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The Complete Guide To Instagram Ecommerce Ads

When you are running an ecommerce business, you know how important advertising is. In fact, you may feel like you can never have enough of it. And you’re probably already investing in multiple platforms so that you build a deep digital presence that benefits your business.

Now, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Pay Per Click ads are a staple for every ecommerce store. But there is one platform in particular that can be a real deal maker or breaker.

We’re talking about Instagram of course. It is incredibly popular among shoppers to learn about new products, and among ecommerce stores for marketing and advertising. The platform is ecommerce and small business-friendly, allowing businesses to grow and interact with their audience with ease. 

But when you have money in different buckets already, you may wonder is Instagram really worth additional time, effort, and resources? 

Ask anyone who has run a campaign on Instagram for their ecommerce business, and the answer will be a resounding yes. 

Instagram Ecommerce Ads 

Instagram has a predominantly young user base that seems to love finding businesses on the platform and engaging with them. Out of the billion active users on Instagram, most follow at least one business profile. 

This also makes it a platform with a highly engaged and active user base. Perfect for running ads and gaining traction for your ecommerce business. Instagram also helps 80% of the user base make purchase decisions, according to a report by Shopify. 

Like Facebook, Instagram also supports different campaign objectives and ad formats so that you can pick the one that suits your business the best.

Understanding them makes advertising more effective. 

This guide by Kimp aims to simplify Instagram ecommerce ads for you and help you design Instagram ads that get you the results you want. 

So let’s dive right in.

Source: Forbes

Benefits of Choosing Instagram Ecommerce Ads 

The reason why Instagram is such a popular platform for ecommerce ads is the platform’s attention to detail. And the enhanced user experience for both shoppers and businesses.

It all begins with a few high-impact features:

Shop Integration 

Even though Facebook and Google have marketplace options, the user experience on Instagram shopping is unparalleled. Instagram has partnered with major ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce so that businesses can connect their stores seamlessly to their Instagram profiles.

This integration spills over to Instagram ecommerce ads so that customers can directly shop from the ads, reducing friction in the buying process. 

Native Posting 

You can post the ads from your brand account itself, lending it an air of authenticity and reducing the stigma of advertising. Customers then view these as feed posts or stories that they usually interact with, improving engagement. 

User-Friendliness 

Instagram as an ad platform is extremely user-friendly and allows you to boost posts or create new campaigns rather quickly. In this platform, you can opt for: 

  • Scalable pricing
  • Robust reporting to control your campaigns
  • And refined audience targeting to see better ROI on all your ad spends

Measuring Success on Instagram Ecommerce Ads

Before discussing how to create a successful ecommerce ads on Instagram, we must define the parameters of success. Similar to Facebook, Instagram offers a wide variety of choices for your campaign’s objective. 

With this in mind, you can tailor your content to different stages of your sales funnel or buyer’s journey and choose the appropriate metric to measure success by. You no longer have to rely on generic or broad metrics, such as sales or follower count for every campaign. Instagram has grown way beyond that. 

Let’s check some of the campaign objectives and when you should use each of them for advertising your ecommerce business on Instagram.

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Source: Falcon.io
Brand awareness

Brand awareness is one of the most important campaign objectives on Instagram. It allows you to target a niche group of users who, over time, will relate to or recall your brand if they see the ad instantly. 

You can use this objective for all ad formats except for Reel ads. Businesses can track unique followers, impressions, and other awareness metrics via this objective. 

Reach

Like brand awareness, this campaign objective also works on top of the funnel (TOFU) target audience. At this stage you’re trying to make your audience aware of what you have to offer, but you’re not pushing the sale just yet. Here too, you can measure the unique customers or user accounts that can relate to your brand identity. 

The difference between reach and awareness is that you can target a broader audience with this objective. 

This objective is available for all ad formats and has a broader reach than brand awareness.

External Diversion

Under this category, there are three main campaign objectives: traffic, app installs, and lead generation. 

When you use the traffic campaign objective, you can measure the engagement on your website or app from that particular ad. App installs are quite self-explanatory such that it tracks the number of app downloads off that ad source. Lead generation is vital to collect email IDs, phone numbers, and other unique identifiers via a landing page or prompt. 

This is one of the most common and prominent campaign objectives that ecommerce stores use for their Instagram ads. 

Engagement

This metric can help you evaluate if the content or ad design is working for you or not. If the aim is to boost an important post so that it reaches many people quickly, this is the way to go. You can measure likes, comments, shares, and saves via this campaign objective. 

Video views

Video ads take a lot of time, money, and resources to create. To truly measure the success of a video ad, you need this campaign objective. Video views work on video ads, Story ads, and carousel ads too. 

Conversions 

We spoke of how Instagram is a great place to shop for consumers and for brands to connect with their ideal buyer audience. With this campaign objective, you can measure your sales or any other specific action on your website so that you can understand customer behavior a little better. 

Different types of Instagram Ads 

So now we know why you must choose Instagram Ads and the campaign objectives you can use on the platform. Instagram supports many formats, and you must understand each of those in detail so that you can leverage their features to the fullest extent. Besides the formats available in Facebook for ecommerce ads, there are some that are specific to Instagram and highly successful too. 

That’s why Kimp is bringing you a guide on different types of Instagram-specific Ads and their applicability for your ecommerce business.

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An example of an Instagram collection ad. Source: Get Response Blog

So, with no further ado, let’s explore the different types of Instagram ads and best practices for your business. 

Static Image Instagram ads

Instagram started as a photo-only platform. For many users, it is still a photo-sharing app. So, photo-based and static image Instagram ads are an obvious choice for many ecommerce businesses. 

It is an affordable option and easy to design as well. Static image or photo Instagram ads can be either in landscape format or square format. Depending on where you want to place your ad, the sizing and the specifications will vary. 

The typical specification for a feed-featuring Photo Instagram Ad is: 

  • Caption: up to 125 characters
  • Media type: image
  • Recommended image size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Image format: .jpg or .png
  • Maximum. file size: 30 MB
Best Practices: 
  • Your target audience must dictate the design style you choose. For your Instagram ecommerce ads, you can choose product photography, lifestyle photography, catalog images, customer reviews, custom illustrations, and so much more. What you choose depends on what the customer will relate to. So apply design thinking principles to arrive at the right style.
  • Choose attractive and eye-catching color schemes, typography elements, and aesthetics so that anyone scrolling through the feed notices the ad and stops in their tracks. 
  • Aesthetics is a major part of Instagram’s personality. You can go for a minimalist look, vintage theme, pop art, or modern design style. But it is important that the aesthetic you pick ties in with your brand identity and the target audience. 

Kimp Tip: When you sit with your design team to choose the ad design style, talk them through your brand values, target audience, and brand personality. This will help them create an ad design that truly works for you.

Need some help finding a design team? Kimp Graphics allows you to get bespoke Instagram ad designs for your ecommerce business at a flat monthly fee. 

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Source: AdWeek

The ad by Hollister above is the poster-child for minimalistic ecommerce ads on Instagram that do well. The takeaways? Feature the product in use and make the buying experience smooth. That’s all you need to win over a customer. 

Video Instagram ads

Yes, Instagram is a photo-dominant platform. But the social network is pushing video harder than ever. In fact, across social media networks, video is a very popular content form. This popularity also tells us that Instagram video ads will also work well for your ecommerce brand. 

Videos ads are ideal for: 
  • Inspiring stories, including not limited to customer transformation, brand growth, and partner stories  
  • Educational content on your products
  • Promotional content on recent offers, discounts, launches, and giveaways. 

While you can use Instagram video ads in both Story and feed, we will look at Feed Ads for now. Instagram video ad specs look like this in typical cases: 

  • Caption: up to 125 characters
  • Media type: video
  • Recommended resolution: 600 x 600 pixels (square)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1:1 (square) or 1.9:1 (landscape)
  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 600 pixels
  • Maximum resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Length: 3 seconds – 60 seconds 
  • Maximum size: 4GB
  • File type: .mp4 container
  • Audio: Stereo AAC audio compression, 128 Kbps+ preferred 
Best Practices: 
  • You want customers to watch your videos till the end. Instagram allows you to run video ads that are up to 60 seconds long. But the average customer loses interest on the 30-40 second mark itself.

    So ensure that your videos’ first 10 seconds set the right tone with the audience and hold them till the very end. You can also insert the CTA or promotional text midway, and at the end, to be safe. 
  • Use closed captions, text overlays, and clear messaging in the video to improve the user experience. 
  • Create video ads from testimonials and customer reviews to demonstrate social proof for your product. 
  • You can also edit user-generated content, or influencer-generated content with minimal editing for the intro, exit frames, and text overlays. Videos with faces and people are more likely to gain traction than those without. 
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Source: ManyChat

Sephora shows us that video design does not need complicated production to be effective in this video ad. If the product and message are front and center, you will see results

Instagram Reels ads

Instagram Reels took the internet by storm. The latest competition to TikTok, this content form helps in organic growth like no other. Interestingly, it is also one of the most popular and effective ad formats for ecommerce stores. 

It allows you to tag your products via the Instagram shopping feature. This makes the ad more effective as customers can see the products in action and can directly go shopping from there. 

For Instagram Reels ads keep these specs in mind: 

  • Caption: up to 125 characters
  • Media type: video
  • Recommended resolution: 1080×1920 pixels (vertical)
  • Aspect Ratio: 9:16 (vertical)
  • Length: 15-30 seconds 
  • Maximum size: 4GB
  • File type: .mp4 container
Best Practices: 
  • Instagram Reels are all about connecting with the audience and creating trendy content for your ecommerce brand. 
  • Edit the video to align with trendy audio using a professional video design service. 
  • Use text overlays and closed captions to make the content inclusive. 

Need help in creating Instagram reel ads from existing video content? Try Kimp Video.

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An example of Instagram Reels ads 
Instagram Story ads

Few realize it, but Instagram Stories still have an enormous value on the platform. The platform has the story tab in a place that most gravitate towards that instead of even scrolling through the feed. So Instagram Story ads can be a profitable avenue for you to promote your ecommerce brand. All while using a feature that gets a million views in a day. 

You can use images, videos, or carousels for your Instagram Story ads. This format is ideal for:

  • Short-term promotion of discounts, offers, or giveaways 
  • Brand Awareness campaigns
  • Traffic campaigns 
Instagram Story ad specs:
  • Caption: not currently available; all texts must be part of the ad file.
  • Format: Full-screen vertical ad (9:16)
  • Recommended Resolution: 1080 x 1920
  • Minimum Resolution: 600 x 1067
  • Max. video length: 15 seconds
  • Image file types: .jpg or .png
  • Max. video size: 4GB
  • Video file types: mp4 or .mov
  • Max. image size: 30MB
Best Practices for Instagram Story Ads: 
  • Add appropriate and trendy music to your Instagram Story ads. You can also upload an edited video with sound, text overlay, and captions for a more professional experience.
  • Keep the design light and casual.
  • Ensure that the store design is in line with the brand identity and personality you have built for your ecommerce brand. 
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The story ad by Yoga International above ticks all the right boxes. It is interactive, engaging, and fast-paced to hook anyone who comes across it. The story links to a limited offer hence is a great placement for the ad. The poll ads in particular contributed to 18% of total sign-ups for the brand during the period the ad ran. 

Enhance your Instagram Ecommerce Ads with Kimp 

Instagram holds the potential to connect you to your dream audience. And more and more businesses are embracing Instagram as the platform of choice for their ecommerce ads. So don’t wait anymore to prioritize it! 

Jump on the bandwagon and make design easy with Kimp Graphics and Kimp Video subscription plans. Designs that align with your goals, brand identity, and don’t pinch your pocket too.

Sign up for the free trial today!