As the battle for mobile ad placements rages on, Instagram’s new ad offering has many mobile marketers itching to see how ads perform on the photo-snapping social network.
Instagram has been protective of its users and hesitant to open the floodgates – while Instagram started rolling out ad options to big brands in 2013, they only opened up Insta-ads to all businesses in September.
Now that all businesses are on level playing ground, we’re here to tell you what the buzz is all about and how your app can get new customers and more installs with the help of Instagram app ads.
Instagram ads for apps are sponsored ads that appear within a user’s natural Instagram image feed, letting advertisers pay to get in front of Instagram’s photo fans.
Instagram ads can be used to promote various offers, drive website visits, and, for the purposes of our discussion, drive app installs.
Instagram app ads come in two different styles:
There are also carousel ads, which allow users to swipe through several images, but this format is not currently available for driving app installs.
Instagram ads appear alongside organic material in a user’s image stream, making them largely indistinguishable from regular user content (except for the subtle blue “sponsored post” tag at the top right corner of the post).
Instagram ads allow for several different call-to-action (CTA) options, including “Install Now,” which can be used to drive new app installs.
Clicking the CTA button takes users directly to the App Store, where they can quickly and easily download your app.
In addition to the “Install Now” and “Use App” CTAs, apps can also choose from 10 other CTAs, allowing you to pick the perfect wording that will appeal to your audience.
Instagram ads are a tremendous resource for apps looking to gain more users (and who doesn’t want that?). When it comes to upping the app installs, Instagram has your back, with benefits like:
Studies so far have shown that Instagram ads perform extraordinarily well.
Case studies have shown that there is a lot of potential with Instagram ads, especially when it comes to increasing app customers.
Ready to get new app installs with your ingenious Instagram ads? Here are a few tips to help you bring home the bacon.
The Value is in the Visual. Create Instagram app ads that are highly visual. Ideally, you don’t want your ad to look anything like an ad- you want it to blend in with the organic postings beside you in a user’s image feed.
Quality is Quintessential. Instagram users are young and tech smart- they won’t respond to low quality or unimpressive imagery.
These users want to be wowed and whisked away. Impress them with high-quality images and creative designs.
Understand Your Context. Think about your target audience and explore what their natural Instagram feed looks like. Try to match the style and substance that your audience will expect. Instagram users do not want to know that they are being advertised to. Instead, be subtle and charming with your ads, fitting in with the context your users expect.
Join the Convo. Make sure to engage with users by responding to their comments and encouraging dialogue – don’t just set it and forget it!
Express Yourself. Use image captions and comment dialogue to showcase your brand personality. Instagram is a great spot to engage in casual conversation with users, so go ahead and be yourself! Users want to engage with an app brand that is likeable, human, and friendly, so ditch the corporate lingo.
The cost you can expect to pay for Instagram app ads will vary depending on targeting.
Largely though, Instagram ad CPMs (cost per thousand views) average around $3.00, and with Facebook’s suite of deep targeting options, you’re getting highly valuable, targeted audiences at a reasonable price.
If you go the video ad route, you’ll find Instagram ads even cheaper, with video ads going for as little as 2 cents per view (Instagram categorizes a video view as a video that’s watched for at least three seconds – same as Facebook).
The 2 cents per view rate stacks up pretty evenly with competitors like Snapchat. However, this rate is much cheaper than YouTube, which sells pre-roll ads for around 10 cents per view.
Instagram app ads are quite easy to make. You can create these bad boys in Facebook’s ad creator or Power Editor.
If you’ve made Facebook ads previously, you’ll be a regular pro with Instagram ads!
You can get a full walkthrough on how to create Instagram app ads on Facebook’s Advertiser Help Center.
When creating your Instagram ads, take into consideration visual tips and tricks.
In the example here, Shutterfly uses a sepia tone, which adds a nostalgic mood to the image, invoking the look of a traditional, yellowed old photograph that someone might stumble upon in a family photo album.
Take your picture with the composition in mind, since zooming in a lot and cropping after the photo has been taken can affect image quality. Instagram recommends using images that are 1080 x 1080 pixels (although the minimum resolution is 600 x 600).
c/o Wikimedia Commons
Incorporating words into your image can be a smart way to clarify your message – just make sure you stick to the 20% rule and emphasize the visual elements, since that’s what Instagram users are all about.
Instagram recommends using captions with around 125 characters (although you can use a maximum of 300 characters).
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