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Although they’ve been in testing for the past year or so, Instagram ads only became publicly available during the final quarter of last year. We’ve been using them in various ways, shapes and forms for some time – and have picked up a whole host of learnings to help you build better campaigns.

1) Images Really Matter
In PPC, it’s the headline which is crucial. With Facebook, it’s a combination of headline and image. With Instagram, the image is by far and away the single most important part of your campaign. It’s not just reasonably important, but makes or breaks a campaign. If you don’t have suitable imagery, don’t launch an Instagram campaign. Graphical images really don’t work (think about Instagram as a concept – it’s about beautiful images, not images layered with graphic design), but high quality, effectively cropped images can turn an average campaign into an exceptional campaign.

2) Set up specific Instagram campaigns
This is slightly less obvious, but equally important – don’t be lazy! If you’re going to use Instagram ads, make sure you set up a dedicated campaign for it, and don’t just tag it on to your existing Facebook campaign. If you do that, you’re going to get the results mixed in with the Facebook ads unless you pull dedicated reports. They’re also very different concepts, and require different straggles – simple as.

3) Mobile
We’ve all heard that word mentioned at every digital marketing conference over the past decade (yep, the iPhone is nearly 10 years old…), but it really matters. Why? Instagram is still a mobile only platform. Although they have a web interface, usage is very low because it lacks key functionality. When you’re sat at your desk creating an ad, it’s easy to forget the users viewing it are going to be doing so on a mobile device, and will visit a landing page on a mobile. Make sure it’s optimised, and think about the user flow. What’s your goal for the ad? Brand awareness? Promote content? Competition entries? It’s important to think about it before you start the campaign, and set your goals accordingly.

With a new platform, there are always going to be developments and changes – alongside a multitude of differing strategies. It’s proved to be a really unique avenue for several of our clients, and we’ll report back with further findings.