2.5 seconds maximum length: 60 seconds
Your image should include little or no overlaid text
Refining the look of your Ad
Free Stock and paid images from sites such as Unsplash and Pexels are perfect for Instagram Ads when you don’t have in in-house photographer. Add text overlays and additional visual elements with Canva. Canva is a lifesaver when it comes to designing ads – you seriously can’t go wrong with this tool! Just make sure you stick to some graphic design rules when you’re creating your Ad.
You’re all set, your Ad is up an running on Instagram. Now what?
Now, you track and analyze your performance! If you’re new to Instagram ads, check out the glossary below to help you get started:
BONUS: Glossary of Ad measurement terms
Number of clicks: refers to the number of clicks your Ad has received from users
Post likes: refers to the number of likes your Ad has achieved
CPC (Cost per click): refers to the overall cost of each click on your Ad
CPV (Cost per view): refers to the overall cost per impression of your Ad
CTR (Click through rates): refers to the percentage of clicks through to your landing page the Ad has Achieved in relation to the number of impressions
CPL (Cost per lead): refers to the overall cost of gaining a lead via your Ad
Lead to customer conversion: refers to the number of leads who become your customers via your Instagram Ad
Thanks for reading! I hope it helped you get some amazing ideas for creating your Knockout Instagram Ad! Leave a comment and let us know how you get on with your next campaign.
Post originally published October 5, 2016. Updated: March 21 2018