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How to create an Instagram ad that people will actually like

As Instagram opens up its ad platform, brands will flock like a moth to a flame. Most will fail. What can you do to take advantage of a willing audience without failing?

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Getting on the Instagram bandwagon

At some point soon it is going to be impossible to continue classifying Instagram as an “emerging” social media platform. It currently boasts 400 million monthly users and is by far the fastest growing social media site. And brands have definitely been quick to take notice. In 2015, 32.3 percent of US companies have used Instagram for marketing purposes.

And that number is expected to more than double by 2017, jumping to a whopping 70.7 percent.

If you’re marketing something, it’s time to step up your game

Between Instagram opening up its advertising platform to all businesses recently and the sheer number of brands vying for followers on Instagram, there is a great chance users will begin to see more ads in their feeds. If marketers do not step up their game and make sure their ads are optimized for Instagram, there is also a good chance user experience could begin to be adversely affected. And if Facebook is any indicator, that could mean the dreaded loss of organic reach on Instagram, too.

So, how do you create an Instagram-worthy ad? As with all social media advertising, the first thing you need to establish is your goal. An ad that is trying to get people to click through to their website will likely look different than one trying to spread brand awareness. But no matter what your goal, you must determine how that story can be told visually.

Despite any confusion as to what, exactly, the “visual web” is, it is very clear that visual storytelling has become a permanent part of all digital marketing efforts. Now you just need to determine what visual story your brand can tell.

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You can’t just recycle your old strategy

The bottom line is that you simply cannot take the same advertising strategy you have been using on other social media and digital marketing channels and expect it to work on Instagram. Visual storytelling with an emotional hook that feels genuine and native to the site is the key to getting the most out of your Instagram ads.

Because no matter how cool you think your brand is, consumers simply are not on social media to be advertised to. You either need to become a natural part of the Instagram visual landscape, or get out.


Ready to start advertising on Instsagram? Here are some pointers:
instagram ad


Rebecca Hansen is a content strategist with a background in digital marketing who loves helping companies create engaging content. She also runs the lifestyle website Salt City Style and firmly believes that there’s nothing that good food, good wine, and good friends can’t fix.

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  1. Pingback: Just when you thought Instagram for business couldn't get any cooler - The American Genius

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