Instagram is fast becoming one of the most popular social media platforms around. It’s an innovative and fresh platform that predominantly attracts young people — giving brands and influencers a fantastic opportunity to elevate themselves.
Instagram isn’t just a platform to post pictures about your breakfast and videos of your dog, it’s also a place where businesses make a lot of their online sales.
Many use Instagram ads to help them reach their marketing goals. In fact, a Facebook survey discovered that 83% of respondents discover new products or services through the platform. However, many companies and brands fail to execute them correctly.
Importantly, Instagram users are much more engaged than other users on any other social media platform. For this reason, it’s absolutely crucial that businesses start to focus on Instagram adverts.
Below, we’ve crafted a guide to writing the best Instagram adverts.
Why do words matter?
You may be wondering; why do words matter on such a visual platform? On social media, the words you use alongside the visual makes the biggest difference.
Whether it’s the captions or text additions that you add — they can provide the most crucial bit of information, or persuade the audience more.
As with every marketing effort you make, you need a call to action. The words you use on your adverts and posts are the equivalent to this. Remember, not everybody is able to listen to or watch videos.
However, getting the words just right is so important. Following the following tips will ensure that you perfect writing adverts.
Let’s dive in.
1. Use your brand voice
Throughout your advert, you should make sure that you always maintain your brand voice. Regardless of what your advert involves.
Your brand voice is the same voice that you use across all your platforms, including your website. This entire voice should be maintained throughout.
If you lose your brand voice while creating your adverts, your audience will notice, and not believe that it’s genuine. If you maintain your brand voice, you will ultimately maintain the bond that you have with your audience.
If you haven’t found your brand voice yet, try to complete the following exercises:
- Describe your brand as a famous person. For instance, if you sell luxury lingerie, you might describe your brand as Megan Fox (e.g., tempting and elegant), then dive into personality traits and tone (e.g., playful and witty). Or, if you sell spices, you might describe your brand as Gordon Ramsay (e.g., hot-tempered, confident), and define your tone of brand voice as “intelligent and straightforward.”
- Go to a hypothetical dinner party. If your brand could come to life as a person at a dinner party, who would it be? Can you describe your brand as a rebel rock star, IT nerd, or maybe modest housewife?
- Go where your target audience is. For instance, if your target audience is students addicted to Instagram, you should analyze how exactly students communicate on the app. You should conduct a linguistic analysis to find out what writing style and brand voice will appeal to your target audience the most.
2. Who, what, where, when, why?
The key rule that writers follow — always address the who, the what, the where, the when, the why. This is especially true for content writers that are writing Instagram adverts. If you don’t make it entirely clear what you’re advertising, then your audience won’t engage with the advert.
Obviously, on Instagram, you have the benefit of always showcasing who you are. For this reason, we suggest optimizing your username and bio. Optimizing bio description is also important as Instagram users will end up on profile frequently (this can actually be one of the campaign objectives). When your audience interacts with your advert, they can discover who you are in an instant.
What you want your advert to achieve should be obvious.
If you use “profile visits” objective then a simple “shop now” or “follow us” can work well…
Your audience will then know the specific action they need to take.
Where is just as important for e-commerce stores as well as events. For instance, if you provide worldwide shipping, make sure you state that in your advert — it could make a big difference. As for events, your audience shouldn’t have to search around to find out when and where it is.
When could be regarding an event, a sale, or a one-time opportunity? This may not always be relevant, but it’s often used in Instagram adverts.
Why is a little bit more ambiguous. Consider this; when your audience sees your advert, they shouldn’t have to ask, “why has this shown up?” Usually when this happens then something is off with your targeting or your message is completely wrong to your ideal audience. It should be completely obvious and relevant to them; with all the information you provide. Let your audience know why, before they even begin to question it themselves.
Melanie Sovann, a content editor at Studicus
The 5 Ws is used by fiction writers, content marketers, and journalists alike. It’s an important tactic that helps a great deal.
3. Split testing
Instagram adverts may be a little bit of a trial and error process. Split testing is the process of performing controlled and random “experiments” with the goal of improving engagement and lead generation.
In short, you try out various methods to help with your posts or website and find what works best for you. Here are a few ideas on what you should test:
- Run a split test for a long advert copy and its shortened version. Find out whether your target audience prefers long post over short ones.
- Put the right emphasis. Write two similar copies: the first copy could be focused strongly on the benefits of your product, and another one on the low price. Test these two copies to find out what is important for your customers: low price or high quality of the product.
- Test two different CTA buttons. For instance, if you run an event, check what works better: “learn more” or “sign up”. Find out whether your target audience is ready to sign up for your training or whether it wants to learn more about your event before making a final decision.
Also, it is worth mentioning that you can set up split testing only from Facebook ads manager. You can’t A/B test your copies directly from Instagram.
4. Know your audience
Every marketers and writers alike will explain how important it is that you know your audience. Knowing who your audience is and what they respond to is absolutely crucial.
For Instagram, you have an advantage — your previous posts. Take a look at which posts they specifically enjoyed, and how they interacted with them. Take notes and incorporate that into your advert.
You should also search for other platforms, and dive into market research before committing to your Instagram advert. After all, you are trying to expand your marketing efforts by investing more money. — therefore, it doesn’t hurt to explore how other businesses and people have done it before.
5. Complement your visual
Instagram is a visual platform, which means the writing will only play a complementary role. This isn’t necessarily a negative thing, especially for writers.
You have the difficult but rewarding job of making sure that your writing is not only relevant to the image but informs the audience perfectly. You need to find the perfect balance, which will ensure lead generation.
For instance, if you’re marketing an event, using what’s in the image as inspiration for your writing could be beneficial.
You may also see many fashion brands using Instagram adverts. In their captions and text additions, they explain the specific item of clothing that the model is wearing. This helps when the potential customer enters the site.
6. Avoid sales jargon
Audiences do not respond to traditional forms of sales anymore. They want to feel like they’ve made the decision all on their own. That’s why infomercials and television adverts aren’t as successful anymore.
This strive towards ambient media is perfect for brands on Instagram. As the user is scrolling through their feed, they may come across your advert. If it’s filled with sales salesy copies such as “hurry now while stocks last,” the audience won’t react well.
In fact, your entire advert should not feel like a pitch. This is absolutely crucial. It should be natural and gently ease the audience into interacting.
This may take a little bit of time to master, but the first step is avoiding any sales-type lingo or demands. Here’s a great example how @swarovski sets the scene and uses simple yet elegant copy.
7. Include the call to actions
We mentioned this briefly, but it’s such an important point — we need to reiterate.
Call to actions are absolutely crucial in regards to adverts. You could put together an attracting an appealing piece, but without a call to action, your engagement rate will be lower than it should be.
Including a call to action that doesn’t cross over to the sales area is tricky. Below, we’ve listed some of our favorite examples that you can adapt to fit your very own advert.
Simply explain the sale — the best way to entice your audience is by explaining why they need to shop now. “The offer ends on the 31st” is a great example of this.
“Tag who you would travel with” — this is a great way to reach new audiences
“Click the link in our bio to find out more.” This still gives all the power to the audience, and simply directs them in the right way.
Include the reader. Always use “you” and “your” in your adverts.
“Subscribe to our YouTube for more great content” — this makes them feel like they’re missing out if they do not.
8. Inject personality
Throughout the advert creation, you need to inject personality. This spans way past using a brand voice.
Use emotive language, be humorous, and exciting. Write like a human and not a content-creating machine.
You have to consider this; Instagram is a social media platform. Users don’t necessarily enter the app to look at adverts of brands. They’re scrolling to see their friends/followers and communicate with them.
Coming across as a human being or a friendly voice is something that should never be overlooked.
9. Make it relevant
Your advert should be relevant to the audience that you’re trying to reach. From the tone of voice to the words that you use.
If your advert isn’t relevant, it may be ignored or even blocked. This is where the cost of advertising goes up. Facebook/Instagram even have a metric called Relevance score which is an indicator that tells you if your ad is on point or not to the targeted audience. So whenever you launch ads from Facebook ads manager, keep an eye on your ads the first 24-48 hours and see what happens with the relevance score.
The users have so much power. It’s crucial that you make every aspect interesting and relevant to your target audience.
This is where brand voice and personality in writing really make a difference.
10. Perfect your storytelling skills
Storytelling is so important in regards to adverts. Regardless of what you’re trying to achieve, you should always be aiming to tell a story.
Storytelling isn’t necessarily a fictional piece. It could be as simple as the story of your brand, how your event will affect the user, or where the idea for something derived from.
Social storytelling is so prominent on Instagram. Every post has a little story behind it. Use this to benefit your advert campaigns.
Study other Instagram adverts and take note of the storyline behind them.
What we’ve learned from running ads to over 300 different accounts. Often times LAC (long-ass-copy) works really well. Yes, not a lot of people have patience to read, but those who, they convert into customers.
11. Make it simple and concise
Unfortunately, Instagram users aren’t entering the app to read essays. If your advert shows up, which consists of many words, twists, and turns — they will lose interest.
Clearly and simply state everything, with no ambiguity or eccentricity.
However, if you’d like to write a long ad copy, then break it down with line breaks so that users are more inclined to start reading your copy. I mean who likes to read a wall of text?
What are the different types of Instagram adverts?
Instagram has various different adverts options, which can affect your writing choices. Again, you may need to perform various split tests to find out which one works best for you. Below are the potential adverts for you to utilize.
Image or video adverts — These show up on the timeline, just like a normal post would. You have the option to include a call to action here.
Multi-photo carousel adverts — With this, you will be able to showcase multiple products. All with a different piece of copy underneath them.
Story adverts — As the user is flicking through their stories, they may come across yours. It’s important that you include text to inform the user. These adverts are particularly great for their “swipe up” feature, which is a built-in call to action.
Finding out if these adverts work for you and if Instagram is the platform for you is an extremely subjective decision. You need to remember; Instagram is a visual platform. You will need original images and videos in order to make them work for you. Yes ad copy is important too, but they are nothing without great visuals.
Always ensure that your linguistics are catered to your target audience and effectively advertise your product or service in a non-sales-like way. We know it sounds tricky, but once perfected, it will benefit you greatly.
We hope these Instagram advert writing tips help you with your campaign. Remember, to achieve ad campaign excellence, you need to know your audience, be creative, and never leave the audience guessing.
Following the tips above will undoubtedly help you with your ad efforts — and will help you to achieve your marketing goals.