Improve Your Instagram Promoted Posts

Instagram promoted posts have grown in popularity since they were rolled out and will continue to be leveraged more by brands in 2016. As a marketer, this excites me. As a consumer, this annoys me. Unfortunately, many brands are using Instagram as an advertising tool rather than a content tool. Instagram is a platform to showcase content. The content should be unique and engaging to your followers. I received a promoted post about improving my marketing. It was an advertisement that was just slapped on Instagram. Not relevant to platform and most of the audience it targeted. How did I know? I knew from reading the comments, which of course were as negative as the ones running through my head.

Although Instagram has given brand tips for content that wins on the platform, many brands have ignored them. Please, I beg you; don’t be one of those brands. Create unique content for Instagram. Below are four tips that will help you with your next batch of promoted posts on Instagram.

  1. Make It Blend, But Stand Out

Seems contradictory, but it’s not. You need to make your content look native to your consumers’ feeds. Yet, you also need to make the content stand out so it grabs their attention and they engage with it. You don’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons such as “Oh here’s another ad.” Rather, you want people to say, “Nice photography” or “cool idea”. Research what content your consumers are engaging with and go from there. Once you have created your content, stop and say out loud, “Does this look like a traditional advertisement?” If the answer is yes, you need to go back to the creative board.

  1. Target Based on Insights

The great thing about Instagram is it is linked to consumers’ Facebook pages. You can target people on Instagram the same way you do on Facebook. You have the ability to reach your exact audience. Go beyond age and location when targeting. Every Millennial isn’t the same and everyone in the same zip code isn’t friends. Target your Instagram audience based on a specific page preference or shopping habits. Once you do this, you have to ensure the content is right so they engage.

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  1. Have a Strong Call to Action

Instagram now allows brands to add an action button to their promoted posts. The most popular calls to action are “shop now” “learn more” or “explore”. Your CTA should be more than the button, but also in your post copy. What is going to make consumers leave the platform they are on to go to your brand website? Something that is timely will surely prompt their attention and incentivize them to click. Consider adding an offer or discount during the time of your promoted posts.

  1. Think Like the Consumer

Always remember to be consumer first. This means look at your content and ask, “If this wasn’t my brand would I be interested or care?” We often ignore this      question which is why consumers end up ignoring our content.  Make your content from the consumer perspective not the brand perspective.

With carousel and promoted video options, 2016 is sure to be an interesting year for marketing on Instagram. Do you have any tips to add to this list? Post them in the comments below.

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