Instagram might be six years younger than Facebook, but it’s one of the most efficient paid social marketing tools with over a billion monthly users. The photo-sharing platform is the 4th most used mobile app globally, creating a vast market all brands can maximize with, specifically with Instagram ads.

While there are various ways to approach marketing on the app, running  Instagram ads is the most accessible and effective paid search marketing strategy.

Don’t know how to go about it? Here’s how to run an Instagram ad.

Instagram advertising campaign

Know the Types of Instagram Ads You can choose from

Even though they’re all visual, Instagram ads aren’t all the same. When you create ads, they can typically include:

Still-Image Ads

Photo ads are the most basic ad type on Instagram. This is no surprise since the platform was initially only a photo-sharing app. Photo ads are typically a single standard but visually-captivating image, followed by a creative caption or description. They look just like an Instagram post!

Still-image ads are the easiest type of ad to run on Instagram, but you need to make them interesting enough to cut through the visual clutter on the app. Also, add a catchy caption to the ad to enhance user engagement. This is a must when creating an ad.

Advertising on Instagram doesn’t have to be complicated. You can optimize the image to include a call-to-action button and a view profile button to redirect users to your Instagram page.

Stories Ads

An Instagram story ad appears between users’ stories, and they can be still images or video ads. With over 500 million users viewing their stories daily, Instagram story ads are an excellent way to create brand awareness and generate consumer engagement.

Instagram Video Ads

Besides still image ads, Instagram supports video advertisements of up to 120 seconds long, configured in either landscape or square orientation. Landscaped Instagram ad formats for video require a 600x315pixel resolution, while square videos require a minimum resolution of 600x600pixels.

By adding sound and motion to marketing content, a video ad enhances the visual aspect of Instagram ads. This allows brands to create unique content that immediately captures the audience’s attention and tells brand stories exceptionally.

Viewers show more engagement with videos that appear on their Instagram feed. That should tell you that this is one of the best ways to advertise on Instagram.

Instagram advertising with stories ads

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads are a multi-image ad format on Instagram. They are great, especially for businesses with multiple products, since you can showcase up to ten images in a single post. This allows you to engage the user longer, and it’s perfect if you lack the time or ad spend to splurge on Insta-worthy video content.

Explore Ads

As the name implies, these are Instagram ads that pop up on the user’s explore tab. Since they’re often targeted on the user’s preferences and Instagram browsing history, explore ads are an excellent way to reach users looking for new products in your niche.

Shopping Ads

Instagram shopping ads exist primarily on the explore tab but can also be found on the user’s feed. They’re typically images with links to redirect users to your product page, where they can learn more about the featured product and even purchase it within the app.

Advertising on instagram with instagram stories ads

How to Choose What Instagram Ad to Use

Here’s how to select the ideal Instagram ad for your marketing campaign:

Create a Few Personas to Determine Who Your Target Audience is

Instagram users engage with content differently depending on their demographic. For instance, according to SmartInsights, 66% of teen users between 13 to 19 yrs prefer online video, and 13% watch Instagram live.

Hence, if your audience falls in this demographic, video ads would be more effective than photo ads. So before creating Instagram ads, construct a few personas to find out your target audience and the type of marketing content they love. This allows you to choose the ideal Instagram campaign for your ads before you start advertising.

Determine What Your Goal is with Instagram Ads, and Which Ad Type Best Fits that Goal

Some Instagram ads perform better at achieving particular marketing objectives than others. For instance, Instagram explore ads work best if you’re trying to expand your reach to new markets. In contrast, carousel ads are effective if you’re looking to engage your audience longer or want them to learn about your products without leaving their feeds. So, before running Instagram ads, determine your marketing objectives, and identify the Instagram ad type that best fits your goals.

What Post has Performed Best Organically on Your Instagram Page

You can also choose the right Instagram ad for your marketing campaign by reviewing and identifying the post with the best organic performance on your page. You can do this by reviewing your Instagram analytics.

This tool is also accessible via the insights tab on your Instagram business profile and within the Facebook ads manager (which we will talk about shortly). This tool lets you identify the top-performing posts, your audience base, the type of content they consume, and when they’re most active. Once you identify these metrics in a post, consider promoting that post to an Instagram ad and evaluate the performance.

First Instagram Ad Campaign with multiple ads

Get Your Ads Up and Running on Instagram

Check out some of the top Instagram advertising strategies to get your first ad up and running:

Create Your Instagram Ads with Facebook Ads Manager

The Facebook Ads Manager is a tool designed to help you create and manage your Facebook ads. You can use it to define your campaign objective and track the performance of your ads. Facebook’s ads manager even lets you create a custom audience!

It’s integrated with Instagram, so use it to make your Instagram ads, ad copy, and maximize the premium ad customization features and increased targeting options it offers. Follow these four steps to create Instagram ads using the ads manager:

  1. Select Instagram ad design
  2. Create suitable Instagram ad content
  3. Set a budget for the Instagram ad campaign
  4. Finalize the ad to fit your target audience

You can also use Facebook Ads Manager to track your Instagram ad costs.

Promote a Post in the Instagram App

To promote Instagram posts on your Instagram account, you need to switch to a business profile or create a new business account. This is because the promote option is only available to users with a business profile.

Also, although it’s no longer mandatory, it is wise to link your Facebook business page account to your Instagram profile to let your target audience on the app know you have an Instagram presence. It’ll also be easier to share your Instagram marketing content on Facebook.

Finally, click the promote button to run and promote your ad.

Get the Most Out of Instagram Ad Campaign

As more users join in and its features get better, there’s no doubt that Instagram is the next big thing in the world of marketing. With that said, learning how to run Instagram ads successfully is paramount if you’re looking to leverage its marketing advantage.

Still not sure how to go about Instagram ads? Let’s chat! We are a Lancaster SEO company with digital marketing experts who can help you with Instagram ads and other social media advertising strategies for your business.

Related Reading

Rich snippets

Rich Snippets: What Are They and How to Optimize for Them

If you’ve ever wondered about the world of rich snippets, rich results, featured snippets, structured data, or schema.org—wonder no more. In this blog, we’ll describe everything you need to know about rich snippets, rich snippets SEO, rich snippets best practices, how to create rich snippets for your website, and everything in between. In short, you will … Continued
See Full Story
Voice search results

How to Optimize for Voice Search SEO and Keyword Intent

The internet has made it possible to have knowledge of the world in a device that fits into your hands. And it’s easier than ever to access this information with the power of voice search results. Because of this, voice search SEO has become crucial for optimizing your website for the best user experience. As … Continued
See Full Story
Instagram Shopping For Your Business

Instagram Shopping for Your Business

Instagram shopping is a game-changing feature of the Instagram app. Consumers can browse products and proceed to checkout without leaving the app and going to your online store — how cool is that? Indeed, Instagram shopping has revolutionized social shopping for the over 1 billion users who use the app regularly. It has streamlined online … Continued
See Full Story
Video Marketing

The Power of Video When Marketing Your Business

Once considered a marketing strategy for brands with huge marketing budgets, video marketing is now more mainstream than ever. Today 85% of businesses use video in marketing, while 92% of marketers report video advertising is critical to their digital marketing strategies. And they’re on the right track since 72% of consumers say they’d rather watch … Continued
See Full Story