If you own a business, there’s no excuse for not running Instagram ads. They are by far the most critical piece of your campaign. You can run your campaigns on all other social platforms, but nothing will have the reach or engagement, quite like an Instagram ad. Why? Let’s check it out.

Why Instagram Sponsored Ads?

Boost traffic with Instagram ads

Okay, so maybe you use Facebook ads, or other types of advertisement for your company. You’re all set. Why should you use Instagram?

Well, other than the fact that Instagram has been tripling down on new features and analytics, they’re new business profile drastically sets them apart from other social media platforms. In fact, there’s no argument. They are the frontrunner. 

The engagement between users and brands is astronomically greater with Instagram than any other platform.

Instagram Ads - Example 1 - StudioBinder

Instagram, the popular way for brands to engage their fans

Even today, a 2019 social media engagement study shows that brands have an engagement rate of .09% per Facebook post, compared to a 1.6% per Instagram post. 

With these numbers, if you’re not advertising on Instagram, you’re practically hurting your business.

And we don’t need to read an entire study to understand why. Instagram has always been a highly digestible, clean looking, easy to use, medium. And what’s better? They make advertising with them a cinch. 

If you’re interested in Instagram ads and Instagram Promotion, those are technically two different things. For now, how do you run an IG ad?

Before we get into the technical how-to’s, here are a few tips to consider.

Know your audience. Your copy should be tailored and catered to them.

And speaking of... 

Keep the copy short and sweet.  You don’t get a ton of room, so use it sparingly. Your images and videos should do more of the work. Appreciate Instagram for the medium that it is. I can’t stand when I see ads with long paragraphs. I hardly ever read them, and often click out. 

Hashtags will help. If you’re not sure what to say, or think you’re overdoing it with copy, throw some hashtags in. You may feel silly initially, but now in 2019,  no one’s making fun of you, (for your business anyway). If you’re not using them, you could miss a ton of opportunities because hashtags can boost engagement by nearly 12.5%.

You might be too cool for them, but your business isn’t. 

Stay engaged with your viewers. 

Reach out to them and respond to them. Be proactive when it comes to new product launches, but never forget to answer any questions they might have. When you engage with their comments, you become a real person. And that will only ever help you. 

Selecting Instagram Ads

How to advertise on Instagram

Once you’ve determined that running Instagram ads makes sense, it’s time to learn how to make it happen. You can post ads either in the Ads Manager from your desktop Facebook account, or if you’re launching an Instagram promotion, you can run those directly in and from the app.

And again, you need a Facebook business page in order to access a free business profile from Instagram. Run through the whole process in the video below, or keep reading. 

How to Advertise on Instagram

So, where do you start?

  1. Create a Facebook Business Page/IG Business Profile

This refers to a creating a Facebook business page in order to access a free Instagram business profile account. While Facebook has owned Instagram for years, these Instagram business accounts are relatively new. But as you’ll see, they’ll set you apart from those solely working with a personal account. They provide some really great advertising tools, features, and key insights for your company. Definitely create these pages and profiles if you haven’t already. You won’t be able to do anything without this step. 

  1. Choose Your Objective

Now that you have an Instagram business profile, it’s time to get started. 

What’s your objective?

In the Ads Manager, you’ll be able to pick from a slew of these motivations:

Instagram Ads - Example 2 - StudioBinder

Brands find successful engagement on Instagram

This dashboard allows you to build brand awareness, gain customer consideration for your product or service, and manage conversions. Regardless of your objective though, you’re in control.

  • Brand awareness will help spread your brand to users who haven’t heard of you yet.
  • Reach will push your ad to as many people as possible. 
  • Traffic  gets you clicks to your site or to the app store for your app!
  • App installs use call to action buttons to get potential users to download your app as soon as they see the ad.
  • Engagement ramps up your likes, comments, shares, or offers.
  • Video views will increase the number of views.
  • Lead generation allows you to gather data from users who click on the ad. 
  • Messages make you more accessible and gets users to send a message to your brand.
  • Conversions turn leads into sales with sign ups for your product. 
  • Catalog sales allow users to see ads on your Facebook catalog.
  • Store visits simply directs potential customers to your brick-and-mortar stores. 

Not all objectives may serve your business’ current goals. So pick the objective that supports your priorities best. If you’re having trouble determining this, don’t worry. Take a look at how to choose an ad objective to make the most out of your campaigns. 

  1. Choose Your Audience & Ad Placement

Who’s your target audience? Once you decide on this, you can save this same audience for future campaigns and alter previous ones. Pick age range, location, and more. It looks like this:

Instagram Ads - Example 3 - StudioBinder

Ad Placement Settin

You can also determine how often your audience sees the ad. 

In the Placements section, choose automatic placement for your ad to be pushed anywhere---Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories, and their feeds. This is a preference, but it is usually best to manually do this part because some content is better in certain spaces than others. How can you determine that? It’s not always straight-forward but knowing what types of ads are available may help. 

  1. Choose Type of Ad
Instagram Story Ads

Story ads are extremely popular and it’s no wonder why. They’re full-screen ads that appear between Instagram users’ Stories, and they reach over 500 million users everyday. At that ridiculous reach, it’s an easy win for your business. Because Stories only last for 24 hours, they’re ideal for sharing one-time offers and promotions. 

Instagram Ads - Example 5 - StudioBinder

Ads for Instagram Story

Instagram Photo Ads

What the app was always made for. Something about a picture saying 1,000 words…? Tell your company’s story by being direct, and focused with clean, powerful images. 

Add the call-to-action buttons the app provides:

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Call Now
  • Contact Us
  • Get Directions
  • Learn More
  • Get Showtimes
  • Download

Here are some great examples of Instagram photo ads.

Instagram photo ads

Instagram Video Ads

You can adjust the length of the video in your Ads Manager but as of late, you can get up to 60 seconds of air time. Video ads are immersive and can really bring life to your business. Give them a try. 

Call-to-action buttons available:

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Call Now
  • Contact Us
  • Download
Instagram Carousel Ads

Carousel ads can be one of the most effective ad formats because they allow the user to swipe through more than one photo (or video), getting a clearer sense of what you offer. As they scroll, if something jumps out at them, they’re likely to click on it, because they’re subconsciously comparing it to other options they weren’t into. Ah, psychology. 

Call-to-action buttons available:

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Call Now
  • Download
Instagram Collection Ads

This is best for potential customers to browse, discover, and purchase your products or services. It typically integrates lifestyle with your product with videos.

Call-to-action buttons available:

  • Learn more
  • Purchase
Ads in Explore

If you’re an avid Instagram user, you know the Explore section all too well. Don’t limit yourself. Use this section to your advantage. Extend your feed ads to audiences who are looking to expand their interests past who they follow. 

  1. Determine Budget

Determine how long the ads will run and how much you’re willing to spend. We’ll get into further detail about this in the next section.

  1. Publish the Ad

You’ve done the hard work, now it’s as simple as hitting the button. 


How much do instagram ads cost?

You can buy instagram ads in three easy ways — purchase in the app, use the Ads Manager, or through Instagram Partners. 

Within the app, you can boost your ads with something called Instagram Promotion, which is a way to boost your already existing posts.

Instagram Partners, are available to assist you with buying ads, producing creative, and more. Vetted by Instagram, they’re experts in their field. 

But buying ads is typically done through the Ads Manager. 

And their Daily Budget feature makes it a no brainer. You can choose a maximum daily amount or try something called Lifetime Budget which is a set lifespan for a particular ad. You can schedule ads for certain times of day or run them over and over. 

Costs-per-click (CPC) is anywhere from 20 cents to usually about $2.00. This is usually what Google ads operate on. But cost-per-mille (CPM) refers to cost per 1000 views or impressions. This means you pay a specific amount for every 1000 people who see it.  You’re likely to pay roughly $5.00 per 1,000 visitors you receive. 

Typically, the price per ad depends on your demographics. Certain age groups are more expensive than others and certain days are too. *Sundays have been noted to be the most expensive day to run ads. 

Based on the amount you spend, the Estimated Daily Reach scale will determine how many people you’ll reach with this ad in a given day at your chosen amount. 

If you’re not using Instagram ads yet, what are you waiting for?


Are Instagram Promotions Worth It?

Instagram Promotions are not the same thing as ads, but they’re even easier to make happen. But are they effective? Depending on your motivation and strategy, they might be. Read the next article and see if they’re worth your money. 

Up Next: Instagram Promotions →

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  • Alyssa Maio is a screenwriter from New Jersey, now living in Los Angeles. She works as a copywriter here at StudioBinder.

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