With 15 million business profiles on Instagram (up from 8 million in March 2017) we can say that the social network owned by Facebook is one of the biggest mobile go-to places for everyone who wants to build an online image of a business.
But there is more to it! As marketers, we are also interested in the numbers that show us the power of the tool or marketplace we want to use, right?
Now let me clarify a few things that will help you understand the power of Instagram:
- 80% of the users on Instagram follow a business – this seems like a great place to create a great bridge between your brand and your potential customers.
- 60% of people say that they discover new products on Instagram – because brands understand what their audiences want, need to know, how to connect with them and what kind of content to share with them.
- 75% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post – isn’t this every marketer’s dream?
- ⅓ of the most-viewed Stories are from businesses – that means that brands who use Instagram stories in their strategy know how to engage with their audience
And the list continues, but I want to focus on a different perspective. One thing that we as marketers must really understand is how our strategy on Instagram can impact our brand awareness on this platform and also our business.
I’m the kind of marketer who stops and analyzes every ad he finds in his feed while scrolling through sunsets, cups of coffee and other great instapictures. I even screenshotted more than 200 Instagram ads and with the help of the Bannersnack team, I created an ebook which can inspire your daily work with 226 Instagram ad examples.
What I found out while doing this project is that there are 3 elements anyone should take in consideration when they want to do advertising on Instagram.
Instagram is a social network based on mobile visual content. You can’t post just text like you can do on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. Also, you can’t post photos or videos using your computer or without using a third party app. So if you want to publish content on Instagram you should think about what kind of visual you want to publish and use take into consideration that you’ll have to use your mobile device.
In my research, I found that the best ads, the ones getting the most engagement are the kind of visuals that drive emotional interaction.
What is an emotional interaction?
Jordi Vallverdú (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain) and David Casacuberta (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain) explain what emotional interaction is pretty well in their book “New Applications in Affective Computing and Artificial Intelligence”: The emotional interaction mechanism describes the way emotions affect each other. Emotions can have an augmenting or diminishing effect over other emotions. When an emotion is excited, this one could affect another emotion behavior, and this affection is what we call emotional interaction.
Now let’s get back to our visual ads on Instagram. Does your ad create an emotional interaction for your target audience?
Take for example Airbnb’s ads. Is this a platform you’d like to use for your next city break? I believe so.
These ads are the ones that make people engage – like or comment on the photos. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use stock photos. Use stock photos only if you found the kind of content that is close to your brand style.
You could easily use a photo or video ads that bring some emotions to your targeted people when they scroll on their Instagram feeds.
Make sure that you are using quality visuals (photo or video) that are close to your brand style.
Even if we know that Instagram is a visual place, we can also use our words to give visuals even more value. We can comment on photos, send direct messages and add descriptions.
Captions are a very powerful instrument for advertising on Instagram.
So make sure that you understand your audience and you talk with them in their “language”.
For example, if your audience is the kind of audience who loves to read long-form content then try writing the right captivating description on your ad. In this way the user will spend more time on your ad, will read the entire description and there are bigger chances for them to click on the CTA or engage in the comment section.
A great example on how to use captions is Wizz Air.
They had launched a contest on Instagram for which they targeted the ones who love taking pictures while they fly.
“Love to take pictures on a flight? Take part in our #WIZZview Instagram competition to get the chance to win 50 Euro WIZZ Value Vouchers”
And the most interesting part is that they have also used emojis in the caption of their ad in order to communicate an emotion
Make sure that you understand your audience before you start writing down the description of your ad.
3. CTA (Call-To-Action)
Let’s play a game. I will write down a few words and you must tell me what they have in common: Install Now, Use App, Download, Learn More, Listen Now, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up, Watch More, Apply Now, Book Now, Buy Now, Buy Tickets, Contact Us, Learn More, Request Time, See Menu.
If your answer is “they are all Call-to-actions” – you’re right.
These verbs are calling your users to click on the button of your ad. So you don’t have to design a CTA button of your ad because Instagram is already giving you this.
In my research, I found out that many game companies use Instagram Ads to interact with their users. They make users play the game or install the app exactly when they see the ad.
Take for example Forge of Empires. They created an Instagram Ad. They used an “Install Now” CTA to ask the users to install the game.
Use CTA’s to make the user click on your ad. You don’t want them only to like or comment, but also buy what you’re selling! Make sure when they click your CTA, you give them something interesting that makes them want to become your customer.
Instagram ads are a great way to bring value to your brand while also building a strong community. So when you want to design an ad, start an Instagram ad campaign and measure your success, the best way is to look at how others do it and test it for yourself.