Shopify Instagram Ads Guide: 400X your customer reach with 20% reduced ad spend

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When it comes to online shopping, more than one-third of internet users prefer visuals to text information. In fact, more than 72% of internet users admit searching for visual content before making a purchase, saying it helps them get a better look and feel of the product they intend to purchase. That’s exactly the reason why you find yourself scrolling through Instagram at least twice a day or more! For that matter, over the last few months particularly, Instagram ads have helped you even discover new brands. 

So why not use Shopify Instagram ads to promote your own store’s products and discounts?

Owing to its visual-driven structure and advertising capabilities powered by Facebook, Instagram has proven to be one of the most effective advertising platforms for eCommerce businesses. In some cases, even more effective than Shopify Facebook ads

In this guide, our goal is to help you understand the smallest of nuances of Instagram ads for your Shopify store. So that whether you’re just getting started with Instagram ads or are revamping your strategy, you don’t just optimize your campaigns for engagement, but actual conversions and sales. 

But first, let’s begin by understanding what Instagram ads are. 

CHAPTER 1

What is Instagram advertising? 

 

To define it simply, Instagram advertising is a way of promoting your business through sponsored content on the social media platform. Similar to Facebook advertising, this tactic of promoting your brand lets you reach a larger and a targeted audience to be able to make more sales. 

Think about the last time you were browsing through Instagram and came across a post that had ‘sponsored’ written under the username. That’s an Instagram ad for you. 

Online businesses use Instagram advertising to achieve different goals – boost brand awareness, drive more website traffic, generate new leads, retarget previous customers and visitors or nurture their leads ahead in the sales funnel. 

Now you might be wondering how Instagram ads are different from Shopify Facebook ads. Well, to start with, there is no such thing as text ads on this platform. 

The only way you can set up an ad for your Shopify store on Instagram, is by using an image, a set of images or a video, which can be accompanied by text. After all, Instagram is a visual platform. 

Now that you know what Instagram advertising is, let’s tell you why we think the platform offers a promising opportunity to Shopify stores for reaching their target audience and making more sales. 

CHAPTER 2

Why should you run Instagram ads for your Shopify store?
 

Contrary to other social media platforms, Instagram users are people who come to the platform simply to be inspired or to discover things they care about, which includes content from brands and businesses. 

Here are some facts about Instagram and Instagrammers that will instantly have you consider being present on the platform, and to include an Instagram advertising strategy in your growth plan.
 

Ready to start with Instagram advertising, but not sure where to begin? Get a FREE ad consultation from our Shopify experts

But if you’re looking for more reasons to include Instagram advertising in your strategy to increase Shopify sales, we got more. 

1. Instagram is built for visuals and visuals are how you can showcase your products best

Think about it. All of Instagram’s content formats – posts, video posts, carousel posts, Stories and IGTV, all are natively visual-driven. Each content format is optimized to enhance the look and feel of the visual posted – be it one clicked or filmed using a simple camera phone or a professional camera. That’s why it makes for a great platform to showcase your Shopify store’s products!

With 90% of accounts following at least one business on Instagram, businesses across the globe have realised the importance of ‘visuals’ in selling products online. It has been proven that being able to present products visually, helps influence online shoppers in a positive way, boosting the engagement rate on the marketing and advertising efforts. 

2. Instagram users are interest-driven and far more engaged than any other platform

Various studies and surveys state that 90% of the information processed by the human brain is visual. In fact, they also state that any content that features visuals, helps businesses grow 12 times faster than those that don’t include visuals in their strategy. In fact, 40% of internet users respond to visual content better!

Adding up the numbers, Instagram users have proven to be far more engaged than those on other social media platforms. They’re not just interest-driven (refer hashtags), but also process the content way faster, almost instantly knowing what a brand has to offer to them. So if your Shopify store uses Instagram to promote its products highlights, the chances of conversion stand way higher than those even from Facebook.

3. Instagram users are hence more intent-driven and likely to make a purchase on seeing your content

Since Instagram users are on the lookout for things they are genuinely interested in, 72% of them make a purchase decision right after seeing a post on the platform. And it’s not just because of the visual content that they’re able to instantly consume.

It’s also because they’re able to see how liked the product is amidst those like them. They’re instantly able to identify what’s trending in the industry and what people think about the product seeing the likes and comments on the post. This is especially true for Shopify stores that fall under the fashion and apparel, healthy and packaged foods, fitness and similar categories. 

4. Instagram offers a suite of tools that are optimized for maximum engagement

Think about the different types of posts you come across or how you came across a new brand recently. From images shared as posts to carousels, Instagram stories, videos, IGTV and shoppable Instagram, the platform has a suite of tools that enable you to boost the engagement on your Instagram page, driving more sales instantly.

So when you’re setting up an Instagram advertising strategy, you have the option of leveraging each of these tools to capture different customer segments. For example, using Instagram stories to target 18-25 year olds and IGTV to capture the interest of 28-35 year olds. You could even experiment between these tools to see what works best for your Shopify store.

5. Instagram ads are fully integrated with Facebook ads

The best thing about running Instagram ads for your Shopify store is its targeting. Since the platform is fully integrated with Facebook ads, you get to leverage the superior campaign customization and targeting capabilities alongside Instagram’s own high engagement optimization. So you’re getting the best of both worlds to promote your Shopify store and reach more customers.

PS. Did you know that the ad recall on Instagram ads is 2.8x higher than the ad recall from all the other social media platforms? Simply put, if strategized well, your Instagram ads won’t just get you more clicks, but also make your brand more memorable.

Want to know how you can create ads that people fall in love with? Get a FREE ad consultation from the Shopify experts at Spin by RevTap.

But just like any other marketing and advertising channel, you need to plan your Shopify Instagram ads. You need to understand the different types of ads, their best practices, what your target customers are more likely to engage with and how much budget would it take to run a successful campaign. So let’s dive right into it!

Your Shopify store’s analytics is an untapped opportunity to grow your sales. Make your data work for you. Give RevTap a spin!
CHAPTER 3

Types of Instagram ads and the objectives supported for Shopify stores

Just like Facebook, Instagram too has different types of ad formats to offer. While all of them are visual-driven, the way they present your promotion to the target audience varies, driving different levels of engagement. 

Let’s take a look at the different Instagram ad formats available that can be used to promote your Shopify store’s products or deals. 

1. Photo Stories ads 


With over 500 million accounts using Instagram stories daily to share their day-to-day lives, it makes the perfect place to advertise your products or your ongoing sales. And you don’t really have to get all creative trying to make videos or boomerangs for Stories. You can simply put your product photos to use. These ads show up to your target audience as they browse through the Stories of those they follow.

Specifications 

  • Image Ratio: 9:16 recommended
  • Minimum Image Width: 600 pixels

Best-suited objectives

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • App Installs
  • Lead Generation

Call-to-action buttons 

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Download

2. Video Stories ads 


But if you do have the resources to create a video promoting your brand story or one of your products, or if you can create a small GIF, go ahead and experiment with videos as Stories ads. The placement is similar to how photo Stories ads work, and your campaign targets the audience while they’re browsing through the regular Stories of those they follow. 

Technical Requirements

  • Video Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels (at least)
  • Maximum file size: 4GB
  • Video Ratio: 9:16 maximum
  • Video Duration: 15 seconds maximum
  • Video Captions: not available 

Specifications 

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • Lead Generation
  • App Installs

Call-to-action buttons 

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Call Now
  • Contact Us
  • Download

3. Photo ads 


If Instagram Stories is not for you and you’d rather just put your product pictures to use, you can choose photo ads as your Instagram ad format. Your photos can be in square or landscape format in this case – pick the one that lets you showcase your products the best. Along with an amazing ad copy as caption, this ad format is one of the most commonly used and is pretty simple to get started with. 

Technical Requirements

  • File type: jpg or png
  • Maximum file size: 30MB
  • Minimum Image Width: 600 pixels
  • Image Ratio: 4:5 minimum, 16:9 maximum
  • Text length: 2,200 maximum (*although Instagram recommends staying below 90 for optimal delivery)
  • Hashtag Number: 30 maximum (*you can add additional in the comments)

Best-suited objectives

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • App Installs
  • Lead Generation
  • Brand Awareness
  • Post Engagement
  • Product Catalog Sales
  • Store Visits

Call-to-action buttons 

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Call Now
  • Contact Us
  • Get Directions
  • Learn More
  • Get Showtimes
  • Download

4. Video ads


If you want to add more depth to your ads and make the campaign more immersive, use videos. With the added power of sight, sound and motion, you’ll be able to captivate your audience’s attention even faster. With 120 seconds to share your story in landscape or square format, you have a lot of ideas to play with. 

Specifications 

  • Video Resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels (at least)
  • Maximum file size: 4GB
  • Video Ratio: 4:5 minimum,16:9 maximum
  • Video Duration: 60 seconds maximum
  • Video Captions: optional
  • Image Ratio: 4:5 minimum, 16:9 maximum
  • Text length: 125 characters maximum recommended
  • Hashtag Number: 30 maximum (*you can add additional in the comments)

Best-suited objectives

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • Lead Generation
  • Brand Awareness
  • Post Engagement
  • Store Visits

Call-to-action buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Call Now
  • Contact Us
  • Download

5. Carousel ads


Will adding multiple photos or videos in your ad campaign to promote a product or a sale explain things better to your target audience, then this one’s for you. You can create a carousel of the same product’s images from different perspectives, or choose to promote different product photos from the same collection. You can even create a carousel of photos and videos.

Specifications 

  • File type: jpg or png
  • Maximum file size: 30MB
  • Minimum Image Width: 600 pixels
  • Image Ratio: 4:5 minimum, 16:9 maximum
  • Text length: 2,200 maximum (*although Instagram recommends staying below 90 for optimal delivery)
  • Video Duration: 60 seconds maximum
  • Hashtag Number: 30 maximum (*you can add additional in the comments)

Best-suited objectives

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • Brand Awareness
  • Lead Generation
  • Product Catalog Sales

Call-to-action buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Call Now
  • Download

6. Canvas Story ads 


An Instagram ad format that truly offers an immersive experience to your target audience, is Canvas Story ads. This ad format allows you to create a 360 VR experience within your Instagram story using images,  videos or even carousels. They’re only supported via mobile devices though and are commonly also referred to as Instant Experience Ads. you can learn more about them here

Specifications 

  • Minimum Image Width: 400 pixels
  • Minimum Image Height: 150 pixels

Best-suited objectives

  • Reach
  • Brand Awareness
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • Lead Generation
  • Post Engagement
  • Video Views
  • Store Visits

Call-to-action buttons

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us

7. Collection ads 


Collection ads is an ad format that lets your target audience discover, browse and purchase products from their mobile devices in a visually immersive way. It typically includes a cover image or video of the product or sale you’re promoting, followed by several product images. So when someone clicks on the cover, a full screen experience appears showcasing the other products you’re promoting in the collection. This ad format is great to tell an integrated story with product focus! 

Specifications:

  • Image or video (cover image or video): Vertical images or videos may be masked to a max 1:1 ratio in Feed
  • Headline: 25 characters 
  • Primary text: 90 characters

Best-suited objectives:

  • Traffic
  • Conversions 
  • Catalog sales
  • Store traffic

8. Ads in Explore 


Remember how we mentioned that Instagram users are intent-searching at all times. They explore posts using hashtags or search terms they think that describes their interest the best. To tap into this behaviour, extend your feed ads to audiences who are looking to expand their interests beyond the accounts they’re already following. With 83% of consumers discovering new products and services in Explore, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss! 

Here’s how it works – a user sees your ad in their Explore grid. On clicking, this leads them to the Explore feed (middle image), where both photo and video ads will show up similar to how they appear in the Instagram feed. Clicking into a larger media, it then leads this user to the Explore Video experience (right image), which will only show video ads.

Learn how ads in Explore work here.  

CHAPTER 4

How to create your Instagram ad creatives for promoting your Shopify store?

Once you decide on the objective of your ad campaign and the format you want to run the campaign in, the next step is to work on your ad creatives. 

A lot of Shopify stores believe all they need are pictures from their product photoshoot to run their ad campaigns. While it works for some ad formats, there’s always a little adapting that needs to be done. 

After running thousands of ad campaigns and testing different creatives ourselves, here are some ad creative design best practices we recommend: 

  • Keep your ads colourful to grab attention immediately (boring is out!)
  • Highlight your value proposition in the ad image or video
  • Create ad creatives that contrast with the newsfeed (or you’ll blend in)
  • Use the right image size (refer the specs we mentioned above)
  • Make sure your ad creatives look good on every screen
  • Test both landscape and square ad creative formats
  • Always adapt your creative to the placement and the style that is more native (if your Story doesn’t look like a Story, is it even a story?) 

Here are some of our observations on different types of Shopify Instagram ads we have run for online stores: 

Note: The results may vary from product to product and the campaign goal. These are just some of our observations.


1. Landscape vs square ad creatives on Instagram

Based on the data and our experience running ads for our clients at Spin by RevTap, we found that square ads perform well and have a higher conversion rate than landscape ads. This is because a squared post is more native to Instagram’s look and feel.

2. Static vs video creatives 


Based on experience running ads for Shopify stores at Spin by RevTap, we noticed that video ads perform well and show a higher conversion rate than static images as they’re more engaging. Additionally, they help your online store give a better perspective of your products to shoppers who may be discovering them for the first time.

3. Light background vs colorful ad creatives


While this may vary from product to product, our experiments at Spin by RevTap show that using colorful creatives for your Facebook ad campaigns give a higher conversion rate than those with lighter backgrounds. The reason’s pretty simple – it helps you stand out on an ever-increasing feed of content where everyone is trying to create subtle themes these days.

4. Photo Stories vs Video Stories  


Similar to static and video ad campaigns, the type of creative you use in your Instagram Stories ads also has an impact on your conversions. According to the campaigns we have run so far, we noticed that using videos or GIFs in Stories led to higher conversions as they became more engaging and effective at grabbing attention – considering how most Instagram users browse through Stories in a consecutive-tap behaviour.

5. Single-image ads vs carousel ads  


When it comes to visuals, online shoppers seek more product images and videos to be able to make a purchase decision. That’s why while running Instagram ads, we noticed that carousel ads gave Shopify stores an opportunity to showcase more about their products. Be it using a series of images or a mix of images and videos, it enabled them to offer more content to online shoppers, thereby leading to higher conversions.Not sure which type of ad format suits your Shopify store’s products the best? Contact our experts for a FREE ad consultation.

6. Image to text ratio experiments


We ran Shopify Instagram ads with creatives that included a lot of text and those that kept the text at less than 20%. The results were very clear. Keeping your image to text ratio at 80:20, and ensuring that your ad creative does not have more than 20% text, can boost the delivery of your ad, thereby increasing its reach and conversions.

7. Colour blinding vs one colour 


Another one of the tactics we tested out was the colour blinding technique. In this tactic, we create Shopify Instagram ad images with half the creative in one colour, and the other is another different colour. We noticed that these ads pulled the audience’s attention immediately, and increased conversions.

CHAPTER 5

How to create your Instagram ad copy?


Some ads make you want to instantly click through and buy the products they’re promoting. Some ads you just scroll past because they didn’t look interesting enough. So was the difference only in the ad creatives they used?

No. The ad copy has a big impact on how you engage with the ad. That’s why in this section, we’re sharing some of the tips that we’ve tried at Spin while running Instagram ads for Shopify stores.

1. Keep it human and make it personal 


Stop sounding robotic in your Instagram ads. Your audience knows you’re trying to sell to them. Why not make their journey a little more personal? Using conversational copy in your ad campaigns will always bring you more engagement and be able to nudge shoppers in a desired direction.

For example, make your ad campaign’s call-to-action button more personal by making it about the shopper. Replace the word ‘your’ with ‘my’ and see the difference – we noticed a 6.3% increase in click-through rate making this simple swap.

2. Nudge and action by using power words


The use of power words has been emphasised on by many marketing experts. The strategy has been proven to increase conversion rates by a whopping 12.7% when used in promotion campaign copies.

Here are some power words and phrases that you can use in your Instagram ad copies for better CTR:

3. Include call -to- action words in your copy


Want your target audience to give a prompt response to your Instagram ad campaign? Include a few words that serve
as an additional call-to-action apart from the button you use. The extra nudge by using these words have proven to get higher clicks.Some of the call-to-action words that we love using in Instagram ads for Shopify stores are:

  • Try Now
  • Shop Now
  • Free
  • Get a free gift
  • Grab the discount
  • Get X% Off
  • Shop the Sale

4. Create scarcity around your products

Given a chance, online shoppers would browse through at least ten other stores before deciding to purchase from one. But if they feel they might miss out on a great product, they’ll make a purchase decision faster. That’s why we recommend using scarcity words in your ad copy.

Phrases like ‘buy it while it lasts’, ‘stocks running out’, ‘only few pieces left’ and more call out to the shopper and tell them it’s a do or die situation. Scrolling past your ad might make them lose out on a great product!
Do your Instagram ads get a lot of reach, but not as many conversions?
Get a free ad consultation from our experts

5. Create an urgency around your offer


Similar to scarcity, urgency builds demand for the products or discounts that you’re promoting in Instagram ads. Simple phrases like ‘Shop now!’, ‘Limited period offer’, ‘Ends soon’ and more nudges the shopper to make a purchase decision sooner.

Here are some phrases you can use to create urgency in your Instagram ad campaigns:

  • Price going up
  • Final sale
  • 24 hours left
  • Ends in 3 days
  • Only till June 15
  • Act now!
  • Flash Sale
  • Limited Time Offer
    Need help creating an Instagram ad for your Shopify store that engages shoppers instantly? Get a FREE ad consultation from our experts
CHAPTER 6

How can you run Instagram ads for your business?

When it comes to Instagram ads, there are three ways in which you can buy, run and track campaigns that promote your Shopify store products. The one you choose should be the one that you’re the most comfortable with! 

1. Within the app


The easiest way to run Instagram ads for your Shopify store is by promoting the posts you’ve shared on your Instagram account/ page. Just select the post you want to promote, set up the targeting available on the platform and then track how many people are seeing and interacting with your promoted content. This is great if you’re not looking at too precise a targeting for your campaign and need to frequently boost your posts to get more visibility.

Learn more about Instagram promotions here.

You can achieve the following goals with Instagram ads that are set up within the app:

  • Get more profile visits 
  • Increase website visitors 
  • Encourage direct messages 

2. Ads Manager


Ads Manager uses the same advertising tools as Facebook. If you’ve gotten comfortable using it for running your campaigns, we suggest you set up, make changes and track results of all your Instagram campaigns, ad sets and ads in one place.

Since the Ads Manager is available on both desktop and mobile, you can manage your Instagram ads on the go – pretty much like you can within the app.

3. Instagram partners 


If you’re short on time, not sure where to begin or just need help setting up Instagram ads for your store, find a partner to work with. As skeptical as it may sound, outsourcing your Instagram advertising strategy can be one of the fastest ways to get things out of the way and reach your target customers.

These partners usually take care of everything from buying ads to sourcing and delivering creatives, as well as setting up the campaigns with precise targeting and day-to-day optimization.

Ready to explore how you can work with Instagram partners for your Shopify store? Reach out to our Shopify experts for a free ad consultation

CHAPTER 7

How to set up targeting for your Instagram ads?

 

Since Instagram uses Facebook’s targeting features, it enables you to reach your audience in a more effective way. The only thing you need to know is who your ideal customer is, what your goal from the campaign is and then set your targeting based on the following parameters: 

1. Location


Target people based in specific locations such as countries, regions, cities or countries. If your Shopify store sells to a global market, we recommend creating separate Instagram ads for each of your primary locations to keep your messaging relevant. And also to be able to measure the impact that market has on your sales.

2. Demographics


Narrow down your targeting by defining who your ideal customer is, based on demographic information such as age, gender and languages. The closer you are to defining an individual, the more likely you are to be able to convert that consumer into a customer.

3. Interests


Reach people based on interests such as the apps they use, ads they click on, accounts they follow or topics they are generally interested in. For instance, if you sell beachwear, you should be targeting people who follow travel accounts or are following fashion magazines.

4. Behaviours


As we said, the closer you are to defining an individual, the more likely you are to turn them into a customer. Define your audience by activities they do on and off Instagram. For example, purchasing high-value goods. It’s a good indicator of their purchase power and this is especially important for those Shopify stores that sell high-value products.

5. Custom audience 


Run Instagram ads to customers you already know based on their email addresses or phone numbers. These are people who have interacted with your Shopify store in some way previously – either subscribed to your newsletter or made a purchase from your brand. It’s like reaching an audience that knows what your brand is all about and selling to them.

6. Lookalike audience 


Find new people similar to your existing customers with this targeting option for your Instagram ads. Here you basically you’re looking at reaching out to an audience that has similar interests, behaviour and demographics as those of your existing customers. This Instagram ad targeting is only effective when you have an established base of customers already.

7. Automated targeting 


If you’re not sure who your audience is or who your Instagram ad should be targeting, this is for you. When you select this option, Instagram quickly creates an audience who might be interested in your business using a variety of parameters like location, demographics and interests.

Not sure what your targeting should look like to get more sales out of your Instagram ads? Contact our Shopify experts for a FREE ad consultation

CHAPTER 8

How to set the right budget for your Instagram ads?


Instagram gives you complete control over how your advertising budgets are allocated. For instance, you can choose to set a daily budget to limit the ad spend per day or a lifetime budget where you could simply set a threshold for the overall spend on a campaign and your Instagram ad runs for the length of time that budget is available. 

1. Daily budget 


By setting up a daily budget, you’re automatically telling Instagram that it needs to stop delivering you ad after it has hit the spend limit for a day. The results you then get in those 24 hours become what your ad spend is worth.

If Instagram identifies a high-potential opportunity, it might even spend a little more than your daily budget for a day or during a specific period of time during the day. But then the platform automatically lowers the spend on the low-potential days to still maintain the cap you have set for your Shopify Instagram ads.

2. Lifetime budget 


As we have said before, setting up a lifetime budget is similar to you getting monthly pocket money. You’re allowed to spend the best way you seem fit, but once the money is over, you’re done for the month.

When you set up a lifetime budget for your Instagram ads, Facebook will ask you to add a schedule for your Shopify Instagram ads campaign – a start and an end date. It then divides the total campaign budget almost evenly across the campaign dates.

Want to learn more about the pros and cons of both the budgeting options? Read this guide.

You can also control your Instagram ad spend by setting an ad schedule (what time of the day you want to run your ads), ad delivery method (link clicks, impressions, and daily unique reach) and bidding amount (manual vs automatic).

What do we recommend? 


Our Shopify experts suggest setting up a daily budget and an ongoing campaign duration. This gives you the flexibility to edit your daily budgets or even pause your campaign whenever the need be.

To start with, we recommend having a budget of $30-$40 per day for at least 3 to 4 weeks.

During this period, you should be closely tracking your cost per action (CPA) and the amount you spend on it.

Further on, your budget allocation strategy should be based on concrete data. So before you start running your Instagram ads, get yourself an analytics tool like RevTap to track the smallest of details like ad placement performance, demographic performance and more.

Get the Shopify analytics app here.

Not sure how much what kind of ad budgeting you should go with? Don’t know what your daily ad spend should look like? Get a FREE ad consultation from our Shopify experts.

Ready to run start using Shopify Instagram ads to promote your store and products, but not sure what works?

Here’s a list of campaigns that will get you noticed and get you sales in no time!

CHAPTER 9

Must-have Instagram ads for better customer engagement and more sales 

1. Brand awareness 


Whether you’re a new store or one that has been in business for a long time, this is one campaign that you absolutely need. With so many brands coming online, your audience is being targeted by at least 10 other stores at any given point in time. That’s why you need to consistently reach out to them to show the value that your brand offers – or reintroduce what you do.

These can be simple campaigns that lead the visitors to your Instagram profile or to your website.

2. Product promotion 


While making impulse purchases is still very common, the new-age consumer has become slightly more careful about what they’re investing in. That’s why you don’t see most of your first-time visitors converting into customers right away. This is where your product promotions come in.

Once you have introduced your brand to the audience, it’s time to introduce them to different products from your catalogue.

3. Sale/discount/offer promotion 


You could be selling the best product out there, but the one thing that will actually appeal to your audience is the ‘discount’ you’re running on it. So one type of Instagram ad that you should be running for your Shopify store, is a sale/discount/offer promotion.

The ad is pretty straightforward, highlighting the discount you’re offering or the sale you just launched. It appeals to the price-sensitiveness of your audience.
Pro tip:
Add a little sense of urgency around the offer or discount you’re offering. This creates FOMO in your audience, making them want to interact with you instantly. 

4. Product how-tos


Coming back to the need for knowing more about what we’re purchasing. Based on what your industry has to sell, you need to think about ‘would your prospect customer know how to use your product’?

If you think there is the slightest possibility of them not understanding how to use your product or not understanding the features it has to offer, consider running product how-to Instagram ads.

In this case, a carousel of images that show a step-by-step or a video does really well!

Pro tip: Adding text to your video can help you convey more of what’s being shown in the Instagram ad without the need for your audience to ‘listen’ to it. This little growth hack has led to many of our customers getting higher engagement rates on their Instagram ad campaigns.

5. Cart recovery 


More than 69% of carts get abandoned on average, across the world. The reasons could be absolutely anything – the shopper did not see the value in making the purchase anymore, they got distracted by their surroundings, they saw a discount being offered by a similar brand, they did not find your shipping and payment methods suiting them or they simply would rather wait for you to go on sale.

That’s why a cart recovery campaign is an absolute must. This type of Instagram ad simply focuses on reminding cart abandoners of what they’ve left behind – and preferably, giving them a reason to come back to complete the purchase – which in most cases is either an additional discount, free shipping or FOMO around the product running out of stock.

6. Retargeting


Despite all your Instagram ad campaigns, there are still visitors who will not complete a purchase on your store. Considering the endless options available online, it’s only normal for them to reconsider their purchases or look for what more is being offered. That’s why you need to have retargeting ads set up right from the start!
Pro tip: Instead of just retargeting your site visitors endlessly with reminders of the products they viewed, try something different. Share customer testimonials and ratings on the products they showed interest in. The idea is to show them how the product is so loved by others like them and they were making the right decision to buy it.  

CHAPTER 10

How to measure the success of your Shopify Instagram ads  

Just like Shopify Facebook ads, you need to continually monitor and analyse the performance of your Instagram ads to make them better.

A lot of stores measure the success of their Instagram ads on the basis of followers, likes, comments and shares. But that’s just a small part of the KPIs you need to be tracking. You need to think about the overarching goal you set for the Instagram ad campaign and then see which of the KPIs provide the most information regarding how you performed and how close you are to achieving that goal.

Some of the metrics that really matter for measuring the success of your Shopify Instagram ads, are: 

1. Follower growth rate 


The very first metric you need to look at is how fast is your Instagram follower list growing. Does your follower count increase when you’re running Instagram ads or does the number remain static all through?

Measuring the follower growth rate will help you understand if the audience you’re targeting is even really on the platform. It will also help you understand if the kind of content you’re posting or the messaging you’re using is really interesting to them.

2. Audience reach 


You could be setting up the targeting for your Shopify Instagram ads keeping everything in mind. But you could still be missing out on an opportunity.

That’s why you need to continually measure how many people your ad campaign is reaching. The metric is indicative of how well your brand’s campaign has been able to penetrate a market.

3. Engagement rate 


It’s not just about reaching as many people as possible through your Instagram ads. You need to also look into how many people are finding your ads worthwhile and are willing to engage with them in some way.

The engagement rate is calculated as the number of engaged users divided by the total reach of that post/ campaign, and then multiplying the number by 100.

4. Conversion rate 


If your Instagram ad campaign is not leading to actual conversions, is it even worth running it? You need to continually measure how many people are actually taking the action you wanted them to, from your campaign.

This is done by comparing your reach to conversion rate – what happens when you send a person from Instagram to your Shopify store’s sale page. For example, you set the goal of driving traffic to your store. Now you notice that your Instagram ad has a high reach, a number of likes as well but not as many click-throughs to your website. This means that while your campaign may be interesting to this audience, it’s not compelling enough to make them want to interact with your brand.

5. Referral traffic 


We always recommend looking beyond Instagram Insights to know how well your ad campaigns are performing. Take a look at Google Analytics to see how much traffic your Shopify store is receiving from Instagram. This is the traffic that typically either comes from a website campaign you’ve set up or the clicks that occur on the link in your Instagram bio.

6. Sales from Instagram 

Is the channel getting your Shopify store actual sales or are you just endlessly running ad campaigns in the hope of reaching more people? This metric requires you to look into the behavioral flow in your Google Analytics account.

Take a look at how many people that made a purchase on your store, came originally from Instagram. With this KPI in your marketing and advertising report, you’ll be able to measure the ROI of your Shopify Instagram ads.

7. Instagram profile visits 


While most consider this a vanity metric, it’s a good idea to keep a close watch on how many people are visiting your Instagram profile to know more about your brand. This lets you know if your Shopify Instagram ads have been able to stimulate interest in your target audience.

Now to measure the right numbers for your Instagram ad performance, you need to look into the native insights provided by the platform. But additionally, you also need to look into your Facebook Ads Manager for more insights on reach, best time of engagement, demographic details and more.

On top of that, you need to validate everything by looking into Google Analytics to draw a more concrete narrative.

That’s where we have seen 50% of the Shopify stores we speak to, slack. They find the whole process so overwhelming that they skip out on one of the above, leaving vital customer information and opportunities on the table.

This is where using a Shopify Analytics app like RevTap helps streamline the data for you. It lets you focus on metrics that matter the most, without having to jump from one platform to another.

On top of the above KPIs for your Instagram ads, it further provides you with the following reports that help you get a holistic view of how your campaigns are performing:

  1. Overall Instagram ads performance

    As a store owner, sometimes you need to know if Instagram has been adding value to your business as an effective sales channel. With RevTap, you can get a comprehensive view of how well your ad campaigns have been performing on a weekly or month basis, or across custom dates that you want to analyse. Apart from the ad spend and revenue generated from Instagram over the period, here are a few other metrics it highlights:
  • Impressions – Total number of impressions for the selected date range. (Based on facebook’s impressions).
  • Cost per click (CPC) – The total amount spent divided by the total number of link clicks on the ad.
  • Click-through rate (CTR) – The total number of link clicks divided by the total impressions made by the ad.
  • Cost per impression (CPM) – Cost per 1,000 Impression; total amount spent on an ad campaign, divided by impressions, multiplied by 1,000.
  • Ad frequency – The average number of times each person saw your ad.

    Want to learn how your existing Shopify Instagram ads have been performing? Speak to our Shopify experts for a FREE ad consult
  1. Demographic target performance

    With data pulled from your Facebook Business Manager account, RevTap creates an easy-to-understand graph that highlights which age group is interacting with your Instagram ads the most. It further goes on to collate data on each of the age groups – ad reach, frequency, clicks, the amount spent, revenue generated, ROAS and more.

  2. Gender target performance

    Similar to age groups, the next section of your performance marketing report includes how your Shopify Instagram ads have performed under gender-wise targeting.

    Here too, it highlights your ad reach, frequency, clicks, the amount spent, revenue generated, ROAS and more. So that you don’t have to go individually reading campaign insights on Instagram or the Ads Manager. This is one report that is a clear indicative of which age group has the spend power to purchase from your Shopify store.

  3. Ad placement performance

    Advertising on Instagram has its perks. With access to multiple ad placements, your campaigns have a higher chance of being noticed by your target audience. Each placement is optimized to engage your target audience visually. But to see which ad placement works the best can be tedious.

    RevTap pulls together that data into a crisp report so that you can focus on specifically optimizing your ads for a placement that has driven more sales and revenue for your store.


    Also read:
    Marketing better with performance analytics 
  1. Campaign(s) performance

    And of course, an overview of how all your Shopify Instagram ads are performing. So that you can tally the ad spend of each Instagram campaign and the revenue you’ve generated from it in minutes.

    If you have set up multiple ad sets under a campaign, you can click through to find a similar, actionable report on it.

Conclusion

With the changing consumer behaviour and marketing trends, it’s sometimes difficult to catch up with what a consumer wants to engage with. You need to stay at the top of your game by putting all your marketing and customer data to use, and adding it to your Facebook advertising strategy to create campaigns that actually work.

But when you’re handling a store, customer queries and ensuring timely deliveries, setting up Facebook ads often becomes a ‘set it and forget it’ approach for most. As a result of which, a lot of Shopify stores simply end up running ads that keep them in the know-how but don’t really drive the right shoppers to their store.

So they end up spending thousands of dollars a month getting traffic to their store that does not convert.

After speaking to a lot of such stores, we decided to help them create Facebook advertising strategies. We’ve roped in Shopify experts to offer a FREE ad consultation to stores that have been struggling to make the most out of Facebook ads or are just starting out with their advertising.

Interested in getting insights that can help you turn your $5 spend per day into concrete results? 

Schedule your consultation today.

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Vanhishikha Bhargava
Vanhishikha Bhargava
Vanhishikha is the Head of Content and Partnerships at RevTap. You'll usually find her hunting for strategies and tools to enable eCommerce businesses to sell more. At other times, you'll find her testing them and writing about them with a cup of coffee.

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