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3 Tips to Help You Prepare for Instagram Ads

If you’re sitting on the edge of your seat awaiting the public Instagram Ads launch, there are a few things you can do ahead of time to make sure your campaigns are successful once you’re actually able to run them.

1. Plan your content

The key to any successful marketing campaign is proper planning. We’re not sure when all advertisers will be able to start running Instagram ad campaigns, but you’d better believe when that time comes we’ll be armed and ready with our best content. Take a look at some of the content that’s performed well on your page organically and see if you can reuse any of those photos as ads. As a general rule of thumb across all advertising channels, the content that performs the best organically is bound to perform the best once you put some ad spend behind it.

If you know you’ll need to create new content specifically for ads, get your design team on that project now so you can build a backlog. As soon as the ads feature is public, you can be the first out of the gate with lots of compelling content that you know will win against the competition.

For help planning some of your content, download our free white paper: 10 Tips for Increasing Brand Engagement on Instagram.

2. Determine goals (as much as possible)

Instagram more than likely will not perform the same way as your other social ad channels, and that’s okay. For B2Bs, this might prove a much bigger challenge than it will for your B2C counterparts. When users are checking their Instagram feeds, they’re in a much different state of mind from when they’re checking Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. For your content to be successful, you have to think from the perspective of an Instagram user at the moment he/she is on Instagram – which will be different from when that same user is on another network.

You probably won’t get away with driving hard calls-to-action on your site (hence the difficulty for B2Bs). Then again, everything is testable. Once you can get your ads up and running, try different CTAs and goals (impressions, likes and comments will likely be the leading drivers; follows and visits to your site might be secondary goals). You won’t know for sure what you can achieve with your ads until you can actually run them, but start thinking about what you think you might be able to do now so that you can test several different options when the time comes.

3. Pay attention to the beta

The best part about not getting invited to the Instagram Ads beta is that you get to watch big brands test these out and see what works and, more importantly, what doesn’t. Social media users historically have been averse to new advertising introductions and Instagram Ads are no different. People are going to complain and you’re going to get the same sleuth of angry comments that your Promoted Tweets or Facebook Promoted Posts often receive. Don’t get hung up on that too much, but learn from it. Respect that your audience on Instagram has to adjust to these new ads in their feeds just as much as you have to get used to running them, so pay attention to what bigger brands are learning from the beta right now. This will go a long way in ensuring you don’t make the same mistakes and that you enjoy some of the same wins as well.

Have any other tips to help fellow social media marketers prepare for Instagram Ads? Leave ‘em in the comments!

Oh and by the way, we recently published a study on how the world’s most social brands are using Instagram. Download your free copy!

Danie Zaika

Danie is the Senior Marketing Manager, Paid Media, at Simply Measured, where she runs social and display ads, PPC, and other online marketing programs that generate leads for the Sales team. Interests include yoga, reality TV, and parallel parking.

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