Though Facebook may still have more total users than any other online platform, there’s no denying that Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most powerful and influential social media networks out there thanks to its engaging method of presenting photos and videos.
This trend isn’t going to change anytime soon …
According to data from the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of U.S. teens say they use Instagram, compared to only about 51 percent who use Facebook. If your brand plans on targeting Millennials and Generation Z, it’s clear that Instagram is where you’ll find your audience.
It’s also worth noting the changes that Instagram ads have undergone over the years, with video now more fully integrated into the advertising experience than ever. There’s good reason for the rise of Instagram video ads — according to the social media company’s own numbers, video viewing time increased by 80 percent between 2016 and 2017 alone.
Needless to say, if you want to reach a younger, highly-engaged audience, Instagram video ads are a great marketing tool — here are some advertising guidelines that I’ve found to be most effective in delivering a strong ROI for your brand:
Utilize Different Video Ad Options
A basic Instagram video ad is a great starting point, but it’s far from the only option available. Depending on your campaign goals or the type of story you wish to tell, other video advertising options will likely prove even more effective.
For example, you can use a video carousel ad so that users can swipe through a series of videos that have been shared as part of a single post. This is a great way to highlight multiple products that are currently on sale or provide a helpful “how-to” ad featuring a tutorial for one of your products or services.
For limited-time offers or special sales, a Stories ad or Canvas ad could be even more effective. Stories ads are visible for 24 hours, after which they disappear, making them a great way to create a sense of urgency for a special promotion. These full-screen video ads also make it easy to get customers to your site by swiping up — no call to action button needed.
Story ads have been found to be especially effective at generating a high clickthrough rate thanks to their more immersive approach and the sense of urgency created by their fleeting nature.
Capture Users’ Attention In the First Seconds
When I scroll through my own Instagram feed, most posts will have only a few moments to capture my attention — and the same is true of your customers. This makes the initial seconds of your video ad of the utmost importance.
So what can you do to increase your chance of hooking your viewers? It helps to keep content from looking like an ad. If a video ad looks more like the relevant content that users engage with on an everyday basis, they will be more likely to watch.
You also need to make sure that viewers can immediately recognize that your ad is a video — otherwise, they’ll keep scrolling. Even a tiny hint of movement in the first seconds of your ad will be enough to signal that your content isn’t a photo. Following that initial movement with engaging, relevant ad content that stays focused on a single product, idea, or call to action will keep viewers watching until the end.
Finally, you can’t ignore some of the unique aspects of posting a video to Instagram. Videos that appear in a standard Instagram feed use a 1:1 square ratio. Stories, on the other hand, utilize full-screen vertical video. Filming with the proper aspect ratio in mind will streamline the editing process and help you create more visually striking content that immediately captures a viewer’s attention.
Unleash the Power of Captions
Video has long been viewed as an experience that combines both audio and moving images. But for someone browsing through their Instagram feed on their smartphone, the audio portion is often neglected.
The average person doesn’t want sound to suddenly blast out of their phone because they scrolled past an ad, and as a result, Instagram ad settings require that users physically tap on their screen to start playing sound.
If you’re like me, you’ll often be scrolling through your Instagram feed in a public place where you don’t want to play sound. Using captions in the video itself is a great way to ensure that your message doesn’t get lost.
This doesn’t mean that you have to create word-for-word captions for the entire video. Many brands find success by overlaying key pieces of text over certain parts of the ad, or by alternating between text-only images and normal video. The key is that you should still be able to effectively communicate your message without sound. Don’t forget about adding a compelling caption that incorporates your call to action below the video!
Create a Mobile-Friendly Landing Page
A great Instagram video ad isn’t enough on its own …
It needs to be paired with an equally engaging landing page. You don’t want customers to click through to your site after viewing your video, only to click away moments later because the page isn’t optimized for mobile users or because the content appears irrelevant.
You can get around this hurdle by using responsive web design, but this isn’t the only step in creating an attractive landing page for Instagram leads. In my experience, someone coming from Instagram probably isn’t going to want to read through huge blocks of text — they’re going to bring that same “scrolling” mentality from when they first stumbled upon your ad.
For best results, your landing page should be relatively light on content. Text should be limited to bullet points or short paragraphs, paired with vibrant, attractive images related to the video ad. One-step conversion buttons for key calls to action like signing up for a free trial or placing an order for a product will also streamline the experience and increase your likelihood of achieving your campaign goals.
Your audience is out there — you just have to reach them.
By creating high-quality Instagram video ad campaigns, you will better appeal to the highly engaged users of this social media platform. With the right videos, you’ll be well on your way to seeing the growth your brand hopes to achieve.
-Featured Image, Pexels