Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ads – Create the Best Ad Campaigns

With the Instagram app and the Facebook Ads Manager, businesses can create Instagram ads that significantly boost their brand’s visibility.

Whether you’re looking to generate brand awareness, increase website traffic, or drive sales, Instagram offers a variety of ad formats to achieve your brand’s goals.

Learn how to create Instagram ads that resonate with your target audience and make your next Instagram post a stepping stone to success.

What Is Instagram Advertising?

Instagram advertising means that you pay to show your content to more people on the social media Instagram. Businesses and individuals use it to generate brand awareness, increase website visits, get new customers, and encourage current ones to buy their products.

Unlike other platforms, Instagram focuses on visuals, so ads need pictures, a series of images, or videos, sometimes with text, to grab attention, converting this type of advertising into an effective way to reach your brand’s goals.

Paying for Instagram ads, like on Facebook ads, means more visibility for your brand, and you can also choose who to direct your ads. This helps in reaching the right audience and growing your business.

Is Instagram Right For Your Business?

Instagram advertising might be perfect for your business, but it’s crucial to understand who uses this platform. Mainly, it’s a younger demographic, with 30.8% of users between 18-24 and 30.3% between 25-34. Only 12.7% are 45-64, and just 2.6% are over 65. Most Instagram users are in urban areas, with a balanced mix of men and women.

Instagram ad campaigns offer detailed control, allowing you to target demographics based on age, gender, location, and more.

You can create custom or lookalike audiences, ensuring your ads read people similar to your existing leads. This is possible because Instagram ads use Facebook’s extensive demographic data, making your campaigns more precise.

Businesses in visual or creative industries, like video games or craft marketing, find Instagram advertising particularly powerful. It’s a visual platform ideal for engaging users and achieving specific business goals through a targeted Instagram ad campaign.

Instagram users worldwide

How to Create an Instagram Business Account

Here’s how to create an Instagram Business Account:

Step 1: Sign Up With Email or Phone Number

As soon you open the Instagram app, you’ll find two options to set up your business account. You can choose “Log In With Facebook” or “Sign Up With Phone or Email”. We recommend registering using a business email to ensure your Instagram profile is not connected to your personal Facebook account.

Sing Up

Step 2: Enter Your Business’s Name and Create a Username

In the “Full Name” field, type your brand’s name to make your profile easily identifiable for visitors.

Your username is unique to your profile and is how other accounts will interact with your brand. Select a username that’s easy to recognize and search for. 

Don’t worry if you need to change it later. You can always update your username in your account settings.

Step 3: Choose a Profile Picture

Once you’ve established the basic setup of your Instagram account, the next step is to optimize it. Your profile picture is your brand’s first impression for new visitors, so choosing an image that aligns with your brand and visual identity is important.

Step 4: Set Your Instagram Bio

When generating the bio, aim for a brief yet impactful summary of who you are and why people should follow you because they’re limited to 150 characters. Talk about your brand’s personality while explaining what your business is about. Don’t focus on keywords or hashtags because Instagram Bios aren’t searchable.

Use your bio to prompt users to take specific actions, like visiting your website. This is the only spot on your profile where you can include a clickable website URL to direct traffic outside Instagram.

Tip: To modify your photo, name, username, or URL in the future, click the “Edit Profile” button on your profile.

Instagram Bio

Step 5: Adjust Your Settings

Finally, let’s go through your account settings. 

This step is crucial for updating your contact information, setting up notifications, and other essential actions. Access the settings by tapping the three horizontal lines at the top right of your profile and adjust the following three key areas:

  1. Adjust your story settings to decide who sees and replies to your Instagram stories. Once in the settings, click on “Messages and story replies.” Consider allowing all followers to view and respond to your stories for increased engagement.
  2. Convert to a professional account to access Instagram’s Business Tools, which offer contact options, detailed insights, and promotional capabilities. Go to “Account type and tools” and click “Switch to professional account” to make this change.
  3. Link your account to your page by logging into Facebook, navigating to your page’s settings, and choosing “Linked Accounts.” Then, select an Instagram profile to connect.
Instagram Settings

How to Advertise On Instagram – How To Start

Creating ads for Instagram might seem overwhelming, but it’s easier than you think. There isn’t an Instagram ads manager, so to run your first Instagram ad, you can use the “Instagram boost” option, but it is better to use Facebook Ads Manager, also known as Meta Ads Manager.

This is because your Instagram account is linked to a Facebook page, allowing seamless management of your Instagram ad campaigns through the Facebook platform. This integration makes it easier to manage and track the performance of your ads across both platforms.

Creating Instagram ads is similar to creating Facebook ads but is tailored to Instagram’s audience and format. Follow the next step-by-step instructions to start an Instagram advertising campaign.

Boost a Post

1. Go to Facebook Ads Manager

This platform is the central hub for Facebook and Instagram advertising. 

  1. Log into your Facebook ad account linked to your business’s Facebook page. 
  2. Access the Facebook Ads Manager to create and manage ad campaigns across both platforms.
  3. Once in Facebook Ads Manager, choose “Create” to start a new campaign. 
  4. When setting it up, you can select Instagram as the desired platform for your ad placement. This is where you can craft your Instagram-specific content, keeping in mind the visual and engaging nature of the platform.
Facebook Ads Manager

2. Set Your Marketing Objective

To create Instagram ads, you must select your campaign objective. The goals are straightforward, so pick the traffic objective if you want more website visitors. 

Are you aiming to boost brand recognition? Go for brand awareness. 

The options are clear, but it’s important to note that Instagram ads are compatible with specific objectives only:

  • Brand awareness: This is the standard ad objective, aiming to show your ads to people likely interested in your brand. Instagram uses its algorithms to find the right users.
  • Reach: Ideal for maximizing ad visibility. Remember to select your Instagram account when setting up the ad. For Instagram Story ads, ‘Reach’ is your only option.
  • Traffic: Choose this ad campaign goal to drive people to your website or app. You’ll need to specify the destination URL or app store link.
  • Engagement: Are you looking for more likes and shares? You must know that on Instagram, you can only pay to boost your post engagement, unlike Facebook, where you pay for page or event engagement.
  • App installs: If you are promoting an app, this objective helps increase downloads. You’ll select your app during the setup process.
  • Video views: Promote your video content directly on Instagram without extra setup steps.
  • Lead generation: this goal is for gathering leads, but Instagram only supports limited fields like email and phone number. Unlike Facebook’s more direct approach, the process involves an extra step for leads to fill out their information. You’ll also need to create a lead form.
  • Conversions: Aimed at encouraging actions on your website or app. Set up involves configuring a Facebook pixel or app event for tracking.

Each marketing objective aligns with different business needs, so choose wisely based on your Instagram campaigns.

Marketing Objectives

3. Set Up Your Target Audience

After choosing your campaign’s objective, the next step is to define your target audience. This is where Instagram ads shine, leveraging Facebook’s extensive demographic data to pinpoint the right audience.

For example, you can target men in New York who are aged 18-40 and interested in video games, consoles and gadgets.

Here are the targeting options you can find in Facebook Ads Manager:

  • Location: Target specific countries, regions, states, cities, or zip codes. You can also include or exclude certain areas.
  • Age: Target people within the age range of 13 to 65+. Remember, Instagram’s users are mostly young, so consider this data with your brand’s aim.
  • Gender: Select from all genders.
  • Languages: It’s best to leave this blank unless you’re targeting a language uncommon in your chosen location.
  • Demographics: In the “Detailed Targeting” section, you’ll find demographics, which offers multiple sub-categories. For example, you can target “Demographics”> “Work”> “Industries.”
  • Interests: Also under “Detailed Targeting,” you can delve into specific interests, whether video games, horror movies, or aviation.
  • Behaviors: Another layer in “Detailed Targeting” lets you target based on purchasing habits, job roles, anniversaries, and more.
  • Connections: Target people connected to your page, app, or event.
  • Custom Audience: Upload your contact list to target existing leads or customers for upselling.
  • Lookalike Audience: If you’ve maximized your custom audience, generate a lookalike audience to reach users similar to your existing audience.

When you finish setting up the target audience, Facebook Ads Manager offers a gauge to measure how broad or specific your audience is. It’s crucial to find a balance. It’s not too broad that it’s untargeted and not too narrow to limit reach. Keep an eye on this to ensure optimal targeting.

Target Audience

4. Choose Your Instagram Ad Placements

With your target demographics set, the next step is to decide where your ads will appear. This choice is essential, especially if you want your ad campaign to be exclusive to Instagram. Skipping this step means your ads might appear on Facebook and Instagram.

Having your ads on both platforms is not bad, but if your content is tailored specifically for Instagram, you should opt for “Edit Placements” instead of “Automatic Placements.”

In this section, you can specify that your ads will appear only on Instagram. You also have the option to choose whether these ads will be displayed in the Instagram feed, stories, or both. This ensures that your posts reach your target audience exactly where you intend them to.

Ad Placement

5. Set Your Ad Budget and Schedule

Here, you must set your ad budget first, and you can choose between a daily budget and a lifetime budget. Determining the proper budget for your first Instagram campaign might require trial and error. The good news is that you can pause or stop your campaign anytime if you need to adjust your budget.

Deciding between a daily or lifetime budget depends on your strategy. Daily budgets ensure your funds are spent slowly, while lifetime budgets give you the flexibility to schedule when your ads are shown.

Budget and Schedule

Both have their advantages and disadvantages. It’s also worth looking into advanced options. For example, with manual bidding, you can decide the value of each lead.

Additionally, consider setting an ad schedule to target specific times and days when your audience is most active on Instagram. This can significantly optimize your budget use.

Ad Scheduling

6. Create Your Instagram Ad

Now is the moment to craft your Instagram ad. After following the previous steps, you should know the content you want to use for your ad. The setup process varies depending on your campaign objective, but you’ll always have several ad format options.

The available Instagram ad formats include:

  • Photo ads.
  • Story ads.
  • Carousel ads.
  • Collection ads.
  • Instagram video ads.
  • Explore ads.
  • Reels ads.

Once you’ve decided the format and content for your ad, proceed to the ad creation dashboard. This is where you’ll upload your content, craft your ad copy, and publish your ad. 

Remember the format you select should align with your campaign objective and the type of engagement you want to encourage.

Create a new ad

7. Launch and Monitor Your Ad Campaign

After crafting and checking everything is done in your ad, it’s time to launch it and monitor its performance. You can use the same Facebook Ads Manager to track your Instagram ad performance and spend effectively. This platform gives you great insights and control over your campaigns.

Facebook Ads Manager, launch and monitor campaign

Instagram Ad Formats

It’s a common misconception that Instagram ads are limited to image and video formats. However, the reality is that there are several Instagram ad types, each offering unique ways to engage with audiences.

To effectively leverage Instagram for marketing, it’s crucial to understand the variety of ad types available on the platform, ensuring that your Instagram posts are tailored to your goals’ most suitable ad format.

Instagram Ad Formats

Instagram Photo Ads

Also known as Instagram feed ads, this format is the most common and familiar one you’ll encounter while scrolling through your feed. These ads consist of single images that appear in your target audience’s feed, creating a native experience among other posts.

The beauty of these ads lies in their subtlety. You don’t feel them as ads, making them more appealing to viewers.

Ad Format DetailsSupported Call to Action
File type: jpg or pngApply Now
Maximum file size: 30MBBook Now
Minimum Image Width: 600 pixelsCall Now
Image Ratio: 4:5 minimum, 16:9 maximumContact Us
Text length: 2,200 characters maximumShop Now
Hashtags: 30 maximumLearn More
Get Showtimes
Ad format details and supported call to action – Instagram Photo Ads
Instagram Image ads

Instagram Video Ads

You can elevate your advertising by showcasing a video ad in your target audience’s Instagram feed. If you’ve invested time creating a high-quality video, promoting it on Instagram is worth the effort.

The platform allows you to upload videos up to 60 seconds long to present your products or services creatively. Video ads are an excellent format to capture attention in the Instagram feed, offering a dynamic and engaging way to convey your message.

Ad Format DetailsSupported Call to Action
Video Resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixelsApply Now
Maximum file size: 4GBBook Now
Video Ratio: 4:5 minimum,16:9 maximumCall Now
Video Duration: 60 seconds maximumContact Us
Video Captions and sound: optionalDownload
Video file type: MP4, MOV or GIFShop Now
Text length: 125 characters maximum
Hashtags: 30 maximum
Ad Format Details and Supported CTAs for Instagram Video Ads
Instagram Video Ads

Instagram Stories Ads – Image and Videos

Launched in 2016, Instagram Stories quickly gained popularity. This feature includes image and video formats ads labeled as Instagram Stories Ads.

They are versatile, allowing you to align them with your business goals. They can run for any duration you choose and can showcase a series of images or videos in a carousel format.

Instagram Story Ads’ great advantage is that they appear among organic stories, bypassing the need to outsmart the algorithm. Additionally, by presenting clear, branded visuals and your unique selling proposition right at the start, you encourage viewers to keep watching.

Whether you post videos or a single image, a compelling start can entice viewers to swipe up and engage further with your ad.

Ad Format DetailsSupported Call to Action
Image story ads Ratio: 9:16 recommendedApply Now
Minimum Image Width: 600 pixelsBook Now
Video story ads Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pxLearn More
Maximum file size: 4GBContact Us
Video Ratio: 9:16 maximumDownload
Video Duration: 15 seconds maximumShop Now
Ad Format Details and Supported CTAs for Instagram Stories Ads
Instagram Stories Ads

They are a dynamic and engaging ad type on Instagram. Carousel ads allow you to showcase scrollable images or videos rather than just a single image.

This format is perfect for visually-driven brands, such as those in the food industry, furniture retail, fashion, travel destinations, and video games.

With the carousel format, you can feature ten images or videos in a single ad set, each with its display link. This flexibility makes it an excellent choice for Instagram ads, as it allows for a more comprehensive and interactive storytelling approach, whether through captivating scrollable images or engaging videos.

Ad Format DetailsSupported Call to Action
Image story ads Ratio: 9:16 recommendedApply Now
Minimum Image Width: 600 pixelsBook Now
Video story ads Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixelsLearn more
Maximum file size: 4GBContact Us
Video Ratio: 9:16 maximumDownload
Video Duration: 15 seconds maximum
Ad format details and supported call to action for Instagram Carousel Ads
Instagram Carousel Ads

Instagram Collection Ads

This ad type showcases multiple images from your product catalog, allowing your audience to see various items in a single view. This ad creative is particularly effective when you want to simultaneously display several photos, providing a comprehensive snapshot of your brand’s offerings.

Ad Format DetailsSupported Call to Action
Image type: JPG or PNGLearn more
Video file type: MP4, MOV or GIFContact Us
Resolution: At least 1080 x 1080 pxShop now
Ratio: 1.91:1 to 1:1
Image maximum file size: 30MB
Video maximum file size: 4GB
Landing page URL: Required
Headline: 40 characters
Ad format details and supported call to action for Instagram Collection Ads
Instagram Collection Ads

Instagram Explore Ads

Instagram’s Explore section is a new feature where users discover ads customized to their interests. By setting your ads to appear in the Explore section, you’re reaching clients with your target demographic’s interest.

This section, known for suggesting videos and posts users might like, introduces them to content outside their network, curated based on their past behavior.

In the Explore section, your ad options are limited to image and video formats. This limitation, however, ensures that your content seamlessly integrates with the type of content users are already exploring.

Instagram Explore Ads

Instagram Reels Ads

Following their successful launch, Instagram has expanded Reels to include advertising. These ads appear between individual Reels and can be up to 30 seconds long. They share similar characteristics with Stories ads, being full-screen vertical videos.

To seamlessly integrate with the organic content on Reels, it’s recommended that these video ads include sound or music. Lastly, this format exclusively supports video ads, offering an engaging and dynamic form to connect with your audience.

Instagram Reels Ads

How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost?

Determining the exact cost of running Instagram ads can be complex, as it depends on different factors. The pricing model for advertising on Instagram, similar to Facebook ads, is based on CPC (cost-per-click) and CPM (cost-per-impressions), with rates set through Instagram’s ad auction system.

When you set up an ad, the cost is influenced by your chosen budget and whether you opt for Manual or Automatic Bidding. However, Instagram always respects your budget limits. For example, if your budget is $15 per day for your ad campaign, running it will not exceed this amount.

This budget-friendly approach makes it easier for businesses to effectively manage their advertising expenses on Instagram ads.

Instagram Ad cost

How To Get Better Reach with Instagram Sponsored Ads?

Instagram-sponsored posts offer an exciting and effective avenue for brands and marketers to broaden their reach and connect with new, engaged audiences. An Instagram-sponsored post is an advertisement where an individual or business allocates a budget to extend its reach beyond its usual audience.

Let’s delve into how you can secure paid sponsorship opportunities on Instagram.

1. Tag Brands in Your Instagram Posts

As you know your brand and niche, and you’ve posted high-quality images and videos, you are ready to collaborate and work with other brands.

When you use or talk about products on your Instagram, we recommend you tag the respective brands. This increases your chances of getting noticed by these companies for potential sponsorships.

The example below shows a successful strategy to get sponsored Ads. Highsky started playing Fortnite as a kid, and as he gained popularity, brands noticed him. He constantly posts the gadgets he uses when playing video games and tags the developers.

Tag Brands in Your Instagram Posts

2. Post Consistently

Regularly updating your Instagram account is key. Consistent posts keep your followers engaged and attract new ones, increasing your visibility to potential sponsors.

Defining the frequency and timing that resonate best with your audience is important. If you notice lower engagement at a particular time, try posting when your audience is more active.

For example, Gamerantofficial, a gaming news Instagram account, actively engages its followers with ten daily posts. Their diverse content includes reels, images, and videos, all shared on the same day. They also balance informative posts with funny memes, effectively captivating their audience and consistently growing their fan base.

Post Consistently

3. Use Hashtags

Incorporate relevant hashtags in your posts. They help categorize your content, making it easier for brands and users interested in specific topics to find you.

You can also incorporate geotags in your posts as they assist brands in locating influencers who cater to specific geographic areas. Geotags effectively highlight your relevance to a desired location, making you a more attractive partner for location-specific marketing efforts.

As you can see in the following example, Gamespot incorporates top hashtags like “game” and “2024,” ensuring they align with the content being posted. They receive more than 2.000 likes in every post – some receiving up to 40k likes – and constantly gain more followers and visibility.

Use Hashtags

4. Include Your Contact Information in Your Bio

Make it easy for brands to contact you. Ensure your contact information is visible in your bio, indicating you’re open to sponsorships. This can be an email address or a link to a contact form.

In the example below, you can see the YouTuber Randika Dwiputra clearly showcasing his email contact for future business. Even if he already has 287K followers, we could notice on his Instagram that he’s constantly posting sponsored content and seeking more views and followers.

Bio Contact Information

Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ads – Summary

This detailed guide has walked you through creating effective Instagram ads. From understanding the basics of the ad formats, like video ads and story ads, to setting up your Instagram ad campaigns, you now have the knowledge to leverage Instagram’s advertising potential.

Creating Instagram ads requires more than just using the Facebook ads manager. It needs you to think outside the box with a strategy aligned with your business goals.

With the right approach, Instagram ads can transform your social media marketing, helping you reach new heights in brand visibility and customer engagement.

Can’t find the right tools or specialist to do it? Contact GamerSEO to help you triumph on Instagram and leverage your budget to get clients.

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