Wondering how to advertise on Instagram and what makes advertising on Instagram so popular among businesses? 

Thanks to its high-quality visual content, Instagram has emerged as an important platform for businesses looking to showcase their products and increase customer engagement. 

Disclosure: This content may contain a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).

This visual platform boasts over 1.28 billion monthly active users from around the globe and is one of the leading social networks worldwide. Hence, when it comes to building a brand and outdoing fellow competitors, Instagram advertisements can be quite effective.

According to Pew Research Centre, six out of ten Instagram users in the United States visit the website every day.

Hence, businesses are always looking for the best ways to advertise on Instagram and make the most of this popular social media platform.  

So, are you planning to start an Instagram ad campaign? Read on to learn about the types of Instagram ads, how Instagram ads work, and the cost of advertising on Instagram. I will also tell you how to run ads on Instagram effectively. 

What is Instagram Advertising?

Instagram advertising is a paid service used by businesses to promote their brands or products/services online to reach their target audiences. The right ads can grab the attention of your audience, drive leads, and boost sales and revenue.

As a business owner, you can pay and then post sponsored content or ads on Instagram to spread the word about your brand and products. Considering the popularity of this social networking platform, advertising on Instagram is a great way to improve brand exposure and convert prospects into customers. 

For instance, you have started a new apparel business and are looking to promote your brand and products. After doing good research, you decide to run Shopping Ads on Instagram to reach your potential customers. The ad catches the eyes of your audience and you start witnessing a surge in your website traffic and sales. 

This is how Instagram advertisements can generate new leads and help businesses generate higher profits.

Instagram ads are similar to Facebook ads. When browsing through Instagram, you will come across some posts in your Instagram feed with a Sponsored label. These posts are Instagram ads. 

Although Instagram ads look like normal posts, they have additional features, such as an Instagram page link, website link, product catalog, and CTA buttons. 

Why Advertise on Instagram?

Advertising on Instagram can boost the visibility of your brand and convert views and clicks into customers. Since Facebook and Instagram advertisements are fully integrated, Instagram can also use the data about Facebook users to reach a wider audience and potential customers. 

Instagram advertisements offer a plethora of benefits to brands and businesses looking to create a niche for themselves. They are also an important part of creating an effective Instagram growth strategy

The following are some advantages of advertising on Instagram:

  • Instagram ad campaigns are easy to create and design.
  • Instagram ads help build a following for your brand or business.
  • Using Instagram for Business helps you showcase your products in feeds and Stories.
  • You can interact with followers and prospective customers easily.
  • You can target ads to reach the right audience.

Here are some stats that will show you what makes Instagram an important advertising platform for brands and businesses:

  • About 30% of internet users around the world use Instagram
  • About 71% of businesses in the United States use Instagram for business
  • As of January 2022, the United States had a total of 159.75 million Instagram users; almost half of the population of the United States is on Instagram
  • Instagram ads can reach about 850 million users around the world
  • About 83% of online shoppers claim that they find new products on Instagram
  • About 81% of users use Instagram to research products and services
  • About 80% of users trust Instagram to make the final purchase decision
  • About 75% of Instagram users act on at least one ad

Hence, as a crucial part of Instagram marketing, Instagram ads can help promote a brand and generate new leads.

What is the Cost of Advertising on Instagram?

When you plan to create an Instagram ad campaign, the first thing that will come to mind is – how much are advertisements on Instagram? 

Well, the cost of Instagram ads depends on different factors, such as:

  • Your target audience
  • Competition in the industry
  • Time of the year (cost of ads increases during holidays, such as Halloween and Christmas)
  • Placement of ads
  • Bidding models, such as CPC (cost-per-click), CPM (cost-per-impression), and CPE (cost-per-engagement)

The bidding models play an important role in determining the cost of Instagram advertisements. According to Revealbot, the average cost of advertising on Instagram in November 2022 was:

  • CPM campaign: $12.66 per 1000 impressions
  • CPC campaign: $1.46 per click
  • CPE campaign: $0.087 per engagement

On the other hand, the average cost of running Instagram ad campaigns in October 2022 was:

  • CPM campaign: $6.93 per 1000 impressions
  • CPC campaign: $0.992 per click
  • CPE campaign: $0.048 per engagement

According to Revealbot, the average CPM and CPC can also depend on the campaign objective. 

For example, if your campaign objective is Purchases, you can change it to Link Clicks to make it less specific. 

How will this help? 

Well, if boosting Website Purchases is your objective, the Facebook algorithm will have to work harder to find people who will be interested in purchasing your products. Choosing a general objective, such as Link Clicks, can ease the work of the Facebook algorithm and lower your average CPM and CPC.

Hence, it is clear that the cost of advertising on Instagram will differ from one business to another. If you are in a high-competition business, you may have to spend more on Instagram ads to make your brand visible to prospective customers.

However, advertising is a great way to monetize Instagram. The right ads can help promote your products and services, generate sales, and increase profits. Now that you have a fair idea about how much are advertisements on Instagram, let’s take a look at the different types of Instagram ads that you can create to promote your business.

Types of Instagram Ads

The following are the types of Instagram ads that you can use for your advertising campaigns:

  1. Image or Photo ads
  2. Video ads
  3. Stories ads
  4. Carousal ads
  5. Explore ads
  6. Collection ads
  7. Shopping ads
  8. IGTV ads
  9. Reels ads

Let’s take a closer look at each type.

1. Image or Photo Ads

Easy to create and effective, Image or Photo ads are commonly used by businesses to promote their brands. In this form of Instagram advertisement, you can use a single image in square or landscape format to advertise your products and services. 

An Image ad can contain eye-catching visual content, an illustration, or both. The main aim is to design an image that will tell people about your brand or business. 

2. Video Ads

Although similar to Image ads, Video ads reportedly get 3 times more views than sponsored photos. With the help of Video ads, you can convey more information to your prospective customers within a short time. 

These ads are particularly good for product demonstrations, especially when you want to show your viewers how certain things work. What’s more, Video ads are more engaging and highly effective when it comes to promoting a brand or business.

You can create a 60 seconds long in-feed Video ad for Instagram in square or landscape format.

3. Stories Ads

Similar to Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Snapchat Stories, Instagram Stories Ads are quite popular and effective when it comes to attracting customers and boosting sales. These ads are designed to look like normal Stories and they don’t show up as ads. 

Since Instagram Stories are a commonly used part of the app, Stories ads get more views and engagement. According to Techjury:

  • Over 500 million users on Instagram use Stories every day. 
  • About 86.6% of Instagrammers post Stories regularly.
  • About 70% of Instagrammers watch Stories every day.
  • About 36% of businesses use Instagram Stories to showcase products and promote their business.
  • About 25% of young adults find products/services on Instagram Stories.

You can also use GIFs, filters, text, and stickers to create a visually appealing advertisement that will help build connections between your brand and your audience.

4. Carousel Ads

A Carousel ad is a special advertising format that allows you to share up to 10 images or videos in one ad. Each image or video can have its own link or call-to-action button to help visitors or prospective customers reach your website with ease.

These ads are commonly used by businesses looking to showcase more products in one ad to boost brand visibility and sales. Carousel ads can appear in your feed as well as in Instagram Stories. 

In the above image, we can see that Air France is using Carousel ads to highlight the airfares of different cities. “Book Now” is the CTA button that will take users to the website for further action.

5. Explore Ads

Explore ads are the ads that appear on the Explore page of Instagram. The Explore page contains a collection of accounts and content to suit a user’s interest. 

Considering that more than 50% of Instagram users use the Explore page every month, advertising on Instagram’s Explore page is a smart way for brands and businesses to gain exposure.

However, these ads do not directly appear on the Explore section or grid of Instagram. 

Here’s an example: Suppose you are browsing the Explore page and you click on a photo or video there. The post opens, you see it, and then scroll down through more. After scrolling through one or more posts, you are likely to see sponsored content there. This is an Explore ad.

6. Collection Ads

A Collection ad is a fun and unique form of Instagram advertisement. In this format, advertisers combine a series of images, videos, and product catalogs to create an eye-catching and engaging advertisement. 

While creating an Instagram Collection ad, you can also add suitable audio and text. A Collection ad, which plays like a video slide show, is perfect for promoting different products in one ad. Prospective buyers can also check out each product in the ad separately for more details. 

Here’s what Collection ads look like:

7. Shopping Ads

Instagram Shopping ads are popularly used by businesses to promote their products on Instagram. 

With over 130 million Instagram users clicking on Shopping posts every month, Instagram is constantly working to improve its ecommerce features.

To create an Instagram Shopping ad, you can promote a popular post that you have already created. Or you can use Instagram product tags and build an ad from scratch using the Facebook Ads Manager (Instagram ads are created using the Facebook or Meta Ads Manager).

When a user clicks on an ad with product tags, they will be directed to your ecommerce site where they can check out the products you sell and make a purchase.

If you have the Instagram Checkout option, the product tags will open Instagram checkout and make purchases quick and convenient for your customers.

8. IGTV Ads

IGTV ads are short video ads that Instagram users can see while watching IGTV videos in their feeds. These ads are quite short with runtimes of 15 seconds or less. Since IGTV ads are built for mobile, they are created in full-screen vertical video format.

Most IGTV ads are shown mid-roll or in the middle of a video. However, they can appear pre-roll and post-roll as well. Like other Instagram ads, IGTV ads can also boost brand awareness and generate leads.  

The above image shows a Sephora IGTV ad playing in the middle of a video. As you can see, the ad is in full-screen vertical video format and has a “Learn More” tab. Interested users can click on this tab to learn more about the product and make a purchase.

9. Reel Ads

As the name suggests, Reels ads are short ads that are displayed in between organic Reels or on the Explore page of Instagram. These full-screen ads in vertical video format can be up to 30 seconds long. Since these ads are played in between Instagram Reels, advertisers must add sound or music to the ads so that they fit in well with the organic Reels.

A Reel ad usually looks like a typical Reel post with a “Sponsored” label below the brand name. When used effectively, these ads can help spread the word about your brand and benefit your business by attracting potential customers. 

Besides viewing the Reel ads, users can also like, comment, save, and share these ads. The ad also contains a “Shop Now” tab that will take interested buyers to your official website.

While creating Instagram ads, make sure you keep the ad specifications in mind.

For example, if you choose to create image ads, the following are the specifications:

  • File Type: JPG or PNG
  • File Ratio: 1.91:1 to 1:1
  • Resolution: At least 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Maximum File Size: 30 MB max
  • Maximum Width: 600 pixels
  • Maximum Height: 600 pixels
  • Aspect Ratio Tolerance: 3%
  • Primary Text: 125 characters
  • Headline: 27 characters
  • Description: 27 characters

These specifications are different for each ad type, so make sure you keep them in mind while creating Instagram advertisements. 

These are the best ways to advertise on Instagram. However, before investing in full ad campaigns, make sure you test out a few ads. You can try A/B Testing different variations of an ad for the same audience to understand which ad performs better. Choose the best-performing ad accordingly and put more money into it.

How To Choose the Best Instagram Ad Type for Your Business

Now that you know how Instagram ads work, I will share some tips to help you choose the best Instagram advertisements for your business.

Considering the different types of Instagram ads available, selecting the right type for your campaign can be a challenging task. First, you need to do some research and try the A/B test feature in Meta Ads Manager. 

Also, before choosing an Instagram ad type for your business, you must ask yourself the following questions for better clarity and decision-making.

1. Why am I choosing an Instagram advertising campaign?

When you plan to advertise your business on Instagram, ask yourself what you are looking to achieve from the Instagram ad campaign. This can include:

  • Improving brand awareness
  • Driving more traffic to your website
  • Reaching a particular target audience
  • Gaining more followers
  • Increasing video views for new products

Once you understand your advertising goals, it will help you choose the right ad type and make the most of it.

For example, if you are looking to boost sales, you can opt for Shopping ads or Collection ads. On the other hand, Stories, Reels and IGTV ads can help you get more video views and increase your followers.

2. Who do I want to reach with Instagram ads?

Before you start an Instagram ad campaign, make sure you know your target audience. The ad campaign can be effective only when it reaches the right audience. 

Hence, determine the audience you want to reach and keep their habits and behaviors in mind when choosing an ad campaign.

For example, if you are targeting avid shoppers, you can choose Shopping ads. If they watch more Reels and videos, Reel ads and Video ads should work best to grab their attention.

3. Which ad types have worked well to increase organic or unpaid followers?

When you are looking to increase organic followers, browse through your Instagram feed. Determine which types of content have gotten you more likes, views, and followers. This will help you choose the right ad type to promote your brand. 

For example, if one or more of your video posts or ads have performed well in the recent past, you can create Video ads with a CTA tab to promote similar products and boost sales.

How To Advertise Your Business on Instagram

Wondering how to run ads on Instagram and track the performance of your ad campaigns? Let’s take a look.

Bearing in mind the growing popularity of Instagram among avid shoppers, advertising your business on this social networking platform can help you reach your prospective customers easily. 

Different types of Instagram ads can boost brand awareness, thereby helping you build strong and long-term relationships with customers. 

However, before creating an Instagram ad, you must have the following:

A Facebook Page

Having a Facebook page for your company or business makes advertising on Instagram easier. You can link your Instagram account to your Facebook page and create ads using the Ads Manager. When you create ads this way, the ads will appear on both Facebook and Instagram. 

An Instagram Account

While you can run ads without an Instagram account, it is always better to have one to understand the social networking platform better. Also, you can convert your Instagram profile into a professional account and boost feed posts, Stories, and Reels

A Landing Page

A landing page is important for converting visitors into leads. This is the page where your prospective customers will be directed when they click on the CTA tab on the ad. 

High-Quality Visuals

Before you start advertising on Instagram, make sure you have an eye-catching Instagram page with high-quality images and videos of the products you sell. The same applies to the Instagram ads you create. High-quality and striking visuals can make a lasting impact on your audience and boost your engagement and sales.

In addition to visual elements, you can also use attention-grabbing background music, add captions for any voiceovers, and use text overlay to share important messages without sound. 

Now, let’s see how you can advertise your business on Instagram.

There are two ways to create Instagram advertisements for businesses:

  1. Promote an existing Instagram post
  2. Create an ad on Facebook or Meta Ads Manager

Let’s talk about both these methods in detail.

Method 1: Promote an Existing Instagram Post

This is the quickest and easiest way to create an Instagram ad campaign. 

However, to create ads on Instagram, you must first convert your Instagram profile into a business account by following these steps:

  • Go to the Instagram Settings page and tap on the Account tab.
  • Scroll down the page and you will see the option to “Switch to professional account.” Tap on it and press Continue.
  • Next, select the Category of your business and tap Done
  • You will then see a pop-up asking “Switch to professional account.” Tap OK to confirm.
  • Now, tap Business and then Next.
  • Add your contact details and tap Next.
  • Once you are done, tap X on the top right corner of the screen to return to your Instagram profile.
  • Tap Edit Profile and then Profile Display under Public business information
  • Now select the information to want to display or hide from the public and tap Done.

After converting your Instagram profile into a business account, you can start advertising on Instagram.

  • Look for a post that has been performing well in terms of likes, views, and comments. 
  • Tap the Boost Post tab at the bottom of the screen.
  • You will be asked to select a goal, define your audience, and decide on a budget and ad duration. Once you are done, tap Next.
promote a post on instagram
Image via Hootsuite
  • Lastly, tap Create ad.

Your ad will now be submitted for review to ensure that it meets Meta Advertising Standards. If everything looks good, it will be approved and you will receive a notification. 

Yes, it’s that simple! An attention-grabbing Instagram ad will not only boost your post’s success but also make your brand and products more visible to prospective customers. 

Method 2: Create Instagram Ads on Facebook Ads Manager

If you are looking to run your advertising campaigns across Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, or Audience Network, you must create them with the Facebook Ads Manager. 

The Facebook Ads Manager is a great tool for creating and managing ad campaigns. It also provides you with an overview of all of your ad campaigns to help you understand how well your ads are performing.

The following are the steps to create ads using Facebook Ads Manager:

  1. Choose a campaign objective.
  2. Select budget and schedule.
  3. Define your audience.
  4. Select ad placement.
  5. Create new ads.

Let’s take a closer look at each step.

Step 1: Choose your campaign objective

  • Open Ads Manager and click on the +Create tab in the top left corner.
  • Choose your campaign objective from the given list. 

For instance, the objective of your campaign can be to boost brand awareness, website traffic, or engagement.

Once you have selected the objective of your ad campaign, you will be prompted to choose a name for it. It is always wise to choose a name based on the objective of your ad campaign for easy tracking, especially when you are running multiple campaigns.

Step 2: Select the budget and schedule

Once you have selected the objective of your ad campaign, you will be prompted to choose the budget and schedule for your ad. 

The budget will depend on how much you want to spend on the ad campaign. There are two types of budget durations:

  • Daily budget: This is good for always-on advertising campaigns. Also, if you think there may be regular changes to your budget, opt for a daily budget.
  • Lifetime budget: If you have a set budget in mind for the entire campaign, you can select the lifetime budget option. This is the amount you are willing to spend for the entire runtime of your Instagram advertisement campaign. If you’re choosing this option, remember to set the end date and time of your ad campaign.

In the above image, we can see that the advertiser has selected a daily budget of CAD $5 and has scheduled the ad for a month. When scheduling ads, you can choose if you want to run ads continuously or at a particular time of the day. Most advertisers choose to run ads continuously for better reach.

Step 3: Define your audience

While creating an ad campaign, define the target audience to ensure that your ad reaches the right people.   

When defining the audience, you will see two options:

  • Create a new audience: If you want to reach a new or different set of people with your latest ad campaign, choose this option. You can create new audiences based on their location, demographics, interests, and behaviors.
  • Use saved audience: If you have customized data of past audiences from previous successful campaigns, you can use it for your new Instagram advertisements.

Step 4: Select ad placement

Next, you will be directed to the Placement section where you must decide where the new ads should appear. This is an important section if you are using Facebook Ads Manager to create and run ad campaigns on Instagram. 

The following are some points to keep in mind:You can either opt for Advantage+ Placements or select your Manual Placements.

  • If you choose Automatic or Advantage+ Placements, the Ads Manager will display your ads across all platforms, including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Audience Network.
  • If you want the new ads only on Instagram, click on Manual Placements and select Instagram.
  • You can also choose where exactly on Instagram you want to display your ads. For example, if you want the new ads to appear in Instagram Feeds, Explore, and Stories, you can select these options.

Step 5: Create new ads

Now, you must unleash your creativity and create a new Instagram advertisement. Here’s how:

  • Select your Facebook page and the Instagram account where you want to place ads.
  • Under Ad Setup, select the preferred ad format from Single Image or Video, Carousel, and Collection.
  • Next, you must fill out the details under Ad Creative. This includes:
    • Primary Text
    • Headline
    • Destination
    • Website URL
    • Display Link
    • Call-to-Action

Step 6: Preview and Publish

Once you have filled in the required details under Ad Creative, it’s time to Preview your ad campaign. 

  • Turn on the preview option to check out how the advertisement will look when it is displayed on your Instagram Feed, Story, or Explore. 
  • If everything looks good, click on Publish.

Facebook will review your ads against their Advertising Policies before they run it on Instagram. You can check the Delivery Column of Ads Manager to track the status of your ad.

Track Conversions

If you want to track conversions from your new ads, go to the tracking section and select Facebook Pixel. This will tell you what action the audience is taking after clicking on your ad.

Track Performance

After publishing new ads, you can track their performance easily by following these steps:

  • Go to Ads Manager and click on Columns: Performance in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. 
  • A drop-down menu will appear with a list of options, such as the ad’s reach, likes, views, and cost-per-click.
  • Select the right options for a customized report to measure the performance of your ads.

When you are advertising on Instagram and you feel your ad is underperforming, you can even tweak the ad by changing the image, headline, and call-to-action.

FAQs

1. Are Instagram ads worth it?

If done the right way, Instagram advertisements are worth it. Advertising on Instagram is comparatively cheaper than other marketing tools. However, before running an ad campaign, do research to get to know your target audience better and the best ways to reach them. 

Here are some more things to keep in mind:

– Check which types of content are getting more engagement in terms of likes, views, and comments. 

– Carefully select an ad format that should work best for you.

– Choose high-quality images and videos to grab the attention of visitors and potential customers.

Hence, if you are looking to drive traffic to your website, promote your brand, and boost sales, you can run a couple of ads on this platform to check the response of your target audience. 

2. What’s the difference between an Instagram ad and an Instagram ad Story?

Here’s a look at the main differences between an Instagram ad and an Instagram ad Story:

– Instagram ads can be of different types, such as images, videos, Stories, Carousels, and Reels.

– An Instagram ad Story is a type of Instagram ad.

Instagram ads can appear throughout the app, such as the feeds, Stories, Explore page, and Reels page.

An Instagram ad Story can appear only in the Stories of users. When users are watching the Stories section on their Instagram accounts, they can see these ads with a “Sponsored” label.

3. Should I run my ads on both Facebook and Instagram?

The answer to this question depends on the following factors:

Users: Suppose 70% of Facebook users are on Instagram. In such a situation, running ads on Instagram can increase your reach by up to 30% which is a good number.

On the other hand, if 90% of your Facebook audience is on Instagram, it makes no sense to run the same ads on Instagram.

Target audience: Instagram is more popular among teenagers and young adults. So, if you are looking to target younger people and interact with them, advertising on Instagram is a better option.

With the majority of young adults spending time on Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, the use of Facebook has dropped in the United States. Hence, advertising products for young adults on Facebook may not be beneficial for your business.

– Ad format: While Facebook ads are good for website clicks or views on written content, Instagram ads are better for boosting brand awareness with eye-catching visuals. So, depending on your ad format, you can decide if you want to advertise on Instagram, Facebook, or both.

– Direct marketing: When it comes to direct marketing, Instagram advertisements score over Facebook ads. With a high engagement rate, Instagram has emerged as an important social media platform for shopping. So, if you are looking to promote your brand and boost sales, you must focus on advertising on Instagram. 
Keep these factors in mind and then select the right platform for your ads.

4. Can I create Instagram ads without an Instagram account?

Yes, you can create Instagram ads without an Instagram account by creating your Instagram ads on Facebook. In simple terms, your Facebook Page will be the destination for your Instagram ads.

All Set To Launch Your First Instagram Advertisement Campaign?

Ads on Instagram are a great way to boost brand awareness, website traffic, and sales. And now you know how to advertise on Instagram.

However, before you start creating an Instagram ad campaign, spend time identifying your target audience and studying their behavior. Also, decide on one or more types of Instagram ads that should work well for your business. Most importantly, keep in mind the ad design specifications and technical requirements to get your ads approved and published.

The success of an Instagram ad campaign depends on the quality of your ads. Hence, when you plan to advertise your products or brand on Instagram, make sure you create content that is eye-catching and engaging. 

So, now that you have a fair idea about advertising on Instagram, get started with it right away! Choose a nominal amount for your first ad, say USD $5, and select a duration of at least one week to understand how the ad fares when compared to your goals. 

If you have questions regarding Instagram advertisements, share them in the comments below.

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