by guest contributor, Shannon Stone.
Instagram, the taker of advertising spend…or so it would seem. As the ladies of Style Pose Click shared in their latest blog post, Dear Instagram, We Want Our Money Back, the Insta world is one that still needs figuring out – and that’s what I’ll help you with today.
INSTAGRAM IS NOT FACEBOOK
Obvious it may seem, but Instagram is not Facebook, and the same advertising strategies aren’t as effective across the platforms. Even though Instagram paid ads are managed through the Facebook Ads Manager portal (a better way to boost your posts than the blue PROMOTE button), we have to remind ourselves that Instagram is not Facebook, and it is for that reason we need to adapt our strategy.
The way we use Instagram is not the way we use Facebook, and more importantly, it’s not how our customers use it. Instagram is a ‘finger-scrolling’, ‘double-tapping’, ‘heart-liking’ kinda platform – businesses everyday build brand awareness, grow their email lists and generate sales from Instagram, but it needs to be done in a way that is respectable to the platform.
AUDIENCE FIRST APPROACH
In any marketing that you do, your audience is always the main criteria you need to consider. You really want to make sure you are targeting the right people, and while the Ads Manager gives us great categories for targeting people and their interests, the best two ways to target a group of people who are more likely to buy from you (or take the desired action you want from them) is to:
CREATE A ‘CUSTOM AUDIENCE’
This is not as difficult or ‘techy’ as it sounds. What we are achieving by setting this up to use in our advertising target is, we are targeting a group of people who have previously interacted with your business already – so they are more likely to convert when seeing your ads.
To create this ‘custom audience’ you will require a database of phone numbers or email addresses of your existing leads and clientele – and it doesn’t matter if you only have a small database, because the main point here is, this audience is going to be more likely to purchase from you, you’re not having to reach the masses who are unlikely to buy, you’re going to reach the intimate group of people who are waiting to buy from you.
CREATE A ‘LOOK-ALIKE AUDIENCE’
Again, this is not as difficult or ‘techy’ as it sounds. This strategy of audience targeting is creating an audience who are similar to your current followers – so these people are more likely to want to work with you and buy from you.
Both these two strategies, ‘custom’ and ‘lookalike’ audiences can be set up through the Instagram advertising portal through Facebook Ads Manager.
CONSIDER THE VISUAL
Being a photographer, you would be well-aware of the elements that go into making a great photo, so I’m not going to re-educate you on that. It is important to note though, as your ‘one image’ is shared in a sea of others in the Instagram feed, ask yourself:
Is this ‘scroll-stopping’?
Will people know this is my photo?
Is there a ‘common element’ across my photos (e.g. filter, text, logo, style of image etc.)
When Instagram users are able to recognise your images in the flood of others circulating the social platform, you are building your brand which in an invaluable asset for you business, making any of your paid advertising on Instagram more effective.
THE RIGHT WORDS
The caption you use alongside your Instagram Ad, or any Instagram post for that matter is critical. This is the space where you can be descriptive and ultimately persuasive, giving people the details that explain more. Two things to consider with your caption is:
“ABOVE THE FOLD”
Just some fancy marketing terminology you may have heard, but ‘above the fold’ talks about having the copy (or the written words) at the highest, most visible point. So in Instagrams case, it’s having the ‘eye-catching’ headline first, before the ‘see more’ part of the paragraph.
You don’t want you most ‘scroll-stopping’ words below the ‘see more’ part, you want to deliver the punchline first! This stops more people on your Ad, giving more people the opportunity to buy and engage with you.
“CALL TO ACTION” (or CTA)
As simple as it sounds, you need to clearly tell people what to do next, and make it easy for them to do so. Whether it is:
“Leave a comment to enter”
“Click the link in our bio to book your place
“Send us a DM to claim this discount”
Tell people exactly how to take the next step. Also, keep in mind, that links in Instagram captions ‘do-not-work’. They appear, but they are not clickable! People are not going to re-type the link you’re sending them to into their browser, Instagram is a mobile app predominately, so think about how difficult that would be.
If you are using a link, direct them to your ‘bio’, and consider using Linktree to add in multiple links into your Instagram bio.
So there we go, these are my main suggestions for improving your next Instagram Advertisement. The main point is to really think through your advert, don’t slap an ad together and hit submit, if you want to get the best possible ROI, think about the points above.
To find out more about Shannon’s Business & Marketing Consulting Services, view her Style Pose Click Listing