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The Ultimate Instagram Ad Cheat Sheet for Businesses [Infographic]

By Rachel Palmateer

The Ultimate Instagram Ad Cheat Sheet for Businesses [Infographic]

For most people, hearing Instagram mentioned brings to mind swan-shaped pool floats, young ladies practicing their duck face selfies, post-workout arms shining in gym mirrors, or beautiful, highly edited landscape photos. 

If you’re a marketer and that’s where your mind goes, we need to work on recalibrating that reflex. 

Instagram for marketers means opportunity through creativity. 

The platform has come a long way from its simple photo-sharing origins and has been built for businesses to use as a powerful advertising platform. 

And getting started doesn’t have to be a scary endeavor. 


Types of Instagram ads

Instagram offers a handful of ad types, which makes it easy to find the right application for your business or offer. 

There are photo ads, video ads, stories ads, carousel ads, and collection ads. 

The ads are subtly placed within the user experience, to allow businesses to get in front of new and interested audiences with limited disruption for the end user. 

Each ad type has a selection of call-to-action options, allowing you to carefully craft and optimize your ads for your audience. 

To help you get started, or enhance your Instagram ad strategy, here are a few tried and true tips from Later, a marketing platform specifically focused on Instagram.


Tips for Instagram Stories ads

When creating a Stories ad, keep in mind that it will likely be interrupting the user’s flow of content from other users and brands that they have chosen to follow. 

This means that you have very little time to engage users before they tap away from your ad. 

Your content should be short, easy to absorb quickly, and in-line with your brand’s Instagram aesthetic.

Instagram Stories ads actually do better without overly-produced content. 

Later found that “when ads feel overproduced or overly animated, a user’s immediate reaction will be to swipe away and move on to the next account’s post.”


Tips for Instagram video ads

“To be successful and grow your business and revenues, you must match the way you market your products with the way your prospects learn about and shop for your products.” - Brian Halligan (via Vidyard)

We are living in a highly visual world and Instagram is a strong driver in the integration of visual media into the everyday human experience. 

Your video ads need to interest the user within the first three seconds or they’re onto the next piece of content. 

This seems like an unbelievably short amount of time, but hop on the platform and give it a try. Every second counts.

A key component when working to keep the user interested in your ad is to ensure that the formatting is optimized for the platform. 

For instance, while it may be tempting to recycle video content shot for YouTube or your website, Instagram video ads require specific dimensions. Check out the cheat sheet infographic at the end of this post for the ideal dimensions to use. 

Another great recommendation comes from our friends at WordStream: stay solution-oriented. And we 100% agree.

Your product is solving a problem for your customer. Your video ads are uniquely able to show your prospects that you understand their pain and you’re ready with a solution. 

This is right out of the They Ask, You Answer playbook. Check out what we call “The Big 5” and see how you can integrate that content into your video ads.


Tips for Instagram carousel ads

Carousel ads allow multiple images to be included in one ad, with the option for each image to have a different caption or link to a different landing page. 

This ad type is an excellent opportunity to show off how your product works. 

Are there common questions that you receive around how the product works? Can you get ahead of those questions by using a carousel ad to answer prospects before they ask?

Though this is not a story ad, you can still tell a story with the frames of your carousel ad. 

Just be sure that you’re following the proper formatting and consider creating content specifically for the carousel ads, rather than recycling existing photos and ads created for another purpose. 


Cheat sheet for all Instagram ad types

Now that you’ve got the basics down, be sure to bookmark the following infographic from Later’s Ultimate Guide to Instagram Advertising and reference it when planning content for your Instagram ads. 

As always, give us a shout if you get stuck along the way!


Free Assessment:

How does your inbound marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.


Social Media Marketing
Instagram Marketing
Published on September 15, 2019

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