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‌How to create Instagram ads

how to create instagram ads

Instagram has over a billion active users. And 81% of them regularly research products and services on it. That makes Instagram an ideal platform to display your ads to promote your brand. But it’s critical that you do it right. 

Creating ads for any platform requires strategy, vision, and data to guide you. And with Instagram, you have many more options of how and where you can display your ad. Which makes it even more important that you understand Instagram ads and how you can leverage them for your business. 

In this article, we’ll discuss all the details that you should know about advertising on Instagram. So that once you’re done reading this post, you’ll know exactly how to proceed with promoting your business on this platform. 

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What are Instagram ads? 

Instagram ads are any advertisements you place on this platform to promote your business. These can be in the form of images or short videos that pop up on users’ feeds or stories. And you can also link the ads with your Facebook business page.  

According to Statista, Instagram is the second most popular social media platform in the US. So advertising here is necessary for brands in 2021. 

How much do Instagram ads cost? 

The cost of Instagram ads varies according to your industry, ad placement, demographic, and if you’re going for cost per click (CPC) or cost per impression (CPM). Generally, the cost ranges between $0.7-1 per click.  

Benefits of Instagram ads

According to an Instagram user survey, 60% of people say that they discover new products on this social media app. And globally, 130 million users tap on shopping tags on Instagram per month.  

Hence with Instagram ads, you can have unlimited marketing potential and access to a massive community. Plus, the engagement rate on Instagram is higher [average of 1.22%] than Facebook and other social media channels. That means promoting your business on Instagram can generate a high ROI for you.

Types of Instagram ads 

The flexibility you get with Instagram ads is one of its best features. You get to choose the format you would like to use and where you’d want to place the ads. 

Each ad type serves a different function and you should choose the one which matches your specific business objectives such as awareness, conversations and traffic to name a few. 

Here’re the two main categories of Instagram ads: 

Ad placements

The ad placement on Instagram should be a strategic decision. The costs vary for stories and Instagram feed ads and so does engagement. The two categories for placing Instagram ads are:   

Stories ads: These are vertical ads that appear on the full screen in between user’s stories. You can include videos or images here and use stories to complement your feed ads and add the swipe-up option to take users over to the website or your Instagram page. 

Placing ads in the stories can be great for your business since over 500 million users use the stories feature every day. 

Newsfeed ads: These show up in the newsfeed of the user demographic you select while setting up the Instagram ad campaign. The newsfeed ads can be promoted Instagram posts or separate ads. And your users will see the ‘sponsored’ label under your handle name when they see the ad while scrolling. 

You can also place ads in the explore section. These are quite similar to the newsfeed ads except that these show up after the user clicks on a post on the explore page.   

Instagram ad format

Not all ads on Instagram work the same way and you need to know your target audience and your end goal before you start advertising on the app. Facebook Ads Managers allow you to test the different formats so you can use this feature to determine which one is best for your brand.  

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The five main Instagram ad formats include: 

Image ads: These can be square or landscape and are a great option for CTAs such as contact us, book now and get a quote. Images are the most standard format for advertising and hence the easiest to get up and running if you’re already creating captivating visual content.   

Video ads: The video ads on Instagram can be square or landscape and up to 60 sec long for the newsfeed ads. You can use these to increase brand awareness and showcase your store, products or customers. Videos offer a more immersive experience and work better for some industries than others. 

Carousel ads: The carousel ads are the ones that include a swipe option for videos or images. That way users can view multiple photos or videos in a single ad. You can include these in the stories and in the newsfeed to tell a multi-part story or to showcase a number of products.

Collection ads: Here, you can display your products on Instagram directly from your product catalogue. The users are sent over to the storefront when they click on the ad and so they can make a purchase directly from the ad. It increases conversions and store visits for your business. 

IGTV ads: IGTV ads are vertical videos up to 15 seconds long that play at the beginning or in the middle of an IGTV video. But these ads are limited to creators in the US, UK and Australia only.   

A guide to creating Instagram ads

According to a survey by Facebook, 54% of users said that they made a purchase either on the spot or later after seeing a product ad on Instagram. Hence, you should invest sufficient resources into creating the best Instagram ads possible. 

In this section, we’ll cover the process of creating an ad on Instagram and also discuss a few of the best practices that can take your ads to the next level and give you great results.  

How to create Instagram ads?

There are two main methods that you can use to create an ad campaign on Instagram. And here, we’ll discuss them both and take you through the step-by-step process of each. 

For both of these methods, you need to have a creator account on Instagram and a connected Facebook business page. 

  1. Facebook ads manager 

Facebook ads manager is a tool to create ads on Instagram and Facebook. You can use it to design ads and select the specific features you want. Here’s the process you can follow to create an Instagram ad using Facebook ads manager

  1. To open your Facebook Ads Manager, go to your business’ Facebook home page and click on Ads Manager under the explore tab on the left-hand column. 
  1. Click on the ‘create’ button to start designing your campaign. 
  1. Set up your campaign objectives. These are divided into three main categories namely awareness, consideration, and conversion. Choose the options that work best for you and click on ‘continue’. 
  1. Then you’ll have to set up a name for this campaign and define your target demographics’ location, age, and interests.
  1. Next, you’ll set up the budget for the campaign, the duration, schedule, bid amount, and other such information which varies based on CPC and CPM ads. 
  1. As you scroll down, you can select the placements for your Instagram advertisements. The default setting on Facebook is ‘automatic placements’ as you can see in the image above. That means your ad will show up in all possible locations on Instagram and that’s not necessarily a good thing. So if you’ve got a specific location to target then you can do that by manually selecting them and checking off the rest of the locations. 
  2. Once you’re done with the basic setup, click on ‘next’. Here you’ll link your Instagram to your Facebook using your login details. If it’s already set up then you can proceed straight to the next step. 
  3. The next window will ask you to select the format of the ad and you’ll have choices between image, video, carousel ads, collection, IGTV, etc. 
  4. Then you’ll upload the image(s) or the video(s), based on whichever format you’ve selected above. 
  5. After setting up all the details, the ads manager will show you a preview of what your ad will look like in the newsfeed, or the stories, or in the explore tab. If you’re happy with how it looks, click on ‘publish’. 
  6. Promote a post 

Creating good content consistently is not easy and so if a post is doing well organically, then you should use that publicity to promote your brand even further. 

The process to promote a post is quite straightforward. You begin by logging into your business profile on Instagram. Find the post you want to promote and tap the ‘promote’ or ‘boost post’ option displayed right under the post. 

5 Best practices for creating Instagram ads 

Anyone can create ads and run them for ages or develop an Instagram marketing campaign but only some businesses can generate incredible ROI from ads, and that’s because they follow a strategy and best practices. Here’s what you can do to improve the outcome of your ads: 

  1. You don’t want to overwhelm your users with too much information at one time so always stick with including just one clear CTA per post
  2. If you’re starting fresh then do A/B testing with different formats, ad placements and styles of images or videos to know what does well.  
  3. Include closed captions in your videos. That can increase retention because almost 40% of people watch video ads without sound. It also shows that you’re more inclusive towards your deaf and hard-of-hearing audience.    
  4. You should keep your brand’s visual look consistent throughout the ad campaign and also match it to your posts. 
  5. Always have a strategy in place and follow a plan. Use data to guide you and remember your target persona when you’re creating ads. 

In Summary  

Instagram is a great platform for businesses to advertise on. There are several different formats and placements options you can choose from and this level of flexibility in designing the ad campaign is rarely available on other platforms. 

You can create the ads using the Facebook Ads Managers and then also link Instagram ads with Facebook if you want to increase your reach and target different platforms. 

When creating Instagram ads, you should pay extra attention to the best practices such as using the right hashtags and adding one CTA per ad because these can improve the outcomes and save you from wasting your budget and time on non-effective campaigns. 

If you’re interested in learning about the benefits of placing ads on other platforms, then here’s the article for you where you can understand exactly why Google ads can be invaluable for promoting your business.  

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