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6 Instagram Ad Creative Best Practices For Digital Marketers

Written by: Carolyn Berk, Content Marketing Associate

Instagram is the perfect platform for marketers looking to reach a young and growing audience using a universal language — images. Because visuals speak the loudest on this photo-sharing site, it’s important to make sure that your ads adhere to Instagram’s creative best practices. Here are six rules of thumb to keep in mind as you work on creating your Instagram ad campaigns.

1. Lighting and Details

Every pixel matters when your ads are going to be published to users with high-resolution screens. So make sure your Instagram images are high quality, not grainy or blurry from being resized. When taking photos for your ads, avoid harsh, artificial lighting from overhead sources and instead use natural lighting when shooting your photos.

Lighting and Details - Instagram Ad Creative Best Practices

2. Focal Point

Focus viewers’ attention on a clear focal point instead of using imagery that is busy or complex. Keep your Instagram ads from being too visually confusing by dedicating each ad to just one product, instead of trying to sell multiple items with one ad.

Focal Point - Instagram Ad Creative Best Practices

3. Classic Composition

Don’t forget about the basics of photo composition! Use techniques like the rule of thirds, straightening, and symmetry to make a huge impact on the appeal of your Instagram ads. Avoid adding borders to your images, since this will detract from your pictures and draw attention away from what your ad is really about.

Composition - Instagram Ad Best Practices

4. Subtle Branding

Instagram is a nuanced social media channel. To make sure your brand doesn’t overshadow the content, try subtly including your logo, or focus on an iconic brand element or signature color.

Brand - Instagram Ads Creative Best Practices

5. Aligned Messaging

Make sure your content has a strong and consistent message across all campaigns so that users understand what your brand stands for. Your Instagram campaign can focus on a central idea conveyed in a storyline, a specific visual style, or a continuing theme. Your image should be able to communicate this message so users can understand it even if they don’t read the accompanying caption.

Messaging - Instagram Ad Creative Best Practices

6. Minimal Text

Instagram is all about visuals, so your imagery should be the main focus of your ads. It’s often best to share accompanying text in the caption instead of trying to cram it in with visuals, but if you do use text overlay on your photos,  make sure it covers less than 20% of your image.

Text - Instagram Ad Creative Best Practices

Bonus Tips

Instagram Logo Bullet PointMake your Instagram ads appealing and relatable by showcasing real-life situations, people and objects that your audience can connect with. This will drive higher click-through rates (CTRs) and make your ads more memorable.

Instagram Logo Bullet Point

Standing out from the crowd is critical if you want your ads to succeed on Instagram. Use bright, eye-popping colors that draw attention to your ads. Run a creative test to see which colors and other visual elements drive the most clicks.

Instagram Logo Bullet PointDon’t let you audience lose interest because they’ve seen the same creative multiple times! Make sure your ad creative is unique to Instagram and hasn’t already been shared in your organic posts. It’s important to switch out your creative frequently in order to keep your ad content fresh.

Note: The brands featured herein are meant to serve as compelling examples, and are not Nanigans customers unless expressly noted.

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