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Instagram Marketing for Ecommerce 101- Creating Ads That Convert

Instagram Marketing for Ecommerce 101: Creating Ads that Convert

When it comes to developing an Instagram strategy that taps into and effectively reaches potential shoppers, the first place to look is ads.

Why are ads so important, you ask? Simple: they’re the best ways to stand out on Instagram as more businesses start to use the platform for marketing and exposure. According to Sprout Social, 70.7 percent of U.S. businesses are using Instagram this year. As if that weren’t enough, 80 percent of Instagram users follow at least one business and 60 percent of Instagram users report using the platform to learn about products and services.

With all this in mind, it’s clear that the quickest way to an Instagram user’s heart is through their feed.

Here’s how to adjust your Instagram marketing and advertising strategy accordingly:

Choosing Your Ad Type 

When you advertise on Instagram, you have a few primary options. These include photo, video, and carousel ads. How do you know which is right for you, though? While the ads can all be lucrative, they have some important differences. Here’s a simple breakdown:

  • Carousel Ads. Visual ads with two or more scrollable images or videos. Use them to create up to 10 cards in a single ad. This is your chance to really tell a story here and show users how your product can impact their lives.

Carousel Ad


  • Photo Ads. These ads feature a single image. If you choose this format, you can create up to six ads, each containing a single image.

BigCommerce Facebook Ad

  • Video Ads. Single video Instagram ads include a video or a GIF, and are similar to slideshow ads, which are looping video ads featuring up to 10 images and music.


What About Lead Forms?

Facebook Lead Ad

Lead forms are new to Instagram. Designed to collect customer information with pre-filled forms, lead ads are ideal for capturing leads and improve engagement. If you are creating lead ads, you’ll need to create your lead form. You can use an existing lead form or create a new one.

3 Tips for Choosing Your Ad Creative for Effective Instagram Marketing

How do you create an Instagram feed that’s both attractive and lucrative? Here are our top professional hints:

1. Always Promote Your Best Content


If you already have great content on Instagram, look back through your organic posts to find images that sparked engagement. Repurpose those posts as ads to boost engagement from a wider audience. Just be sure to follow the photo and video guidelines!


2. Balance Your Product and Your Community

Casper Mattress

Take for example Casper Mattress’ Instagram feed – it not only features their product but cute quotes, eye-catching imagery and delightful things you want to see on your feed.


Obviously, you want to showcase your product. You don’t, however, want to overwhelm your followers with product pitches and sales offers. With that in mind, balance your feed by posting content that’s “on brand” with your business.

For example, a yoga teacher might post inspirational quotes they created in Canva. As long as it’s on-brand and relevant to your readers, it’s fair game!


3. Make Use of User-Generated Content

airbnb instagram

Airbnb has mastered leveraging user-generated content. Undoubtedly the best way to showcase their most stunning bookings is by tapping into the photos travelers have taken. Even better is that they have a link in their bio that allows their followers to book from what they’ve seen in their feed.

User-generated content is an incredible thing. Not only does it cut down on the amount of time you spend creating content, but it can also work wonders to engage your audience and build trust! Need an example of a brand that mastered user-generated content? Consider Buffer, which created the hashtag #BufferStories to encourage their community to share personal stories! Not sure what else to post on your feeds? Consider behind-the-scenes content, product demos and showcases, fun and lighthearted posts, customer stories, and team member takeovers!


Insider Tip: Don’t Make Your Ads Look Like Ads



Now that you’ve hammered out the type of ad you want to use, there’s one last critical tip: do everything you can to keep it from looking like an advertisement! Your audience is far more likely to respond to posts that look like natural content rather than blatant product promotion.

Looking for an easy way to do this? Consider adding photos of people. According to recent research, images that contain faces get 38 percent more likes than other types of content.


Last Steps: Partner Up


If you really want to take your Instagram marketing to the next level, it’s time to consider influencer marketing. Right now, 88 percent of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. With that in mind, finding an influencer who speaks to your demographic has the potential to work wonders.

Once you’ve found an influencer to partner with, use Facebook’s targeting tools to ensure your ads reach the right audience.

For more information on the perks of influencer marketing, and how to incorporate it into your strategy, check out our influencer blog here.

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