In this post, I will go through the strategy that I have been applying (and still am) in order to grow 100k+ followers for my clients in the interior design and DIY niche (this also applies to motherhood and lifestyle sub-niches).
That strategy consists in Instagram ads (not a surprise, is it?)
Its simplicity may surprise you, though.
Allow me to explain:
There are 3 main layers that you should keep in mind in order to apply this method with precision.
Let’s start with the one that I consider to be the most important.
Defining your target audience
It is as straightforward as it is key.
Knowing what your ideal audience-type is, consists in the very first step towards an efficient targeting, as you will know who you want your ad to be seen by. If you aren’t fully aware or certain about who your target audience is, then you must get that out of the way before you even start pondering about running ads.
If this is something you’re not sure about, for instance, if you post content that may belong to many different niches (which is, already, a red flag that should be taken care of – as I mention in many posts – stay in your lane, keep your content and your interactions niche-focused, at (almost) all times).
By knowing your target audience and its characteristics, you will be able to segment it in terms of its geographical location, age range, gender, interests, behaviours and much more.
In order for you to leverage the results that you’re looking for, make sure that you keep your audience at a fairly broad level even after you fully segment it.
Otherwise, if it becomes way too narrow, your ad spend budget will necessarily have to be substantially higher (20$ and up, minimum), as the ad will be concentrated and directed towards a more specific and competitive audience.
Delivering your message
This one is very simple: think about what kind of ad creative format will be more enticing to your audience.
A feed post ad? A story ad? An explore page ad? One that “fits” all of these placements simultaneously?
It all depends on what your ad creative’s content looks like.
Instagram feed is usually more suitable for longer video ads that are complemented by text.
The same applies to Instagram explore ads.
As for Instagram stories, these are a different case.
Which leads to point number 3…
Instagram Story Ads
According to research carried out by Missouri University, it takes only 2.6 seconds for a person’s eye to decide where it’s going to focus on a particular online page. So, if your ad campaign is going to be successful, you’re going to need some strong, high-quality visuals that grab your audience’s attention quickly.
When it comes to Instagram ads, in all of their different formats, they are not an exception to the rule – keep your text to a minimum, therefore.
In easy terms, people can’t be bothered to read your caption or to even consider paying a respectable level of attention if it’s too obvious that they’re looking at a sponsored post / story.
Sponsored content can be compared to flyer distributors on the street.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them, they’re just doing their job (some do it well, some don’t), but for the most part, they’re repelling.
Not because of who they are, but because their intention is too obvious right off the bat – for you to be sold something that you’re probably not looking for.
Now imagine that you run into one of these flyer distributors and he or she is good looking and starts a pretty casual conversation about something that actually interests you.
Wouldn’t you be way more hooked? Perhaps you’d even consider knowing a little bit more about the product.
The same logic (in a different (virtual) context)) applies to Instagram ads, especially when it comes to story ads, which is why it’s the method that I’m applying for my clients’ pages, in order to achieve such results.
They’re ideal for adding a bit of minimal yet essential copy to your ad creative, within the creative itself.
Let your creative (picture or video) do most of the talking, as it must be attractive and compelling enough to lock your audience’s eyes for more than those 2-3 seconds.
What has been working the best for me is to simply add a question and a CTA – the CTA should be based on the main reason why people should click on the swipe-up feature – in other words, why they should follow the page. What it brings to their table.
The more powerful your caption is, in terms of how much it resonates with your audience, the more impactful and enticing it will be, causing a desire for knowing more, from your audience’s point of view (which you’ve carefully segmented in the ad set section).
What has been working the best for my clients is a 8-12 second video that’s not static, but aesthetically pleasing and that accurately portrays what people can expect from your page, along with the question and CTA (the copy) in the middle of the story ad.
Lastly, make sure that it DOES NOT look like an ad. Otherwise, it will be an obvious flyer distributor. And we already know what people think about these.
Hope this was insightful!