Running Instagram ads is a great way to amplify your message and deliver it to the people who will get the most value from what you offer. However, getting your ideal customer to stop their scroll and look at your ad is no easy feat.
If you’re looking to create captivating and click-worthy Instagram ads, the best place to start is to look at what other industry players are doing and take some notes. Your creative should always be specific to your business and audience, but taking inspiration from others who are nailing their Instagram ads is a great place to start.
To save you some time, we’ve compiled some of the best Instagram ads examples we could find and given you our two cents on what makes them stand out. Keep reading to get some ideas for your next campaign!
The Formula for Successful Instagram Ads
Before we dive into the Instagram ad ideas and examples, here are a few key tips you should keep in mind with Instagram ad design.
- Movement matters. If you’re designing creative for Instagram Stories, opt for video or some type of motion graphic to catch viewers’ attention. Animating the ad copy, making a GIF or filming a simple Boomerang are all simple yet effective ways to incorporate movement into your ads.
- Always be testing. For example, if you’re running ads on Instagram’s main feed, try testing out a single image placement against a carousel-style ad. Carousel ads are great if you have multiple products or services or want to tell more of a story through your ad creative.
- Take advantage of Instagram Shopping. This feature allows users to purchase products directly from the platform, perfect for product-based, B2C businesses. You’ll just need to set up a Business account and connect your product suite to Instagram.
- Match your ad style to the placement. Your ad should match the typical viewing experience of a particular channel. For example, vertical videos work great for mobile placements like Instagram stories, whereas a 1x1 ratio may work better for ads in the feed.
- When in doubt, think mobile-first. Research shows that mobile-shot Instagram Stories ads outperform more professional-looking ads. The most successful Instagram ads often look and feel very native to the platform. You can capture this aesthetic by adding Instagram stickers and fonts to your ad creative.
- Don't forget about your ad copy. As much as the design matters, if the copy you're using in the ad (or in the ad description) falls flat, then your ad is being setup for failure. You can follow these ad copy tips to ensure your message is displayed loud and clear.
All this being said, the one thing we have to stress is a great ad campaign will always involve testing the creative. Although we mentioned that mobile-shot videos tend to work better on stories, it’s also possible that something more high-end with cool animations would suit your brand and audience better.
So, test, test and test some more—and document all of your data!
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Instagram Image Ad Examples
Starting with the basics, let's take a look at some successful Instagram image ads. Imagery (whether custom shot, illustrated or otherwise) will always have a place in any digital marketing design strategy. Without relying on motion or multiple cards, there's something to be said about Instagram image ads that capture your attention and drive towards action.
- Bright, high-contrast colours: The navy and turquoise colour scheme pop and stand out in Instagram’s main feed.
- Clear and concise copy: The direct and straightforward ad copy helps viewers understand precisely what they’re going to see when they click the call-to-action.
- Bit of mystery: The ad is directing viewers to check out a ‘website transformations showcase but doesn’t include any examples, encouraging viewers to click through to the landing page to see what it’s all about.
- Complementary colours: The bold colour combo of navy blue and tangerine orange is especially dynamic and pleasing to the eye.
- Informative visual: The abstract-style infographic conveys the topic of the ad in a clean and artful way.
- Shows off the product: The ad creative includes a styled version of a FabFitFun box, packed with tons of great products, so viewers can get a sense of what they would get when they sign up.
- Attractive offer: Who doesn’t love a good deal? The ad lets users know that they can get a box valued at over $160 for free. While it may seem too good to be true, it’s certainly enticing enough for people to want to learn more.
- Timely campaign: By tying in Women’s History Month, FabFitFun shows their support for women-founded companies while also taking advantage of increased interest in women-focused offers.
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Instagram Video Ad Examples
As you likely know, video is KING on social media. From organic to paid posts, video continues to prove itself as an effective medium for campaigns. Scroll on to check out some of the best instagram video ads. We took a varied approach to show different styles of videos and why they work.
- Recognizable format: The ad concept uses the now-familiar overhead-shot recipe video style to show the TransferWise app in action.
- Easy to digest: Financial products can seem intimidating, but the ad counteracts this by show viewers how to use the app in five simple steps with minimal text.
- Shows product in context: By showing the mobile app being used in multiple locations, the ad communicates the product’s core value proposition: users can easily access the app while on the go.
5. Adobe Photoshop
- Shows product in action: The video ad is essentially a stylized screen share, allowing viewers to see how the product works
- Use of music: The chill, lo-fi background music adds a hip flair that aligns well with Adobe’s creative-focused brand.
- Highlights one feature: Trying to convey everything Photoshop can do in one ad is nearly impossible, so Adobe keeps it simple by only focusing on one crucial element to drive ad viewers to sign up.
- Bright, bold colours: Again, we see how saturated and bold colour palette, paired with fun graphic shapes, really stand out from the Instagram feed.
- Motion graphics: ContentFly uses motion graphics to animate the creative’s copy and add visual interest.
- Value-focused copy: The copy clearly illustrates what they do (“blog posts,” “landing pages”) and the value of their offer (“content creation made easy”) and ends with a simple CTA (“start a free trial”). It provides just enough info to guide a user to the next step in the customer journey.
7. Instagram Carousel Ad Examples
- Minimalist design: The carousel ad shows the notebook in four different colourways, allowing the product to speak for itself.
- Shows off the product: The close-up of the notebook highlights some of its key selling features (e.g., premium paper, hardcover) without needing a lot of copy or other design elements.
- Value-focused copy: Rather than driving users to action, the copy highlights the product’s more premium elements.
- Tells a story: Clearbit uses the carousel format to walk users through the ‘what,’ ‘how’ and why of their product. Clearbit uses the carousel format to walk users through the ‘what,’ ‘how’ and why of their product.
- Use of arrows: The green arrow encourages users to swipe through the ad and engage with the content.
- Clever copy: While the creative copy is very concise and to the point, they use the text that appears below the ad visual to add a bit more personality and highlight the value of downloading their guide.
Instagram Story Ad Examples
Now onto one of the behemoths of Instagram ad formats. It's hard to believe that there was a time when Instagram Stories didn't exist. Largely inspired by Snapchat, Stories has become an avenue for brands to really stand out and reach their target audience. From more organic looking camera shot videos, to custom flashy animations, brands are trying whatever they can to get noticed on IG Stories.
9. UP Express
- Animation: the jaunty animations add levity to a serious topic of COVID safety precautions.
- Tells a story: The ad uses a simple to-do-list-style format to explain their new safety precautions, making the content more digestible.
- Motion graphics: The ad uses animated text and arrows to make sure users are given the correct info at the right time and also guide them to the final CTA.
10. Felix Health
- Minimalist design: The plain white tube on the salmon-coloured background is very aesthetically pleasing, and its simplicity helps it stand out from the crowd.
- Clever copy: The copy highlights the company’s value while also injecting a little humour that aligns with their youthful brand.
- Use of negative space: Unlike some of the other ads on this list, Felix Health’s ad doesn’t fill up space with a lot of text or graphics. It lets its bold visuals do the talking.
- Shows off product: The ad uses phone screen mockups to give users a glimpse at the user interface.
- Use of statistics: The ad includes stats to show how their product compares to their competitors, highlighting its value.
- Motion graphics: The moving graphics and text help underscore the ad’s key message.
While each has their unique flair, the best Instagram ads share some common traits that you can quickly adapt to your next campaign. If you’re looking to optimize your Facebook and Instagram ad creative, try going bold with your colour palette or experimenting with motion or storytelling. And don’t forget to show off your product!