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Instagram for Auto: Dissecting Successful Ads

Instagram for Auto Dealers: Dissecting Successful Ads

So your dealership is already on Facebook and Twitter, and you’re even throwing the occasional post onto Google Plus. Is it really necessary for you to be on Instagram, too?

More and more, the answer is yes. See what we mean with the 2016 State of Automotive Marketing, an in-depth report on the most effective trends in use today.

Because it’s a visual social network, using Instagram for auto sales is a great way to connect with potential buyers beyond specs and jargon. Plus, Instagram’s users haven’t been dealing with ads on that network as long as they have on others, so they aren’t sick of them yet.

To help your dealership get in the race, let’s break down the different parts of a successful Instagram ad.

What Instagram Can Do For Your Dealership

To understand the anatomy of Instagram ads, it is important you know both why you’re using the network and who your audience is.

Like we said, Instagram is all visual. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a well-constructed Instagram ad is worth reaching the 400 million active users who might not be nearly as present on other platforms (Instagram users tend to be younger).

On top of that, Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion back in 2012, and it only added paid advertising options this summer. That’s why Instagram for auto dealers means an expanse of unconquered marketing territory.

So, as we dissect the components of an Instagram ad, keep in mind that younger audience ripe for social engagement. And if you already know your dealership is going to want to be among the first to the Instagram for auto marketing party, go ahead and download our free eBook on the network.

» Download My Free Instagram for Auto Dealers eBook «

The Anatomy of an Instagram Ad

Of course, your Instagram ads will be linked to your profile information and feature a counter for likes (or hearts), but there are a few ad parts you need to be considering in each ad. Here are the four main components you need to know about for Instagram ads.

1. Disclaimer

While it’s likely that your potential customers aren’t as jaded to Instagram ads in their news feed as they might be on Twitter or Facebook, don’t make the mistake of thinking your ad is in full stealth mode. The “Sponsored” tag lets people know that you’ve promoted the content they’re seeing.

This automatically appears on all ads, so you don’t have to worry about placing it or anything; just don’t forget that it’s there.

Instagram for Auto: Dissecting Successful Ads

2. Creative, Captivating, Stellar Imagery

That many adjectives is bad writing, but hopefully it makes my point clear: your Instagram pictures and videos have to kick ass. If you’re new to the platform entirely, check out this article on making an engaging Instagram post, and apply all of that best-practice advice to your ads.

There are three types of Instagram ads you can make use of:

  • Photo Ads: Like the image above, these need to grab attention with one sharp image.
  • Video Ads: Up to 30 seconds long, this option lets you engage users with a video. As they scroll over your ad, the recording will start to play without audio – users can tap the video to turn on the volume.
  • Carousel Ads: Still our current favorite Facebook ad option, carousel ads allow you to post multiple photos that users can swipe through.

But again, no matter which ad type you choose, your imagery most be top-notch.

Seriously — you can’t successfully use Instagram for auto engagement by posting almost-in-focus shots of cars in your garage or on your lot. Your ad is going to compete against the most graphically appealing content users are able to generate.

So you have to bring it. (Here are some apps that might help.)

3. CTA Button

This is probably the most important advancement of Instagram for auto dealerships.

Previously, it was nice if your dealership could post to Instagram and attract a local following. But since you couldn’t attach links to your posts, you were mostly livin’ on a prayer that somebody double-tapping your picture would make it to your profile and then maybe deign to click the link in your bio.

Now, CTA buttons like “Learn More,” “Shop Now,” and “Sign Up” let you link to your vehicle detail pages (VDPs) or offers, moving traffic to your website straight from your ad.

4. Ad Copy

The body of text below your imagery lets you get your message across after you’ve snagged someone’s attention. You can tell them about what’s happening in the picture or detail an offer, ultimately compelling them to click your CTA.

But don’t go overboard. Instagram is about pictures, and your copy should stay brief, building off the graphic engagement instead of distracting from it. You want to compel users to move from that awesome picture over to your website.

Ready to Get Started?

With the basic parts of an Instagram ad down, you should be ready to start exploring this fresh realm of social media marketing.

Remember, a massive amount of your success will depend on the quality of the images you share. If photography isn’t your strong suit, find someone who can rock filters and create that stand-out appeal.

There’s still time to get the early advantage of Instagram for auto dealers. To seize the opportunity, download our free eBook on how to craft the best Instagram strategy for your dealership. Or, get an overview of what marketers for dealerships face in the 2016 State of Automotive Marketing report.