There’s writer’s block, and then there’s copywriter’s block that stops you from creating your next catchy Instagram ad.
How do you keep coming up with all those witty captions, snappy CTAs, and stunning visuals time after time?
You can refill your creative tank by exploring clever Instagram Ad examples that other businesses, not necessarily from your niche, use. You can also keep an eye on your competitors’ ads and gain insights from their campaigns.
This article will help you with both.
Since most brands prefer omnichannel marketing, many of these Instagram Ads aren’t unique to Instagram — they were or are also running on Facebook.
In-feed Instagram Ads Examples
With captivating Reels and Stories hijacking everyone’s attention, businesses on Instagram are having a hard time expanding brand awareness through in-feed ads. All the more reason why they should get creative and appeal to the emotional side of their target audience.
This elegant in-feed ad from Coursera demonstrates how to evoke trust using to-the-point copy and trackable social proof. It speaks directly to Coursera’s target audience and describes the contents of the course without boring them.
Thanks to the featured social proof, the user immediately learns from this ad that this is a top-rated course with more than 20K positive reviews. A natural-looking photo draws additional attention to the ad and makes it more relatable.
Coursera also mentions that there’s a full-access free trial — this is another good-to-know fact that can boost conversions.
Bed Bath & Beyond
Tease and inspire your target audience by showing them what they can achieve with your product or service. BB&B does that by using appealing lifestyle video content in its social media campaigns.
An Instagram ad like this one can easily spark spontaneous purchases because it’s memorable, attractive, and clever. Instead of selling one specific product, why not sell the whole lifestyle? This approach also allows you to showcase your pieces in real life in a more natural context.
This in-feed Instagram ad from Dropbox stands out because it addresses way too familiar problems no one likes to deal with. It also offers an immediate solution and demonstrates how it works.
The intuitive video ad makes the explanation more digestible and removes any potential barriers standing between Dropbox and users who are less tech-savvy and just want their data to be safe.
How do you make sure that your target audience fully understands the advantages of your product? Witty Instagram captions aren’t always enough — you may need to educate them with in-depth blog content.
Soylent seems to have found a perfect formula for their nourishing drinks and engaging social media posts and ads that drive website traffic.
Soylent’s team promotes their new blog posts with valuable tips and insights through in-feed Instagram ads to reach new potential customers. They go the extra mile in making sure that their audience understands what’s in Soylent products and why.
Soylent intentionally uses pure, minimalist design in its ads to maintain the overall brand aesthetic. The brand’s mission is to spread awareness about complete nutrition and sustainability, and we can clearly see that in Soylent’s Instagram campaigns.
Instagram Stories Ads Examples
Instagram Stories are all the rage these days — brands are ready to invest thousands of dollars in video production or even hire professional content makers to get their 24 hours of fame.
So, it’s not enough to just share a vertical video ad or product photo and be done with it. Instagram Stories Ads have to cut through the noise and make a user pause and reflect on the offer. Let’s find out how to do it without breaking the bank.
We all know how dull and uninspiring B2B ads can get, but yours don’t have to be that way. Take a look at this playful Instagram Stories ad with a custom illustration.
This is a catchy and entertaining Story that can certainly spark curiosity. It has no clutter, special effects, or popping stickers, but it does stand out and get the message across.
The power of curated content cannot be underestimated. Sephora knows that and uses Instagram Story ads to pique their target audience’s interest by sharing secret tips and personalized recommendations with them.
Even the emoji choice here isn’t random — that’s how Sephora emphasizes that it offers an inclusive range of products for diverse hair types.
Fifth Third Bank
This ad is another example of how brands can tackle serious topics in a playful and friendly way. Instead of bombarding its potential customers with complex details, Fifth Third Bank puts them at the forefront and talks about things that genuinely interest them, such as how to make paydays more flexible.
Another good thing about this Instagram Stories ad is that this chat doesn’t pretend to be real — it’s just a good illustration of the benefits Fifth Third Bank offers.
Your ads in Instagram Stories are guaranteed to be less salesy if you focus on the results your customers get and not on the product itself. KitchenAid does exactly that — for example, the company promotes its espresso machines by showing how much more pleasant mornings can get if you have one of them around.
This type of Instagram ad is very concise and eye-grabbing, especially if you can pack your whole story into a 15-second piece. However, it’ll require some money and effort to produce smooth and professional videos for social media.
Instagram Influencer Ads Examples
Authenticity is what customers want on Instagram, and what businesses try to live up to (most fail). You can share your brand’s values through hand-picked paid partnerships, collaborations, tagged publications, and other types of influencer content that truly resonates with your mission. Here’s how big brands approach this task.
The sportswear brand has once again changed the game and moved far beyond typical influencer ads. Nike partners with the boldest athletes who aren’t afraid to take a stance or confront outdated norms. As a result, their Instagram influencer ads turn out to be truly captivating and authentic.
By adding a social component to your influencer campaigns, you can also tap into customers’ emotions and show them that your brand is not another soulless money-making machine but a company with a clear mission and philosophy.
Of course, in this case, you will also need to show that your actions match your words. Nike does that by constantly working on sustainable solutions and helping nonprofits, schools, individual athletes, and local communities.
This airline partnered with the Golden State Warriors, one of the top basketball teams in the NBA, to demonstrate that even celebrities can’t miss the chance to benefit from their attractive loyalty program.
This influencer content looks and feels natural, relaxed, and in no way pompous — the ad features top Warriors players simply boarding the plane. We don’t see any pretentious words or overly luxurious details some big brands still tend to throw in, and that’s what makes this campaign so distinct and attractive.
If you want to find influencers that truly speak to your target group, check who your potential customers are following. Malt-O-Meal, a cereal brand, collaborates with bloggers who write about motherhood and lifestyle, and it’s a perfect message-audience fit.
To nail your next Instagram influencer ad, spend extra time finding niche bloggers and local stars who have a genuine following. This way, you’ll make sure that your paid partnership post will actually be noticed and read.
The iconic clothing brand collaborates with models, singers, actors, and creators all over the world and, in fact, uses Instagram influencer ads more than any other type of ad.
This is also an interesting approach since it makes branded content more unique and captivating. Working with many influencers also allows you to reach new audiences faster — it’s an expensive path but certainly worth considering. Finally, it’s a fantastic chance to show your product in action.
Instagram Shopping Ads Examples
Making promotional content look less promotional is a challenging task, but we’ve found a few ways for you to make your Instagram Shopping ads more engaging and interesting.
It’s hard to imagine someone who doesn’t love expertly-curated kits and beautiful sets — they’re usually fun to use and look at, not to mention a nicer price. Plus, the hardest work, choosing, has been done for you. Birchbox applies the same personalization principle to their Instagram ads.
The company offers convenient travel kits with selected products even minimalists can’t live without. An ad like this can be extremely effective when targeted at solo travelers who prefer to explore the world without carrying tons of luggage with them.
Having a stunning image is important, but sometimes, it also makes sense to let a witty caption be the star of the show. Here’s an Instagram ad example proving that.
In this ad, Bellroy lets its brand personality shine through, and it turns out to be way more captivating than typical dry product descriptions.
Reebok’s team chooses passionate, energetic real-life photos for their Instagram Shopping ads. The images help them convey the essence of the brand through every sponsored post.
Thanks to that, we don’t even have to imagine how those new training shoes will withstand hardcore workout sessions — we can clearly see it in the ad. If you want to follow this practice, try using a carousel ad to increase engagement.
Instagram Explore Ads Examples
The “Explore” section on Instagram is quite busy on its own, so sponsored publications there have to be especially eye-catching.
The retailer uses retargeting to “catch” forgetful buyers when they’re unwinding by scrolling through their feed with recommendations.
It’s a steal-worthy trick because the “Explore” section is usually full of entertaining or dreamy content that automatically puts users in a good mood.
Yves Saint Laurent
YSL runs highly visual campaigns that always stand out in the “Explore” feed. For example, this stunning animation with burning letters is impossible to miss.
Of course, it is tough to compete with big brands with unlimited budgets, but you can still adopt a similar approach and pour more creativity into your Instagram Explore ads because, chances are, your competitors aren’t doing that yet.
How to Find More Relevant Instagram Ads Examples and Learn From Them
Here are the main reasons why you should be monitoring your competitors’ ads:
- Get inspired by their captions, visuals, and animations, and never run out of creative ideas.
- Double-check to make sure that you target the right audience and use the right tone of voice.
- Understand what kinds of CTAs work best for your competitors and use that knowledge for your own campaigns.
- Find the best ad types for your niche without wasting your own money on extra experiments and A/B testing.
- Learn from their mistakes and try to fill the gaps in their strategy to attract the audience they’re targeting.
- Understand how to ensure that your Instagram ads are like no others.
The best place to check out the ads that competing brands create is the Meta Ad Library. You can also access it directly from your competitors’ ads on Instagram.
Whenever you see an ad you’re interested in, click on the three-dot icon in the top right corner. Then, click on “About this account.”
By clicking “Active Ads,” you can access their ad library, where you’ll find all their past and active Instagram campaigns.
You can also find ad spy tools for any social media platform; some of them are available as Chrome extensions. You can use them to track your competitors’ ads on other channels, such as TikTok or YouTube.
However, the official Meta library remains the safest and most reliable way to do that, especially considering that it costs you nothing and covers most of your needs.
If you want to know what your target audience thinks of your competitors and their ads, consider using social media listening tools as well.
Make sure that all your ads rock
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