3 Design Tips for Running Instagram Ads

November 30, 2016 12:00 pm Published by

It’s been over a year since Facebook opened up Instagram’s ad API to digital marketers. Running Instagram ads makes sense. 

During that period of time, social media marketers have thrown complete caution to the wind, doing everything within their power to learn about what works when running Instagram ads.

Sure, there’s a random case study somewhere that’s filled with more numbers than you can shake a stick at, but why not keep things as simple, straightforward and succinct as possible?

Needless to say, that’s exactly what we’re here for—below, you’ll find three of Instagram’s best, most effective practices for running Instagram ads:

1) Pay Attention to Lighting and Detail when running Instagram ads

This shouldn’t come as much of a shocker, but you’d be surprised as to how many brands put their hard-earned dollars behind blurry or grainy images that nobody in their right mind would even think about checking out.

As such, keep all ad images cut from a high-quality cloth.

running instagram ads - lemonandline

To ensure that this happens, choose natural lighting over the artificial stuff you get at studios.

Yes, you’re pushing a product or service, but the more genuine you can be with your content, the more likely up-and-coming brand fans (the ones who buy) are to interact with it.

2) Make Branding a Delicate Matter

It’s an ad, for Pete’s sake! Seriously, you’d think this would be your one and only opportunity to get in a user’s face about the brilliance behind your brand’s unique products and services, right?

Wrong. That’s the beauty of Instagram—no cheap, use-car sales tactics are allowed.


Instead, consciously make an effort to build out an ad that most closely resembles everyday organic content. Trust us on this one—though the temptation to proudly feature your logo will likely rear its ugly head, pay it no mind.

Focus on iconic brand elements—subtlety at its finest.

3) Use as Little Text as Possible

Charles Dickens aside, there’s not a writer (or copywriter) on the planet who’s openly preached the importance of being wordy—people don’t want to read more than they have to.

In today’s digital day and age, this is more true than ever. Simply put, get to the point.


Unlike Facebook, Instagram doesn’t have a “20-Percent Text Rule.”

Still, you’d be wise to follow suit. Text within ad images should take up no more than 20 percent of the featured photo. If more is needed, take to the ad caption to finish your brand’s thoughts.

It’s Time to Make It Happen …

Giving your business immediate social exposure to over 500 million active monthly users, few paid advertising platforms are as conversion-driven as Instagram’s.

So, why wait? Armed with the above three strategies, now is the time to give your brand its fair share of Instagram’s limelight. You’ve got the basics—use ‘em!

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