If you’ve watched any recent YouTuber over the past several years, a hot trend the influencers have been doing is showcasing their ad purchases on Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. I am constantly seeing titles like “I Bought Every Instagram Advert for a Week” and “Buying Every IG Advert for a Week… Is It a Scam?” There is a reason that these videos are so popular. It is because people routinely get caught up buying all sorts of advertisements on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook without even trying to.
The potential ad audience on Instagram Stories is 996 million and the potential ad audience on Reels is 758.5 million users. Depending on your target demographic, which we will discuss later, Instagram has the potential to be a big earner for those who choose to use it to post ads to their audience. With 61% of Instagram’s advertising audience ranging in age from 18 to 34, and 15% of U.S. shoppers starting their online shopping searches on Instagram, this platform has the potential to truly transform your revenue. So how many people actually purchase through Instagram? 35% of Instagram users will make a purchase on the platform in 2023 (35% of 1 billion users is a lot). The bottom line is that Instagram has the capacity to be a great platform for marketing for any business.
Thanks to BeFunky’s Designer templates, creating Instagram ads is easy. With our pre-designed and customizable templates, you can start drawing in new business without putting much work in on your end. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Instagram ads and how to make your own.
Marketing Tips for Designing Instagram Ads
The first thing you need to know is that Instagram has three different types of ad formats. These include photo, video, and carousel options. Regardless of which type of ad you choose for your brand, there are four main marketing tips that you should be mindful of when designing your own.
Define a Clear Goal
Before you begin planning the visual aspects of your ad, think about what you want to achieve with it. Is the goal to increase brand awareness, drive sales, gain followers, attract attendees for an event, or something else? By planning the purpose of your Instagram ad, it will provide you with design direction and act as the key to measuring the ad’s overall success.
What would be a successful click-through rate for you and what is reasonable? A lot of the time when people are doing marketing audits, they don’t have realistic goals or data that are in alignment with their current base. If you have a base of 5,000 followers, but your goal is to get 3,000 click-throughs, that is not likely, unless, of course, you go viral.
If your goal is to sell something, I have noticed that it is better to sell one thousand $6 items rather than sell two $500 items. People are more willing to pay when the item is cheap. Creating anything $8 or less and then also making something limited-edition can be super lucrative for your campaign.
Keep It On-Brand and For Your Audience
What are the key visual components of your brand? You’ll want to use these when designing your ads. If you don’t have these elements figured out, take some time to create some guidelines by reading this article about How to Brand Your Business With BeFunky. Once you have these guidelines figured out it will be much easier to create design and marketing elements for your brand.
This is a bit of a rogue practice within branding and marketing, but you don’t have to create ads that fit exactly to your brand’s guidelines. It is helpful to do so, but since you aren’t usually trying to market to the audience you already have, you can branch out a bit and create ad content that is overall engaging. Just keep in mind that you want it to fit within a similar aesthetic, but it doesn’t always have to use the exact same fonts and colors for every ad you design – just make sure it hits the overall aesthetic you want to portray.
Another part of your brand is your target demographic. Who are you designing for? Let’s say that you are an insurance company, with muted tones but you are trying to branch out into new territory by marketing to Gen Z. If you create your ad with your traditional brand material, your ad will most likely be ignored by the demographic you are wanting to attract. Keep this in mind and make sure that you are designing your campaigns for the demographic you want to capture.
Always Incorporate a Call to Action
Although your ad will incorporate a call to action (CTA) button automatically via Instagram (i.e. Shop Now, Learn More, etc.), it’s also vital to include visual details in your ad about what you want your demographic to do. It seems like a no-brainer, but just trust me, it isn’t for most people. Spell it out for them and make it an irresistible deal or experience.
A good rule to follow when designing is that your goal is to “Stop the Scroll” – get a user to be interested enough in your ad visually to stop their scroll. This is the hardest part to do.
Once you visually are able to stop the scroll, incorporating deadlines is a helpful way to increase the urgency of their shopping experience. If they know that a sale “ends at midnight” then they are more likely to purchase your product and not wait.
If you are selling something, keep your text as short as you can. Have a catchy tagline and then include a shopping code for them to use to get a percentage off of the product.
If you are wanting to catch people’s emails, try setting up a quiz for them to take. People on Instagram love taking quizzes and if you make them email themselves the results, you can easily get the emails of those interested in your kind of content. This ensures your marketing efforts are more fruitful in the future as well. Again, because the goal is to stop the scroll, this will allow a user to stop and contemplate if they want to take the quiz or not. Anything you can do to stop the scroll is good and will help boost interactions on your ad so that it can hit a wider audience.
Oddly enough though, sometimes you don’t need to create a verbal or written CTA. If your imagery is powerful enough, sometimes a bold photo is all you need to get someone’s curiosity brewing. This ad would make me pause and be curious enough to look into it.
Make Sure You’re Actually Marketing
There are tricks to creating marketing content that actually works. You can create the most visually appealing ad within your niche, but if it isn’t clever or doesn’t make a good enough selling point, then people will not care. You want to create ads that are creative. These are some examples that I saw that would stop my scroll.
This is a good rule of thumb – always create content that you would stop on. You are most likely your business’s target market, so what would make you stop and purchase something? I always think that a catchy or clever tagline that makes me think or laugh is impressive. I also want certain deals before they run out and specifically look for codes from influencers before purchasing from my favorite companies.
How to Design an Instagram Ad
First things first, choose your marketing goal and brainstorm a couple of ideas for your design. Do you want it to have a catchy tagline, be a powerful singular image, or something else? Once you have this information, it’s time to design your own Instagram ad. To begin, open BeFunky’s Designer.
Step 1: Choose a Template
Select the Templates tab. You’ll find all kinds of design templates to choose from here, but for this tutorial, click on Social Media from the left-hand menu and then select Instagram Posts. Select the template you want to start with and then press Use This Template.
Step 2: Customize Your Image
First off, you’ll want to change the design’s existing image for one featuring your own brand, product, service, etc. If you don’t have any photos yet of your own products or services, you can find a stock photo. This isn’t the most authentic thing you can do, but it gets the job done if you need something in a pinch. I would recommend only doing this for services or general imagery.
To change your imagery, click on the image and then select Replace from the Image Properties toolbar which appears.
Alternatively, you can navigate to the Image Manager tab from the left-hand menu and upload your desired image from your computer. Once you do this, simply drag and drop it onto the image in your canvas and it will automatically appear.
To resize your image or adjust the composition, double-click on the image and drag its corners in (to make it smaller) or out (to make it larger). You can also reposition the image on your template by dragging and dropping it with your mouse.
Step 3: Adjust Colors to Match Aesthetic
At this point, I like changing the additional colors from the template to match my brand aesthetic or the overall aesthetic of the image. Simply click on each graphic element or text element to change the colors. Sometimes you will have to change the Color Overlay, and other times, there will be a color swatch for you to adjust.
Step 4: Adjust the Text
Edit the existing text to include your call to action. To do this, click on the text box twice and type anything you want. When you select a text box, a Text Properties toolbar appears, where you can also adjust things such as the Font, Size, Color, Spacing, and more. Alternatively, you can add a new text box by navigating to the Text tab in the main menu and then clicking the Add Text button.
Step 5: Save Your Ad
Once your Instagram ad design is finished, you’ll want to save it so it’s ready for your audience. Click Save at the top to save your work to your Computer.
If you want to come back to your project at a later date to edit and use it for another campaign, then select Save as Project. This saves the entire file to BeFunky or your Computer so that you can open and edit it in BeFunky at a later time. Just determine which tab option to select. You can also create folders if you save it to BeFunky, making it easier to find it in the future.
Step 6: Create Multiple Ad Sizes
One of the coolest features of Befunky is that you can adjust the size of your whole canvas while maintaining the integrity of your design. This makes it super easy to create multiple sizes of ads for your convenience. When I create social media graphics, I create sizes for Instagram Posts, Stories, and Pinterest posts, without having to copy and paste my design onto a different canvas or file. I always do this after I save the first format and then save the initial file as a project to BeFunky.
To resize, select the Customize tab in the left-hand menu and then select Resize Image.
Once you’re here, you’ll see a menu with a dropdown selection of dozens of pre-determined formats you can choose from. I always make sure the Smart Resize is selected so that my design layers are resized along with my canvas.
I usually have to make some edits after this resize, and then create a version of my ad that is similar to the first one. You have to remember that not all ad designs fit all formats and may need to be adjusted properly.
Now that you’ve designed your ad, all that’s left to do is log in to your Instagram business account and follow the prompts to start a new ad campaign.