After a rollout period as slow as Christmas, Instagram finally made its ad platform generally available.
Using the Facebook Power Editor, colleges and universities can use Instagram to promote clicks to your websites or landing pages with images or videos.
In our experiments with Instagram, we’ve taken some of our best practices from our social media and banner advertising campaigns and applied them to this new channel. We’re seeing that Instagram has been performing well in terms of click through rates – 2 -3% on average.
Best Practices for Higher Education Instagram Ads
As the name implies, these are ads. As such they should be consistent in tone and design with your other marketing campaigns. Even though Instagram is technically a social media channel you are still using an ad that needs to conform to your brand and message – and contribute to your goals.
Use Email Lists for Remarketing
Speaking of campaign integration, get more out of your student search lists and your house lists by creating an audience segment with emails. Not all of your emails will find a match in Facebook, but the ones that do will be served ads that will help increase awareness and keep your school top of mind.
Be Simple With Your Design
Instagram (and Facebook) require that no more than 20% of your image is covered by copy. This prevents you from using infographics or a large typeset design. If you are going to add text to your image, keep it small and have a clear call to action such as “Apply Now” or “Come See Campus!” Facebook provides a grid tool to verify that you are within its specs.
Don’t Forget Your Logo
Even though you need to keep your image clutter-free, don’t forget to put your logo in the shot. Without the logo, it could look like just another image. Depending on your brand and campaign guidelines, building recognition with a consistent look and feel. Also, if you are going to show students, try to include them showing off their school colors.
When our designers are looking for an Instagram image, they want it to be interesting. We like to find pictures that are dynamic, show action or even drama. Athletic shots or excited students in the stands tend to catch the eye more. Remember, you are interrupting someone’s social media experience. Use that opportunity to make an impression.
Always Be Testing
When advertising in Instagram and Facebook, we create at least two different ads to see how they perform against a particular segment. We’ll create one with just an image, one with a CTA button. This way we can save a results database and make sure that we are always improving.
What have you found that works with your Instagram advertising. Tell us about it in the comments!