Running Instagram Ads & Retargeting Campaigns for Your Shopify Store

Sarah Donawerth
Sarah Donawerth
Running Instagram Ads & Retargeting Campaigns for Your Shopify Store

Nowadays, Instagram is a great tool to reach your current and potential customers, raise awareness, and attract customers in a visually creative way. This app is one of the most popular social networks worldwide. Brands should be developing a digital marketing strategy that includes retargeting ads on Instagram if they want to succeed.

According to statistics, Instagram has up to 1 billion active users per month and 500 million users daily. Instagram Shopping offers product tagging and a ‘Shop tab’ directly inside the Instagram interface. It’s also integrated with Shopify. Its Instagram Sales Channel gives you new access to millions of e-commerce buyers.

Advertising on Instagram

Advertising on Instagram is also one of the most effective ways to grow your brand. They can help with exposure, generating web traffic, gaining new leads, and even converting potential customers. You can create Instagram Ads through Facebook Ads Manager. You’ll also be able to target all the users across Facebook’s platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.

With Instagram Ads, brands are able to tell visual stories through various ad formats, and many advertisers have seen this channel yielding higher ROI in comparison to their other advertising campaigns. However, to take the performance of your Instagram Ads to the next level, retargeting is the secret weapon that can further boost your sales and ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).

Let’s say you are running an online store. A few customers went to your website and stayed for a few minutes. They browsed around and showed interest in several products. However, they left without buying anything nor did they add the products to their shopping cart, not even registering as a member.

Now, how would you reach them again? That’s where retargeting comes into play! Retargeting is an effective way that helps you reach potential customers by reminding them about you.

Whether you manage the social media of a big corporation, a small business, or even promoting your own personal brand, having Instagram ads and retargeting campaigns together into your marketing strategy is a must! Just imagine the amount of potential customers you’re missing out on.

Continue reading and find out how to convert potential customers into real customers through Instagram ads and retargeting campaigns.

1- Define Your Audience

Although most people focus their success on the number of followers (though follower growth is important too), ultimately it won’t make any difference if none of them buy your products. In order to convert followers into customers, you need to define your target audience.

Finding the right people to deliver your product is essential for the success of your marketing campaign. You need to know how to talk to them, what to talk about, and which are the catchy phrases they’re interested in.

Create a buyer persona

A buyer persona is a picture of your customers’ socio-demographic factors, financial status, likes and dislikes. In other words, it’s how you’d like your ideal customer to be.

In order to start sketching your ideal customer, you need to take a close look at your products. For example, you’re selling men formal leather shoes at a high-level price. In this scenario, your buyer persona would be a man, with a taste in leather shoes with, and high income. He is the one that you need as a loyal customer.

You can look into more specific details while creating your persona: marital status, ideal job, age, and so on. This will give you a better picture to whom you are targeting your products.

Who are your customers?

Now that you know who your ideal customer is, it’s time to check your Instagram statistics. To check them out you should go to your Instagram “Insights” panel and enter the “Audience” tab. Here you can check age, gender, and location.

retargeting ads on Instagram: Buyer Personas

So, if your audience consists of 25 year-old women, or close to that age, but your persona is a male over 30, then you should rethink your Instagram ad strategy and deliver to your actual buyers and audience.

Creative Hashtags

Creating a post for your campaigns will help you increase your engagement by 12%. Hashtags allow you to create interest around a specific topic.

According to a recent study, profiles with up to 100k followers have better reach and impression rates when posting their hashtags in the caption. Those posts without a hashtag don’t show engagement. One hashtag is better than no hashtag at all. Instagram let’s you use up to 30 hashtags.

To do this, you should identify hashtags that are relevant to the content. If you see a hashtag on a post that looks great and is also relevant to the content that you typically post, use it. You can also create your own hashtag that identifies your brand and start building a relationship with your audience.

However you need to take into consideration that if you are selling leather shoes for men over 30, your hashtag should regard topics they’re interested in but at the same time use hashtags that will help you stand out.

For example, if you use #ootd , #workoutfit, #manshoes something that you know they might look for on Instagram at the same time, you might have a look of competitors for that specific hashtag. However, if you use #manfootwear your competition might be lower.

Long-tail hashtags is a good strategy to implement.

2- Determine Objectives of Instagram Ads

If you want to run an unstoppable Instagram ad, it is important for you to decide why you are running this campaign, and let people see whatever you want them to see in your ads. There are 3 important categories where you can choose the main ad objective: awareness, consideration, or conversions.




3- Get Influencers

People who have built a large and engaged following on Instagram are known as ‘influencers.’ Their opinions on certain products have garnered respect. Statistics have shown 88% of the people will follow influencers’ recommendations on the products they are looking for.

Influencer marketing helps you reach your target audience in a more natural way. It’s the new word of mouth promotion. Since influencers have a relationship with their audience, their recommendations are often looked up to, similar to one of a friend.

If you decide that influencer marketing is right for you, you might be wondering how to connect with influencers if you don’t know any.

What if there was a tool that would help you connect with influencers who already love your products? That’s where Carro App comes into play, you’ll know which influencer already knows about you, contact them and distribute your product.

4- Choose the Perfect Visual

Instagram is a visual platform, meaning visual content quality will impact your campaign and make a huge difference between a memorable campaign or a totally forgettable one. Users on Instagram know the importance of this, furthermore having a poor quality photo for a campaign may end up as a failure (towards the campaign) or irrelevant to the user. Typically, if the photo is not something that catches the users’ attention, they will just keep scrolling.

Just think of your Instagram as a reflection of your company.  You’re simply creating a visual personality for your business. Consequently, you want to make sure you make a good first impression, so people will keep coming to your page.

If you’re struggling to create the content you need for ads, consider using images from your influencer partners. They can create images that align with your brand and can catch a user’s attention.

5- Choose the Format that Fits Your Brand

Instagram lets you run different ad formats for your campaign so it will fit your objective and create a bigger impact.

Photo Ads

A photo ad is one simple photo in landscape or square format. For this ad format, you just need one photo to capture your audience.

Retargeting ads on Instagram - Photo ads

Video / Slideshow Ads

Videos can last up to 60 seconds with square or landscape format. The slideshow ad is a collection of still images shown in a sequence in video format.

Retargeting ads on Instagram - videos & slideshow ads

Carousel Ads

Carousel Ads can have 2-10 images or/and videos, where people can swipe to see them all.

Retargeting Ads on Instagram - Carousel Ads

Collection ads

Instagram collection ads combine the power of photos, videos, and direct-response marketing all in one powerful ad. The experience includes a cover image or video followed by several product images. When someone clicks on a collection ad, they’ll land on Instant Experience — a full screen experience that drives engagement and nurtures interest and intent.

Retargeting ads on Instagram - Collection ads

Story ads

Instagram story ads are the newest of all the formats, this is the best way to keep customers engaged everyday with your products.

Retargeting ads on Instagram - Story ads

6- Create Retargeting Campaigns

Once you follow these steps and start delivering your Instagram Ads, you will gain more brand exposure and drive your potential customers to interact with your posts on social media or visit your Shopify online store.

As you reach more potential customers who have engaged with your touch points, it is time to convert them into your buyers by creating retargeting campaigns!

Generally, retargeting ads on Instagram work by keeping track of people who either have interacted with your Instagram posts or visited your Shopify online store. It can help you precisely target these audiences and display your ads as they open Instagram, Facebook, or visit other websites.

There are 2 common retargeting strategies you can try:

Retargeting ads on Instagram will help you engage and convert people you already know, as well as people who are similar to those known audiences. As a merchant, you also decide to tailor your creative/promotion message you want to show to your audience.

For example, you can provide discount codes for people who visited your store in the last  # days. You can customize the days and the discount percentage you want to offer to them.

Before enabling the retargeting mechanism, you need to set up your Facebook Pixel and customize the audience rules for an effective retargeting journey. That way, your website visitors or social media engagers will be collected as the retargeting audience.

Using a Shopify App for Instagram Retargeting Ads

If you’re not familiar with these technical setups, there’s always an option to resolve it. Ako Retargeting app is one of the most popular Facebook Retargeting apps on the Shopify App Store. It helps you manage your budget wisely and show the right content to the right person with no coding needed.

To avoid ad fatigue for your potential customers, you can segment your prospects into groups and retarget them with different ad creatives and formats.

Also, you can reach followers who’ve interacted with your Instagram posts, bringing them to your Shopify online store through Engager Retargeting campaigns.

With Website Visitor Retargeting campaigns, you can remind people who’ve visited your store, read your blogs, or explored product pages. For those visitors who abandoned shopping carts, the best way to recover them is through the Dynamic Product Retargeting campaign.

With these best practices, you can further understand your audience through your Instagram insights. From there, you can plan your clear advertising strategy. As part of a successful marketing strategy, you’ll want to leverage retargeting ads on Instagram to win back your potential customers!

About the Guest Author

Pammela Murphy is the Content Marketing & Partnerships manager at Akohub.

Akohub helps merchants turn website visitors into customers with full-funnel retargeting campaigns. The Ako Retargeting app also recovers your abandoned carts and increases sales conversion rates. Try their 14-day free trial from the Shopify App Store.

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