(Almost) Everything You Need To Know About Instagram Ads

It would be easy to discount Instagram as a hipster, millennial platform that is of no use to your business, after all, that’s the reputation it has.

However, with the platform growing extensively in recent years and gaining popularity across Northern Ireland it’s important to assess whether it could work for your business.

Gil David, the Founder of Run DMG, has spent over 13 years in sales, marketing, and business management, as well as over five years running social media adverts for a wide range of clients, including beauty chains and ecommerce stores, online coaches, and nationwide fitness franchises.

Having worked with social media advertising budgets from a few hundred pounds to 150k+, Gil was the perfect guest speaker to deliver a Lunchtime Learning session facilitated by the Cathedral Quarter BID (Business Improvement District), sharing his top tips for Instagram adverts.

Gil’s stats during the presentation spoke volumes, he said: “There are currently over 1 billion active accounts on Instagram, with around 50% of those accounts active daily. 60% of Instagram users first hear about a product via the platform, and 30% have made a purchase from Instagram directly.

“Those are very impressive figures. It’s important to note that the most active age range on the platform is 18-35, so if your target market are 40 years of age or younger, you should be using it as a marketing tool.”

While there are a range of tips, ideas, and methods for running successful Instagram adverts, one of the most important things to get right is the creative. Instagram is a visual platform, so the imagery is the element with the most impact. Gil shared his top tips, which included:

  • Portrait images and video work much better than landscape (ideally 1080×1080 for square imagery or 1080×1350 for vertical imagery).

  • Images should be eye-catching and “scroll-stopping”.

  • The key message should be clear and enticing.

  • Random figure discounts and percentage discounts get more attention than even numbers, for example £234 off instead of £200 off.

  • Check your copy, then check it again – spelling mistakes are completely avoidable. Also, if you create an ad for Facebook you may say ‘click the button below’, but on Instagram the button is above the text. Look out for these simple errors.

Gil explained: “To increase engagement, you should always reply to individuals who comment on your posts and adverts. Even the negative comments.

“If you respond well to a negative comment – by acknowledging the issue, clarifying if a problem does exist, and fixing the problem if there is one – others who look at the comments will see that you are a reputable company who look after their customers.”

A trend that shows no sign of slowing down are brands using stories more than their feed to engage with customers. Users are looking at stories more and more, so there is also an increasing trend for companies to post a story that directs their audiences’ attention to a new post on their feed.

As a result, more companies are also advertising through stories, which works best when the content is organic and more natural. This type of content tends to outperform more professional or manufactured looking videos. Add text or graphics within the native app (Instagram) to increase clicks and engagement.

Finally, you should always test your adverts to see what works and what doesn’t. There is no one-size-fits-all rulebook for social media advertising. What works well changes based on industry, and even between companies in the same industry based on the needs and wants of their individual target audiences.

Gil also has a final word of warning:“Remember that social media is first and foremost just that – social. Your social media accounts should not be running adverts all the time, or people will get sick of looking at it. You should include adverts within a mix of other types of posts and content for them to have maximum impact.”

The key takeaway points from the session? Get People to A.C.T.

  • Attention – stop them scrolling.

  • Clarity – image and message should work well together.

  • Tap – correct combination of image and enticing copy will get people to act. Include a clear call to action.

Want to hear more top tips for running Instagram advertising campaigns for your small business? Check out the full recording of Gil’s workshop on the Cathedral Quarter website – https://www.cathedralquarterbelfast.com/whats-on/lunchtime–learning–everything-you-need-to-know-about-instagram-ads

To see more Lunchtime Learning session go to https://www.cathedralquarterbelfast.com/lunchtime-learning

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