The Beginner’s Guide to Instagram Ads

The Beginner’s Guide to Instagram Ads

The Beginner’s Guide to Instagram Ads

Now one of the top 10 social networking sites, Instagram is a prime place for businesses to advertise. However, with a huge user base comes high competition. If you want to reach potential customers, you need to create ads that stand out and convert.

Instagram uses the Facebook advertising system, which means you can use many of the features available for Facebook ads, such as targeting just the audience you want. Nonetheless, as Instagram is a different platform, even experts in Facebook advertising will need to start with the basics to learn how to advertise effectively.

Who Should Use Instagram Ads?

As with advertising on all social media networks, you need to know if you will be able to reach your audience before you decide to begin. Instagram ads are ideal for targeting users aged 18 to 34, especially females.

Some topics are more popular than others on Instagram, particularly fashion, beauty, food, TV and movies, hobbies, and music. If your brand covers any of these, it will almost definitely be worthwhile to advertise on Instagram. For other sectors, you should research first. If you are able to use visual content to tell a story about your brand, products, and services, you are much more likely to find success.

Who Can Create Instagram Ads?

It is best to have a Facebook Page if you want to run Instagram ads, otherwise you will be subject to some limitations. It is also recommended to have an Instagram account. Without an Instagram account, your Facebook Page will appear on your ads, but it will not be clickable, and you will be unable to reply to comments.

Creating Instagram Ads

Instagram offers five ways to create ads:

  1. Using Facebook Ads Manager,
  2. Through the Instagram app,
  3. Using Power Editor,
  4. With the Marketing API from Facebook, and
  5. Through Instagram Partners.

Most businesses prefer the first two, as they are the easiest. Instagram Partners is only for those looking tor receive expert support, and the other two are mainly for creating huge numbers of ads to run at the same time.

Ad Formats

Like many other social media sites, you can choose between several ad formats. For Instagram feed ads, you have a choice of four:

  • Carousel — featuring two or more images or videos
  • Single image — to create up to six ads for the same price
  • Single video
  • Slide show — with a looping video or up to 10 images

For Instagram Stories, there are just two options:  Single image and single video.

As Instagram Stories ads are new, they are still only available in some countries.

In both cases, your ads will only appear on the Instagram app. Users browsing Instagram on a desktop computer or through a mobile site will not see your ads.

Success Metrics

In Facebook Ads Manager, you will find the performance data for your ads in the form of a reporting table. You can view the data at three different levels:

  1. Campaign level – you will see all the ads that contribute to a single objective.
  2. Ad set level – where you see ads with the same budget, schedule, targeting, placement, and bid settings.
  3. Individual ads – each with its own images, text, and CTA — in other words, the final ad that users see.

You can customize the reporting table to view the metrics that best indicate success for your specific goals. You can change the columns by going to “Columns: Performance” and choosing “Customize Columns…” Click columns to change the view of the reporting table, and click on individual campaigns, ad sets, and ads for more information about them.

Advice for Instagram Ads

Running ads on both Facebook and Instagram

Facebook recommends running the same ads on both Instagram and Facebook. Studies from both Facebook Marketing Science and found that Facebook optimizes ad placement if you do this. However, the tactic is only effective if your strategies are aligned on the two platforms.

Stand out — but not too much

To encourage clicks, it is key that your ads look like organic content. Opt for images and videos that appear just like the other posts in a user’s Instagram feed (for instance, photos rather than illustrations), and limit text.

Include user-generated content

Ask followers for permission to use content they have created. As well as helping ads resemble organic content, this will enable you to gain your audience’s trust.

Target local users

If you are a local business, it is essential you target users in your area. As Instagram uses the Facebook advertising system, you will be able to narrow down your audience to users in your location.

Instagram ads have only been around since 2015 and are sure to undergo many changes as the platform evolves. Stay up to date with the latest Instagram news to ensure you continue adhering to best practices.

Laura Holton
[email protected]

Utilizing her knowledge of SEO and inbound marketing practices, Laura has gained significant attention for her articles and blog posts. Writing on a range of B2B topics, she helps entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level, provides inspiration, and solves the most pressing problems small businesses face.