In this day and age, a lot of business owners and marketers see social media as a necessary evil. You know you need to be there, but struggle to reach any kind of ROI.
There’s some solace: it’s not just you. Where email marketing has an ROI of 36:1, and SEO comes back with 22:1, social media only averages up to an ROI of 19:20.
Those are rough numbers, but that doesn’t mean social media and Instagram can’t effectively generate conversions. You will have to do better than average.
With the right mix of strategy, creativity, and platform knowledge, you can use Instagram to boost sales.
And we’re not just talking about the occasional post with a product shot and a coupon code. We’re talking about using Instagram to build an engaged community that will care about your brand and boost your conversion rates.
This article will dive into Instagram ad etiquette and the pitfalls to avoid when creating ads. Add the creative tips we have for you, and you’ll be shipping extra orders in no time.
Table of Contents
Why Instagram, Anyway?
In social media marketing, it’s no secret that Instagram is one of the most powerful platforms if you’re looking for a conversion rate increase. But, in terms of just ROI, it’s not the most powerful one.
In fact, Facebook still leads the way, with 40% of marketers citing it as the most effective channel for their businesses. Instagram follows closely with 30%.
Then why are we focusing on Instagram?
Many companies got Facebook figured out but still struggle with Instagram. So, we’re here to help those.
- Instagram has a huge user base (more than 2 billion active users) and is also highly visual, making it perfect for promoting products and services. With 80% of those users following at least one business on Instagram, it’s a great marketing tool – if used right.
- On average, 75% of Instagram users act on at least one ad, meaning clicking it, interacting with it – or buying something.
- You can expect that behavior mostly from people in the 25-34 age group, which is 32.3% of all Instagrammers.
- Instagram might not take the lead in ROI and direct conversions, but it is great for building brand awareness in the long run, which will inevitably boost conversions over time as well.
Now that you understand how Instagram is an excellent platform for social media marketing, here are a few techniques to increase your chances of driving conversions with Instagram ads.
1. Run Hashtag Campaigns, #Strategically
Using hashtags strategically can…
- drastically improve your findability
- make it easier for Instagram to know what you are all about and how you are to the right people
- ultimately boost conversion
Because that’s what being shown to the right people does: it increases the chances of them buying your products.
Hashtag campaigns can especially work wonders for new product launches. It’s a great way of building suspense and mystery. Plus, you also give your audience a tool to easily talk about your new product.
One brand that completely won the hashtag game was Audi.
Granted, they didn’t come up with the hashtag themselves, but once one of their customers introduced it, they completely leveraged the power of the hashtag.
When their shiny new R8 was released, a brand fan, Joanne McCoy, let Audi know how she wanted to ride an R8 and came up with the hashtag #WantAnR8 in her tweet.
The brand rewarded this by letting her drive the car for a day. Later, they used that same hashtag to promote the car’s launch.
On Instagram, there are over 34K posts with the hashtag. Important to note that most of those posts are not by the brand but by consumers. Talk about spreading visibility organically!
This is a perfect example of making your content fit into a platform like Instagram, boosting reach, promoting your brand, and ultimately boosting those sales.
2. Focus on What Works. Ditch the Rest.
As with any other form of marketing, experimentation is key in using Instagram ads to boost sales. That means trying out different types of content—videos, carousels, images, stories, etc.—until you find what works best for your business and audience.
It also means experimenting with different types of messages and calls to action. The only way to find out what works best is to try a few different options and see what resonates most with your audience. If you need inspiration, we’ve got you.
Behind the Scenes
Your product might be a lot cooler than you think. Brands like ALOHAS have opened their doors to their audience and regularly show their products behind the scenes. This is perfect for brands that claim to be sustainable: transparency makes that claim all the more strong.
We’re talking real stories here, about real customers or employees. You don’t have to be the next Humans of New York account, but there’s a lot of value in the vulnerability of real people. Share their stories!
We can’t forget about the content your users make with your products. If you want to buy something, you want to see it used or worn. In fact, UGC is 20% more influential in purchase decisions than any other media.
Start sharing content your customers shoot with your product, and you will encourage them to create more of it. After all, people usually love sharing their content and increasing their reach. Hey Harper certainly does it right.
Hey Harper posting an image of their consumer using one of their products.
Humor takes the lead on Instagram. Businesses can benefit from this by creating their own memes or resharing funny content relevant to their brand.
Take the fashion brand Reformation, for instance, whose products focus on sustainability while looking great. You might think that they go for visual content that focuses on the clothes, and while their feed looks a lot like that, those pictures aren’t what makes them so massively popular. It’s their captions.
Reformation gets what their target audience comes to Instagram for; entertainment. Combining that with fashionable clothes is a winning combination.
So, they hired some truly stellar copywriters that churn out hilarious captions to go with the clothes they post. They even throw in some memes regularly.
Reformation relies on interesting captions as an image rather than a regular product.
How does this contribute to conversion?
You might not think: ‘ha, silly Reformation copywriter, that caption will make me buy a dress.’ But you will follow them and interact with their content because it is funny, causing you to see more of it. And after having seen that dress Taylor wore five times, you can’t get it out of your head and have to buy it.
Because creativity like this comes and goes, scheduling ahead of time is vital. It can help you ensure you never have to resort to basic, ‘filler’ content and stay on top of your strategy.
A tool like SocialPilot helps you stay on track, makes it easy to create the types of posts your audience loves to see and ensures it is published when needed. That’ll give you more time to research what works and execute it.
3. Team Up With Carefully Vetted Influencers
People like seeing people they recognize on social media – even if they’re not friends. That’s why influencers are so popular than celebrities even: it’s easier to connect with them.
You can work with influencers in your Instagram ads to boost your conversion.
There are a few options.
You can have the influencer appear in your ad and benefit from them sharing the ad. You can also ask influencers to collaborate in the creation of the ad. After all, they know very well what their and your target group like to see, and they master the social media sphere.
When working with influencers, you mustn’t just pick the first one that pops to mind – and not necessarily the cheapest, because choosing wrong can do a lot of damage.
Find an influencer who aligns with your brand. This is someone who shares similar values as well as a target audience.
GFDA sells strong-worded merch. After expanding from posters to t-shirts, they needed a new strategy.
How do you sell something as simple and, frankly, boring as a t-shirt? You put it on the right influencer in the right context and have them create sharp-looking content.
Mix their motivational and ambitious quotes with someone who loves to take selfies in a challenging environment, and you land on a fitness influencer.
GFDA teamed up with Shay, an influencer with 106K followers, and put their t-shirts on her.
This perfectly executed form of subtle influencer marketing that fits her real life (she doesn’t need to recommend t-shirts, just show them), works well.
GFDA gets great reactions to its new products while staying true to who they are as a brand and reaching a bigger audience beyond designers.
However, it is crucial that you ensure the influencer is carefully vetted.
Go back on their page far enough to ensure there’s no content that is mismatched with your brand. Also, check their engagement with their followers, their type of followers, and how relevant they are to your brand.
4. Use Facebook Ads Manager for Laser-Targeted Ads
If you’re looking to get the most out of your Instagram advertising budget, you need to use Facebook Ad Manager.
This allows you to target specific people and show your ads to the right people. You can use the Ad Manager to target people based on location, age, gender, interests, and much more.
Linking Instagram and Facebook is easy if you haven’t done it already.
- First, create a new campaign in the ad manager and select “Reach” as your objective.
- Then, select “Instagram” as the placement for your ad.
- You’ll need to connect your Instagram account to your Facebook business page. Don’t worry; it’s easy to do! Just go to Facebook settings and add your Instagram account.
- Once you’ve connected your accounts, it’s time to target your audience. You can target by interests, demographics, or behaviors.
For example, if you’re selling women’s clothes, you might want to target women aged 18-35 who live in the US and are interested in fashion. Or, if you’re selling skincare products, you might want to target women aged 25-55 who live in the US and have expressed an interest in skincare on Instagram.
Once you’ve selected your target audience, it’s time to create your ad!
5. Make the Most Out of Retargeting
There’s power in repetition on Instagram, too – especially if you’ve created beautiful, captivating, or funny ads.
Retargeting is a powerful tool that allows you to keep your brand in front of people who have already shown an interest in what you offer. With Instagram and the Facebook Ads Manager, that’s now easier than ever.
If you’re looking to retarget your website visitors on Instagram, one of the best ways to do it is by using Custom Audiences. This allows you to create an audience out of people who’ve already visited your website and target them with your ads on Instagram.
To set up a Custom Audience, all you need is a pixel from Facebook Ads Manager. Once you have your pixel, you can start creating your Custom Audience.
You can also go for engagement-based retargeting. This is a great way to reach people who have already engaged with your content on Instagram.
To do this, you can use the engagement data from your Insights tab to create a custom audience of people who have engaged with your content. From there, you can target these individuals with ads that are specifically designed for them.
6. Target Lookalike Audience
Last but not least are the lookalikes! This is not retargeting because you are reaching new people. But they’re not the ones you picked directly.
You might miss out on interesting target groups that are hard to define.
That’s where Lookalike Audiences come in. This allows you to find more people on Instagram similar to your best customers.
To create a Lookalike Audience, all you need is a Custom Audience. Once your Custom Audience is set up, you can start creating your Lookalike Audience.
And it’s scaleable! You can set up no less than 500 Lookalike Audiences from one single source audience. If you start testing these against one another, you have found a powerful tool for increasing conversion.
Ready to Launch your First Instagram Ad?
Remember that Instagram was born as a creative platform that allows people to connect, so have fun with it!
With these six tips mentioned above, you can successfully increase conversions with your Instagram Ads.
However, don’t stop there. Look at the Instagram ads that have worked on you, talk to other creatives, and you’ll be sure to make a great ad.
Frequently Asked Questions
🌟 How do I get more Instagram ad conversions?
There are several pieces to the puzzle: ensure you are targeting the right people, using high-quality visual content that is adjusted to your audience, and that the copy is convincing. Add influencers to the mix for higher conversions.
🌟 What is a good conversion rate for Instagram ads?
As a guideline, e-commerce businesses have an average conversion rate of 1.08% on Instagram. Try to aim for a number around that, but bear in mind it takes time and some testing to perfect your conversion numbers.
🌟 Why are my Instagram ads not converting?
One of the most common problems with poorly-converting Instagram ads is that the target audience isn’t right. Ensure you’ve selected the right people and that your ad is tailored to their needs.
🌟 What type of content works well for Instagram ads?
This totally depends on your brand and its values. The answer can be found within your target group. Find out whether they react best to stories, humor, behind-the-scenes, tutorials or UGC and mix their favorite types into your content strategy.