Which ads perform best on Instagram?
Your Instagram advertising success depends on knowing the answer to that question. Here are eight great examples of Instagram ads in three different categories to get you thinking. Apply these same ideas and principles to your own pages to get more Instagram followers, leads, and sales, all of which will ensure that you create a profitable Instagram advertising campaign.
Instagram Product Advertisements
Many brands on Instagram choose a product to promote and create ads directly around that product.
In one picture, Dayquil has associated itself with the indoors on a winter day. The idea is to get the user to think about Dayquil when he or she is reminded of that scene. It’s winter, and he or she is under the weather, but still wants to go out – and Dayquil is the solution he or she needs to do so. Better go buy some Dayquil!
Take note of the number of likes. Because the ad is being shown to so many people, Dayquil had to go very broad in their photo targeting. They use the “taking photos” targeting approach because that is a common attribute that everyone on Instagram shares. For better results, you may be able to drill down and make the photo revolve around your specific audience – instead of the Instagram audience in general.
This is one powerful image. The white cream looks cool and nourishing on the blue background. The hints of nature make your mind associate those elements with the cream. Although you
have seen only one picture, you have just formulated an excellent perception of Shea Butter Hand Cream, and you’ve probably never used it (or even heard of it) before.
The description matches well with the picture. Some would argue that it needs to be more promotional, but in this case, the photo is doing all of the selling. Users look at the photo, make
their internal inferences, and continue down to the description to feed their fantasies. A cheesy promotional description might ruin it – but a description that feeds their fantasies will be enough to spike their interest and get the click.
Walmart is Walmart. It’s not exactly a store focused on luxury or aesthetics. But they still market well on Instagram. Your brand can, too.
On the surface, this ad promotes a cookie jar. But it’s actually doing more than that in the background:
- You think about Walmart in general when you see the ad
- You associate Walmart with home goods
- You associate Walmart with “cute”
All of these triggers might lead you to thinking about Walmart for a product purchase in the future. Advertisements on Instagram don’t always need to be the absolute flashiest. You just
need to find an angle that works for you, your brand, and whatever you’re trying to promote.
General E-Commerce Ads
Some brands prefer to advertise entire product lines instead of just one product.
Gilt is a mens apparel outlet offering “70% or more off designer brands.” It’s cheap stuff that looks good. Luckily for them, this appeal plays perfectly with the Instagram platform model.
Users are already interested in aesthetics if they’re on Instagram.
With a hook like “70% off” and beautiful shots of the apparel, Gilt has seen success pulling male users towards browsing their products instead of continuing to browse Instagram photos. At the start of the campaign, Gilt likely tested dozens of different product shots to see which ones were most appealing to the audience and most profitable for the brand.
On Instagram, Target focuses more on branding and less on direct clicks and sales. The Gilt ad above has a strong hook and call-to- action, whereas Target simply lists pretty product shots along with catchy descriptions. The goal is to make you think of Target when you need office supplies – it’s not necessarily to get you to buy office supplies right then and there.
Brands don’t have to be massive to take advantage of Instagram branding advertising. Narrow your audience down to your core customer base and you can afford to run branding campaigns to get your name out there and on the customers’ minds.
Sprig is a small delivery service promising healthy meals delivered to your door in 15 minutesvor less. The ads they used are great for both branding and direct conversions.
- Explanatory description tells the user everything he or she needs to know about the brand. The image cements that description.
- “15 minutes or less” conveys that the user can install the app and start eating now.
- Bonus: users associate eatsprig with beautiful pictures of food (does Sprig food actually look like that? We’ll never know…)
Overall, a good all-around advertisement that improves brand image, increases brand recognition, and leads to direct downloads and sales. A company like Sprig is a perfect fit for Instagram advertising – if you can find the right angle, yours can be too.
What do you know about Montana? Probably not much. But now you have a strong association of relaxing in warm log cabins and skiing down snowy mountains, which will appeal to anyone who vacations in winter destinations with those activities in mind.
Travel advertising on Instagram is usually subtle, just like this series of photos. The goal is to make you think of that destination when you take a vacation – Montana travel isn’t hoping to convince you to take a vacation right away. Use this same concept to plant ideas in the heads of users and have them act on those ideas later.
The description is vague, but the photo gets the job done—the movie is relaxed and deals with the relationship of an attractive boy and a carefree young girl. That alone is enough to convey an association and get the user interested right away, or further down the line when he or she goes to the movies and tries to decide which movie to see.
This particular ad is a “coming soon” ad, so there is not a firm call to action besides “learn more”. But when the movie released, we’d bet they changed their approach to push ticket sales. Use a similar approach if you are trying to build hype around product launches or new product lines.
The above eight examples should give you a good start on running a successful campaign.
Remember to implement Have2Have.it before you start advertising to ensure you maximize your e-commerce sales. Once you do, scroll up, take the principles we discussed, apply them to your own brand, and split test until you create a winning campaign.