All You Need To Know About Instagram Story Ads
Instagram Story Ads were only introduced in March 2019. This caused a lot of excitement among advertisers as the story format is very immersive. Around 50% of brands that use Instagram have made story posts. Time spent on Instagram rose to around 28 minutes when they introduced the story format.
What are Story ads?
Stories are available to Instagram users at the top of their news feed. An Instagram Story Ad will display inside Instagram stories. Usually you will see a Story Ad as you are transitioning from one story to another. It is not easy to tell a Story Ad apart from a normal story post so they tend to work very well and be accepted by the Instagram community.
As with all ads on Instagram a Story Ad will have the word “Sponsored” on it. Whether you go for an Image Story Ad or a Video Story Ad they will be full screen to the Instagram user. There are around 500 million Instagram users looking at stories every day so you have a huge marketing opportunity with this ad format.
It is best to use Story Ads if you want to promote a limited time offer. Why? Because all stories will disappear from Instagram after 24 hours. You can use a number of different call to action buttons with Story Ads and here is the complete list:
When you create a Story Ad you will be able to create a target audience (or use a previously saved one) and also specify how often your audience will see your Story Ad. You can enhance your Story Ad with filters, video effects and add text to make your ad really appealing.
Stories Image Ad
If you choose to go with an Instagram Stories Image Ad then you will be able to add up to 6 images and a swipe up facility that will guide your viewers to a destination URL (your website or online store). The ad will last for five seconds.
Here are the important specifications for a Instagram Stories Image Ad:
One of things that you need to be careful about with Instagram Stories Image Ads is the amount of text that you overlay on any image. If you go to far with this then Instagram will not accept your ad.
Stories Video Ad
When people are browsing through stories nothing captures their attention more than a video. One thing to bear in mind though is that when users are viewing stories they don’t usually turn on the sound. So you need to be able to deliver your advertising message with a Stories Video Ad with or without sound. The video length is 15 seconds.
Here are the important specifications for a Instagram Video Image Ad:
Avoid These Instagram Ad Mistakes
Many businesses are now turning to Instagram for new leads and customers. The platform is undergoing significant growth and using Instagram Ads is a great way to reach people that other methods can’t. But a lot of people make mistakes with Instagram Ads so we want to highlight these mistakes for you so that you can avoid them.
Not Aligning with Business Goals
A lot of people that use Instagram Ads do not align their advertising with their business goals. You can create some awesome Instagram Ads but if there is no alignment with your business goals then you are wasting your time.
So think about how your Instagram Ads can align with your overall goals. Do you want to increase the amount of awareness of your brand? Do you want to increase the amount of followers on your Instagram account? Or is your main goal to drive a lot more traffic to your website so that you can generate more email marketing leads?
It is not difficult to create goals for your Instagram advertising campaigns and you must do that. Take the time out to think about what you really want to achieve from your Instagram Ads. To do this ask yourself these questions:
Not Targeting the Correct Audience
You can easily identify your target audience when you use Instagram Ads. But to do this properly you need to have a good idea of who your audience are and what they are looking for. A lot of Instagram advertisers don’t spend enough time on this and end up targeting the wrong audience.
To identify the right audience for your business take a look at the products and services that you offer. Then ask yourself these questions:
Another good thing to do is to take a close look at what your competitors are doing. Who are their customers?
For your own customer base you need to know the demographics. This includes:
Getting Ad Content Wrong
Even if you really know your audience well (which you must do) it is still possible to make mistakes with the content of your ads and a lot of advertisers do this. You must provide content in your Instagram ads that will connect with your audience.
Your content must accurately reflect your products and services and your brand positioning. Also it is essential that you do not over hype your content and make it too sales orientated. The aim is to provide value and inspire Instagram users.
Your Instagram Ads need persuasive captions. When you are creating your captions be sure that it reflects the image in your ad. Be sure to use the right hashtags and provide a compelling call to action.
Ignoring the quality of Images and Videos
It’s all about the visuals. Advertisers know that Instagram is a visual platform but a lot of them do not pay enough attention to the quality of their images and videos. There is no excuse for this as there are plenty of tools around to make your visuals great.
Pay special attention to the lighting. There are apps available to adjust this. Make your videos interesting by providing different perspectives. Consider what is in the background for your images and videos.
The Benefits Of Instagram Ads
Instagram now has over one billion active users and the platform is growing very fast. It was not so long ago that they announced that they had 700 million active users and now it is over a billion. Instagram is a very popular social platform and there is no sign of this changing.
This means there is a great deal of marketing potential with Instagram. It has the highest levels of engagement of all of the major social platforms at around 4.2%. Facebook and Twitter combined can only manage around 0.1% engagement. Here are the major benefits of advertising on Instagram:
Huge User Base that is still growing
Instagram is growing at an alarming rate and now has more than a billion active users. The estimates suggest that this growth will continue in the next few years so it offers you a huge potential audience.
It is connected to Facebook
Facebook owns Instagram so you will find targeting your audience a lot easier using Facebook data and tools. You can set up everything for your Instagram Ads through Facebook including audience identification, budgeting and ad creation.
This is great news if you have used Facebook Ads before. There is no need for you to learn about Instagram advertising from scratch. You can just jump right in and create ads for both social platforms.
Non Intrusive Ads
Instagram Ads will not annoy Instagram users like ads on other social platforms do. They appear seamlessly to the user which helps with the level of engagement. This is a major benefit as your ads are less likely to be skipped.
Higher Engagement Rate
Engagement is everything with social media marketing and Instagram has the highest levels of engagement for any social platform. If you create your ads properly then you will receive comments, likes and shares like never before.
Success through Awareness
With Instagram Ad campaigns, success is measured based upon awareness. You will be able to see your follower counts and growth, the reach that your ads are getting and the level of likes and comments.
Instagram perfect for Mobile Users
These days everyone has a smartphone with a high quality camera included. Smartphone users are usually very interested in social media and Instagram is usually their number one choice. Many users will user their camera phones as an amateur photographer and post their pictures on their Instagram account.
Get the best results with Instagram Ads
Instagram Ads usually provide the best results in terms of cost and return on investment. It is a very effective marketing channel and it is quicker and easier to post compelling ads on Instagram than it is on other social media channels.
If you are not taking advantage of the marketing opportunities provided by Instagram then you need to start right now. You can set up an Instagram account for free and easily convert it to a business account so that you can place ads.
The user base is huge and will only get bigger. With the Facebook integration you can identify your target audience precisely and target them with your advertising messages. There are different types of ads that you can post depending on the needs of your business.
When you know your audience really well you will be able to provide them with exactly what they are looking for using Instagram Ads. The cost per click is cheaper than other platforms so you will get the best bang for your buck.
The Different Types Of Instagram Ads
More and more businesses are turning to Instagram for their advertising these days. Not only does Instagram have a very large user base but it is also the social platform with the highest level of engagement. Instagram have made it easier for businesses by offering a number of different types of ad:
Instagram Photo Ads
Photo ads are the most common type of ad on Instagram. This is not surprising as sharing photos and images is the most popular thing to do on the platform. A number of business are taking advantage of photo ads to promote their brands, their products and services, their upcoming launches and events and a great deal more.
When you use a photo ad the image must be relevant to whatever you are promoting. You can add a compelling caption to your photo to persuade users to take the action that you want. Use the right hashtags in the caption and you will extend the reach of your ad. Many large and small brands use a lot of photo ads for their campaigns.
Post Boosting or Sponsored Ads
If you have a business account on Instagram then you can boost posts that you have already made to extend the reach of the posts. Boosted ads will appear in the home feed of their target audience and they can contain a direct website link, an online store or the user’s profile page.
Some businesses use sponsored ads to promote giveaways and contests. They do this to increase the amount of participation that the original post achieved. This can be very successful with increasing engagement levels too.
Instagram Story Ads
Stories are very popular on Instagram and around 80% of the active users post a story at least twice a week. You can generate a great deal of traffic through stories as they are popular with Instagram users.
When you create a story ad it will usually appear when an Instagram user is switching between one story and another. You can add a direct link to your website from a story ad or a link to your profile. Stories will only appear for a few seconds and once they are gone that is it. They are still a good ad choice though.
Instagram Video Ads
Video is an immensely popular choice of media with social users and this is certainly the case on Instagram. The view rate for videos is much higher than it is for other media types. You can post a 30 to 60 second video ad and these can be full ads or teasers.
If you create the right kind of videos then video ads will probably bring you a lot of success. You can get some really high viewing numbers with the right video ad and you can add direct links and a call to action in the caption.
Instagram Carousel Ads
If you want to showcase a number of different products in your ad then you need to go for a carousel ad. Instagram users are used to swiping through a number of different images in a carousel and this usually means higher engagement levels.
As with the other type of ads you can add a captivating caption with a call to action and a direct link back to your website, store or profile. So use carousel ads when you want to get the word out about a range of your products.
Instagram Ads 101
Instagram Ads are fast becoming the number one choice for businesses that want to get the word out about their brand and their products and services. There are a number of good reasons for this including the staggering growth of the social platform and its high levels of engagement.
How does an Instagram Ad look?
There are different types of Instagram Ads but the good thing is that they look a lot like regular posts. They will have the word “Sponsored” on them but apart from that they look and feel like a normal post.
With ordinary posts it is not possible to add external links to your website. You can add direct links in Instagram Ads as well as a call to action button to persuade a user to take a specific action. The different types of ad have different call to action buttons available.
How do you create an Instagram Ad?
Facebook now owns Instagram and you can use the Facebook Ad tools when setting up your Instagram Ads. This is good because you can use the advanced tools in Facebook to target your specific audience based on demographics, interests, location and more.
You can satisfy a number of business objectives with Instagram Ads. These objectives are:
If you want to increase the awareness of your brand then you need to select this option. When you do this you will maximize the number of impressions for your ad among the audience that you have specified.
If you want your ad to be seen by the largest number of people in your target audience then go with the “Reach” option.
This is the best objective to choose if your goal is to increase the number of clickthroughs to your website or online store. You achieve this by using persuasive call to action buttons.
If you have an app and want to increase the number of installs then select this objectives option.
Increasing your engagement levels is always a good thing to do on social media so choose this objectives option if you want more comments, likes and shares or you want users to show up for a specific event.
If you want to increase the number of views to your videos then this is the best objectives option. You can use videos to put out brand messages or showcase your products. Do this in an inspiring and creative way and you will get great reach and high levels of engagement.
This is the objectives option to choose if you want to increase the level of conversions on your website.
Identify your Audience
Once you have chosen your desired objective you can now identify your target audience by selecting users based on their age, gender, interests, behaviors, location and more. Once you have create an audience you can save it for use with other ad campaigns.
This is a very important step. With 80% of the users on Instagram following a business you want to make sure that you get this right and that your advertising message will resonate with your target audience.
Choose the right Ad Type
Instagram offers a number of different types of ad and these include:
How to Create an Instagram Account for a ‘Non Visual’ Business Model
The appeal of Instagram for many, is that it is a visual medium. If you have a fitness business, if you blog about food, or if you are a travel writer, then this is an ideal way to share what you get up to in a way that is immediately eye-catching and engaging. People will see what you share and be instantly moved by it, making it the perfect way to grow your following further.
But for some businesses, this same visual emphasis is precisely what they see as a turn off. That’s because some businesses aren’t obviously visual in nature. A good example of this might be law, or perhaps insurance. If you run a life insurance company for example, then how can you express this in a visual way that will be interesting and engaging for your readers?
Do you post facts and figures? Bar charts? Statistics?
Likewise, if you are a corporate consultant, or an investment firm… how can you encourage people to get involved?
The answer is to find what it is that your business is really about and what it is that you are really selling: how does your service or product make people feel? What are the pain points or fears that drive them to buy from you? Understanding this is what will allow you to communicate the purpose of your business through images.
So to use the example of life insurance, this is a business that ultimately sells peace of mind to people who love their families. Therefore, the best way to promote yourself through Instagram might be to share posts of families that are doing things together. You could share ideas for activities and days out, or tips on how to provide for your family. Did you know that the most popular hashtag on Instagram is love?
Likewise, if you are a business consulting firm, then you might want to promote the idea of successful business and exciting startup opportunities. That might mean posting images of attractive looking offices, successful business men, or tips for business.
The danger as some companies will see it, is that you stray too far from the product or service, or that you in some way make your business appear glib.
But this is the mistake. Embrace being interesting and attractive – that isn’t unprofessional! Remember that you need to provide value in order for people to follow your brand. If you can’t do that, then people won’t have any motivation to keep consuming your content.
5 Tips for Better Photos on a Camera Phone
Succeeding on Instagram usually means posting lots of beautiful images that you took on a smartphone. It doesn’t have to mean that of course. Some people will have successful Instagram accounts not made up of images at all. Others will use images that they have acquired, or will use a high quality professional camera.
But in MOST cases, it means taking better smartphone photos. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
1 Think About Composition
The composition of your shot means thinking about where the subject is in relation to the other elements. It means thinking about how you’re going to line up the shot, and how you will convey a sense of scale and depth. Don’t just shoot things head on!
2 Add Depth
Speaking of depth, how do you create this? One option is to ensure that you feature something in the foreground, middle ground, and background. These three elements will create that sense of layers. Another tip is to try and ‘lead’ the viewers eye from the foreground into the background, which you can achieve by looking for something like a path or a road.
3 Tell a Story
Telling a story means not necessarily just taking a photo of the thing you want to ‘say’. Leave something for the viewer to figure out. An empty glass speaks to the presence of a person at some point in town. A party, or maybe a sad lonely drink? Think of the Mona Lisa – which has captivated people for generations by being a mystery!
4 Good Lighting
The phone you choose will have a big impact on the quality of the photos that come out, but so too will the lighting. In fact, it’s arguably better to take a well-lit shot on a cheap camera phone, than it is to take a poorly lit shot on a great phone!
Think about the position of the window and where it is in relation to the subject. Think about the time of day. And if possible: invest in lighting equipment.
5 The Right Phone
Finally, do take the time to choose a good camera phone. Know what you’re looking for: while high megapixel counts sound good on paper, they are far less important these days than other features, such as the quality of the lens being used to capture those pixels, the size of the aperture, and image processing.
6 Types of Instagram Post That AREN’T Photos
If you want to be a smash hit on Instagram, then you have to know how to take a good photo right? Instagram is a visual medium, and the nature of these images is photographic. If you don’t know how to take great photos, then you’re not going to be able to run a successful Instagram account. All sound about right?
There are actually a number of ways to get great images for Instagram without being an amazing photographer. But more than that, you can also make a successful Instagram account using different mediums entirely. Here are some examples.
Instagram lends itself well to text. That could mean inspiring quotes, it could mean short stories, or it could mean funny memes. These could be added on top of stock imagery, or they could literally just be text on white backgrounds. If people respond to the quote you’re sharing, then you might get a follow!
While cartoons are struggling to thrive online right now, especially on sites like YouTube, Instagram represents something of a safe haven for them. Many different cartoonists are thriving on Instagram, so if you are a dab hand at digital art, then why not give it a go?
Video actually enjoys greater engagement than photos on Instagram! So there you go: this really isn’t a purely image-based platform. You can make short videos with a smartphone, or with any other camera. You can even use screen capture for things like tutorials.
A boomerang is a very short video that lasts just a couple of seconds and that bounces back and forth repeatedly. They’re very trendy right now, and there’s an app that makes it easy for you to make them.
If you have musical skills, then you can share snippets of that music on Instagram. Post an image with the title and have it play in the background for up to a minute.
Stories and Live
While these aren’t really examples of the regular type of post, you can actually run a successful Instagram account that is primarily a place for stories and live feeds. This might mean bringing people along on your adventures, or perhaps showing behind the scenes of your business. If it’s interesting and engaging enough, then your channel will grow by word of mouth. You could even have a go at IGTV!
4 Top Tips for Better Instagram Tagging
No one thing makes a successful Instagram account. Success on Instagram is the result of a smart strategy that incorporates a wide range of different factors.
But with that said, one of the single most important aspects is to consider the role of your hashtags. Hashtags are some of the most crucial elements when it comes to gaining new views, gaining more likes, and generally helping your page to grow exponentially. Here are four tips that will help you use them better.
You have the option to use up to thirty hashtags, and the most important tip to take away from this? Use ALL thirty. It’s like being able to play the lottery for free. Why would you play just once, when you could enter 30 times and improve your chances of success by x30?
Find the Sweet Spot
When you start typing out your hashtags, you’ll find that you see a little preview with suggestions that have numbers by them. Those numbers tell you how many other people have used that hashtag, and this in turn can be a brilliant clue as to which are the best to use. The mistake? Assuming that the most popular hashtag is automatically going to be the smartest option.
This is a mistake, because you’ll find a hashtag that is too popular gets drowned out by other identical posts and therefore doesn’t stay visible too long. Likewise, you don’t want a hashtag that no one is interested in… so find that sweet spot with around 30,000 posts.
Use a Range
That said, there’s always the smallest chance that if you go for the biggest niche, your image will get picked up by someone influential and go gangbusters. Likewise, if you use an obscure hashtag, it can mean that your image hangs around in search for months and months on end. So use a variety and cover the full range!
News jacking means that you are going to use hashtags that are currently prominent or in the news. This is a great way to get attention and to find people searching for your images. Better yet, is to choose topics that are trending right now in your niche, or that are just becoming big topics but have yet to be inundated with competition.
Follow these tips, post regularly, and you will be on your way to #success!
The Benefits of Becoming a Verified Account on Instagram
If you want to start marketing on Instagram, then all you really need is an account. With an account, you’ll be able to start posting images and linking back to your page and your services.
But while this is true, it’s also true that it’s worth going the extra mile in order to set up the best kind of account possible – if you want to maximize your sales potential and your success. That means many different things, but it particularly means getting your account verified. Here’s why and what that means.
What is a Verified Account?
On Instagram, you can choose any name and profile image you like for your account. That means that you could very easily create a profile pretending to be a famous celebrity, or to represent a big brand. Of course, this can then create a number of issues as users struggle to know who is the real deal. By getting your account verified, you essentially tell Instagram that you are the one true YOU and that way you get a small badge to denote that fact by your name in the search results. This reassures users that yours is the official account for that brand or name.
Why Get Verified?
So that’s what a verified account is. The next question is why you need to go about getting it verified.
On the one hand a verified account gives you the authority that comes from being the genuine article. This means that anyone looking for your brand will know to click on your account, and it of course helps you to avoid copycats and fakers!
At the same time though, verification also acts as a stamp of authority for those that don’t know your brand. This suggests a certain level of notoriety, and therefore that you must be a serious player in your niche.
Then there’s the fact that being verified will give you access to additional features. One of the most important of these is the ability to link to external sites from a story. Users just have to swipe up on your story, and they’ll be taken to the page you’ve chosen. This makes it possible to sell directly from a story, which is huge.
Another big advantage of this, is that having a verified account allows you to create IGTV videos running for several hours.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get verified – it takes five minutes!