The Best Practices and Trends You Need To Follow in 2022 for Instagram Ads
For many businesses, advertising on Instagram can be a game-changer. As one of the most popular social networking sites in the world, Instagram offers new and established businesses alike an opportunity to connect with millions of potential customers on a daily basis.
These days, 1 in 2 people use Instagram to discover new brands and services — making it one of the most effective digital marketing tools out there. However, with so many opportunities to tap into audiences (via videos, photos, stories, reels or IGTV) plus various ad formats to choose from (single image ads, carousel ads or stories), advertising on this social media site can feel downright overwhelming. That’s where we come in!
In this guide, you will find tips on how you can make the most out of your digital marketing efforts by implementing some tried-and-tested strategies along with some newer ones while taking advantage of all that Instagram has to offer in 2022.
An overview of Instagram’s Advertising landscape
Instagram is one of the most popular social networks in the world. It was launched in October 2010 as an app just for sharing photos with friends and family, but with the growth of its unique features, it has become a great marketing tool for businesses.
By 2022, Instagram has over one billion monthly active users, many of them young adults who are the prime target for luxury brands.
Instagram is here to stay and it’s gaining momentum as a powerful digital marketing channel. From stories to reels, today we have a lot of ground to cover!
Here are some interesting facts about Instagram that you should consider before you get started with your ads on the platform:
Is Facebook making any changes that affect advertising on Instagram?
Yes, Facebook is making some changes to its advertising platform that will affect Instagram. Firstly, in order to run Ads your business needs to be set up with a Facebook Page and a Facebook Ads account.
From 11th April 2022, Facebook and Instagram will begin rolling out a new Ad Topic control which will replace both the Interest Category and Ad Topics controls. This new control will allow users to set preferences across ad topics that reflect the possible interests targeting categories advertisers may use to reach them, while also allowing them to view content they might see in an ad.
The good news is that these changes will make it easier for you to run ads. With Meta Advantage Automation Ad Suite, you can conduct your advertising on both Facebook and Instagram at the lowest cost.
Although being active on Instagram is crucial for growth, since you are required to have a Facebook page, the platform doesn’t require an Instagram account to advertise.
Additionally, it’s not required to create content specifically for Instagram because the Automatic Placements identify the most effective platforms for each ad within a set, and distributes them across six different platforms to optimise performance and reduce costs.
Instagram has been a go-to platform for businesses who want to reach their target market through ads. That’s because, in addition to the targeting options that Facebook provides, Instagram offers several ad formats that are effective at engaging people with all kinds of content.
In short, these changes mean big things for you as an advertiser:
While the way you run ads on Instagram hasn’t changed, these changes will definitely affect your ad performance—in a good way!
Reasons why you should advertise on Instagram
If you’re looking to increase brand awareness, build trust, and grow your community of loyal customers, this is the platform for you. There are a lot of reasons why you should advertise on Instagram, but here are a few:
It’s no longer enough to buy ad space in a magazine or on television. Audiences have become sceptical of traditional advertising, and so it can be difficult for brands to build trust and loyalty with these methods.
Influencer marketing has become a powerful tool for businesses in recent years. More and more, brands are turning to influencers rather than traditional media to reach their target audiences. When an influencer endorses a product, it’s viewed as an honest recommendation from a peer rather than an advertisement from a large corporation.
Almost 90% of marketers believe Instagram is the best place for influencer marketing. Don’t be afraid to work with micro-influencers — people who have smaller but more dedicated audiences than the top mega-influencers.
This means brands can choose between working with fewer mega-influencers for a short-term reach boost or working with a greater number of micro-influencers to build long-term relationships and brand recognition. However, all of them have to disclose that their posts are sponsored or include affiliate links.
Users can tell stories through photos, videos, Reels and Stories in 60 seconds or less, with features like filters, hashtags and location tags to help them connect with their followers in a more meaningful way.
Instagram is a visual-first platform. As soon as you log in, your feed is full of images and videos. We live in a highly visual world where people want to see what’s going on. So if you’re looking for a way to get your brand in front of people who are already interested in seeing photos, this is your place.
Whether you have an event to promote, or even just want to celebrate your followers, you can do so by taking and sharing pictures. If the pictures are high quality and the copy is engaging, you’ll likely see an increase in engagement.
Take advantage of Instagram’s Carousel Post feature, which allows you to post up to 10 images or videos in a single post for your feed. A great way to instantly get people interested in your carousel ads is by adding an interactive element such as polls or quizzes. Although they don’t make up much of Instagram’s content, they have the highest engagement rate, so don’t fall behind on this!
Instagram Ads use Facebook’s powerful targeting capabilities. This allows businesses to create personalized ads that can reach their target audience specifically. Ideally, you want to reach about 500,000 users.
You can filter using the Engagement Custom Audiences feature to reach those who have liked your page or shown direct interest by interacting with your brand.
Use the Lookalike Audiences tool to broaden your range with people who are likely to be interested in your business.
Website Custome Audiences help you reach users who have visited your website.
Take advantage of location targeting to show up on the feeds that are within your business’ radius or shipping areas.
These features, along with Instagram’s user intent – 60% use Instagram as a search engine to learn about products and services – make Instagram an ideal platform to advertise your business.
The Instagram Ads strategies that we recommend using in 2022
Optimising your reach and budget to get the most out of Instagram Ads is key to a successful social media marketing strategy. To really optimise your reach and budget, you should follow these Instagram Ads strategies for 2022:
Use a Funnel Strategy
If you have a product or service to sell, chances are that you have been looking for the best way to promote it. The thing is, it’s important to build trust with your audience before you start pushing sales on them. Using a funnel strategy will eventually move them towards conversion.
A great way to do this is to create content that showcases your brand, your knowledge and/or experience. We recommend creating a fun Reel that resonates with your target audience but doesn’t try to sell anything to them.
This form of marketing will keep those who are likely to convert later on, and those who aren’t interested will continue scrolling. Focus on those who stayed, and build trust by providing information that could be of value to them.
Consider your ideal buyer persona and work around advice, quick tips, and solutions to problems they might be experiencing to create content that they will engage with.
For example, if you own a clothing boutique, why not create a Reel showing outfits you would wear to a concert?
If you’re an interior designer, you could talk about common mistakes people make when decorating small spaces.
This way, you’re giving your audience inspiration, but you’re not directly selling to them.
Create several of these level 1 type Ads, but monitor them closely to see which ones are working the best, then turn off the ones that aren’t so you can stay in control of your budget.
Level 2 would be to create another Reel style Ad with a lead magnet. People LOVE free products and services. Offer a free discovery call or a free PDF document with valuable information. The possibilities are endless here, but make it too good to say no to!
For this step, you’ll want to make sure you use the Engagement Custom Audiences feature we mentioned above to ensure this content reaches those who watched at least three seconds of your level 1 Ad.
Now, you’ve got users who trust you – it’s time to get really creative! Build a community around your product and service. Redirect your audience to your other social media platforms and make sure you are constantly interacting with them. Sales will go up on their own.
Create a Content Calendar
Your Instagram goals should align with your business goals and social media strategy. This is the first step of your Instagram marketing plan, as you need to define what you want to achieve before you can start using Instagram for business.
To make sure you stay on track, you should create a content calendar. We recommend using HootSuite’s customizable template, but you should find one that works the best for you!
Make sure to include all the important dates for your target audience, assign different themes for each day of the week, and plan out your posts some time in advance.
Grab Attention with a Bright Colour
Use bright colours in your ad to make them stand out from the rest of the stories that are being viewed. The story will only display for 5 seconds before it disappears so you need to grab their attention straight away!
Keep the Content Short and Simple
The shorter your Instagram Stories ad, the better. When creating an ad, you only have one shot to get that user interested in what you’re offering so don’t waste it by rambling on! Instead, keep things short and sweet while still providing all relevant information needed.
Encourage User-generated content
Instagram’s whole premise is based on people sharing their own lives in the form of selfies and photos of their food, pets, hobbies and so on. This makes it more relatable than other platforms and gives you access to a wider range of content that you can interact with.
It’s become a way of life for many people, so they take pride in sharing their lives on this platform. This means that if your business can tap into the power of user-generated content by encouraging customers to post photos using their products and tagging the brand, the results could be huge.
For example, if you’re in the retail business and someone posts a photo of themselves wearing your clothing, that’s a great testament to how good your product is. When other followers see this, they might be more inclined to buy from you because they see someone who isn’t affiliated with your brand recommending it.
Trend Predictions for Instagram Ads in 2022
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Instagram’s the new book. With the introduction of revolutionary features like stories and live video, Instagram has witnessed incredible growth in the past couple of years. And that’s why it’s important for you to know what lies ahead for Instagram in 2022.
The rise of Reels
What are Reels, you ask? This is basically Instagram’s version of TikTok. It’s a new-ish feature –launched in 2020– that allows users to create short videos and edit them with effects, augmented reality (AR) filters, music and text.
The videos can be up to 30 seconds long and are very popular on Instagram’s explore page.
You can use Reels Ads to reach a wider audience, as they appear in between individual Reels.
Users can also shop through Reels, which is a totally new shopping experience. This feature allows brands to tag up to five products per post from their product catalogue as stickers or interactive tags within Stories and Reels. Users can then tap on the interactive tags and stickers and go directly to the brand’s website for purchase.
Post free content about your brand that doesn’t have a direct sales pitch attached to it. It can provide valuable insight into the inner workings of your brand’s culture, as well as promote trust in users who are exposed to them.
Since they are not directly connecting a purchase with the product being posted, Instagram users do not feel pressured into making a buying decision right away like they would when seeing a typical ad banner or ad campaign post that is usually accompanied by a call-to-action button leading them straight towards buying something from your store.
The idea behind organic posts is simple: keep people coming back without having to push any of your products onto them constantly! This way you build relationships instead of just making sales pitches in every post – think about how much better it would feel if someone were genuinely interested because they got something out of reading what you wrote instead of just trying their hardest not to fall asleep while scrolling through all those boring ads before hitting “ignore” later on down their feed?
Instagram Stories are still a must
Consider all of the ways that you’ve been interacting with Instagram in recent months. How do you typically engage with the platform? As a consumer, and as a brand, what type of content is most appealing to you? You may have noticed that the number of stories on your feed has skyrocketed. You probably interact more with those than any other type of post.
How did this happen? Stories are dynamic and constantly updated, meaning they appear at the top of your feed every day. The more stories a user publishes, the more likely they are to appear first in your feed. This leads to higher engagement rates because there’s constant content being shared and it also means users are interacting more frequently with accounts they follow who have interesting stories.
“Add Yours” collaborative stickers
These labels allow brands to create interactive content where users can add their own images or text to it. This type of content makes people feel like they’re part of something bigger and can increase engagement significantly.
Some brands use these stickers as a way for followers to create their own content and share it with other users. If you have a new product, service, or anything else that you want to promote on Instagram, this is a great way to do it. You can create a sticker that asks users to share their own picture of themselves using your product or service and post it on their story.
Contests and giveaways
One popular trend on Instagram is to create contests or giveaways. This can make your ads stand out from others, and it can boost engagement with your ads. The prizes can be anything from gift cards to e-books to actual products.
You can ask users to post a photo with your product or use a specific hashtag and then pick a winner.
If you want to take this up a notch, you can use an app like Woobox or Wishpond to make the contest more interactive. For example, you could make it so that users have to like your page, follow your page, and upload an image with your product in order to enter the contest. You will get new followers this way, but you’ll also have human-curated content that shows your product being used by real people (which has been shown to sell products).
You should also make sure that you are clearly promoting the contest on all of your social media accounts as well as on your website or blog.
Instagram Video Ads Checklist
Video ads are probably the best ad format for engagement boosting – they’re highly shareable and get people talking! Whether it’s a Reel, a Story, or any AD in video format, use them to build hype around your brand by creating a buzz around your product launches or industry events. It’s also worth testing them out if you’re looking to drive conversions or website traffic. Depending on how well it performs, it could be worth expanding your use of video in future campaigns.
Use this checklist to make sure you’re ticking off the essential components of a great video ad!
- Keep it brief (30 seconds or less)
- Use text and motion graphics sparingly
- Place the most important information at the beginning
- Create a clear CTA, but don’t end with just a logo or product photo
- Make it shareable on Stories
This checklist will become bigger as the platform expands on current functionality and welcomes new features. These are the most important things to focus on at this point but we expect in due time that there will be more to include on this innovative advertising platform. However, these factors alone will lay a good foundation for you to make an impact with your Instagram Video Ads.
How to know if your Instagram Ads are successful?
Everyone on Instagram is a creator, and their content is competing for the same eyeballs as yours. To get ahead, you should first establish some KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure your ad performance.
You can do this by setting up a baseline of how many likes/comments/saves you typically get on your posts. In other words, what is your content’s normal level of engagement when it’s not boosted or advertised? If you don’t boost or advertise at all, that’s okay! You can look back on your past few months of posts and take an average for each metric. Once you have these averages established you can set your benchmark values.
If the boosted post performs better, you should continue to track the performance of any boosted or advertised post. If your numbers are better than the average amount of engagement you received on a regular post during that time period, congrats! Your boosted Instagram Ad has been successful. Keep going in that direction with similar ads until it stops performing as well, then try new ones!
In the end, it’s really just about following the best practices and trends in place, as well as being open to new possibilities. You may find that Instagram works for you better than any other platform.
With that being said, there’s no one magic formula you can follow to promote your online business. Every situation is different and thus requires a different approach.
If it all seems like a little too much work (because it is!) consider hiring experts. Our Instagram marketing service includes everything from content creation to campaign management and we handle everything in-house. Get in touch!