The key to maximizing ads on any platform is by matching your ads to the communities that exist on the platform. Every platform fosters an ecosystem of communities that are driven by a unifying intent. Whether that’s to connect, to share, to discover, or to explore, users on platforms have one of these unifying goals when joining the platform even though their interests may wildly differ.
Understanding the intent on each platform is how marketers can create relevant and personalized ads that simultaneously stand out to the user’s interest but also blend into their feeds. On Google, users have an active intent, searching for answers to their needs and ready to assess the findings. On Facebook and Instagram that intent is less active and more about passively discovering things that piques their interest.
While it may not be as simple as matching a search query on Google, that doesn’t Facebook and Instagram don’t present a major opportunity to marketers to capture new customers. The difference lies in your creative.
Facebook and Instagram are community based platforms, sharing similar content in the way users log on to connect with other users and express interest in content they find. While users may not be in an active state while scrolling through their social feeds, they are in a state of interest, keeping an eye out for anything that piques their curiosity.
But you’re not going to stand out on a social network like these by simply putting words on a screen. Facebook and Instagram are especially known for their focus on images, videos, and reels. The content users share is usually aligned with some visuals to carry the bulk of the message while captions are generally short and limited. Surprisingly though, many users claim to read the captions regardless of length as long as the posts engage their attention.
For business owners this is a huge opportunity to insert your brand right into users’ feeds of personal interest. If you deliver a creative that matches their personality then you’ll earn a major opportunity to win over potential new customers. But those customers will only give you the time of day if you can supply a creative that meets the standard of quality they are used to seeing on instagram.
While easier said than done, it’s not a feat that requires the backing of a huge brand or major financial investment. Any brand can pull this off if they use the right mixture of bold branding and unique creative. Let’s see what that looks like in action.
When it comes to advertising on social networks, your branding is going to be your best resource for standing out. Unlike networks like Google search where you can easily blend in behind the big brand names, social media allows niche brands to stand out on their own. Users love discovering unique and specific pages on social media, ones that correlate with their own specific desires or hobbies. Where a brand like Amazon may instantly be recognized by a social user, it also has a higher chance of instantly standing out as just another ad to ignore.
As a smaller brand you have a better chance of displaying personality in your ads to seem more like a page a user may want to connect rather than just another online sales pitch.
Consider a brand like Liquid Death, that uses unique advertising angles to relate with potential customer’s current interests. For instance, this branded soccer jersey.
This post takes advantage of the currently trending world cup to align itself with users’ relevant interests. This ad stands out as authentic but also still aligns the focus back to the brand. Now potential customers can align themselves to the brand in a meaningful way and explore their page to discover more about the business and their unique offerings.
Liquid Death can pull off a post like this because they’ve built a brand around selling edgy and limited edition merchandise. A company like Home Depot might not pull off something as similar so successfully. This is why it’s key to understand your identity and ensure that you’re not overreaching when trying to connect to current trends or events.
What also helps Liquid Death stand out on Instagram is their use of stories to organize their different content and offerings.
As shown, they have different Highlight sections for different content posts. Merch obviously being where they continue to show off their products, how to drink continuing to push their canned water beverage, and even a death to plastic section continuing to push their message against plastic use. All of their sections connect with their audience in unique ways and offers a complete presence for their community to gather.
Having a fluid brand presence that feels authentic is a great way to capitalize on your social media ads and traffic. Carrying this same authenticity into the creative of your ads will allow you to win over more clicks and even increase chances to convert.
Understanding your brand will be key to presenting an authentic buyer’s experience to social media users. Make sure your brand guidelines are button tight but ensure you have some room for creativity to display your personality. Stale branding is where creative loses momentum before it even gets off the ground.
Here are some strategies to consider.
If you’re loud, be loud. If you’re humorous, use humor. Just make sure you don’t sound like a robot. Make it clear that a human being was behind the screen when your ad was made and be even clearer about how passionate that human is about your brand. Communicating with your audience the way they communicate will garner trust and an increased opportunity for conversion.
You want to curate your content the way your audience might want to brag about your products on their own social media. Think of building your ad like the way a social influencer might, focusing on an eye-pleasing aesthetic that adds appeal to your product. You don’t want to look like you don’t know how to show off your own products better than your customers. Take pride in your creatives and find a way to tell a story through the tone and aesthetic of your imagery.
Remember: social media is all about building connections. Seeing a presence of that connection in your creative is a great head start. You want your audience to be able to see themselves with your products. Providing imagery that shows other satisfied customers or community members will create a sense of FOMO that other users will want to get in on.
You can still focus on the product while including a human aspect or creative imagery. Once you have an audience’s attention you don’t want there to be any confusion about next steps or what you’re offering. Use clear text in your imagery and build on that with your caption. Use an appropriate CTA so the user knows what kind of action to take next as well.
A popular strategy with the bigger brand names, shoppable images allow users to click directly into your post and purchase your products from Instagram’s marketplace. These ads are effective at displaying a carousel of images that put more of your catalog in front of potential customers at once. They typically center the product right in the middle of the image and provide detailed product information in the captions.
Everyone loves a deal. A great way to capitalize on the short window of interest your creative establishes is to offer a special deal or discount. It can be something like a code or a new customer offer for those willing to provide emails. Consider any incentive that might encourage a new customer to take a shot on your brand over their traditional purchasing habits. Even including something like a bundle of products is effective at driving new customers to your page.
While not visible in this screenshot, this ad uses a unique technique of including a video in the background with a block of text overlaying it. The block of text looks like a post you might see on Twitter or Facebook so it still stands out as natural to the platform, but the video in the background uses motion to catch the audience’s attention before they scroll by. Videos are huge on social media. Finding a way to include any kind of in motion shot in your creative can go a long way for your ad campaign’s success.
Creative ads are subjective. Best practices will get you going in the right direction but they don’t necessarily help you stand out from the crowd. Being an expert of creative is about understanding what strategy to deploy and how to personalize those strategies to your unique audience.
Unfortunately, answers like that only come in the form of proven experience. Fortunately, there are options to fast track your brand’s way to that experience.
KNB online hosts a team of experienced designers, brand experts, and experienced marketing strategists. We’ve used our mix of experience to help brands of all business types, goals, and growth stages achieve more results with their campaigns. If nothing else, our expertise is a great way for quickly building a foundation of social strategies that you can build on.
If you want to meet to learn about our strategies or discuss a personalized partnership with my team then we’re available to meet. It’s up to you, simply click here and book some time so we can evaluate the best path forward for you.