Instagram Advertising Strategy Secrets for Brands

by Veronica Covdy

Did you know that more than 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business? And, an impressive 75% of users report that an Instagram ad influenced them to visit a website or complete a purchase.

Each year, Instagram’s impact on the visibility and success of businesses continues to multiply, which is why over 2 million monthly advertisers prioritise Instagram ads.

Instagram makes it easier than ever to convert your ad viewers into customers by combining a massive monthly active user base (over 1 billion people) with the tools necessary to target your unique audience with custom messaging. However, as with every great advertising strategy, it’s important to allocate your budget wisely and position your campaigns for success by delivering custom advertisements to the right people at the right time.

Take note of the following six secrets to elevate your Instagram ad strategy:

Remember the 70:30 Rule

While a plan for your digital media spend is important, it’s also critical to remain flexible and responsive.

When a particular post connects successfully with your audience in a way that exceeds your expectations, embrace the opportunity this offers and maximise your potential success. A great way of doing this is by remembering the 70:30 rule.

instagram ad spend strategy

70% of your media spend goes toward set Instagram advertising costs, while 30% is set aside for fluid spending. That 30% can be used to boost posts or create other Instagram ads that enable you to react and respond to the engagement that you’re receiving, or perhaps to an unexpected event that sparks more interest in your product. If you don’t use the full 30%, you can add that portion back into the main pot.

Choose Your Timing Wisely

In order to gain the most visibility and greatest engagement with your advertisements, it’s important to consider which days and times are most effective for your particular audience.

What works for your company will not necessarily be the same thing that works for another company, as different sectors tend to do better at different times. So, do your research and begin with your most educated guess of which day and time combinations work. As your advertising campaign progresses, you can analyse your results and optimise for your unique audience.

social media posting times

Overall, the best day to post tends to be Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday generally produce the highest cost–per–click, and posts at 3 PM on Wednesday tend to produce the most sure-fire response to ad campaigns.

Of course, as with any rule, exceptions exist. Consumer goods, for example, tend to do best between 11 AM and 1 PM on Saturdays. Mondays are the worst for consumer goods as people tend to be too busy at work to shop online. 

Connect with Your Audience

Creating a personal experience for your audience is crucial to establishing a real connection with them and boosting your engagement and conversions. Segmentation is the key to creating truly personalised messaging that entices your audience.

Use appropriate tools to target customers on Instagram across the entire sales funnel. For example, you can run a broad general awareness campaign while using a separate advertisement to offer discounts to loyal customers.

audience insta ads

Dynamic ads enable further segmentation and personalised messaging to customers based on the products that they have viewed in the past on carousel posts or IG stories. Remember to refresh ad visuals and language to avoid audience fatigue. The last thing you want to do is have your target audience get tired of seeing your ads, or worse, become annoyed by them.

Keep your ads varied to continue building interest with your audience.

Be Instagram Smart

Instagram offers advertisements in the main feed and in IG stories. Where you place your advertisements depends on the audience that you’re trying to target. Generally, the advertisements between IG stories are less expensive than the ones on the main feed. So, if your audience engages with stories, those types of ads will be a great way of making the most of your digital media spend—decreasing costs and increasing visibility.

instagram story ideas for businesses

Also, pay attention to which organic posts are successful. Advertising doesn’t always have to be a guess-and-check game. When organic posts do well, that’s a sign that the message or imagery connects with your audience. The ‘Promote’ button provides a foolproof opportunity to showcase the (already successful) message to a broader audience and gain visibility. Promoting a post is simple—follow the instructions to specify the audience, budget, and the duration of the promotion. Instagram reviews the ads within 60 minutes, and barring any issues, your job is complete—easy!

Follow Through

Your company’s ability to follow through with comments and messages may be one of your biggest competitive advantages. Though it sounds like common sense, only 1 in 10 brands respond to leads when they receive messages from them!

Pumping money and ads into Instagram is only half of the job. Once your posts do the work of appealing to your audience, it’s critical that you respond to their comments and messages in order to move them to the next stage of the funnel.

instagram ads follow up
Consider that 71% of people are likely to buy a product after having a good experience with a company on social media. That’s a huge opportunity that is largely untapped by the vast majority of companies. The brand that listens and responds to their audience will reap the rewards in the form of boosted engagement, conversions, and revenue. Be that brand.

Ask for Help

Marketers understand better than anyone that executing a successful digital marketing strategy is a big undertaking and one that is best accomplished as a team effort. Luckily, human talent is not the only resource available to modern marketers.

Your ability to leverage purpose-built technology solutions will help to set you apart from your competitors and make your team’s work go further. Digital marketing software can provide simple and effective solutions to help you manage your campaigns more efficiently and effectively.

increase instagram post reach

Elevate your business to the next level by implementing tools like programmatic advertising, prospecting, and retargeting to move customers seamlessly through the sales funnel, gain a stronger ROAS (return on ad spend), and realise more value and stronger results from your investments (of both money and resources).


facebook audiences ebook

Instagram offers an incredible opportunity to connect with your audience on one of their favorite platforms. When done well, Instagram ads come across as a natural fit on the app and can be equally or even more engaging than user posts. Leverage these six secrets to make the most of your Instagram ad campaigns and exceed your revenue goals.

Veronica Covdy is a Customer Marketing Manager at AdRoll, an e-commerce Growth Platform. She's a customer-focused marketer with over 5 years of digital program management, demand generation, and marketing operations experience.

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