Manar Al Hinai: Three tips to get the most out of your Instagram ads



The way products and services are advertised has completely changed. Many clients now ignore traditional media in favour of digital options, bloggers and promoting their wares on social media. From my experience, this can be effective and cost-efficient. It shows that your business is going with the flow.

Advertising on Instagram, for example, is something many of my clients consider. The platform announced last month it now has more than 500,000 advertisers – twice as many as six months ago. For someone who is passionate about advertising and marketing, I find Instagram a little on the overcrowded side when it comes to ads. Not only do I encounter ads as I scroll through my feed, but I run into more – either direct or indirect – from Instagram influencers, aka those with a high number of followers. But perhaps this shows its effectiveness as a channel.

Which takes me to an important point I often discuss with clients: how can a business make its own promotional material stand out? Ultimately, the goal is to have viewers follow your page, visit your website, and most importantly buy your product.

Here’s how to step up your game on Instagram:

Tailor your ad

If you are used to advertising on traditional platforms, such as magazines or newspapers, then the visuals you will use for Instagram must be completely different. What makes Instagram popular is its filters and how people use them to post about their “daily outings” or “daily workouts”. Instagram allows you to either upload a photo or a 60-second video. So as you plan your visual shoots, ensure they are shot in a way that fits the platform they will feature on. Avoid making the images too formal, or making it look as though it has been scanned from a magazine advertisement. Your goal is to have it blend in the feed, so that users actually look at it, and not skip it.

Target the right audience

As you plan your post, be specific about the audience you want to send your message to. Ads on Instagram can target specific users in certain countries who belong to a particular age group. Profile your audience beforehand and then determine those characteristics as you narrow down your audience. Doing this ensures your ad is aimed towards your potential clients, making the process more cost-effective. This takes us back to the first point: knowing who you are targeting and what kind of lifestyle they pursue will help you decide whether your visual ads should be artistic, silly, sophisticated or ultra-trendy. If you are going after teenagers, for example, then your videos should be fun, perhaps featuring a social media blogger they like and avoiding any heavy texts embodied in the video or under the post.

Get straight to the point

In a video, you only have 60 seconds. The first couple of seconds that appear as your users scroll down their feed and run into your ad will determine whether they stay to watch the full advertisement. I recommend skipping intro texts and getting straight to the point. Also ensure that the message can be received with or without audio. Many users may be checking their feed while they are in a meeting, at a conference or in a place where the background noise is too high. If you have important information, such as an offer or a discount, then embed text in the video rather than depend on the audio. This also takes us to the first two lines of your copy that appear under your post. Instagram only allows you to show a couple of lines until a “read more” link directs users to more content. So, ensure the essential message you want to communicate is at the top. Make it punchy and effective.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications consultant based in Abu Dhabi. Twitter: @manar_alhinai.

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Monster Hunter: World

Capcom

PlayStation 4, Xbox One

West Asia Premiership

Dubai Hurricanes 58-10 Dubai Knights Eagles

Dubai Tigers 5-39 Bahrain

Jebel Ali Dragons 16-56 Abu Dhabi Harlequins

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

The specs: 2018 BMW R nineT Scrambler

Price, base / as tested Dh57,000

Engine 1,170cc air/oil-cooled flat twin four-stroke engine

Transmission Six-speed gearbox

Power 110hp) @ 7,750rpm

Torque 116Nm @ 6,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined 5.3L / 100km

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

UAE Tour 2020

Stage 1: The Pointe Palm Jumeirah - Dubai Silicon Oasis, 148km
Stage 2: Hatta - Hatta Dam, 168km​​​​​​​
Stage 3: Al Qudra Cycle Track - Jebel Hafeet, 184km​​​​​​​
Stage 4: Zabeel Park - Dubai City Walk, 173km​​​​​​​
Stage 5: Al Ain - Jebel Hafeet, 162km​​​​​​​
Stage 6: Al Ruwais - Al Mirfa, 158km​​​​​​​
Stage 7: Al Maryah Island - Abu Dhabi Breakwater, 127km

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).


Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The Transfiguration

Director: Michael O’Shea

Starring: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine

Three stars

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

RESULTS

5pm: Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 1,400m
Winner: AF Tathoor, Tadhg O’Shea (jockey), Ernst Oertel (trainer)
5.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh70,000 1,000m
Winner: Dahawi, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi
6pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 2,000m
Winner: Aiz Alawda, Fernando Jara, Ahmed Al Mehairbi
6.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 2,000m
Winner: ES Nahawand, Fernando Jara, Mohammed Daggash
7pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 1,600m
Winner: Winked, Connor Beasley, Abdallah Al Hammadi
7.30pm: Al Ain Mile Group 3 (PA) Dh350,000 1,600m
Winner: Somoud, Connor Beasley, Ahmed Al Mehairbi
8pm: Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 1,600m
Winner: Al Jazi, Fabrice Veron, Eric Lemartinel

The Year Earth Changed

Directed by:Tom Beard

Narrated by: Sir David Attenborough

Stars: 4

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

The Facility’s Versatility

Between the start of the 2020 IPL on September 20, and the end of the Pakistan Super League this coming Thursday, the Zayed Cricket Stadium has had an unprecedented amount of traffic.
Never before has a ground in this country – or perhaps anywhere in the world – had such a volume of major-match cricket.
And yet scoring has remained high, and Abu Dhabi has seen some classic encounters in every format of the game.
 
October 18, IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders tied with Sunrisers Hyderabad
The two playoff-chasing sides put on 163 apiece, before Kolkata went on to win the Super Over
 
January 8, ODI, UAE beat Ireland by six wickets
A century by CP Rizwan underpinned one of UAE’s greatest ever wins, as they chased 270 to win with an over to spare
 
February 6, T10, Northern Warriors beat Delhi Bulls by eight wickets
The final of the T10 was chiefly memorable for a ferocious over of fast bowling from Fidel Edwards to Nicholas Pooran
 
March 14, Test, Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe by six wickets
Eleven wickets for Rashid Khan, 1,305 runs scored in five days, and a last session finish
 
June 17, PSL, Islamabad United beat Peshawar Zalmi by 15 runs
Usman Khawaja scored a hundred as Islamabad posted the highest score ever by a Pakistan team in T20 cricket

ESSENTIALS

The flights

Emirates flies direct from Dubai to Rio de Janeiro from Dh7,000 return including taxes. Avianca fliles from Rio to Cusco via Lima from $399 (Dhxx) return including taxes.

The trip

From US$1,830 per deluxe cabin, twin share, for the one-night Spirit of the Water itinerary and US$4,630 per deluxe cabin for the Peruvian Highlands itinerary, inclusive of meals, and beverages. Surcharges apply for some excursions.

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Where to buy and try:

Nutritional yeast

DesertCart

Organic Foods & Café

Bulletproof coffee

Wild & The Moon

Amasake

Comptoir 102

DesertCart

Organic Foods & Café

Charcoal drinks and dishes

Various juice bars, including Comptoir 102

Bridgewater Tavern

3 Fils

Jackfruit

Supermarkets across the UAE