Social media has given advertisers new ways to market their products to consumers. As visual content becomes more and more popular among internet users, brands found on social media space to showcase their products and services.

Instagram has benefitted from this demand as the platform is all about sharing visual content. To improve even more its potential, the platform has added direct response ads to its advertising package.

Direct response ads encourage Instagram's users to take immediate action to ads through buttons like “Shop Now” and “Learn More.” The beauty of direct response ads is that they are aesthetically pleasing and relatively non-intrusive.

They are a powerful option as a third of Instagram users have bought an item of clothing they saw on the social network. This means that by allowing direct response ads, Instagram is making it easier for consumers to act on their impulses to visit your website and make a purchase. Instagram ad example

How Instagram direct response ads work

Like Facebook, Instagram ads operate on a budget basis. You set the amount that you’d like to spend on your ad campaigns over time, and you can even set a budget for each ad. It’s important to remember, though, that this is not the amount that you’ll be paying for your ads, but the maximum that you’re willing to pay. The budget you set is the ceiling, not the actual price.

Instagram has sold ads to over 500,000 different brands since the launch of its API. In particular, smaller companies have been the largest drivers of Instagram’s ad business.

Read more: Instagram Stories: everything advertisers need to know

Why should you use Instagram's direct response ads?

If you’re going to run ads on Instagram, the best strategy is to invest in the visual. If your campaigns are based on powerful photos or videos, then Instagram is your place.

Instagram offer a few different options for advertisers including single and multiple image ads as well as video ads. Direct response ads work with all these options.

The brands who will see the most benefit from direct response ads are those who are trying to sell specific products via the carousel ad option or those who are looking to boost traffic to their website. Direct response ads are not about brand awareness, but they are designed to encourage “direct response” from the audience they are targeting.

The benefit of trying Instagram is that it may open your company up to a new piece of your target market that may not be reached by the other two ad platforms such as Facebook or Google AdWords. Remember, you want to go where your customers are. If they’re spending their time on Instagram, then so should you. What’s more is that Instagram has found tremendous success in its potential to convert direct response rates into ad sales.

Tips for success on Instagram's direct response ads

Your profile picture matters. This may sound frivolous, but just like in real life, first impressions are important. Your profile picture should reflect your brand's personality.

  1. Choose your hashtags wisely. They say brevity is the soul of wit. Apply that to hashtags. Rather than listing tens of hashtags, pick the five most effective tags for your brand and business. Bring the less is more approach.
  2. Consistency is key. If you want your business to be as effective as possible, you’ll need to keep up with posting. You can’t post or run an ad campaign once every couple of months. You need to be targeted, focused, and consistent with your ads.
  3. Choose your image or video wisely. Your goal is to get users to stop scrolling down to pay attention to your ad. You want to call their attention to your product and get them to react to their instincts to buy your product
  4. Inspire action. Your call-to-action needs to be tailored to your customer's behaviors and preferences to get them to connect with your brand. If your copy sounds like someone trying to sell something customers will most likely shut down and skip your ad instead.

Instagram direct response ads are a great way to innovate in your social media marketing. Since Instagram has been shown to be more likely to encourage purchases, placing your direct response ads is a great idea to boost traffic and sales.

Ligia Aguilhar

Ligia Aguilhar

Ligia Aguilhar is a Content Specialist at Strike Social and holds an MS from Medill. She was born in Brazil and has traveled the world, from Silicon Valley to Seoul, to cover tech.