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Instagram Ads Not Working? 5 Quick Fixes to Try Now

By Estes Media on July, 28 2021

Instagram advertisements not performing to your expectations? There could be a number of technical or micro-issues you're trying to solve for. However, chances are that what your Instagram ad campaign really needs is to reconsider the fundamentals of Instagram advertising to make sure every baseline best practice is already in play.

Below, we'll take you through some of the top Instagram advertising prescriptions we're often writing for our clients, and some of the most common mistakes or oversights we see. If you're ready to take your social media ad campaign to the next level, take a look at how you can start improving your campaign and earning more clicks today!

Not Targeting the Right People

Targeting is really the first place you should look when trying to improve on your current Instagram ads.

Many people understand targeting to an extent, but something we see a lot of is ad targeting with too narrow of an audience and not reaching enough people.

Too many brands will cast a net that is either too wide or too narrow but struggle to find that sweet spot in between the two.

 

Example of what to do:, if you are a brand who is selling men’s ties, you don’t want to just be targeting people like bankers and financial advisors right? You want to be targeting their significant others, people who have big life events coming up, people who are in peak wedding season, etc.

Figuring out how large to cast your net as well as other factors such as where to cast your net (location based targeting), who to target (different demographics) and how these people act (behavior based targeting) all help you fine tune exactly who you are targeting.

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Failing the Ad Review Process

Another common place ads run into problems is during the ad review process. The process itself typically takes less than 24 hours for Facebook to review and approve your advertisement.

The ad review process is usually an automated experience but sometimes the review is done manually by a team member. There are a few different elements of the ad itself where the ad can flag the algorithms as well as turn people off. 

  • Text placement and size: One of these spots is with the text inside the ad. If your ad has too much text in it, this can turn people off from your product. No one wants to have to read a paragraph on an ad they are just happening to scroll by on Instagram. A similar text related ad issue is having the text too large on the ad, this can make people not want to buy your product due to the fact that having too large of text makes your ad feel too sales like.  (Studies have shown that images with less than 20% text perform much better.)
  • Content: Having your ad come across too sales-y or promotional is one of the biggest turn offs for potential customers on Instagram. Instagram is a platform for creatives. If your ad is not  creative, beautiful or interesting  and looks more like a promotion, you will end up with users scrolling past your ad and miss out on many possible customers.
  • Violations: There are many reasons your Instagram ads could be disapproved, whether that be due to the community guidelines, platform guidelines, or music policy. Posting photos that are appropriate for a diverse audience is one of the biggest problems that people run into. Posting images or videos that could be construed as offensive towards children or any other demographic will get your ad disapproved by Instagram.
 
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Avoid Cognitive Dissonance

Humans are hardwired to crave consistency. Cognitive dissonance occurs when information comes along that is inconsistent with your pre-established beliefs.

Your advertising creative needs to be balanced with your product: pricing, branding, messaging etc. If these are out of balance and contradictory they will significantly turn off your customer.

You can imagine how jarring it would be to see a Ferrari advertisement filmed by an amateur college team, with bad lighting and cheap bad acting. Everyone already believes that Ferraris are luxury, sporty, cool and expensive works of art. Making sure that your creatives align with the goals for your ad is paramount for having a successful Instagram campaign.

For example, if your ad is designed to get people to make a purchase, you wouldn’t want your call to action to read “Learn more”. The same goes for the creative itself, if your ad is about a specific product, you don’t want to have your image portray something general about your company, you want it to be of that specific product.

Keeping your ads in line with your overall brand image and promise helps customers feel like they are not being sold to, but just looking at a new product, style or emotion that they want. 

Creating that product pricing and creative quality dissonance helps keep all of your creatives in line, as well as helps keep customers comfortable with the price of your product. If they see a premium ad, they will feel better about paying a premium price.

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A/B Split Testing Matters

A|B split testing is a tried and true method that has been around for much longer than social media advertising.

Split testing is a great way to make minor changes in real time and fine tune your social media strategies. The question most people ask is “Will what other people are doing work for me and my brand?”

This is exactly what AB testing is for, splitting audiences into two separate groups and testing  a small variation in each post.

Now, you don't want to get carried away with testing too many changes at once. A good rule of thumb is to only change one variable at a time, whether that be different copy, a longer or shorter video, or something as simple as changing the text size on your ad. The reason you only want to test one variation at a time is to help determine the exact change that caused your ads to either improve or decline.

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They Clicked. Now What?

So you’re getting clicks on your ads and people are going to your product and landing pages, but they aren’t converting, now what? The lack of conversions could be due to a variety of reasons. 

  • Load Time- If your site has issues like poor loading time, it really throws a wrench into the customer experience, causing people who would have otherwise made a purchase to back out and go back to regularly scrolling Instagram instead. 
  • Copy on landing page doesn’t match ad creative- When someone lands on your page, they are expecting to see copy that is in line with what they have already seen on your advertisements. If your ads are a very funny and light hearted tone, people will expect to read copy on the landing page in that same vein. If your landing page copy is too different from your ad creative, people will be turned off from the page and end up not making a purchase.
  • Does the landing page match the audience intent for the Ad ( top of funnel, middle, bottom)- Different ads go after different points in the buyer’s journey. If your ad is targeting people that have already visited your site, you’ll want the page they land on to be pretty far along the funnel since they already know your brand. If your ad is made to target potential customers, the landing page should be general as well, not a specific product page.
  • Mobile Friendly- Most of the time when people are using Instagram they are going to be on their phones. If they click on your ad and land on a page that is not mobile friendly it will be a huge pain point during the buyer’s journey.
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All of these things together are just a few things you can do to help your Instagram ads convert better and help earn you some more business. Whether your ads aren’t converting due to something simple like having too much text on the ad or the issue is more underlying such as your landing page not being mobile optimized Estes Media is here to help. Give us a call today to set up a free consultation to go over your current advertising efforts.





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