Author: Mary Lister

33 CRO & Landing Page Optimization Stats to Fuel Your Strategy

Let’s talk optimization.

Marketers spend a huge portion of their time planning, implementing, and executing tests, and analyzing the results. We’re always looking to get those target metrics lifted just a little bit more – figuring out the best subject line for a great open rate, the best CTA and creative pairing to get a click through, trying to shave a second off your website load time to get that bounce rate to dip.

Conversion Rate Statistics

You spend a chunk of change getting prospects to your site – but how much time are you spending optimizing your landing pages? When you look at your ROI, are you also looking at your conversion rates, identifying which pages are bringing down that all-important metric?

Per iFactory Digital, most websites don’t have a massive traffic problem; but all websites have a conversion problem. Here’s what you need to know about the lay-of-the-land when facing off with tools and specialists to help with your conversion rate optimization, or CRO. These 33 stats and facts about conversion rates and landing pages will help you eke out a few more conversions.

Landing Page Optimization Statistics

Only 52% of companies and agencies that use landing pages also test them to find ways to improve conversions.

Long landing pages can generate up to 220% more leads than landing pages with above-the-fold CTAs – but make sure to test to see what works for you!

Conversion Rate Statistics Landing Pages

61% of companies run 5 or fewer landing page tests per month.

48% of landing pages contain multiple offers.

42% of offer-related graphics on landing pages are not linked.

Roughly 75% of businesses have problems finding suitable expertise for optimizing their landing page copy.

The average number of form fields is 11 ….

But reducing the number of form fields from 11 to 4 can result in a 120% increase in conversions.

The optimal number of form fields for the most conversions from your landing pages is 3.

When landing pages don’t ask for age, the conversion rate is higher.

48% of marketers build a new landing page for each marketing campaign.

Only 16% of landing pages don’t have navigation bars …

But removing the navigation menu can increase conversions by 100%!

Conversion Rate Statistics: The Who

Using A/B testing, President Obama raised an additional $60 million.

Via NYMag

CRO tools have an average ROI of 223%.

Customer journey analysis to improve conversion rate is in the game plan of 60% of online marketers.

44% of companies use split testing software.

55.5% of respondents to a 2016 survey by ConversionXL said they were planning to increase their CRO budget.

Always ahead of the curve, in 2011, Google ran more than 7,000 A/B tests.

Conversion Rate Statistics: The What

A/B testing is the most popular form of CRO, with 56% of marketers using this method.

7 in 10 marketers using CRO look to results to inform other marketing initiatives.

Only about 22 percent of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.

A typical website conversion rate is about 2.35% on average. But the top 10% of companies are seeing 3-5x higher conversion rates than average.

The average conversion rate of a Facebook ad is 9.21%.

Conversion rates typically range from 1 to 3 percent.

Even just a 1-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

44% of clicks generated by B2B companies direct to the homepage instead of a landing page.

Conversion Rate Statistics: The How

Using videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%.

Companies whose conversion rates improved last year are performing, on average, 50% more tests and using 47% more methods to improve conversion.

Businesses with over 40 landing pages generated a whopping 12 times more leads than those with 1-5 landing pages.

Companies see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.

Over 90% of visitors who reported reading headlines also read CTA copy.

More than 20 percent of businesses have reported that they do not have an effective strategy for landing page testing.

About the Author:

Mary manages Content Marketing & Demand Gen at Fluent, LLC. When she’s not selling intangible things on the internet, she’s most likely to be found eating extra-cheesy pizza while planning her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 

Most Expensive Keywords, Ad Hacks & More Top Posts from June

Summer is finally here! June was sunny and warm for those of us in the northeast, and we finally got our fill of vitamin D. Though the month flew by, it was an exciting couple of weeks for us at WordStream! We completed a lot of cool projects that we shared with you. In case you missed it, here are our top ten posts from the month of June.

1. The 25 Most Expensive Keywords in AdWords – 2017 Edition!

Way, way back in 2011, when the world was young and fidget spinners weren’t yet a thing, there was lore floating around in the search marketing world that “mesothelioma” was the most expensive keyword to bid on in Google AdWords, costing upwards of $100 per click.

Our awesome content manager had an idea: What if we used data from our Free Keyword Tool to determine which keywords had the highest costs per click (or CPC’s) in Google AdWords?

The infographic we created based on that data is still one of our most popular pages ever. So we’ve completed a new, comprehensive analysis of keyword data for five different currencies in English-speaking countries (keep an eye out for the data for GBP, CAD, AUS, and ZAR coming soon!).

This time around, we determined the top 25 most expensive keywords (meaning these niche markets are super-competitive) along with their average CPC – and six years later, the results are substantially different!

2. We Analyzed 612 of the Best Ads: Here Are 9 Things We Learned [DATA]

This project was definitely one of the most exciting analyses we’ve done this year! It was a huge group effort to answer some pressing questions: What are the actual WORDS that go into really great, super-high-CTR ads in AdWords? What about stuff like numbers and punctuation marks? What are the best CTA’s? Are the best ads in Google AdWords positive or negative? Are they keyword-stuffed or more creative?

In this article, Allen Finn covers nine, often surprising things we learned by running text analyses on some of the best ads in AdWords from the past year.

3. How to Use Emotional Images for High-Converting Landing Pages Every Time

While each step in the process to acquiring new customers takes nuance and optimization, a lot of marketers leave their landing pages by the wayside. But that can be the most pivotal moment in your quest to gain a customer! And the all-important main image is hugely important. This post maps out the exact steps you need to take to choose a high-converting image every single time you plan a landing page.

4. Case Study: How AdWords Life Events Targeting Lifts Brand Interest 175%

If you advertise with Google, you’ve probably heard of their obsession with micro-moments; the times when consumers are researching and considering a purchase. In line with this focus, Google has gifted advertisers with Consumer Patterns and Life Events which enables marketers to target more relevant audience segments.

This is huge. And this post goes into the improvement accounts had after implementing it.

5. How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost? Plus 8 Tips for Saving Money

Though Facebook has generally been the gold standard of social advertising, Instagram is slowly catching up. In fact, Instagram posts get 10 times more engagement than Facebook posts! So how much does it actually cost to advertise on Instagram? What kind of CPMs should you expect? Is it worth it? This post answers all those important questions and more.

6. 7 Things Nobody Tells You About Working Remotely

Telecommuting – one of the fancier terms for working remotely – seems to be the perfect arrangement for workers in dozens of industries. Companies that encourage and support remote work often report higher levels of employee retention and engagement, reduced turnover, higher employee satisfaction, increased productivity and autonomy, and lots of other benefits.

Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to telecommuting – people just don’t tend to be as vocal about them. Here are seven things Dan Shewan wished somebody had told him before he took the plunge and became a full-time telecommuter.

7. 'Purchases on Google' Enters Open Beta

Last month, Google announced tons of big changes and new AdWords features at their annual event in San Francisco. At the beginning of June, they rolled out the ability to purchase products directly on the SERP! And as always, our own Mark Irvine has everything you need to know about it in this comprehensive post.

8. 7 Time Management Shortcuts for Marketers Who Can’t Write

We’ve all been there, sitting in front of a blank document when ten brilliant headlines are due by the end of the day. Sometimes it can feel impossible to be a successful marketer in a world where content has been crowned king. In this post, Brad Smith makes the bold claim that “writer’s block is a myth.” And goes through seven writing time hacks to get the results you need.

9. 10 Highly Effective B2B Link Building Tactics

There are a lot of ways to get backlinks, and some require more work than others. This article breaks down the tactics into three separate categories according to how much effort they’ll entail: outreach, submission, and exchange.

10. Video SEO: 9 Ways to Optimize Your Video for Search

It’s true that video SEO is not the same as regular SEO. Video SEO has also changed significantly in the last few years, which is why Margot da Cunha enlisted Wistia’s video SEO expert, Phil Nottingham, to share his advice in this post.

WordStream Named a Top 20 Place to Work in Boston!

With fun golf outings, a winning softball team, an Xbox in the office, and an endless supply of cold brew, WordStream has once again been named a best place to work in Boston!

Our WordStream Team at the awards ceremony!

While WordStream has its formal perks—great benefits, an unlimited vacation policy, great social outings, and opportunities to volunteer—employees have so many more reasons to love coming to work every day.

We all know the story about how Larry Kim created WordStream in a Panera. We also know how our veterans survived through multiple desk and office moves, putting in long hours for our customers, and sticking with the tradition of recognizing each other for “being great” monthly. Just this year, we hit the huge milestone of 200 employees and moved to an amazing new office in the Prudential Center. We’ve come a long way!

And we couldn’t be prouder.

Last night, we brought home the Boston Business Journal’s Best Places to Work of 2017 award, coming in at number 20 in the medium-sized business category. We accepted the award with a quick video showing off our WordStream culture.

The Boston Business Journal announced 80 honorees on April 19, which were divided into five different categories based on the size of the business. The companies were selected based on survey responses from employees, which were scored by Quantum Workplace. According to the Boston Business Journal Market President and Publisher, more than 300 companies submitted surveys, and Best Places to Work is considered one of the most competitive programs.

The WordStream softball team [not pictured: free drinks, great music, and celebratory home-run dances]

We’re always looking for awesome, motivated workers to join our team! Check out our jobs page for open positions.

Our Best Tweets Ever (And How to Replicate Them)

At WordStream, we’ve taken a trial-and-error approach to social media. After I took over our accounts about a year ago, we’ve been implementing new strategies, trying out different approaches, and combing through data to see what our audience really likes to engage with.

First, let me tell you: it’s been hard. We post and tweet a LOT. We have a lot to share, what can I say? And obviously social media is part of our overarching marketing efforts, so we want to make sure that not only are we giving our followers what they want to see, we’re also accurately representing WordStream as a company.

[Shameless plug: if you’re interested in our company culture, check out our new Instagram handle: @WordStreamInc!)

Since it’s officially been a full year since I grabbed control of our social accounts (yes, that was me sending you those Facebook messages and Twitter DMs), I thought it was time to reminisce on what we did manage to get right.

Before we get started, I have some tiny tricks-of-the-trade that I use to make sure our tweets get enough eyeballs.

  • Post each tweet at least twice, but not more than five times. When people check Twitter, they’re not going to check tweets from two days ago, or even 2 hours ago. Make sure you’re covering your bases; and be creative! Don’t post the same, exact tweet if you can help it, use a variety of headlines.
  • If you use social media management software, consider auto-scheduling your tweets. We started doing this and it really helped with engagement—and takes the mind game out of picking a time for each tweet.
  • Know your strengths. Look at Twitter analytics to see what day of the week and time of day gets the most interaction from your followers.
  • Always post a photo. Bonus points for including emojis, too.

Here are our top-performing tweets from the past year and what you can do to duplicate them for your own social media success!

1. Best Tweets with Company Pride

Though a proud mother doesn’t like to pick favorites…these are my favorites. I love when WordStream hits a big milestone or wins an award and I have the platform to share it with the world!

This post was our best tweet from May 2016, posted right after we won the Best Content Marketing Award from MITX. This tweet garnered 216% more engagement than the next best tweet that month!

How to Replicate this Tweet:

Celebrate the big wins or the small successes. Include a photo of your team celebrating. Tag whoever was involved for maximum exposure.

2. Best Tweets with Gifs

These great tweets celebrated another award and a huge milestone for us as a company—which I tweeted about with some celebratory gifs. Using gifs always seems to lift engagement for us, but these tweets were the best of August and September 2016, by far. Engagement skyrocketed, more than triple the next best tweet of their respective months.

How to Replicate these Tweets:

Gifs are eye-catching, as are numbers (see: “5000”, “$9B”, and “1M”) which probably contributed to our high engagement. Don’t be shy about letting your personality shine through!

Pro Tip: Link these kinds of tweets to a press release or blog post on your site and check out the impact on your site traffic. These tweets are also the perfect candidates for pinned tweets at the top of your profile on Twitter.

3. Best Company Culture Tweets

This category of tweets isn’t surprising—people use social media to connect with their friends. When businesses joined the party, it was a bit of a buzzkill for those of us who were used to seeing friendly faces on our screens. Tweets about our employees, featuring our employees, consistently perform well because it personalizes an otherwise faceless entity in your feed.

This tweet, featuring our Halloween festivities, had 420% more likes than our typical tweets.

How to Replicate These Tweets:

Be that annoying friend who insists on taking a group photo. It goes a long way! For those of you who are like me, and are slightly photographically challenged, take a LOT to edit, crop, filter, and the like. Make sure you tag whoever is in the picture and/or wherever your outing is, throw in some emojis, and call it a grand slam.

Pro Tip: These tweets can be scheduled more than once and auto-scheduled, but I’m a fan of tweeting these in real-time. It’s a little suspicious to tweet about a work event on a Sunday afternoon…

4. Best Tweets with Emojis

Emojis are an easy way to grab someone’s attention, especially on mobile! The best emoji tweets below are a double-whammy; they feature images of our employees AND emojis.

How to Replicate These Tweets:

It can be harder to include emojis when you’re scheduling tweets ahead of time through Buffer or Hootsuite. We like to use GetEmoji for an easy copy-paste. But don’t forget to tweet from your mobile at events, too!

Pro Tip: Use that time of day and time of week data you’ve been collecting, and schedule your tweet to hit that sweet spot. For reference, ours is on Sunday afternoons…

5. Best Tweets with Urgency

We find that increasing urgency generally increases engagement with your content. Using action-inducing words is great for news-based tweets!

How to Replicate These Tweets:

Focus on your headlines. If you are breaking big news or reporting on an important change, add verbiage like “new,” “breaking,” and “get it now” to drive engagement. Create a few different headlines to make the message hit home.

Pro Tip: Expect these types of tweets to get lots of clicks and retweets! Make sure you choose an original image that accurately portrays your brand and relates to the content of the tweet.

6. Best Tweets with Infographics

Here at WordStream, we have a steady flow of content, but there are a few times when we know we’ve really hit the jackpot. In these instances, I’ll throw together a bunch of tweets—more than your average blog post promotion on social—and make sure to slice up an infographic appropriately for the attached image. I’ll also pin one to the top of our Twitter right away. We’ve had a few that really took off – the expanded text ads best practices tweet was our best performing tweet of the year!

 

This was our best tweet of the year!

How to Replicate these Tweets:

Step one: publish engaging and relevant content with an infographic! If you can’t produce your own infographics, borrow someone else’s (but remember to give them credit!). Next, slice the infographic to choose an eye-catching section to feature in your tweets.

If you’re borrowing an infographic, tag the company it came from—that will absolutely up your engagement when they retweet you. For example, one of our most popular infographics was snagged by Jed Record for this tweet. He kindly tagged us, which allowed us to retweet him, and we helped each other out with this tweet engagement!

Pro Tip: All the tweets above simply use the title of the post for the copy. Composing an engaging image is half the battle since it will not only draw in your Twitter audience, you’ll get more clicks overall.

7. Best Dark Horse Tweet

I’m going to be honest, when this tweet did well, I was borderline shocked. I had scheduled it days before, thinking we needed a filler for the day but that no one would be checking Twitter on New Year’s Day. I added a gif and signed off to celebrate New Years!

How to Replicate this Tweet:

Follow your gut and stay true to your company’s personality. If you see an opportunity to stand out from the crowd, grab it. Picking well-known gifs doesn't hurt, either.

How a Full-Service Marketing Group Stays Ahead of the Game with WordStream Advisor for Agencies

When you’re in the business of fixing pipes, installing HVAC systems, or baking cupcakes, keeping your marketing in tip-top shape can be burdensome. Imagine if your business involves marketing for yourself AND businesses fixing pipes, installing HVAC systems, and the like.

Sound overwhelming? Definitely. Time consuming? Absolutely.

MediaBeast Marketing Group is a full-service, conversion-driven agency located in Tampa, Florida, founded in 2013. Their clients run the gamut (from home services to personal injury lawyers to nonprofits). They provide their clients with a well-rounded media approach and comprehensive digital strategy, covering responsive website design, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and mobile marketing. The team of seven employees manages over thirty clients, detailing roadmaps that outline marketing strategies, tactics, costs, and projected results to keep their clients’ teams focused on specific goals.

When the MediaBeast team brought their PPC services in-house, they needed a better way to efficiently and successfully manage client campaigns. The team also noticed that they were having a tough time competing with rivals like Yellow Pages and Driven Local. MediaBeast was drawn to WordStream because of its competitive metric information. The team brought WordStream Advisor for Agencies on board and has never looked back.

Taking WordStream for a Test Run

With multiple clients needing SEM help, MediaBeast decided to give WordStream Advisor for Agencies a test drive. Starting with just one of their accounts, they issued an ultimatum: beat out the competition, and the rest of their clients would join WordStream advisor; if there was no improvement, they’d move on to greener pastures.

The first account incorporated was a plumbing business getting beaten by their competitors in the local market. With assistance from the call-outs and tips within WordStream Advisor, the client saw rapid improvement and started winning business from their local rivals! The insights from WordStream Advisor allowed the team to focus on specific metrics they were not competing well against and helped look to find ways to improve these metrics to drive better results.

Since that first account, MediaBeast has managed almost 50 different accounts through WordStream Advisor for Agencies.

 

Some of the MediaBeast Team

Strategizing with the 20-Minute Work Week

Samantha Lappla, an account manager at MediaBeast, says, “I look at digital marketing as a trial-and-error scenario. Sometimes you know a certain campaign will be successful and other times you try a tactic, but it doesn’t show you the success you were searching for, so then you go in and think what you can do better.”

The MediaBeast team, while juggling multiple accounts and channels, monitors spend throughout the month to observe how their clients are pacing to achieve their goals. Lindsay Elsten, another account manager at MediaBeast, reports that the team uses the 20-Minute Work Week to keep track of not only spend but any red flags that could be raised throughout the week and get new ideas for changes to make within each account.

Lindsay says, “WordStream does the ‘thinking’ for you before you have to think. I have saved so much time with the 20-Minute Work Week by using it as a starting point to what I can look at further in an account.”

Because different companies have varying objectives, the team makes use of WordStream’s industry benchmarks to help assess and estimate what clients should expect from their campaigns. Lindsay says they also like to use the CPA goal tracker within WordStream Advisor to watch their costs and how the metric changes over time.

Turning the Tide with WordStream Live

While WordStream Advisor for Agencies offers prescriptive, account-specific advice, it was the educational and strategic advice from WordStream’s experts that gave MediaBeast’s search success story new life, according to Lindsay. MediaBeast attended WordStream Live, our premier, bi-annual customer event. The event featured presentations from WordStream customer service representatives on key topics like Expanded Text Ads, device and bid adjustments, account structuring, analytics, and more.

Lindsay took note of tips and tricks on reducing keyword clutter, using IF functions, and optimizing for mobile conversions. She decided to put her new knowledge to the test on one of her client’s accounts—and after a month and a half, she saw a huge improvement.

By reducing the number of keywords in each ad group, adding expanded text ads with IF functions to capitalize on a mobile audience, and adding mobile CTAs on landing pages, click-through rates jumped 87.47%!

Since WordStream Live, the MediaBeast team has focused more closely on mobile through the IF functions in expanded text ads and specific CTAs. After focusing on mobile tasks, the top three performing text ads featured IF functions AND mobile CTAs!

Winning Together

A fun story we love to tell about MediaBeast’s Lindsay from her experience at WordStream Live: she was so immersed in sharing tips with her team back home and rapid-fire tweeting pictures from the event, she killed her phone battery by cocktail hour! Luckily, she was able to plug in and get enough juice to get out of the city, safe and sound. 

Lindsay said, “The biggest thing is that I don’t feel like the service is degrading. Sometimes when you work with experts in a field, it can be intimidating to ask questions or seek advice. The WordStream employees never make you feel like you should already know what you’re asking.”

At WordStream, we like to consider ourselves experts in search marketing. Our employees live and breathe PPC to keep our software and services on the cutting edge for our customers. Which is why we are excited to receive feedback about our customers’ successes!  The MediaBeast team also gushed over their customer success rep, Greg Herrmann (we love him, too!).

We could not be happier to have MediaBeast on our team! 

LOTS of New AdWords Features, & More Top Posts from May

We survived a crazy-rainy May! Full of Star Wars memes, margaritas, Instagram’s for social-media savvy Mothers, and loads of Google announcements, we’re still catching our breath. Below is the best of the blog from the past month—don’t miss any of our (or Google’s) big changes and helpful guides.  

1. 11 Changes & New Features Coming to AdWords: What You Need to Know

On May 23rd, Google held its annual marketing event to announce new changes coming to the AdWords platform.  Our own Mark Irvine was in attendance to report back on the news, and this post covers all the changes! The good news: there is a bounty of exciting new features that’ll enhance your digital marketing strategy. The bad news: you’ve got some learning to do!

2. The Last Guide to AdWords Account Structure You'll Ever Need

As part of our customer event last month, a few of our Customer Support reps held workshops to break down some PPC concepts. This guide covers all the bases, from laying the foundation on a campaign level to adding a backyard pool with ad extensions.

3. Introducing New Smart Display Campaigns in AdWords

The Google Display Network includes over 3 million websites and apps, and offers almost as many ways to target your display ads across the web. While all of this targeting gives sophisticated advertisers plenty of control over their ads’ performance, it can be intimidating to find the best way to start advertising or optimize your display ads. Google hopes to make this ad targeting conundrum easier with its brand new Smart Display campaigns, which are rolling out of beta to all advertisers now. This post has everything you need to know.

4. 4 PPC Experts on the Best New Features & Strategies of 2017 (So Far)

What's been working for PPC marketers this year so far, in Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and elsewhere? We asked four of the best marketers we know to share what new things they've tried out this year and had success with. Aaron Levy, Lisa Raehsler, Purna Virji, and Kirk Williams pitch in with their insights on 2017 thus far.

5. 4 Free Resources to Inspire Better Ad Creative

In this post, Allen Finn tackles the all-too-relatable conundrum of a creative drought paired with being an overworked part-time marketer. These free resources will help get your creative juices flowing and make your ads look better than ever!  

 

6. Google Announces Major Changes to Enhanced CPC Bidding

In yet another breaking news announcement, Google is changing how it handles campaigns’ bids—by allowing them to automatically adjust your bid by more than 30%! Any advertiser that uses eCPC will be affected by this change. Freaking out? Have no fear, Mark Irvine is here.

7. Google Releases New & Improved Quality Score Reporting

Going along with the Google updates theme, this month Google announced some changes to Quality Score reporting, changes that will afford you a more complete understanding of the elusive metric and allow you to act on new insights with ease. This post digs into the details.

8. Industry Report: State of the Internet Marketing Agency in 2017

At WordStream, a huge portion of our customer base is marketing agencies! We tapped into their invaluable store of knowledge to create this report on the state of internet marketing, specifically for agencies, and came up with some insightful takeaways. This report includes everything typical price points to growth plans. Don’t miss it!

9. WordStream Makes Its First Acquisition!

Although just one of our big company announcements this month, it was definitely the most exciting for our customers! We are thrilled to join forces with Algorithmic Ads to help businesses quickly generate display ads based on existing website imagery. Find out more in our post!

10. 4 Useful Features Hidden in the New AdWords Interface

Probably the biggest announcement from the Google Marketing Next event was the new AdWords UI. It’s supposedly bigger, better, faster, and stronger—but we’ve collected some behind-the-scenes features that you should be using.

13 of the Best Instagram Ads We’ve Ever Seen

As I was writing this post, I reached out to coworkers and friends to screenshot their favorite Instagram ads. The responses were, unfortunately, lacking to non-existent.  When I kept bugging them, most responded saying that they either only saw terrible ads, or none at all. Which got me thinking…

The best Instagram ads don’t look like ads at all.

They look like Instagram photos. Kind of like the best movies we see are those that we can relate to—the best acting mimics real life!

What we noticed? As social media platforms push consumers toward video, businesses are taking advantage of the opportunity. We also saw a lot of cool carousel ads, creative boomerangs, and high-quality photos.

Welcome to the Oscars of Instagram Ads. It’s going to be a star-studded post. Even better, we’ll take you behind the scenes and show you just how to duplicate their award-winning looks.

Best Actor

Let’s hit this red carpet running! Look at that adorable face. You just know he had to pose 12 different ways with his ears getting tugged to produce this adorable ad. This creative gets right to the point—it’s a grooming service marketing itself to you by showing a picture of a groomed puppy. Sometimes, the best way to get your result is a straight line. Congratulations, Krisers Pets!

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Cute animals will stop your prospects in their tracks
  • The “Call now” CTA makes it easy to take action

Best Picture

Look. At. That. Cheesy. Goodness.

Hats off to you, Domino’s. You know what draws hungry college kids coming home from the bars, posting late night Instagrams: cheap—yet delicious—pizza.

More than just the gorgeous picture of a pie, food pictures are huge on Instagram right now. (And did you know that the #1 most Instagrammed food is pizza?) These kinds of ads blend in and stand out appropriately; no one is going to get annoyed that you’re showing up, and they might just be intrigued enough to place a delivery order or head into the store.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • It looks “native” (like an organic Instagram post)
  • Emojis in the ad text are a nice touch to resonate with hungry millennials

Best Director

This artistic ad from Dance and Beyond is slightly mind-bending, like looking at an illusion on your phone screen. Props for some awesome photography skills—you know the photographer (director) had to rearrange these legs 10,000 different times and take 10,000 shots to get this exactly right.

Don’t be afraid to up the ante on Instagram. If you have an amateur photographer on staff—or if you run a photography studio—show off your skills! Everyone is always looking for the perfect angles. Capture your audience!

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Eye-catching, artsy photography begs to be “liked”

Best Original Screenplay

This Chik-fil-a Instagram won the show with a pregnancy announcement. To be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed the play on the typical bun-in-the-oven announcement but I truly identified with Dad. He was upset that there was only one mini chicken sandwich in his box! The emotions were so real!

To create an Instagram ad like Chik-fil-a’s, think about how your brand or product can unexpectedly be involved in the personal milestones of your customers. Everyone loves a great success story; do you run a boutique where your salesperson had a meet-cute with a customer? Do you have a restaurant that hosted a surprise birthday party recently? Tell your story through a video ad! 

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Uses self-deprecating humor—exactly what you’re looking for from a fast food restaurant
  • Tells a complete story quickly

Best Animated Feature

This adorable Haagen-Dazs ad combined a very real-looking ice cream cone with some very animated bumble bees to celebrate Free Cone Day. They even included a nice play on the “busy bee” idiom in the caption!

This advertisement isn’t too flashy or cartoonish, but draws awareness to the endangered honey bee population and the free cone event in a cute way. You know that they considered featuring real bumble bees, then immediately realized it would be a terrible idea. Way to go, Haagen-Dazs!

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Latches onto a popular event and a popular environmental issue
  • Creative use of hashtags

Best Adapted Screenplay

Though this might be a stretch for an ad, the popular show 13 Reasons Why is based on a book, and was adapted for television by Netflix. This carousel ad features the show’s main characters with some dramatic overlay quotes.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Eye-catching carousel without being a full-blown trailer
  • Intrigues your audience, drives subscription conversions

Best Cinematography

This ad must have been filmed with a high-def, fisheye drone (or something like that, I’m not a photography expert). The footage is amazing! It makes the viewer feel as though they are in the crowd with the best seats in the house. And it never gets boring, with quick action shots, clips of an excited audience, and sporadic camera flashes.

Have Go Pro, will travel? This type of ad is great for travel agencies, car share companies, boutique hotels, or any business that assists their customers getting from point A to point B. Make your audience fight the FOMO with some fast and slow video compilations.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Incredibly well-taken video
  • Makes the audience feel present but not as though they are being swindled

Best Costume

This adorable Starbucks ad wins best costume for that great camouflage! On top of the adorable factor, it has all the makings of a great Instagram on a personal account. Don’t kid yourself, one of your more photography-inclined friends could have captured this for a ludicrous amount of likes.

Take advantage of scenery! If you have an especially cool mural or view around your business, take photos of it—maybe with your products strategically placed in the shot.

Why this Instagram ad works:

Best Makeup and Hair

Just looking at this ad from Glossier brings the great, classic song to mind, “My lip gloss is poppin’, my lip gloss is cool!” Glossier has a series of strong ads featuring their products, which closely resemble make-up tutorials that you would find on Instagram organically. This advertisement draws your eye with the enhanced sparkles, and can provide swift gratification with a click of a button to order the same gloss.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Like so many of the best Instagram ads, it mimics a great organic ‘gram
  • Clever copywriting is the icing on the cake

Best Comedy

Who doesn’t love a good pet-shaming? Not only does this Instagram ad blend in with the rest of my feed full of naughty puppies and silly cats, it includes a plot twist! This naughty goat head-butting a car door is the perfect advertisement for car insurance—because who knows when a trip to the petting zoo could go awry.

Want to make an ad like this? Simply find a way to incorporate cute animals into your business proposition. Works like a charm.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Great repurposing of the pet-shaming meme
  • Copy and CTA both reinforce the next step: Calling for help

Best Set Design

Mrs. Meyer’s subtle boomerang ad could be from any parent’s Instagram—spilled milk on some cookies that you know left the kitchen covered in flour and sprinkles. The real eye-catcher is the great title, “Perfect is Boring” that steals the show.

Face it, good cleaning products aren’t the most thrilling selling point. If your product is similarly sleep-inducing, try putting a fun twist on it! Sell cat litter? Pictures of silly kittens. Paper products? Find some way to work The Office into the conversation. You got this.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Perfectly paired image and caption
  • Blends in with an Instagram newsfeed, but is eye-catching enough to create pause

Best Dance

Shout out to Brooklinen for having the best boomerang jump-into-bed dance that everyone can identify with. #BedGoals, am I right? This Instagram ad features (what I can only assume is) a sweet Brooklyn loft, a beautifully made bed, and a satisfying “poof” when that attractive man somersaults into it.

As so many Instagram models can tell you, being scantily clad goes a long way (ahem, every Kardashian, ahem). However, I would recommend duplicating the relatable satisfaction displayed in this ad—the bed jump—like pulling a cheesy slice of pizza or perfectly landing a water bottle flip.

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Boomerangs are always effective at drawing attention
  • The caption boasts a sale!

Humanitarian Award

Last, but absolutely not least, our Humanitarian Award goes to Donate Life America! Doesn’t that sweet face stop your scroll in its tracks? This simple and to-the-point ad is for a great cause, too.

 

Why this Instagram ad works:

  • Well-taken photo for a good cause

Congratulations to all our winners! Did we miss an outstanding Instagram ad that you’ve seen? Send it our way!