What are Instagram ads?

Now another extension of the Facebook empire, Instagram has for long become a favourite of many social media users, and a great tool for marketers to advertise on. In fact, Instagram is the 7th most visited website in the world and the 4th most used social media. This is the platform that has launched the trend of Influencer marketing, and that includes a shopping feature within the app to encourage mobile users to make purchases.

By extending your marketing strategy to include Instagram, you can reach out to up to 159 million users in the United States alone. As such, it’s important to learn more about how its advertising features work and how to best take advantage of them to boost your online branding and convert leads.

How to create an Instagram ad

From creating sponsored posts to making Story ads, there are over 130 million accounts tapping to reveal tags from Instagram Shopping posts every month. But how exactly can you create a PPC campaign for Instagram?

First of all, as we have mentioned, Instagram is now owned by Meta, which means that you can create your campaign using the Facebook Ad Manager, exactly as you would for a Facebook Ad. The best part about this is that you can then monitor your campaigns over the two social media platforms in one place.

This also means that the ad creation process is quite similar to the creation of a Facebook Ad:

Pick your objectives

What is the goal of your Instagram ad? To convert leads by promoting your latest offer? To boost your online branding by promoting a video with your brand’s story? Start by picking the best-suited objective for your campaign.

Choose who to target

Next, you need to figure out who you want to target with your campaign. Think back to your website strategy and how you had to first think of your audience to be able to create your site. 83% of consumers claim that they use Instagram to discover new products or services. Facebook’s advertising manager tool allows you to narrow down your audience as much as you’d like.

Select Instagram

Obviously, you need to make sure that you select Instagram as your preferred platform for advertising.

Figure out the budget & schedule

Then, you need to decide the budget of your PPC campaign and when you want it to go live. This will largely depend on how much you can invest, and keep in mind that the average cost-per-click ad cost is between $0.70-$1.00.

Decide the format

Now, here’s where Facebook and Instagram differ the most. Since Instagram is a social media that relies on images and videos, those should be the focus of your ad campaigns. Obviously, the caption and call to action that go alongside it are still important, but it’s the visuals that will capture the attention of your audience. These are the different formats you can try out:

Video Ad

You can use a video of up to 60 seconds to impress your viewers into discovering more about your online branding, or purchase your product/service.

Photo Ad

This type of ad lets a single image do the job. As such, it’s important that you choose your picture carefully so that it can successfully convert leads.

Story Ad

Instagram allows you to display your ad directly to the viewers when they’re going through their friends’ Instagram Stories. These can be videos or images and show a simple call to action to entice users to interact with your ad.

Carousel Ad

Show off more of your products or services with this ad feature, which allows you to upload from 2 to 10 images or videos.

Collection Ad

This type of ad appears as a video but is made up of a series of still images.


This other version of a video ad allows you to directly advertise to the type of users who love to browse Instagram’s IGTV feature.

Explore Ad

This allows you to have your ad show up on the users’ explore page.

Get creative

At last, you just have to add your ad copy and the visuals you have decided on to finalize your campaign. Make sure that you choose an effective call to action and that you stick to the word limit with your captions.

Tips for a successful Instagram campaign

Focus on the video intro

38% of marketers take advantage of Instagram’s ad platform, so you can imagine how many adverts users see every day. Most people will make a decision on your ad long before your video ends. As such, the first few seconds can make or break your campaign. This is why it’s important to optimize your intro in a way that can already entice people to take action and then follow your website strategy to learn more about your brand and offering.

Craft a strong message

While it’s true that visuals rule supreme in Instagram ads, this does not mean that you should pay no attention to the ad copy. In everything you write, you should think back to your website strategy and ensure that your text follows the same tone of voice and that it reinforces the message of the graphic or video. Optimize everything from the text on the image to the call to action.

Reach out to Influencers

Depending on the type of product or service you offer, partnering with an influencer could bring a huge boost to your brand. This is especially true if you are a small company. Never underestimate the power of a single individual with thousands of followers. The secret to doing Influencer marketing right is to check out the Influencer’s engagement rate besides their followers and to find someone that holds the same values as your company.

Hire a marketing agency

From monitoring the campaigns’ performance to working out the visuals… creating ads on Instagram can be time-consuming and not always guarantee a return on your investment. If you wish to be more confident in your campaigns or learn how you can better adapt your ads to your audience, you can contact a marketing agency to get their professional help. This will take a lot of the guesswork out of this task, and limit the amount of budget you might waste on advertising to the wrong audience.

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