Instagram Ads for the Bridal Sector: What You Need to Know about Stories Ads
This is the first installment of a two-part series dedicated to Instagram ads for the bridal sector. The first installment will cover Stories ads, and the second will be about Instagram feed ads. My goal is to help you understand how ads work so that the next time you want to advertise, say, a trunk show or a sample sale, you feel confident in your ability to create, customize, and serve better ads to potential customers. Besides, as Instagram gets more crowded, it will become increasingly important to advertise in order to cut through the noise and get noticed.
Now, I don’t think I need to explain how important Instagram has become for brands and business, but I do want to provide a few stats.
-Instagram is outpacing all other social media networks, including Facebook.
-Instagram now boasts 1 billion monthly active users, 500 million daily active users for Stories alone
-Instagram allows brands (and retailers) to be visible to a world-wide audience
-The majority of Instagram users are between 18 and 34 years old
-Many of these people are active on both Facebook and Instagram - running ads on both puts brands in front of audiences in multiple places in the most effective way
It’s worth noting most businesses are still primarily advertising on Facebook, which means today there’s tremendous opportunity for brands and boutiques to take advantage of less expensive ad placements. This is bound to change, so the sooner you begin and get good at creating ads, the better. Now, let’s dig in!
Things to know before creating you Instagram Stories ad:
-You will need to use the Facebook ad system to create your Instagram/Stories ads. The advantage here is that you get to use Facebook’s amazing targeting (Facebook has a lot of data/personal information on its users which means they’re better able to help you find and serve ads to your ideal bride). You can target potential brides by age, geographic location, relationship status (engaged), socioeconomic status, and interests just to name a few.
-Remember that Stories are mobile-first, which means people view them from their phones, not from a pad or desktop. Make sure your landing pages (the place you send the viewer to get more information or to sign up for your event) are also mobile optimized. If your goal is to have brides schedule an appointment for a trunk show, your website and/or scheduling tool should load quickly, be mobile optimized, and easy to use.
-The “Swipe Up” function that Instagram accounts with 10K+ followers enjoy is available to anyone advertising in Stories. In other words, no matter your follower count, if you’re serving an ad in Stories, you will have the option to include a link and have viewers swipe up to your page or anywhere else you want to send the viewer to take an action.
-Stories ads disappear once they’ve been viewed and the viewer can’t go back to watch again.
-Just like organic Stories, Stories ads are up to 15 seconds long per slide, but advertisers can use for up to 3 slides for a total of 45 second ads.
-Instagram Stories ads are billed by impression (impressions are the total number of times your content could have been seen.), not by watch-time. If someone views your ad 15 seconds or 45 seconds, you’re billed the same amount.
-Stories ads are seamlessly slotted between organic Stories which means you will have 100% of your audience’s attention as they tap through their Stories.
Best practices for creating your Stories ad:
-Stories ads are full-screen ads measuring 1080X1920 vertically. Make sure your images and videos are made or edited to fit this specific size.
-For multiple slide ads (you can do up to 3), you must upload the content as 3 separate videos or photos that play seamlessly and cohesively. The ability to upload a single 45 second video that Instagram can split is not an option yet.
-Use clear images and/or videos.
-Show branding (your logo) right at the start of your ad, helping your viewer notice and/or recall your brand.
-Show your offer quickly. Stories are consumed in seconds, make them count by ensuring your viewer catches your offer!
-Let viewers see your call to action (Example: Swipe Up to Schedule Appt) early-- provide enough time for them to actually be able to Swipe Up - don’t wait till the end of the ad to show your call to action.
-Keep the ad simple. For example, “10% off your gown order this weekend only” and use clear text that contrasts with the image or video.
-Use a combination of video and static images. A recent Facebook study finds that this format performs best.
-Enhance your message with music or voice-over.
-Use stickers when you want to draw attention to your product or to your call to action. Don’t overuse and don’t use them if they distract from your offer!
While there’s more to creating effective Instagram ads, I’ve provided you with a starting point. These are just some tips for those of you considering advertising in the near future. Now, if you want to advertise but still don’t know where to start, use a Story that performed particularly well organically. Most of you are already creating pretty great organic Stories--start there. Once you gain confidence, move on to experimenting and seeing what works best.
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