Instagram is a uniquely visual mobile channel. Because of this, it’s extremely important that advertisers generate quality creative that meets the high standards of its users. We’ve analyzed some of the most popular Instagram accounts to uncover lessons that marketers can apply to make direct response ads look just as appealing as the content surrounding them. Without further ado:
For years, millennials have been enthralled with Taylor Swift. The singer-songwriter isn’t just popular on the pop music charts; she’s also a powerful force on Instagram. So why have over 47 million people chosen to follow T-Swift? Her content feels personal and relatable, thanks to numerous behind-the-scenes photos of her lifestyle, tour, and army of celebrity friends.
Takeaway: Instagram audiences want to feel a real connection with the accounts they follow. Let your brand’s humanity shine through with ads that showcase a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into the creation of your products and the people who make them.
Joshua Lott‘s Instagram account is proof that great images don’t require fancy, expensive photo shoots. Joshua finds the beauty in the everyday world, sharing organic urban scenes that draw in the viewer. His photos resonate with 38K Instagrammers because they present interesting takes on common sights.
Takeaway: Take a page from Joshua’s style book by photographing your products in real-world settings. This makes your brand seem relatable and attainable to viewers.
Coffee ‘N Clothes
Like the name states, Coffee ‘N Clothes features various pictures of coffee and the clothes people wear while drinking it. The Instagram account keeps a simple concept interesting through artful use of perspective in each photo. By positioning the camera from the coffee drinker’s point of view, each photo makes 107K followers feel as if they’re actually in the scene enjoying a hot cup of joe while flaunting fabulous fashions.
Takeaway: Use creative angles to make your ad viewers feel as if they’re actually in the scene. If they can imagine themselves in your photos, then they’ll also have an easier time imaging themselves using your products or services.
Harlow and Sage
The canine-centered account of Harlow and Sage follows the exploits and adventures of three adorable dogs, and has attracted a following of 966K. In between the cute and silly photos are a handful of sponsored posts. Yet each of these posts aren’t obviously branded and can stand as interesting content even without the sponsored elements.
Takeaway: While you certainly want branding to be present in your ads, you also want to make sure that it’s not the entire focus of the image. As a litmus test, make sure that the ad would be interesting even if you removed the branded element.
Murad Osmann‘s account features fantastical and highly stylized photos of his wife leading him through exotic sites across the world. The format of every photo, with his wife reaching backwards towards the camera, stays consistent — while the location and outfit changes. Despite each photo’s wildly different look and feel, the repeating motif ties his collection of images together and attracts a whopping 3.4M followers.
Takeaway: Give each photo in your ads a common thread that is instantly recognizable to viewers. This approach will not only keep your brand consistent and differentiated from competitors; it will also help you generate compelling Carousel Ads.