Create an Instagram Paid Ad Strategy

Lesson 4/8 - Instagram Ads Creative


Create an Instagram Paid Ad Strategy


Lesson Info

Instagram Ads Creative

A fair amount of your time will go into creative and that's why you wanna have the other goals and objectives defined because you need to have that person in mind, and you need to have the product in mind and so if you're just like, "I wanna run Instagram ads," and then you sit down and you're like, oh yeah, I haven't posted on my blog for six months. Well then putting money behind traffic to your blog seems a little silly, right now I need to get a content calendar going and post on my blog once a week for three months and then decent traffic ads, so you want to decide what type of Instagram ad you want to run, and there are four options, so there are photo ads, there are video ads, carousels and also ads in stories. And I'm gonna give specific examples of each type. We're gonna start with ads that are in the newsfeed and then talk about stories ads as well. All the creative options are a little bit different and I'm gonna say it over and over, it's all about testing, what performs be...

st, but these are your four options. So first, the creative that is available on newsfeed is photo, video or carousel content. You also have description text, right, as well as the action button, so I've already shown you guys this, but if you need a refresher, we have the photo, we have the action button and the description. And I would highly suggest having a Drive document, I love Drive, in Dropbox, in Word document, whatever, something that you can access online so if you have a brilliant idea. Outlining what each of your ads are going to be. I don't suggest simply working in the ads manager and having that be your archive of ads. First of all, we can't control if something happens, gets deleted by mistake and you don't have the brilliant work that you did. But also it's a good way to track the versions of your campaign and seeing what kind of tweaks you needed to make in order to have them perform the way that you want to, so I would suggest having a document that's meant for ideas and a document that's meant for published ads that you've done and maybe even keeping the results underneath it to see if it's something that you wanna use again. All right, so, on the newsfeed ads, photos can be square or landscape. You can crop directly inside of the ads manager, so if you want to adjust an ad to a square, it's easy, you don't have to do any web design. And the high quality visuals are hugely important because it's one image, right, it needs to make an impact, be clear, be direct and not need to have too much information, so, here's a photo ad that was sent to me while I was planning my wedding, how'd they know? Right, that's the point. So (chuckles), we have the image, it's a solo image, we have the action button and the description. The descriptions are short enough that it fits inside of, without a seam or text, we'll show you that in a little bit, but it is a useful ad that positions the product. It also, let's just do it, what can we learn from them, right (chuckles)? So it's a stylized display of multiple products with other relevant objects in it, right, so artifact uprising sells stationary and photo books and things like that. I bought our welcome book thingy from them, so it worked. And it has the image of, you made my day, and rings and flowers and so they don't sell rings as well, but that object is on theme, right? So it feels less like a product shot, it's more stylized. The call to action button also matches the offer. With shop now, you're asking me to go shopping, I'm cool with that, it's not like sign up or something. Also, the description opens with a question, tying the knot, well yes I am, so I should keep reading, right? Which I'll mention in a little bit about things to consider with descriptions but opening with a question that someone can say, "Yeah, actually I am," to keep them interested, or say, "No, I'm not that person," helps keep them connected with the rest of the text. Also something cool that they did was @ mention their brand so I'm actually gonna go back again. So see how they have their accounts @ mentioned inside of the description which came out as a live @ mention on the ad, and so when we talked a little bit earlier about making sure you have that Instagram account, first of all, the person could click up above there where it wouldn't have said save, it would have their icon and their account, but you could also click over to their account from that description, I thought that was really clever because even if you're not looking to go shop but you are interested in what the photo is, it points out to you again that you could come over and maybe they end up getting a follow, and maybe you eventually become that customer, but at least now they know that you're warmer to what they offer. All right so, that's a solo image and they do very well. Again, test which type of creative option works best for your audiences, but video ads are phenomenal and Facebook prefers video and organic stuff, that's where you end up getting the most reach, the most engagement. Our videos end up performing, I would say better on average overall than images, we always run every type. But if you want to do a video ad, they have to be 60 seconds or less to run on Instagram, so that limit doesn't exist on Facebook, but when we do ads and run them on both platforms, you wanna make sure that it matches this timing. Facebook actually recommends having it be like to 20 seconds and that's just attention span. If you can get your message out in that 15 seconds, then you're doing a great job. It's also those movie formats .mov or .mp4. And also remember to use captions when necessary, so if you are doing a video ad that has just a person talking to a camera, consider yourself, like who's phone is on silent all the time? Mine's always on silent and whenever I lose it I have no way to find it unless I do the little ping thing, you gotta login to iCloud and go find my phone, it makes the annoying noise. So if that's how you do it, then your user, your target audience has their phone on silent too and so if you were doing an ad that either doesn't have the product enough to represent what you're doing or doesn't have graphic annotations in it already that you've used to aid in what's happening, then turn on that caption thing and if you haven't done video ads before, Facebook actually has an option to generate captions for you and have you double-check it before you run your video ad. It's just a simple button that you press, takes up a couple minutes to generate and you can edit it right there, so you don't need any kind of fancy transcription service in order to do that. All right so this is a video ad. Can you guess what it's for? Shoes. Still haven't bought them yet, but their ads are so good that I feel like I need to. This is an ad from M.Gemi, they make shoes. They have awesome video ads just like this one. Let's do it one more time. But what's really cool is that they've integrated text inside of the ad, so you can do a bunch of different things with video ads to position a testimonial, to show off the product, to share information, to talk about the brand, so if you watch it one more time, we have a testimonial shared, we have a logo on the video at all time that'll help you with brand recognition. Another piece of text was revealed to show what type of shoe it is called. If they have 10 colors, they have a website that you can shop at. I got all this information from 15 seconds. So consider how you can use video to show off all those different things. But I think that we can learn a lot from them, so the colorful and unique way that they presented the video definitely catches the eye, right, so that's how everything is on Instagram. How can we present this visual in a way that makes you stop in your scroll, because that's really the first thing that is going to happen. They creatively used text and a testimonial inside of a video, which is awesome. They used the testimonial from a brand that me, as being the person it was being advertised to, I recognize and trust, Refinery29. And so consider that, if it's a testimonial from a customer that you've had, having it be a video of someone talking is really smart because then they can see the person's face, kinda like when you put testimonials on the website, I wanna see what that person looks like and if I can connect with them. They also have subtle but present branding, so they had their little logo and their type style on the video almost at all times. And the action button matched the shop now offer. Also we have that the description outlined benefits and next steps so let's go back there for one second. Hand crafted shoes in small batches in Italy, they tend to sell out. Here's $25 off your first pair. So again, the littlest amount of copy, there's no see more, I can read the entire description. But I'm able to see that they're handcrafted, they're special, they're Italian, like fancy, and they tend to sell out so maybe I need to buy a pair right now instead of having them sell out and I get a discount simply because I saw it on Instagram. So consider what benefits you can outline in the description that help aide your visual, and can you offer something to someone because they've seen this ad? We already know all this stuff. All right, so this is the second type of video ad that is very interesting. It's cut a little bit short, we just have two of the five slideshows that are normally in it. But you can see that it's a photo of a guy, this is Logan. He works at BlitzMetrics. And he looks very friendly and kind and the video shows him at a personal kind of space that actually, it then shows him playing drums and on stage and everything, all this information about this person that we don't even know. The description says meet Logal Young, cofounder at BlitzMetrics. Everything in digital marketing can be broken into checklists, get our checklist for free and start your new career in less than an hour. So very unique way of introducing someone who runs the company, create that familiarity, have someone see him as a normal person, and also give an offering, so I like him. He looks nice, maybe I do need his checklist. It's a short video of slideshows. So that's something to consider, like if you're scared to film something where you're talking or scared to develop something like the shoe thing that's obviously higher produced, those were photos just fading in and out of each other, that's an easy thing to put together that allows you to use video format on ads, which, videos are popular, and so it's also something to consider if you're looking to do organic video posts that then you later boost. Slideshows, things like that are smart. The description introduces a team member as well as the offer which humanizes the brand, and it also offers next steps. So we've been introduced to Logan, we like him, he does fun stuff, he has a cute dog, and I have a next step to grab a checklist, to learn about starting a new career. I think this is a unique way to build brand awareness. You might see some meet Morgan Sutton ads soon. (chuckles) So it's an interesting way to put a face to the brand name, especially if your brand has just a logo and isn't just a person, like (mumbles). But it's something to consider if you're looking at doing those video ads, introduce yourself. It also maybe something to use as a second step kinda thing, so maybe do it with warmer audiences, someone who's visited your website before, then they may stop to just learn more about you. All right so the third type of newsfeed ad is carousel ads. They're cropped as squares, so that's something that's important to consider. Right now carousel ads are squares that you scroll through. I'll show you one in a second. They can include 10 images or photos or a combination of both. Each carousel image can be hyperlinked individually, so each square has its own specific link, which is awesome. And also each carousel image can have that different description, so it's basically getting to do 10 ads all connected to each other and paying the same price for the ad. So it's a way to get out a lot more information in one post and you can do these organically as well. Also the single action of swiping through to learn more, you had the person commit to a process. So often when you're talking about conversion and landing pages, they, the digital marketing world says using buttons on a landing page means that the person has had to click and so now I'm physically committed to the process and I'm more likely to do the form. With this, the single action of swiping, I'm now kinda committed to learning more, I think I'm gonna swipe through this whole thing to really get the experience, so instead, someone could swipe by an individual image. Having someone swipe across to the carousel, they've now committed to that process. So this is a carousel ad done by Article. And you can notice that as you swipe through, it's a different product and the description changes. So each of those carousel images are individually linked. Pretty cool. So what can we learn from them? The use of high quality, native image makes it so it feels natural for it to be on Instagram. They also had multiple products featured but in the same scene, so as I scrolled, it all felt connected instead of if you see some ads about targeting where it's all different products that have been staged in different shoots, and it's not as connected and fluid. Also each image has a unique product mentioned in the description which is also hyperlinked. Carousels are often used to feature multiple products or could be used to feature the different benefits of one product, so you can see that this about a training series that we did, where there are different benefits of the training all in the swipe through of the carousel. Also, I thought it was important to point out that if your text, if there's too much text and they're an ad, that you do end up with the kinda see more thing. This is a little bit shorter than the average ad but remembering how much copy that you're gonna put in the description and make sure that when you preview it in the ad's manager that it has that visibility, right there. All right so in the descriptions, I would suggest doing about 125 characters for visibility. That has been the tested, the success of the number of characters. Consider that spacing for readability so if you are gonna give a lot of information, then maybe give the 125 characters and then enter down and it'll still have the see more, but at least your prominent sentence will be prominent. Links in the description of ads are not hyperlinked, so don't include them. And also use emojis because people use emojis on Instagram. You can start with a question or a declaration and give your juiciest selling points. Make sure that you're able to establish the benefits of what you're doing on the ad inside of that, and give them that next step, right, like we saw with the shoes. So creative on stories with photos or videos. This is the final type of ad. So they can be photos or videos, 15 seconds or less though. Not 60 seconds, it's full portrait, so you hold your phone vertically, if you've never seen an Instagram story before, it comes through in the swipe the same way a story does. And you can use emojis, text, and graphics as you normally would in a story because you want it to blend in with normal stories. The way that normal story flows, right. You have a call to action text, it's placed at the bottom like a swipe up. There are options for what your call to action can be just like how we can choose a call to action button. So this is actually-- Building retreat in Boston-- Stories ad that we did. Instagram primer training. An exclusive Facebook group-- If you don't know her. And a private study group. It's all free, just for my B school students. Join today before the doors close. So you can see on the left-hand side, I know I took this kinda silly screenshot, but I wanted you to see what it looks like when it's active, sponsored and with a action button at the end, but that was a quick 15 second stories ad that defined the benefits of what the product is, said where you have to go to learn more about it, and because it's done in a conversational nature, how you normally would do stories, this ad performed better than all of our other ads that were about finally retargeting for that event. So make sure that you use graphics in that story for emphasis, define the clear benefits for the customer, as we said, and give that explicit direction. Learn more by swiping up because that's the action that someone takes in stories. So how do newsfeeds and stories ad compare? So the content is consumed differently, so I would suggest doing both if you can, if you're comfortable and if you're doing both organically, because they allow you to be exposed to different Instagram users or there are people that tend toward stories more or people that scroll in the newsfeed more, then you can reach both types of people. Stories ads have been less expensive per action so far. I believe that will change as more people decide to do it but jump in right now because the cost for conversion has been on average lower, and stories ads reach higher frequency more quickly so because less advertisers are doing it, you're getting the reach through the full audience faster than if you're competing with other advertisers on the newsfeed. So just be aware of that and pay attention to how often someone's seeing it, which I'll point out those metrics. As I said, the moral of the story is testing absolutely everything to see what works best for you.

Class Description

Without a doubt, Instagram is an ideal platform to promote your brand, engage your audience and drive sales. While you can accomplish a lot from free and organic methods, utilizing Instagram’s paid ads can expand your efforts exponentially.

Morgan Sutton, director of operations at Sue B Zimmerman Enterprise, is well-versed in the fine art of creating effective and engaging ads for Instagram. She’ll walk you through the process of translating your specific business goals into a paid ad strategy that delivers traffic, leads and sales.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Research your ideal target audience.
  • Create ads within your Instagram app.
  • Come up with a unique ad style that yields results.
  • Analyze the effectiveness of your ads.
  • Ensure your ads are in keeping with your brand.


Joshua Proto

I had never looked at making an Instagram ad before this class, and now I can confidently say that I feel more than prepared for the task! Morgan demystified the process of setting up ads on this platform and showed us different styles of effective advertising from key brands. Very informative!