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How to Create Instagram Ads

Tips for Getting Started with Successful Advertising Campaigns

How to create Instagram ads is easy because the platform is highly accessible and easy to follow. It is also not too hard creating successful Instagram ads because users are already primed to shop on the platform. With Instagram ads, businesses can drive awareness and increase audience through compelling creatives that stand out. With roughly one billion monthly active users, Instagram belongs among the most popular social networks worldwide. The social photo-sharing app is especially popular in India and in the United States, which have respectively 180 million and 170 million Instagram users each.

How To Create Instagram Ads


How to choose the best Instagram ad type

With so many different ad types available, it can be overwhelming to select one to use for your campaign. The good news: Ads Manager is well set up for experimentation, which means you can test multiple formats and see which one performs best before running a full campaign.

To narrow down the formats, use these questions to guide you. Do you want to:

  • Drive traffic to your website?
  • Get video views for a new product?
  • Increase brand awareness for a new business?
  • Drive eCommerce purchases, app installs, or email signups?

After clarifying your goal, you can choose some potential formats based on the supported objectives and call-to-action options for each ad type. For example, Stories, IGTV and Reels ads are better for driving video views, while Shopping and Collection ads will be best for driving eCommerce purchases.

How to target specific audiences with Instagram ads

As of 2021, 25-34-year-olds represent the largest advertising audience on Instagram, followed closely by the 18-24-year-old age group. Men slightly outnumber women in these age groups. However, women outnumber men among users 35 and up. The younger the Instagram user, the more likely they are to use the social network multiple times per day. A poll by Ipsos breaks down the percentage of people who logon more than once a day by age:

  • 18-24 years old: 67%
  • 25-34 years old: 60%
  • 35-44 years old: 49%
  • 45-54 years old: 43%
  • 55+ years old: 31%

How to Get Started to Create Instagram Ads

There are two routes for creating Instagram ads campaigns: promoting a post and Ads Manager. Promoting an existing post only takes a few taps and can be done right from the Instagram app but lacks the customization options available in Ads Manager. Below, we’ll walk you through both methods.

Instagram advertising method 1: Promoting a post-in-app

The easiest way to start advertising on Instagram is to promote one of your existing Instagram posts. This is like Facebook’s Boost Post option. If you have a post that’s performing well in terms of engagement, promoting it within the app is a quick and easy method to scale up the post’s success—and show it to new people who aren’t following you yet. You’ll need to have a business or creator account on Instagram to do this. You’ll also need to have a Facebook Business Page connected to your Instagram account (here’s how to connect your Facebook and Instagram accounts in Facebook Business Manager). Then, it’s as simple as clicking Promote on the post you wish to turn into an ad. You’ll be prompted to choose your preferred audience, destination, budget, and duration for your ad to run. Finally, tap Create Promotion.

Instagram advertising method 2: Creating Instagram ads using Facebook Ads Manager (5-step guide)

In order to get the most out of Instagram’s extensive ad targeting, creative, and reporting abilities, you can use Facebook Ads Manager to create ad campaigns (remember that Facebook owns Instagram).

Although it requires a bit more work, our 5-step guide will guide you through the process.

Step 1: Choose your objective
  • To start, go to Ads Manager and click +Create.
  • First, you’ll need to choose your campaign objective from the list below.
  • After selecting your objective, you’ll be prompted to name your campaign. Tip: Give it a specific name based on the campaign objective to help you keep track of your campaigns.
  • Finally, you’ll have the option to turn on Campaign Budget Optimization. This option allows Facebook’s algorithm to determine how to spend your budget across ad sets.
Step 2: Choose your budget and schedule
  • In this step, you’ll choose how much you want to spend and how long your campaign will run.
  • For your budget, you’ll have two options:
    • Daily budget: Set a maximum daily spend, useful for always-on ads
    • Lifetime budget: Set a maximum spend for your whole campaign, useful for ads with a clear end date

As you adjust these options, you’ll see the Audience Definition and Estimated Daily Results modules in the right-hand column which will give you an idea of the expected reach for your chosen budget. Try to choose settings so that your ad set falls in the middle of the green range.

Step 3: Identify your audience
  • The next step is to define your audience targeting. In this step, you can either Create a New Audience or use a Saved Audience.
  • Saved Audiences are useful if you have your own custom audience data (i.e., past website visitors) or past audiences from previous campaigns that performed well. If not, you can create a new audience based on demographics, interests, and behavioral targeting.
  • During this step, you can also select Dynamic Creative. If you choose this option, you can upload separate visual assets and headlines, and Facebook will automatically create combinations that are optimized for your target audience.
Step 4: Select your ad placements

In the Placements section, you can decide where your ads will appear.

There are two options:

Automatic Placements: Ads will be shown to your audience wherever they’re likely to perform best.

Manual Placements: You can choose specifically where your ad will appear (and not appear). If you want to limit your ads to show only on Instagram (not Facebook), you can choose this using Manual placement.

Step 5: Create your ads
  • Now it’s time to create the actual ad. Start by choosing your Facebook Page and corresponding Instagram Account. Then you can select your preferred ad format.
  • Then, proceed to fill out the rest of the details under Ad Creative
  • At this step, you will also choose the call-to-action button and enter the URL where you want to send people who click on your ad.

When you’re ready, click Confirm to launch your Instagram ad.

How to use the different Instagram Advertising Types and Creatives

There are many different types of advertising formats on Instagram, including:

  • Image ads
  • Stories ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Collection ads
  • Explore ads
  • IGTV ads
  • Shopping ads
  • Reels ads

With so many different ad types available, it can be overwhelming to select one to use for your campaign. The good news: Ads Manager is well set up for experimentation, which means you can test multiple formats and see which one performs best before running a full campaign.

Final Thoughts

To ensure the success of Instagram campaigns, advertisers must find the perfect balance of cost and visibility to ensure maximum results from campaigns. To ensure that each advertising dollar is used effectively, create a unique campaign for your business, depending on your market position, industry, size, and area of operation, and constantly analyze and improve keywords and locations.

Instagram ads will continue evolving, too. We want to help you stay up-to-date with all the latest changes and strategies to succeed. Learn more about our advertising support services here.

how to create instagram ads

Read our blog post, UA Media Buying Model, and see how it works in tandem with our Ad Concept Model. Learn the media buying best practice strategies for Facebook Android, Facebook iOS SKAN, Google, and TikTok.

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