Online grocery shopping saw a surge in growth over the past several years. The COVID pandemic in 2020 saw more people staying home to avoid contact with others. As a result, those people turned to online shopping to get groceries and everything else they needed delivered—and many of those people are still shopping for groceries online today.
Instacart stands out as one of the clear winners in the online shopping space. The app has captured 73% of all digital grocery sales in the United States. But with all that growth, it has become a challenge for retailers to stand out on the platform. That’s why it makes sense to develop a brand strategy and invest in Instacart ads.
This guide looks at the Instacart advertising platform. We’ll provide some tips for getting the most out of the platform and some strategies to get started..
What Is Instacart Advertising?
Instacart advertising is a self-service platform that allows retail stores to gain more exposure on the Instacart platform. The advertising platform has a dashboard that allows businesses to create advertising campaigns, manage different ads, and display reports detailing their campaign performance.
Advertising on Instacart has a lot of advantages.
- It gives you far more exposure for your brand
- Instacart display ads help you stand out from a large crowd
- This exposure creates consumer awareness and helps you take up more space in product categories
Instacart ads also generate a lot of data about your customers. You’ll see who your customers are and what they buy—data you can use to refine your offering and serve your customers better.
There are several ad types in Instacart that help in different situations.
- Sponsored products allow your brand to stand out on shopping pages by getting priority placement on product listings using keyword targeting
- Coupons help you appeal to consumers who are looking for deals; you can create several deal variations (spend a certain amount of money to save, buy so many products to get a discount, etc.)
- Delivery promotions appeal to consumers worried about large delivery fees
- Hero banners are for established advertisers who want banner advertising on the top of aisles and departments
Instacart Advertising Best Practices
Instacart has a lot of power and can generate fast results for your store—but only if you use it correctly. Here are a few best practices that will help you optimize your Instacart advertising strategy.
Use the Right Keywords
The keywords you use will determine who sees your Instacart ads. There are three main types to consider:
- Category keywords offer the best chance for growth because they allow you to target people looking for your products directly
- Brand keywords allows your brand to show up in your brand searches and also ensures nobody else shows up instead
- Competitor keywords give you a chance to appear for competitor searches and offer a small chance to capture some of that traffic
Category keywords will offer the best chance for growth, so focus your efforts on those. Match your products with the proper categories, and you’ll get new—and repeat—customers.
Create Appealing Photos
Consumers usually know what they want when they shop on Instacart. Like a regular grocery store, they have a shopping list to work through and don’t often stray too far from what they’re looking for.
Your product’s photo says a lot about what you offer. Without appealing photos, you won’t capture a customer’s attention. Take appealing photos of each product to ensure customers know what you products you offer.
Pick the Right Ad Type
There are a few different ad types to consider when buying sponsored ads. Finding the right one for your campaign will get you the most from your ad dollars.
- Search placement ads show your products in search results
- Non-search ads show on the homepage, department pages, and buy-it-again section
These ads can produce different results, so run tests with each one to see which performs better for you.
Optimize Your Bidding Strategy
Bidding on Instacart ads works like many other paid platforms—you place a bid on a keyword, and the highest bidder gets the best placement. The wrong bidding strategy means overpaying for keywords that don’t get results and missing the ones that do.
You can also set bids for individual keywords (keyword override bids) and groups of products. You can tailor these individual keywords based on your data to get the most ROI for each term.
Use Tools to Help
There are many moving pieces to an Instacart ad campaign, and the chances are good that you may not have the time to manage everything. The right tools can make the difference between a successful ad campaign and those that don’t get results.
One of the top Instacart tools is Quartile. Quartile allows you to automate your campaigns, set a budget strategy, optimize keywords, and get performance reports.
These features will cut the time it takes for you to manage your campaigns and create better results for your efforts.
Monitoring Instacart Ad Performance
Although you can put great ad campaigns together from scratch, your Instacart strategy probably won’t be perfect — initially. That’s because you won’t know all the details about what makes an excellent campaign for your products. It takes a lot of data to make those determinations.
Monitoring campaign performance and collecting data will tell you which parts of your advertising campaign are losing money and which are seeing success. This data will help you optimize your campaigns—and help you scale those that are generating great results.
It’s important to have the right resources in place to make sense of the data you collect as well as how to make changes to get the best ROI. An Instacart advertising agency can help you optimize your ad strategy and walk you through specific changes to make to showcase your products for more sales and ROI.
How a Smart Instacart Marketing Strategy Can Grow Your Brand
Instacart has helped redefine how grocery shopping works for many people. You no longer have to spend hours going to a store to shop—a benefit that’s hard to ignore when you already spend so much time on other tasks.
That growth isn’t slowing down, either. Instacart is projected to reach $35 billion in sales during 2023
Without the right Instacart marketing strategy, it’s hard for new businesses to take advantage of the platform’s growth. But with the right tools, data analysis, and expert strategic advice, you can leverage the opportunities on Instacart in your favor and get a lot of additional ROI for your brick-and-mortar store. Learn more here about how to get started with the best Instacart strategy for your market.