Online grocery shopping has seen huge growth in the past few years. When everyone was staying at home during the pandemic, shoppers turned to online shopping to get the groceries they needed.
Instacart stands out in the online shopping space. Although its market share has decreased since 2020, it still commands 73% of the online delivery market. Many suppliers find a lot of new customers on Instacart, but there is also a ton of competition.
If you want to stand out and see Instacart profitability, investing in Instacart advertising will drive immediate traffic to your products and help your brand stand out in a crowded market. To get started, learn what Instacart ads are, how they work, and a few tips to help you make the most money on Instacart.
What Are Instacart Ads?
Instacart launched its paid ad program in 2019. It started with limited availability, but once 2020 came around, Instacart shifted strategies to create a self-service ad platform available to all Instacart sellers. Today, any company that sells products at a retailer can set up an account on Instacart ads to advertise their products.
Types of Instacart Ads
Instacart offers several types of ads to sellers as explained below.
Sponsored product ads show up at the top of search results, product, and department pages as well as the Instacart homepage. These are self-serve ads.
- These ads are the primary method brands use to advertise their products, which means they may be more competitive than other advertising methods.
Instacart coupons give shoppers a reason to commit to purchasing a product. They can increase conversion rates, as well.
- Since coupons only show up on product pages, it’s best to use this ad type with your high-traffic products.
Hero banners allow suppliers to promote a product using a hero banner at the top of the page. This ad type has a fixed fee per week, so while it can provide a lot of impressions, you need a well-designed banner to encourage clicks.
Free delivery can be the tipping point between a failed conversion and a purchase. Enterprise brands can organize delivery promotions for free shipping, but they require a large investment to get up and running.
Depending on the type of promotion you use, you’ll have several ad placements available to promote your products.
- Search placements show your product near the top of the search results page after a shopper enters a search query
- Picked-for-you placements show up for shoppers who are browsing generic category sections to find products
- Buy it again ads appear for shoppers who have purchased your products before
- After checkout ads appear for customers who have already made a purchase; these ads suggest products (like yours) to add as last-minute additions to the shopper’s cart
Benefits of Instacart Ads
As you can see, Instacart offers a number of advertising options. But what are the real benefits of using Instacart ads? Here are a few reasons why suppliers choose this form of marketing on the platform.
- To get instant traffic to their Instacart products
- To gather data about conversions and which products sell the best
- To advertise products using several ad types
- To advertise online without a large digital presence
How Does Instacart Advertising Work?
Advertising on Instacart works similarly to other online platforms. Brands can sign up for an ad account and get a dashboard to manage their campaigns.
Setting up a campaign is easy. Follow the steps below to get started:
- Set your campaign name
- Set your campaign objectives
- Schedule your campaign start and stop dates
- Set a budget based on daily allowances or maximum impressions
- Set up manual or automatic bids
Once you set up your initial campaign, you can organize your ads and products in product ad groups. These ads and products share keywords and other campaign settings that are suitable for items with similar qualities such as price and category.
Once you set up your ad groups, you can start bidding on spots for Instacart’s ad inventory (the space Instacart sets aside in the app for advertisers). Then, you can monitor your progress using the reporting dashboard and view your ad spend, product impressions, click-throughs, and conversions. Continue monitoring your ads to see which ad groups and products produce the best results.
After reviewing the data, scale back the campaigns that are not working and increase funding to the ads that are producing the most profit.
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Instacart Advertising Tips and Tricks
Setting up an Instacart campaign may be easy, but there are a few tips and tricks that experienced sellers use to optimize their Instacart ads and achieve the best results.
Use Data for Optimization
Your Instacart campaign may not be optimal—initially. You make choices based on the data you have, but new campaigns don’t have information about the best ways to optimize them yet.
You’ll gather this data after you start your campaigns. Continue monitoring your current ads to figure out what works. Use what you learn to change the wording in your ads, change the ad type, or test a new placement for future campaigns.
Monitor and Reallocate Your Ad Budget
Not every campaign you run will see success. In fact, many sellers only have a few profitable campaigns.
It’s important not to waste more money than necessary on the campaigns that aren’t working. If you have clear winners, reallocate your ad budget to the campaigns that are producing the best results. You can always continue testing and optimizing poor performing campaigns after you start seeing more profits from your successful ones.
Watch Your Keyword Bidding
Keyword bidding will be one of the keys to success for your Instacart ads. It can get competitive, so the amount you should bid to win ad inventory will change over time. This also means you’ll need to adjust your bids to keep getting ad impressions.
Instacart also offers automatic bid adjustments for brands. If you have a profitable campaign, look into this feature to automatically change your bids when your current spending doesn’t produce results.
Research Your Competition
You don’t have to start from scratch when creating Instacart ads. The chances are good that you sell products that other sellers already advertise on Instacart. You can use that to your advantage.
Look at your competitors on Instacart to see what they are doing. What kind of ads do they run, what keywords do they target, and do they advertise on competitor product pages? Use some of these tactics to see if they work for your product too.
Integrate with Different Ad Placements and Platforms
Once your Instacart ads are seeing some success, you can expand your efforts and sync up your campaigns across platforms.
Test different ad placements on Instacart for more audience reach. Then integrate successful ad campaign strategies onto other platforms to interact with new consumers. Getting more eyes on your product will improve your brand’s presence and increase sales.
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How Search Nurture Can Help
It’s not easy to create advertising strategies and manage a new platform alone—especially if you aren’t a marketing professional. Instead, there are many full-service tools and agencies that can help you get started and increase your chances of Instacart profits.
Search Nurture understands how Instacart ads work. Our dedicated team has a process to help your brand see success:
- Sit down with a Search Nurture agent to determine if your brand can benefit from a professional advertising strategy
- Have a strategy call to discuss personalized recommendations to help your business grow
- Receive a proposal with a clear scope, timeline, and cost for service
- Get the next steps to launch your campaign with Search Nurture
Here at Search Nurture we focus on helping businesses increase sales, especially on Instacart. Just ask Jergens, a personal-care brand that saw a 347% increase in sales using Search Nurture strategies and campaigns. Contact Search Nurture to speak with an ad expert as soon as you’re ready for your next successful ad campaign.