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How to advertise on Instagram: A basic guide

How to advertise on Instagram: A basic guide

Over 1 billion people use Instagram on a daily basis. This is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, and companies leverage its power through impactful ads. If your brand has a budget for paid social, Instagram is a great choice.

Alberto Thompson
Sep 08, 2021

Table of Contents

Over 1 billion people use Instagram on a daily basis. This is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, and companies leverage its power through impactful ads. If your brand has a budget for paid social, Instagram is a great choice.

Through this network, your ads can reach 20% of the world's population. 27% of Instagram users say they discover brands and products via paid ads. High-quality ads bring an impressive ROI. Services described on will help you automate many of the processes, including video creation. If you have never advertised on Instagram, here is a simple guide to get you started.

Instagram Ads

What are Instagram ads?

These are posts served to Instagram users (those who do not follow you) for a fee. Ads on Instagram work similarly to Facebook. They are integrated into news feeds and other features like Stories. 

These posts must have a natural look, so they resemble unpaid posts. The difference is in the sponsored label and additional features like links, catalogs, and call to action. There are many different types of ads on Instagram, each with specific CTA features:

  • Images 
  • Stories 
  • Videos 
  • Carousel 
  • Collections 
  • Explore 
  • IGTV 
  • Shopping 
  • Reels 

The Ads Manager lets you test different formats for your full-size campaign. The choice should depend on your goals and preferences of the target audience. The performance of your organic content may also guide you in the right direction.

Overview of costs

Advertising on Facebook and Instagram does not have a fixed cost. The price depends on a variety of factors. The company's target audience, the competitiveness of the industry, season, and placement — all matter. You can develop a scalable campaign, starting from just a few dollars per day. Instagram allows companies to set different limits — daily budgets and lifetime spending.

How to advertise 

Campaigns may be launched via the Ads Manager, or without it — i.e., by promoting existing posts. The latter can be done in a few taps in the app. On the downside, there is no opportunity to customize these posts.

Promoting a post-in-app

This feature works similarly to Facebook’s Boost Post. Choose a post with the highest engagement rate and scale up its success. The content will be shown to people who are not following you. This requires a business or creator account, as well as a Facebook Business Page connected to it.

Click the "Promote" button on the post, select the target audience, location, budget, and duration. Once you tap "Create Promotion", the post will be submitted to Facebook for review and approval. After it goes live, you can monitor its performance via the Promotions section of the profile.

Using Facebook Ads Manager 

This system will help you maximize performance using its targeting, creative, and reporting features. This requires more work, but you can customize your ads in a variety of ways. First, open the Ads Manager and click "+Create". Proceed to the steps below:

  • Define your goal (brand awareness, reach, traffic, app installs, engagement, video views, etc.).
  • Name your campaign (choose a title reflecting the goal, so you can track different campaigns easily).
  • Activate Campaign Budget Optimization if you want the algorithm to suggest the best budget allocation across ad sets.
  • Choose your budget and schedule (continuous running vs. certain times of day).
  • Identify the target audience (from saved data or based on demographics, interests, and behavior).
  • Choose ad placements (automatic vs. manual).
  • Create the ad.
  • Click "Confirm" to launch it. 

Start creating!

To begin designing your ad, choose your Facebook page and Instagram account, and set the desired format. Fill out the necessary details, and select your images or videos. Insert your ad copy, choose a payment option, review the ad, and confirm your choice. Remember to choose an appropriate CTA button and provide a correct URL that will redirect users to your site.

Alberto Thompson | I live in Vancouver, Canada, and work as a web developer and graphic designer. Back end programming (PHP, Django/Python, Ruby on Rails) to front end engineering (HTML, CSS, and jQuery/Javascript), digital usability, user interface, and graphic design are all areas of web development where I spend my days. I'm a huge fan of web creation and design in all of its forms, as well as assisting small businesses and artisans with their online presence.


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