How to generate serious sales with Instagram Ads

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How to generate serious sales with Instagram Ads

Instagram ads are the latest millionaire makers.

Instagram has taken the photo-sharing, social media community by storm.

Since launching in 2010 and becoming acquired by Facebook in 2012, Instagram has experienced explosive growth and incredible worldwide popularity with 80% of users living outside the US.

While most Instagram users are between 18-29 years old, 6 in 10 adults who are online have Instagram accounts, with some users operating multiple profiles.

An astonishing sales growth platform, eMarketer projects that Instagram’s global mobile ad revenues will reach $2.81 billion this year, and they show no sign of slowing down.

Make sales on instagram

Instagram posts have proven to achieve 1.08% conversion rate. Even though it’s lower than Facebook (1.85%) it still surpasses Twitter (0.77%) or Pinterest (0.54%).

Instagram Stats for Ecommerce:

As of March 2017, there were 15 million registered business profiles on Instagram, and 1 million monthly advertisers. 

B2C marketers are significantly more likely (6%) to increase Instagram activities than B2B marketers (48%)

An incredible 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post. In March 2017, this number was over 120 million Instagrammers!

It’s astonishing to think how many e-commerce businesses are leaving money on the table by overlooking Instagram or putting this platform in the too hard basket. Smaller lean startups have taken advantage of their early adopter status and leveraged Instagram to build massive followings and the product sales and loyalty to go with it.

Instagram advertising has never been more friendly or easier to work with than now.

How to setup Ads

There are 2 ways to set up ads. The first one is like setting up any Facebook campaign and choosing the platform as Instagram.

set up instagram ads

The second one is by using Power Editor.

set up instagram ads


Targeting options: Most Facebook ad targeting options are also available for Instagram ads. These include location, demographics, interests, actions and more.

With Instagram ads, you set your target audience preferences in the same way as you do for Facebook ads.

Considering the Instagram is all about interacting with accounts and topics you love, targeting on this platform is incredibly simple to reach the perfect audience.

By referring back to your original customer profile, who you designed your product offering for, you’ll be able to build out a targeting profile that matches your ideal customer.

Some of the popular targeting options for Ecommerce businesses can be:

Demographic targeting: This includes age, gender, sexual orientation and location targeting

Interest targeting: Target people based on their interests in your industry and products. For example you can assume that people interested in buying your Yoga mats would also have an interest in health and wellness, fitness and quite possibly in vegetarian or vegan foods.

Generation targeting: This is particularly important if you’ve identified your target market based on a stage of life.

target instagram ads


Occupational targeting: Occupational targeting can intersect with generational targeting when you consider the age at which people generally reach certain levels of seniority in their roles. For example, if you’re attempting to market to people in their mid to late 30’s, people who have mid to senior level jobs should be targeted

Purchase habits: Numerous targeting options are available but this one is particularly important for e commerce advertisements and products that have a high consumable rate.

target instagram ads


Competitor targeting: If you’ve clearly identified your competitors, this can be one of the fastest ways to hit your target market. You can target your competitor (in this case another ecomm store) by adding their Facebook account as interest targeting.

targeted instagram ads

Best bidding strategy: When you bid on link clicks with Instagram advertising, it’s like with Facebook advertising: you pay each time someone clicks on the part of your ad that sends them to your website or your app (as opposed to engagement clicks like likes or shares). The Facebook ad platform optimizes ads to show them to people most likely to click on your ad in this manner.

By bidding on link clicks, you’re playing the long game. You’re reaching people further up the funnel and getting clicks, but your real power is in retargeting these users later.


If you are looking for Brand Awareness as your goal then the best strategy would be CPM, as you’ll only have to pay when a certain amount of people saw your ad.

If your goal is to send people to your website then you should use CPC.

For goals like app installs or buying certain product, CPA is the best strategy

Broadly, you can divide the goals into two categories as awareness and conversions. For awareness only CPM is the best practice whereas for conversions both CPC and CPA can be good.

If you leave everything to Facebook it will use oCPM as the bidding strategy. By default Facebook will choose oCPM for all your campaigns. oCPM is a bid type which helps you automatically optimize for your goal.

You could see it as an auto pilot combination of CPC and CPM with Facebook trying to find the people most likely to show the desired behavior.

The disadvantages of oCPM model is it works best for large audience so if you are new to Instagram advertising this might not be the strategy for you.


Best Practices For Instagram

  • Create ads that are relevant to your target audience
  • Use high-quality images


best instagram ad images


  • Use First / Tester Campaigns to Learn How Your Audience Ticks

Unless you’ve been actively marketing your business on Instagram for a long time, you probably don’t know much about your audience’s preferences on the network yet.

You can’t tell which images may excite them, which calls to action would activate them and which messages they’re most likely to share, like and respond to. So use a couple of small campaigns first to learn more about your users.


  • Split Test Different Ad Visuals

test instagram ads

Source: techcrunch


  • Use Clear Images with a Strong Focal Point

instagram ads baby


  • Showcase People in Real-life Situations

Creating your images around people in real-life situations enables the viewer to relate better to the content that they see. Often times by showing your products or services in a variety of real situations and applications, you can enable your audience to think more creatively about how they can use them in their own lives.

  • Include User Generated Content in Ads

 In Australia, the beverage brand Fanta took their billboard advertising to another level by building a small photo printer into one of their billboard advertisements. The ad instructed passersby to take a selfie and publish their content to Instagram. After participants published their images and used the hashtag, #FantaTastesLike, they were rewarded with a printed and branded copy of their photo to take with them.

user instagram ads

User-generated content (UGC) is a form of content that was created by users of a system or platform, not a brand behind it.


  • Use Call to Action Buttons to Achieve Specific Goal

Similar to Facebook, Instagram allows you to add a prominent call to action to your ad, helping you achieve specific marketing goals.

Currently, the social network gives you an option of four calls to action:

“Shop Now” – great for the impulse buy or mid-priced consumable product.

“Install Now” – perfect for plugins, software or Apps

“Sign up” – this is the email list builder favourite.

“Learn More” – ideal for products that require research and a longer buying cycle, as well as for events and interactive content.

instagram ads call to action

Source: stateofdigital

  • Use Lookalike Audiences to Engage New Followers

You can also use Instagram Ads to find new potential followers based on your current customers’ profiles. With Lookalike Audience you can find Instagram users who match your best clients’ profiles and display ads and introduce them your brand story.

The visual nature of Instagram encourages an emotional response to your content, and if well-crafted, can have significant results for your ecommerce campaigns. Used in conjunction with a strategically designed landing page or conversion optimised website, Instagram has the ability to turn strangers into customers and customers into fans.

If you’re ready to leapfrog the competition and grab the opportunity that many of your competitors are missing, simply contact us for a FREE DIGITAL AUDIT.

Some of our recent results.

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