Instagram Ads Design Checklist to Increase Engagement

Instagram Ad Design

Want to know how big the user pool is for Instagram? Hootsuite reports that a billion people use Instagram every month. Half a billion use Instagram stories every day. Users spend nearly half an hour every day daily. That is a huge audience.

Businesses are flocking to Instagram after recognizing the potential reach and business opportunities through Instagram advertising services. However, despite implementing aggressive ad campaigns, a large number of businesses are failing to reach their target audience. This is a result of poor design that fails to resonate with users and keep them engaged with your brand.

Before you start cranking out Instagram ads, there are a few good design principles you need to follow to create ads that will convert.

Define Your Objective

Just like any other marketing message, you should clearly define your objective. Are you looking to get someone to join a subscription, visit your website, sign up for a webinar, or buy your product?  Great ads won’t work if they aren’t aligned with your goal. Have a clear understanding on what you’re advertising and create an ad that effectively conveys that. It’s equally important to track key metrics of the ad campaign as a way to measure its success.

Target the Right Audience

Social media has a lot of built-in tools to help you determine your active audience and passive audience. Active audience members are ones who engage with your ads and likely convert into customers. Passive audience members are ones who may have been targeted because they’re interested in products similar to yours, but are less likely to convert. By creating personas of your ideal buyer, you can target the people that will be most interested and receptive to your message.

Content Matters

Instagram is a visual medium, so the imagery you choose matters a lot. It needs to catch people’s attention and draw them in, but it also has to connect directly to your message.

When you are designing your ad, using low-quality images or video is a big mistake. Don’t just grab a stock photo or picture from your smartphone. Professional quality images, with the proper staging and lighting, are a must. Pay attention to what is in the background or periphery of your main focus. Many great campaigns have been sabotaged because they didn’t notice something visible over the model’s shoulders.

What works on Instagram?

Instagram algorithm can be tricky to master. Investing money in ad campaigns that aren’t garnering any engagement can be frustrating for business users. To ensure you’re increasing ROI, generate content that:

  1. Generates a strong, positive emotion
  2. Demonstrates authority or expertise
  3. Tells a compelling story
  4. Includes a direct call-to-action

Users on Instagram will be in different stages of the buyer’s jouney.  Make sure your ads are appropriate for the right stage. The right message at the wrong time may cause you to lose a sale.


Above all, make sure your ads are authentic. Imagery or content that sounds cookie-cutter or comes off as promotional will immediately be disregarded by users. Instagram ads shouldn’t look or sound like typical advertising. Be genuine, original, and let your hair down!  It’s OK to add humor, tell stories, or show people what happens behind-the-scenes.

Instagram Advertising Services that Work for You

Social media advertising may seem overwhelming for business owners of any caliber. Consider using a social media advertising company to optimize your Instagram advertising services for the best results.

Our team of creators at L7 Advertising will analyze your audience and create Instagram ads that will compel and convert. Contact us today to learn the best way to create, promote, and market your business.


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