With more than 400 million monthly users on Instagram and 1.5 billion on Facebook, there’s no doubt that advertisers should be investing their media dollars on these two important marketing channels.

And that’s exactly what they’re doing. In fact, eMarketer reported that in 2015, Facebook captured roughly 65% of social network ad revenues. Ads are still relatively new on Instagram, and already more than 200,000 brands have launched sponsored content. (By the way – have you seen that Instagram introduced dynamic (i.e. retargeting) ads?)

So brands are investing in the right channels. After all, based on research from Facebook and Instagram, 60% of Instagram users say they discover new products on the platform, and 75% say a post has inspired them to take action.

But many have yet to employ best practices that will ensure their ad dollars are used wisely.

Take a look at three of the most common mistakes marketers are making – and learn how you can run smarter, more efficient content on Facebook and Instagram.

1. Getting lazy about ad creative.

Think of the type of content that pervades Facebook and Instagram. On Facebook, marketers are working against birthday party invites, cute baby photos and wedding announcements, among other types content. Meanwhile, on Instagram, users are sharing the most authentic versions of themselves – from impressive dinners they’ve created to fabulous destinations they’re visiting.

The message to marketers is clear: Uninspired stock images simply won’t cut through the noise on Facebook and Instagram.

For your brand to tap into those 75% of users who say a post has inspired them to take action, your ad creative needs to fit into the feed, and your content should be indicative of a lifestyle.

Advertising on Instagram and Facebook

To learn more about how Curalate works with brands to programmatically enhance ad creative on Facebook and Instagram, get in touch with a Curalate Brand Strategist.

2. Ignoring the mobile imperative.

Did you know that more people now visit Facebook on mobile devices vs. desktop computers? It’s true. And it goes without saying that Instagram is a mobile-first platform.

In other words, users who click through to your landing pages from ads are very likely doing so on mobile devices. Nothing will drive away a mobile user faster than winding up on page that is not optimized for the device they’re on.

Make sure that your pages are aesthetically pleasing and functional for mobile audiences to create a seamless experience for consumers.

3. The wrong people, in the wrong context, at the wrong time.

Currently, ad targeting on Instagram is based on Facebook user data, which includes factors such as location, demographics, interests and behaviors.

This is a good place to start, but here’s the challenge: Someone who follows your brand on Facebook isn’t necessarily the best person to target on Instagram. For one, Instagram’s overall demographics are pretty different than Facebook’s. For example, the median age of Facebook’s user base is 40, compared with 30 for Instagram, according to data from GfK MRI. Secondly, Facebook attributes aren’t necessarily indicative of purchase intent.

As a marketer, you may know that lookalike audiences are one of the most effective ways to reach new customers who fit the profile of the people who already love your brand. What if you could customize that audience to resemble people who show an even higher intent to purchase your stuff?

At Curalate, we’re able to build custom lookalike audiences on Instagram based on consumers that have engaged with our clients’ products or content in Like2Buy – their shoppable Instagram galleries.

Smarter Targeting on Instagram

Building a lookalike audience around consumers that have engaged with products in this environment has proven supremely effective for the brands we work with, resulting in an 81% increase in CTR (click-through rate) and a 40% decrease in CPC (cost per click).

It makes sense. Like2Buy visitors show a deep interest in your brand on Instagram. Building a lookalike audience around them results in an audience that has a greater likelihood of loving your products, content and brand.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can tap into this highly engaged audience segment, let us know.

Winning Strategies for Facebook and Instagram Ads

If you’re already putting money behind Facebook and Instagram ads, chances are you’re seeing some sort of benefit. Don’t stop there. Optimize your targeting and content strategies, and see just how well your ads can work for you.

To dive deeper into Facebook and Instagram advertising best practices, download your free copy of our newest guide, Winning Strategies for Facebook and Instagram Ads.