With more than 1 billion active users, Instagram is easily one of the most popular social media sites around today, coming close to Facebook and beating Twitter. Instagram is one of the best places to market your product or service too. More than 60% of Instagram users use the platform to learn more before they make a purchase, and in 2016 the platform hit 500,000 advertisers.

Clearly, Instagram Ads can be wildly effective for brands and is quickly becoming one of the best places to advertise online. You already know that, which is why you’re using it, and even reading about how you can improve. But, are you curious about what you don’t know that may help you use Instagram Ads more effectively? Let’s take a look at 9 things that you may not have known about Instagram Ads that can make a world of difference for your ad campaign.

Don’t use text in your ad photos

You may be tempted to include interesting text or a call to action in the photos you use in your Instagram ad, but don’t do it. Since Instagram is primarily a visual social media platform, including text in your photos will have the opposite effect you want — less engagement and click-throughs. On Instagram, you don’t want to stick out too much. Blending in, especially in this area where your audience is accustomed to a certain way of consuming content.

Bright, vivid photos and videos work better

Instagram users are drawn to stunning visuals, as opposed to ones that are low resolution. Invest in high-quality pictures, as well as 4k videos for any videos that you’ll be using. The easiest way to do this is by hiring a good photographer, videographer as well as an exceptional editor. By developing a unique way of editing and using high-quality pictures and videos, you can also strengthen your brand’s presence online.

You can promote your posts on mobile

With the Facebook Ad Manager that you access on your desktop, you can only create new posts to use as Instagram ads. However, by accessing your business Instagram account from your mobile phone, you get the ability to turn posts you’ve already created into ads. What makes this feature so great? You can turn an already popular post on your account, into an even more popular ad that drives engagement and sales. Boosting existing posts also costs a little bit less than creating an Instagram ad, with more reach, so you’ll be saving on your ad budget as well.


Your FB Ad Manager can help you save money

A nifty feature of FB Ad Manager — the dashboard that also controls your Instagram ads — is the fact that you can compare the cost per click of each ad that you create on Instagram. This feature gives you the opportunity to get the most bang for your buck, and actually end up saving on your ad campaigns. By analyzing your lowest-priced but best performing Instagram ad, you can emulate and replicate that success for future campaigns.

Story ads are a great way to ramp up engagement

Because of the organic placement of story ads, they are a much better alternative to typical Instagram ad posts. With story ads, you can use multiple stories in a single ad, each with a different link for the call to action. This is an effective way to get more from Instagram ads. Story ads are also priced competitively, so using this method can save you some money as well.


Lookalike audiences can get your better results with less ad spend

Do you already have a customer list who love your product or service, but don’t know where to find similar people online? You’ve got a solution to that with Instagram ads! By creating a lookalike audience for your ad campaign, you can lower your ad spend by more than 20%. How do you do this? By uploading your database of client emails, Instagram will create a similar audience based on the characteristics of the one you uploaded.

User-generated content works great in ads

Instagram users love content that’s easy to relate to. What better way to create ads that seem easy to relate to, than by using content created by diehard fans of your brand? As part of your social media strategy, you should encourage users of your product or service to post pictures promoting your product on their social media pages. You can then repurpose this content for your Instagram ads, creating an instant connection with your target audience.

Simple ads work better than ones with multiple CTAs

Except in the case of targeted Instagram story ads, it’s best to limit the CTAs in your Instagram ads to only one. This also includes the copy that you use in your ads. The copy should be clear, easy to understand, and lead the reader to only one specific action. Working with your social media coordinator to get clear on the purpose of each Instagram ad you create will help to simplify this process.

Spend more of your budget on re-marketing

Instead of focusing on getting new visitors to your website, or buyers for your product or service you can use Instagram ads to get more out of every dollar you spend. By setting up your Instagram pixel tracking on your website, you get access to a new suite of ways to use Instagram ads. One of those ways is re-marketing or re-targeting. With this feature, you can specifically target people who have visited a certain page on your website or clicked a certain link. By showing your Instagram ads to these people, who have already demonstrated an interest in your product or service, you’ll save tons on your ad spend while still profiting from each ad campaign.

With these 9 tips in mind, you can start using Instagram ads in a way that will benefit your brand, and achieve better results with less ad spend.


Get Familiar with Building Instagram Ads for your Retail Business

If you’re looking to Build a successful Instagram Ad strategy for your retail business we have a few tips to help you get started. To see how you can use Instagram ads for your retail business, check out our pillar page on how to Build a successful Instagram ad strategy for your retail business.