Instagram is one the best networks to run ads on as it has over a billion users, and people spend 53 minutes a day, on average, on the site.
You can also get very creative with your Instagram ads as you can try an array of ad types such as videos, carousels, images, and stories.
But to get the best results, simply creating an ad and generating cold traffic won’t do.
Businesses and media buyers that achieve the highest conversion rates have a secret. This is the warm-up.
What is the warm-up?
When running an ad, you have two options. One is to serve a brand new audience that has never heard of you and drive cold traffic or to serve people who’ve heard about you and drive warm traffic.
The benefit of the latter is that the conversion rate is higher. As people who have heard of your brand and trust you will be more likely to buy from you. This is why retargeting ads convert better.
If you have a list or a website that is getting a lot of traffic organically, you already have a warm audience to promote to. But if you don’t have that audience (or want to scale results), you can nurture them with free content.
This process is known as warming up. It is also known as the top of the funnel content. If you get this right, the ROI of your advertising will be higher than just running cold ads.
How to warm up your Instagram audience?
You can use both organic and paid methods to warm up your audiences. I have discussed how to do that below.
One of the keys to warming up your audience is to serve them content they want to see. This is why you should start with the research. Get a good Instagram analytics tool and analyze your account to see which of your past organic posts performed best. You want to see which content got the most likes, comments, and impressions. If you publish video content, you should take views into account too.
After you research your account, you should research your competitors’ content to see which of their posts drive the highest engagement.
You should use the data from your account, your competitors’, and your customer persona to create content that will engage users.
Create native video content:
There are two types of content you can use to warm up the audience. This includes native content such as photos and videos published on Instagram and content that takes people to another website.
It is best to create more video content, as Instagram allows you to create custom audiences consisting of your video viewers who you can retarget with ads. Here are some top tips for creating and publishing native video content…
Keep them short
You can create Instagram in-feed videos that are up to 60 seconds long. That’s already short. But to get the most interactions, you should keep them shorter as the ideal length is 26 seconds.
Instagram users have the option to turn off autoplay while on data. To get more people to watch your video while on the go, you should add thumbnails as they will see a thumbnail instead of the video playing.
While designing the thumbnail, keep two things in mind. These are that it should attract attention and get people to press play. If you get these two right, you will drive more views. Most of the time, curiosity generating overlay text will do the job. But you can experiment with adding colors and other overlay elements.
Optimize for mobile
Most people use Instagram on mobile devices as you can’t do everything on Instagram’s website. Before you publish the video, watch it on your phone and tablet to confirm that it is easy to view.
Publish at the best time:
Timing is an essential part of Instagram marketing. If you publish when more people are online and want to engage with your post, you will naturally get more views.
The best time to post on Instagram is 6 AM UTC (1 AM EST), as shown in the above graph. Try to around during this time.
Accompany with a good caption:
Write a good caption with a call to action and hashtags to ensure your post generates engagement and gives people something to do after watching the video.
Boost best performing posts:
Use the above techniques and create a lot of videos. Different videos should reach your audience from a different angle. When you find that some of the videos are doing better than the rest, you should boost them to reach more people.
If the video generates above-average views and other types of engagement organically, others will likely like it too. So, put some money behind it and generate even more views.
Instagram will reward you with more views for this ad as it won’t take people away from the network.
Run live videos:
Another tactic you can try is live video. You can run it just like a webinar where you share a lot of free useful content. According to Facebook, people spend 3X more time watching a live video. Therefore, this will generate more engagement.
Run lead generation campaigns:
Along with native content, you should use gated content to get people to sign up for your email list. This is where you create a lead magnet like a white paper or an ebook and place it behind a landing page.
Then send traffic with Instagram ads to generate leads, nurture them, and promote products. The lead magnet and the early emails form the warm-up part of the campaign.
You don’t have to always use landing pages for the warm-up. You can also send them to a blog post like Leadpages in the below ad.
If the post is well optimized with opt-in forms, you will generate leads to nurture. And if they don’t sign up, you can retarget them with another ad that promotes the product or service.
Another thing you can try is promoting someone else’s content if you don’t want to create a lead magnet or blog post. You can use a tool like Buzzsumo to find popular articles on topics related to your product. Then use a technique called link retargeting. This is where you create a shortened version of the URL and attach your Instagram pixel to it.
When people click on the URL, the pixel will tag them. Even though they won’t visit your website, you will build an audience to retarget, and the article will warm them up.
Create a custom audience:
For the warm-up to work, you should create a custom audience to retarget. For the native content, you can create a custom audience consisting of video views for regular and live videos. You can retarget the audience with behavioral ads. For best results, use video ads as they watched a video. They will likely prefer watching another relevant video.
Also, create a custom audience consisting of your subscribers, as you can retarget them with ads too. Most email service providers these days offer integrations to do this automatically.
You can get great results by just sending cold traffic with Instagram ads. A lot of people use this technique successfully. But if you want to generate a better ROAS, especially when promoting products that cost more than $100, you need to have a warm-up in place.
The warm-up will help you stand out from the competition, build a relationship with your audience, and generate more sales immediately and in the long term.
Instagram adds “Text to Speech” and “Voice Effects” feature to assist content creators to …
Instagram has brought two new features “Text to Speech” and “Voice Effects” to its platform. These features are already present on Tiktok. According to Instagram, users who create reels will be able to use these new features to make the reels better.
After Tiktok was banned in India, Instagram added a feature called Reels on its platform to attract content creators, although even after this, Reels has not been able to garner as much popularity as Tiktok, keeping this in mind Instagram is adding features like Tiktok to the reels so that more and more content creators will get attracted to the reels.
Text to speech feature will allow giving artificial voice to text. On the other hand, if we talk about Voice effects feature then with the help of the Voice Effects tool, you will be able to modify the audio and voice-over. Using these features will also be very easy, you will get a total of five-voice effect options, with the help of which you can convert ordinary audio into artificial voice including Announcer, Helium, Giant, Robot, and Singer. After recording a reel, tapping on a music note in the audio mixer will take you to the Effects menu, where you can add different sounds to your reel. Users can leverage these features on iOS and Android devices. Further in this article we will know how we can use these features to make a perfect reel.
Step 1: First of all go to the Instagram app and open the Reels section.
Step 2. After that open Instagram camera tocreate a reel or upload it from the mobile gallery.
Step 3: Now to write new text, you have to go to the Text tool.
Step 4: After typing the text, tap on Text to Speech at the bottom.
Step 5: In this option, you will see different options of voice, out of which you can select the voice of your choice.
Instagram Launches ‘Add Yours’ Sticker to Facilitate More Engagement in Stories
Oh look, Instagram is once again following the lead of TikTok with a new feature, what an astounding surprise this is.
Today, Instagram has launched a new ‘Add Yours’ sticker for Stories, which enables users to prompt others to respond to their Stories content, in order to create more engaging reply threads to Stories posts.
As you can see here, now, users can add the new ‘Add Yours’ sticker to their Stories frame, with the example using an ‘outfit of the day’ prompt, calling for followers to respond with their own #OOTD image.
When users respond, they’re added to the profile bubble listing on the sticker, which, when tapped, enables users to go through all the other responses to the thread, building a response chain within Stories that can help prompt more engagement.
Which sounds a lot like TikTok’s Duet feature, which often sees many users adding to a Duet chain, creating long, interactive streams of content based on the original theme.
The engaging, community-based creativity of TikTok is a key element in its appeal, so it’s no surprise to see Instagram, once again, taking inspiration from its now key rival. But at the same time, it’s a bit much – Facebook’s repetition sometimes feels like it’s going too far to try and latch onto these usage trends.
I mean, it makes sense – TikTok is seeing huge engagement, and Instagram wants to hook into that wherever it can, in order to keep users from migrating away from its app, and if it can utilize similar functions, it probably should at least test and see what results it gets. But it’s a fairly obvious replication here.
Maybe it works, so who really cares? But still, Instagram, and Facebook (or Meta) more broadly, is not very good at coming up with new, original ideas in this respect.
Which will be a key impediment to its new push to win back younger audiences, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently noting that it will make serving young adults a priority in its products, rather than optimizing for older users. Facebook knows that it needs to maintain engagement with younger user groups to maximize take-up of its advanced, metaverse-aligned offerings, and the data shows that it’s losing on this front, with Facebook usage among people under the age of 24 declining over the past decade.
A key issue in this sense is that Facebook simply lacks cultural nous, and understanding what younger audiences respond to – which is why Snapchat is regularly able to spark and lead new trends, and now TikTok has become the main vehicle for the same. Instagram did once have that cultural presence, that direct line with creative online communities, but over time – since Facebook took over – it’s also lost touch. And while the graph above doesn’t relate to Instagram usage, you can bet that the same trends are likely happening on IG as well, hence the renewed focus from Zuck on younger groups.
Which is relevant here because of the replication. Yes, Facebook has seen success in stealing features from Snapchat and TikTok, to varying degree, with Instagram Stories being the key winner, while Reels has also been a hit for Instagram, even if usage still trails well behind TikTok. But it’s not helping Facebook win the broader cultural shift, Facebook is no longer seen as the innovator, it’s lost its cool factor in this respect, because of the constant replication.
Or maybe not because of this, but it’s an element in the wider shift – Facebook’s become very good at bringing these features to less web-savvy users who aren’t active in these other, newer apps.
But for those that are always across the next key trends – like, say, younger audiences – Facebook’s replication just seems stale and second rate. It’s the older people catching up on things behind everyone else, then telling you about this cool new feature that you’d already been using well before they came across it.
That’s the inherent failure in Facebook’s replication approach, that it constantly leaves it a step behind, rather than being a leader – and if it’s not a leader, it loses that cool cred, and younger audience engagement as a result.
So it might work, in a broader sense, in terms of deriving in-app engagement on the back of these usage trends originating from other apps. But really, it’s like the corporatization of these shifts, and unless Facebook can change things up, and start leading the way on some of these key trends, I don’t see how it’s going to win back the youth.
Instagram had been testing the ‘Add Yours’ sticker with some users over the past month, but it’s now being rolled out to all users globally, on iOS and Android.
Instagram For E-Commerce
Alright, let’s get this out the way. Millennials and Gen-Z have ruined everything. Now that that’s out of the way, we can get on to how they’ve changed the way e-commerce brands handle sales, marketing, customer engagement, and advertising.
We’ve seen and read enough articles online about how Millennials have ruined this industry, or that industry.
In all fairness, the way they’ve changed the e-commerce industry has had a quite positive impact for businesses and vice versa. Millennials and Gen-Z make up a majority of Instagram users, growing in their careers to have better purchasing power. In fact, a study (.pdf) has revealed that 81 percent of millennials are shopping online on a weekly basis.
What does that mean?
Essentially, with such a large number of shoppers online, it changes the way you’d handle e-commerce and retail. The pandemic and the waves of lockdowns have exploded the use and growth of online shopping.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how digital spaces have added value to businesses, helped companies stay afloat during these times, and how physical spaces aren’t always a 100 percent necessary to run your business. But rejoice! Because this does have quite a few positive implications for businesses.
All you need to look at is the recent trends in advertising and marketing on Instagram. The endless scrolling that Instagram users go through pretty much everyday exposes users to hundreds of ads, and the lines between posts and ads become quite blurred.
Sure, Amazon does have a firm grip in the e-commerce space, but while Amazon functions on a planned shopping model (where users pretty much know what exactly they’re looking for, and search for those products), Instagram relies more on impulse buying.
So while Amazon is established in the market, it lacks Instagram’s appeal of seamless advertising with the ease of online purchase.
Why Go Digital?
The pros of online shopping really do outweigh the cons. Yes, quite a few shoppers do love the experience of physically going to stores, actually seeing and trying out the products they’re buying, and speaking to a sales person to get more details of the product they’re buying.
However, with the rate at which e-commerce is scaling, businesses (and these platforms) are finding better ways of offering better online shopping experiences to customers. The most obvious pro is accessibility. Customers are no longer limited to shopping in stores specific to their city.
You no longer have to go through the disappointment of finding some great products and realising there are no stores in your city. In fact, it’s also become the case that you might find some great international brands as well, really love their products, and realise, “Yes! I can get this shipped to my place!”
According to ToughNickel, the biggest advantage is convenience. But besides the convenience, you have the bonus of not facing any undue sales pressure, wider variety, as well as easy comparison of prices to find the best deal for yourself.
While Instagram may not solve the problem of physical spaces and physically trying out products, it does solve the problem of making your business accessible online, and giving them another channel to shop.
Plus, with Instagram’s APIs now open, giving you the ability to build out chatbots and integrate with other apps, it solves the problem of communication, with chatbots being able to answer FAQs, give customers purchase options, instant information about their orders, and provide a seamless transition between chatbots and human interaction.
As mentioned earlier, the number of users on Instagram along with the impulse to buy stuff they come across randomly while scrolling makes Instagram one of the best spaces to be present in, especially considering the shift in shopping habits by the younger generation, regardless of whether you’re a new business or not.
Anish, Developer, Tellephant
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