Want more sales from your ads? Wondering how to write Instagram ad copy that converts?
In this article, you’ll discover how to create ads specifically designed to sell products and services on Instagram.
Why Instagram Ad Placements Need Dedicated Copy
Instagram is often thought of as a purely visual platform, and while that’s true in part, the information you provide along with your ad visuals is what persuades the audience to take action. Getting your copy right is just as important as finding the perfect image or video.
When you use Facebook Ads Manager to create your Instagram ads, you can choose from multiple ad placements including Facebook. But you don’t want to rely on Ads Manager to auto-generate your ads from one set of copy and assume it will work on all placements. Instead, edit each placement so the copy works within the limitations of that platform.
For example, when you include links in your ad copy, they’re clickable in Facebook ads but not Instagram ads. So adding links to your Instagram copy is a waste of time and takes up valuable real estate. And people who are expecting to tap through to your website from the copy may get frustrated. To avoid this issue, stick with the features provided and direct the audience to tap on your call-to-action (CTA) button.
It’s also important to treat the ad copy for Instagram story ads differently from what you use in the Instagram news feed. Stories are displayed for up to 15 seconds so your audience won’t have time to read long copy. Plus, if you rely on Facebook to auto-generate story ads from your news feed ads, your copy is unlikely to display correctly.
Short, snappy ad copy is an effective way to capture your audience’s attention in an Instagram story ad. You can also get good results by using a captivating image and a strong CTA.
If you’re creating Instagram ads designed specifically for sales, there are some key tactics you can use to put yourself in the best position to get results. The most effective ads tell the audience what the next step is so they can quickly and easily move forward and take action.
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Try these tips to improve your Instagram ad results.
#1: Maintain Your Brand Voice
Your brand voice should be the same across all of your content—including your website, emails, and social media accounts—to build a rapport with your audience. If you use a different brand voice in your Instagram ads than in your other content, your audience will notice and you’ll risk losing the authentic connection you spent time building through your other content.
Pro Tip: Instagram is a casual, relaxed space and your ad copy should suit the platform so avoid using sales jargon or technical terms that your audience is unfamiliar with.
#2: Write Instagram Ad Copy That Speaks to One Person
The best ad copy speaks to one person and makes them feel as though you’ve been listening to their conversations or reading their mind. Crafting Instagram ad copy that speaks to a group of people is difficult to do well and often lessens the impact of your message.
That said, Facebook has strict policies surrounding language used in advertising copy. Words that assert or imply personal attributes to attract an audience will often be rejected. For example, asking questions like, “Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you get stressed and anxious?” in your ads would run afoul of Facebook’s policies because the phrasing implies you’re speaking to one person and making assumptions about them.
One way to avoid violating Facebook’s ad policies is to use an “if this … then that” statement. For example, you might say, “If you’ve been searching for the best way to relieve stress, then look no further.”
Or you could revise the copy so it identifies the product as perfect for anyone with those difficulties, as Pom.Plush has done here.
Test Different Ad Copy Lengths
Businesses often use storytelling in organic Instagram posts to spark an emotional reaction from their audience and the same tactic can work in Instagram ads. When you write longer ad copy that weaves a story and takes people through a journey, make sure it’s relevant and guides the reader to the next steps.
Of course, your ad copy doesn’t have to be long and detailed to get the message across. Sometimes the most effective copy is short and to the point. This ad has a clear and simple message that leaves no opportunity for confusion.
#3: Use the First 2 Lines of Your Ad Copy to Induce People to Tap ‘…More’
In the Instagram news feed, your audience will only see the first two lines of your ad copy. To read the full caption, they have to tap on the More link. That’s why your first two lines of copy should encourage your audience to tap on More to read the remainder of your message.
In this ad from Elise Darma, the audience sees part of a sentence designed to capture their attention (“15 seconds is all it could take to attract your…”) and makes them want to read on to find out who they could attract in 15 seconds.
If, on the other hand, you can effectively convey your message in just two lines, as in this example, that’s even better!
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#4: Help People Self-Qualify
If your product or service is designed to solve a problem for your audience, you need to spell out that problem in your Instagram ad copy.
In this Instagram ad, Ocushield clearly identifies a problem their product solves—tired eyes, headaches, and sleep issues that are caused by the blue light emitted by screens. People who see the ad and have this specific problem will be interested in learning more about what the product does. They’re more likely to take action because they’re being presented with a solution.
Asking questions in your ad copy can be a good way to get your audience to self-qualify whether they’re ready to buy.
In this ad from Stylecheat, anyone who has suffered from steamy glasses caused by wearing a mask is likely to stop scrolling to learn more about the solution to their problem.
#5: Give People a Reason to Take Action Now
Instagram users generally aren’t on the platform with the sole intention of shopping. While they may spot something they’re interested in, they may not end up buying it if there’s no deadline to complete the transaction.
If you can introduce urgency and scarcity to your Instagram ad copy, you can compel people to take action now rather than putting it off until later.
Pro Tip: Retarget your warmest audiences to bring back warm leads who may have been distracted while considering a purchase.
Share a Special Offer or Discount
Consumers may not necessarily be looking for the best deal on a particular product on Instagram but showing them an offer or discount at the right time in the sales funnel can help push them to make a buying decision.
In your Instagram ad, include your offer in the first two lines of your copy as well as in the ad image (if feasible) so you don’t have to rely on people needing to tap on More to see the offer details.
When you run retargeting ads, offers and discounts can work really well. But make sure you exclude recent purchasers to ensure they don’t get upset by finding out they missed a better deal.
#6: Proactively Address People’s Objections
If you address your audience’s biggest objections or most frequently asked questions in your Instagram ad copy, you’re more likely to get the sale because you’ll eliminate any concerns they may have.
The most common objections vary from product to product so you may need different ad copy for each part of your campaign.
Likewise, the questions your audience raises may change at different steps in the consideration process so your Instagram ads funnel should address these as they make their way through it.
In the ad below, social_chics identified two key objections their audience has to buying their product: a shortage of time and a lack of graphic design skills. By directly addressing these objections in their ad copy and explaining that buyers can use their templates “in minutes without graphic design skills,” they’ve overcome the biggest objections consumers might have.
#7: Clearly Tell Customers What to Do Next
Your Instagram ads should clearly convey the best next step for your audience to take. So to avoid confusion, stick with one strong CTA. If you offer too many options, people won’t know what action to take. Then, rather than buy your product or take the next step toward working with you, they’ll likely go back to scrolling through their feed.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind that some people in your target audience may not be savvy Instagram users so tell them exactly how to take action from your ad. For example, you could say “Tap Shop Now” or “Swipe Up to Shop.”
When crafting your Instagram ad copy, keep the stage of the funnel in mind and adapt your copy to suit your audience at that stage. Give them one clear CTA to encourage them to take the best next step.
Some products or services will naturally have a longer consideration period before people make a buying decision. Maybe the product is expensive or the consumer wants to seek advice from others or compare the product to similar offerings. In this case, you may need to take your buyer through a sales funnel designed to explain or show features or benefits over a longer period of time.
At each stage of the funnel, your ad copy will be working to warm up the prospect to reduce that consideration period and give them all of the information they need to take the next step without confusing or overwhelming them.