How Can You Create an Instagram Ad That Drives More Sales?

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As you probably know, Instagram ads are now open to everyone! Yahoo! Until recently, Instagram ads were only available to big brands with big budgets; however, they are now open to ALL business owners on a self-serve basis (just like Facebook and Twitter ads). If you missed this development, I recently wrote about it here. While the fact that Instagram ads are now available to everyone is great, you may be asking yourself “How Can I Create an Instagram Ad That Drives More SALES?”, right? If so, keep reading…

1. Make sure your Instagram ad is consistent with your current voice and branding.

Before you even start creating your ad, it’s important to have a clear idea of how your business presents itself on the platform. What colors, images and voice do you currently use? Make sure your ad has the same look and feel so users know what to expect when they click on your ad.

2. Choose what you want your ad to accomplish.

Instagram currently lets you choose from 4 objectives:

  • Clicks to website
  • Video views
  • Mobile app installs
  • Mass awareness



Because your goal here is sales – as opposed to brand awareness or views – you’ll want to select ‘Clicks to website’ or ‘Mobile app installs’ (if you’re in the app business). You can further select which format you’d like for your ad. You have three options: image, video or carousel.

Image ads are pretty much self-explanatory. Video ads can be up to 30 seconds in length, and carousel ads display a series of images. Each of these formats can be effective for driving sales, so it’s really up to you which one you choose.

Image: Ideal if you’re promoting single product. Use the best practices outlined in #5 below.

Video: Offering a short tutorial or product demo can be a great way to provide value and promote your product at the same time.

Carousel: This can be the ideal format if you’re promoting multiple products, or if you want to showcase various aspects or angles of a single product.

3. Use audience targeting to choose your ideal customer.

Who your ad gets shown to can have a huge impact on your conversion rates. Instagram provides a number of targeting options, including location, age, gender and language.

If you’ve already created customer avatar* you’re ahead of the game. Use your customer avatar to pinpoint a specific group of users who will be most likely to buy your product.

*If you’re not familiar with customer avatar , they are simply fictitious people who represent your ideal customer or client. You can use personas to inform all aspects of your marketing content and strategy. We have an entire mini-course on identifying who your customer avatar is in our Social Selling Inner Circle.

4. Create a dedicated landing page on your site.

As with any type of ad, I highly recommend creating a dedicated landing page to direct your visitors to. This page will have the important job of grabbing your visitors’ interest (your headline and images are key here), getting them to keep reading (make sure your opening paragraph acts as a ‘hook’), and ultimately enticing them to buy (offering social proof, countering common objections and providing a money back guarantee are all best practices here).


5. Use an eye-catching image.

The image you choose for any kind of ad is important, however it’s even more critical on a visual-centric platform like Instagram. Some best practices for ad images include:

  • Use bright, contrasting colors that stand out from the platform’s background
  • Use close-up images of people’s faces. Pictures of happy, smiling women are always a good bet!
  • Use text overlay to add more text to your images. While Instagram currently hasn’t placed a limit on how much text you can use in your images, make sure you don’t overdo it and clutter up your ad!


6. Use a strong call to action on your ad and landing page.

Your ad and landing page copy should each have one (and only one) clear call to action (CTA). What do you want users to do? Your ad will likely ask them to “Click the link” to be taken to your dedicated landing page, while your landing page copy will ask them to “Buy now”, “Download now”, etc.


7. Don't forget hashtags!

Remember, buyers do search by hashtag on Instagram :-)! In order to give your ads more punch, use targeted hashtags that would apply to your business or would be ones that people would search for in relation to what you are advertising. If you need to know how to find great hashtags, check out this article, “How To Find Great Hashtags To Market Your Business.

The strategies for creating Instagram ads that drive sales aren’t that different than for ads on other platforms. However, given Instagram’s visual-centric nature, I’d highly recommend testing a variety of images for your ad to see which ones perform best among a sea of other images!

Hopefully now you have the answer to the question “How Can I Create an Instagram Ad That Drives More SALES?”! Have YOU already tried out Instagram ads? What tips or tricks have you figured out for using them to drive sales? Share below!

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Lee Milnes
Lee Milnes
8 years ago

Really useful!!! Been looking at an overall strategy so will be simplifying things.

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