Instagram Ads for Clothing Brands... Proven Strategy

Instagram Ads for Clothing Brands... Proven Strategy

Hey, guys, it's Aaron here, and today I'm going to be sharing with you a proven Instagram ad strategy to grow your clothing brand, including one step that most people do not utilize. 


Use Your Business Feed Account

Number one is to use your business feed account on Instagram. 

Use Your Business Feed Account

So we're going to talk about your Instagram account and using your feed more so as like the post. So you have posts and stories and reels and all of those different things that Instagram gives you access to. But I want to share with you how to use your feed. That way you never have to wonder whether or not your ad is going to resonate with the correct audience. 

Instagram Account

Instagram account

Let's jump over to ads manager inside of business manager, but first, a quick shout out to one of our previous videos. If you do not have a business manager, I would highly suggest making sure that you go watch that video, get it set up correctly. You can find that video here. 

business manager

So as you get into business manager, you're going to create a campaign and I will walk you through in these next steps how to create this campaign, but more importantly, to use your feed on Instagram to figure out what content is actually going to resonate with your audience. 

OK, so this is how you're going to use Instagram to define the best elements for the ads that you're going to create so that they will resonate with your audience. So this is Instagram on a desktop, you can use your mobile. It doesn't really matter where it's at. For this example, I'm going to go to this boutique because it's kind of large. I feel like most people know this clothing brand.

Instagram on a desktop

What I would look at here is probably your most recent post. Let's just say your last five or ten posts. If you're really getting strategic, you would do your posts that are actually about the product that you want to showcase. So if it's summer dresses, if it's a new line of hair care, if it's a new shirt line, whatever that may be, you want to have posts about that content, right? Use your Instagram feed not only to tell your audience and build a brand, but also to figure out what kind of content resonates with your audience so you can run ads behind it. 

So, for example, the most recent post has 413 likes, another one has 862. Here we have one that has 3,084 so I think this one is our winner. 





What I would say is look at the last seven or ten posts. Some of these older posts seem to have higher numbers. One has 3,000, another one has 2,000. Here’s one with 5,000. 



So I would look at these, the most recent post here did OK, but the ones older actually did really well. So if these items were in stock or if it was a collection and it has 5000 likes, probably a pretty good idea to use this picture, especially if something's in stock or the collection or that style is in stock. I would pick that one and I would test it. And you could test as many as you'd like, depending on your budget. I'm going to show you how to do that here in a second in number two, but this is how you do it. It's very simple. Create great content, figure out what content your audience resonates with and then run ads behind it

If you haven't watched our previous video on how to scale to $10,000 a month or more, that's a great video for you to figure out how to scale that. And we talked a little bit more in depth about this section. You can find that video here 

watch our video

Set Up Facebook Business Manager

Number two, like I said, is making sure you set up Facebook Business Manager. 


If you do not have a business manager set up, please don't go through with this step until you've watched the video mentioned earlier and set up your account correctly, because if it's not set up correctly, you're going to go through the rest of this video and think that you're going to be able to make this work and it's not going to work effectively. Again, you can find that video here.

business manager

Working Inside Ads Manager

OK, so now that we're in ads manager, like I said, this may be a little daunting and maybe a little scary. I will tell you that it's not. There are a lot of buttons, a lot of things to push and we'll walk you through step by step and what you need to do. And don't worry about all of the buttons. I'll show you which ones to click and not click and just make it as simple as possible for you. 

So we're going to go over here to the green button, click create and we're going to create a campaign.

create a campaign

Never. I would say never. Ninety nine percent of the time, don't create a campaign unless you want an objective that is not related to what you actually want. I.e. Purchases You will want to create as a conversion campaign, name the campaign, whatever you like. I would name it, whatever that set is. So if it's, you know, prospecting, meaning you're going after new customers, then label prospecting. 



Your ad sets are more so where you're targeting, which for us we're going to be targeting broad. 

Ad set

And then the ad is just for this example, Instagram, for example, I would do it as if I was filling this out for your brand, I would figure out which picture it is and then make sure to label it as that particular ad. But this is an example. So I'm going to put an Instagram example. 

Instagram example

Click Continue.

Click Continue

So, again, a lot of buttons here. What this really means, we don't have to go into a ton of it. Facebook does work off an auction platform, whole different video for that, but doesn't really matter here. 

Keep scrolling. We want to make sure the campaign budget optimization is turned on. 

campaign budget optimization

In short, what this means is that Facebook is going to spend based off of your whole campaign. You're going to add different ad sets inside of the campaign and it's still going to allocate budget as it sees fit. Trust me, Facebook is much smarter than you and I are. It's machine learning, which means that it gets data points and it continues to improve as you give it data. So choose a budget that is friendly for you. I would start at $100, you could go up from there. $100, $200, $1,000 a day does not matter. Just make sure that you are choosing a budget that’s realistic for you to run long term. If you're going to do $1,000, that's great, but if you can only do $1,000, don't do it all in one day. I think that goes without saying, but do something that you can continuously run for months, if not years, because we don't want to change really the structure of this campaign. 

So we have $100 per day. 

campaign budget

All right. Click on Show More Options.

Show More Options

Ad scheduling is set to run all the time. Don't worry about doing certain hours. Facebook knows when your audience is going to convert. So it's not going to spend budget when they're not using it. 

Ad scheduling

Go ahead and click next. 

click next

This is going to our targeting section. We are not going to do a ton here. Right. So there is one important part that we want to make sure of, which is age, gender and location. 

age, gender and location

For this, we are going after women. We know that they are for this. I'm just saying for that boutique that we found. I'm going to say 24-55 age range. I don't really know, but I'm just saying like pick age, location, gender, and that's going to help you out a ton. 

pick age, location, gender

Don't worry about showing more options. I only pulled it up just to tell you that, hey, there's a ton of different things that are inside here. Don't worry about clicking them. It does not matter. 

So for placements on Instagram. We want to get rid of Facebook. We want to get rid of Audience Network. We want to get rid of messenger. 


Most of the time, I would tell you to create content that's good for every platform, right, so for every single one of them give Facebook and Instagram as much data. For those who do not know, Facebook does own Instagram. So that's whenever I use those words interchangeably. It's because ads manager uses both for running ads on Facebook and Instagram. 

So if we're going to run ads only for Instagram, then I'm going to choose Instagram only. I'll get rid of the Explorer page and get rid of stories. Just a little prelude we will talk about a little bit later. Just leave it as the feed. You don't need to do anything else except for one major thing down here. I care about one day click and you should too. If your product is a $5,000 or $10,000 product, this probably isn't the best video for you. But more importantly, your users are going to make a decision within one day. It doesn't mean that they sell your product on day one and they made a purchase. What it means is that Facebook is showing or Instagram is showing this product to them based off of their buying habits.

Optimization and Delivery

So one day click, what that really means is that Facebook is going to collect data points based off of when somebody makes a decision and typically that's within one day. If Facebook's doing a good job, it's going to show an ad to the person who is likely to take action within one day. If it goes farther out of that, you're just not going to have accurate data. So it doesn't really matter for your campaigns because you should be looking at things that matter most, which is how much should I spend today? How much did I make? 


OK, so let's move on to this next stage. The creative. This is the part that actually does matter. This is the part where we went and figured out the creative on our Instagram feed and what you should be doing. 


So you want to make sure that your Instagram account is selected because it cannot run if you do not have your account selected. 

Instagram account

So what we found is that we had certain products that were doing better than others. You’ll want to scroll down to where it says create ad and just choose Use Existing Post.

Use Existing Post

On that post, click select and then we're going to choose Instagram. I want to make sure to just use the feed here and you can see which content actually had the best engagement. 

select post


I always like to do it from Instagram because sometimes even though something has good engagement, it may be a contest, it may not format correctly. Sometimes people don't take pictures by the correct format for Instagram, so it's not going to look as clean. I would suggest that you look at your feed, that way you can see what looks clean, what's inside of the feed before you run an ad, because even if as good engagement on there, if it doesn't look as good on the feed or if you're about to run an ad on it and it does really well, you may not be utilizing it to the full potential that it has. 

So let's go to this one that says Yay For New Arrivals, and that's pretty universal, right? We could run this for an extended period of time because it's for new arrivals and the photos that they use aren't specific to a particular item. It's actually the person who happened to be wearing clothes. And you're just getting people interested in the “new arrivals.” 


So as we scroll through here, we clicked that button and it is now here. What I would tell you, though, is you want to make sure to add a call to action. I always say if you're going to have somebody collect or purchase a product, you should have Shop Now as the call to action. 

Shop Now

Then the most important thing here for this website, I want to put in the URL because it's not going to give you a preview, nor are you going to send anybody anywhere without a URL. So as you see here, I put in the URL and this is what the ad is going to look like. It's going to say Shop Now and all of the descriptions are the same. You don’t have to do anything else, it's literally set up to go. 



One thing as of the IOS 14.5 update is to make sure that you have a domain set up correctly. Selecting the domain is very, very important. It's not going to allow the pixel to track the data or quote unquote track the purchases, which are very, very important. So make sure you do select that. It's going to give you an error if you don't. So it's not like it's crazy. Make sure that you don't forget something. It's going to give you an error. And it probably won't even let you launch the ad unless you do click this button. 

website events

So make sure you click that we're good to go. And at that point, that's all you need to do, it is a simple test campaign to focus on getting purchases and sending traffic to that yourself. 

Now, you do want to make sure that the URL you are using should be what the product is describing. So if it says new arrivals, I would put the new arrivals and that's really all you need to do when you click publish. And that's it. That's all you have to do to test the Instagram feed and to test Instagram ads specifically for your ads. 

offline events

Stay Tuned!

Make sure to stick around to the end and I'm going to share with you an underutilized, proven tactic that will help you reach more people and lower your costs. 

Stay Tuned!

Using Instagram Stories

So this tactic, this strategy is one that I would tell you to use last. It sounds really cool, sounds shiny, and you've probably seen them yourself, but it’s one of those ones where it's kind of like a cherry on top. It's the icing. It's like the next level. And so I would tell you, hey, if you get to this point and you haven't tested feeds, probably just pause this video, save it, make sure you like it so you can come back to your liked videos and go and implement the strategy we walked through just previously. 

So what is most effective and probably the most cost effective as well is using Instagram stories. Right? So we used Instagram feeds. Now you can use Instagram stories and most people do use Instagram stories across their feeds, but they don't ever use their Instagram stories that they created previously. Right. So if I did an Instagram story about a clothing brand or let's just say this shirt and you guys wanted to buy this shirt, we could do an Instagram story. And I get tested for 15 seconds. And if it did really well, let's say I got a ton of replies because you get analytics on stories, a ton of replies, a ton of people who saw it. Well, guess what? Now I can run ads specifically for this story. So we already know it works because it organically did well. And that's what it's all about for the strategy is don't just guess what's going to work, figure out what's going to resonate with your audience already and do 15 second tests of that. I can talk about the shirt. I can talk about the background. You can run ads for so many different things. 

The one thing I would tell you to do is that if you are going to create a longer piece, then you want to download those videos and do something a little bit differently. So that's probably a separate blog, but this one used 15 second clips to share content about one of your products. And I would say the best way for you to get success or have success with this is to turn the camera around, put your face on there. You're going to do a much better job if you turn the camera around and you're able to describe this product and tell people about it in the 15 seconds with your face there, then you are if you just show the product. So I would tell you as a clothing brand or as a business, if you are the face of the company, I would put your face out there because people are going to resonate with that a heck of a lot more than if you just show the product. That's kind of not disingenuous, but it's just not as personal as seeing somebody's face. So test those 15 seconds. I'm going to show you real quickly how you can make one little tweak inside of ads manager to test stories as well. 

So let's go back over to ads manager and instead of going in and changing the post to a feed post, we're going to change it and select stories. 

change post


Now, the key here is you have to do stories before you have any in here. So this person obviously has done stories even as early as June 7th. So this one here, Cutest Pillow Sham I've Ever Seen. Great. So you can use that story. It's going to pull into the placement here. This is something new that I found. If you use GIFS, you actually can't run them as an ad. So that's something for you to know as well. So any of them that don't have a GIF, it will let you run it as an actual ad. 

filter by

So as you see here, it's creating the post ID for the Instagram story and it should load here. 

post ID

All right. So one of the key things here is that if you do an Instagram story, make sure that you don't use a GIF, as we just found out, and make sure that you do put your face on there and showcase the products. Don't worry about adding a ton of different elements to it. There are ways to fancy it up or to add questions which you can do for a different type of story. But this is really just to figure out what resonates with your audience. Get your face, get your brand in front of more people for a lower cost, which is what we're really focused on. Stories cost less money to get in front of more people, and it will help your audience take action a lot quicker because they can resonate with your brand. And if it comes across as an actual story, it will be seen as something more authentic versus like an ad. 

Continually Test New Products

Here it is, the added bonus. What I would tell you is that each week as you are growing your business, make sure that you are testing new products, make sure that you are testing new ads and continuously be launching. 

Continually Test New Products

All right. So if you can continuously launch new campaigns, you're going to be part of the one percent of brands who are going to be successful online because most people create a campaign and then they set it and forget it. What Facebook and what Instagram specifically needs is new content. Continue to feed the machine. Think of it like an old coal train. You have to continuously fill it with coal. You need to continuously test new content and new creative. 

All right, guys, thanks so much for reading. If you would like to watch our “How To” video on this subject, you can watch it here. We want to hear from you. Drop a comment in the video with the word calculator if you want access to our free calculator to tell you exactly how much you should be spending on your Facebook and Instagram ads.

comment calculator If you found value in this blog and the video, we truly appreciate it. If you would just hit that like button helps YouTube spread the video to tons of people out into the stratosphere so that we reach more people and help more people like you continue to grow.

 All right guys, that's all we have for this week. And we'll see you next time. Bye. 

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