Instagram advertising has become a popular marketing strategy for businesses of all sizes. With over 1 billion active users, this social media platform offers a diverse audience for businesses to reach and engage with. From sponsored posts to influencer partnerships, advertising on Instagram allows businesses to showcase their products and services in a visually appealing and targeted way.
As the number of Instagram users shows, one of the most important benefits of Instagram ads for businesses is building brand awareness. Because even if people don’t become their customers first, they can see their name and product and become familiar with new businesses.
You should note that in the fast-paced digital world, it is essential to try different marketing methods, from advertising on Google to testing different social media platforms. This article is a complete guide to Instagram advertising.
First, let’s see what you get by advertising on Instagram.
Why Advertise on Instagram?
Instagram advertising is one of the best brand advertising strategies, helping you reach thousands of engaged and target users without interfering with their web browsing. Because Instagram ads are identical to regular posts shared by Instagram users. Therefore, it is more likely for them to see it without noticing it is an ad.
There is a close similarity between Instagram advertising posts and regular posts or Stories. Still, the ones you pay to promote are distinctive with the ‘sponsored’ label (like sponsored posts), a CTA (Call-To-Action) button, and other e-commerce features.
Here are five reasons why you should be using Instagram ads:
#1 – Increase reach
One thing that Instagram advertising does in your favor is that your content will reach more people. As a result, you will have grown the number of your audience and, most likely, your engagement rate.
#2 Increase authenticity
Users spend a lot of time on Instagram, viewing all types of content, and what you want them to do is to pay attention to you and rely on you as a valid brand. That’s what Instagram commercials do best for you.
#3 Inform people
Instagram advertising can be done in so many ways. From an astonishing photo with a great caption to a ‘how-to’ video., and guess what?
Users find all sorts of entertainment, while most claim that they’ve learned about a new product through these Instagram commercials.
#4 Know your audience
One of the important things while doing an Instagram marketing, is to know your target audience. Instagram has compelling features to help you learn more about your audience’s demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.
#5 Track the results
Instagram ads are trackable. It means you can easily track and measure how successful it was.
Some of the metrics that you can use to evaluate your ad success are:
- Reach: The number of unique users who saw your ad at least once.
- Impressions: The number of times your ad was shown on Instagram.
- Frequency: The average number of times each user saw your ad.
- Cost per result: The average amount you spent for each result from your ad, such as link clicks, video views, conversions, etc.
- Results: The number of times your ad achieved your campaign objective, such as brand awareness, reach, traffic, engagement, app installs, conversions, etc.
- Return on ad spend (ROAS): The amount of revenue you generated from your ad divided by the amount you spent on your ad.
These metrics are different from the ones you see on Instagram insights. They are available on Instagram Ad Manager, and is only trackable for Instagram ads.
Types of Instagram ads
Here are some types of IG ads you can use to promote your business on this platform:
#1 Video ads
Instagram videos can last up to 60 seconds and can be shot in square or landscape format. Compared to the old 15-second limit, the new version allows you a lot more room to introduce and advertise your company.
Pro Tip: That said, shorter videos can often be more effective while doing Instagram advertising, mainly if you include branding in the first few seconds of the ad.
#2 Story ads
Instagram Story is one of the most engaging features this platform has introduced until now. Generally, Instagram users spend more time checking out stories rather than posts. That’s why Story ads are very effective because they are in a place where people are already engaged. Instagram Stories are appeared between users’ Stories. Therefore, it doesn’t disturb anyone; instead, it is the neatest way to show an ad to users. You can use videos or images to run this type of Instagram commercial.
Instagram has developed features that could appear on its Stories, such as Stickers, Time, Date, or a link to a landing page.
On top of that, not only are they an excellent choice for limited-time promotions, but Story links also guide new followers through the varied sorts of information they have missed, such as store locations, top-selling products, community posts, past events, recipe ideas, and featured products.
#3 Photo ads
Photo ads are the simplest types of Instagram ads to make, in terms of visual assets, as only one image is required. There are a few things to consider when using an Instagram photo ad to advertise on Instagram:
- You need to create a visually appealing ad with a clear call to action.
- Your ad should be relevant to your target audience.
#4 Carousel ads
Carousels can include anywhere from 2 to 10 videos and/or photos that users can swipe through, and let you put more data in your Instagram advertising posts.
#5 Collection ads
Collection advertisements work similarly to video ads. They appear as a video on a user’s feed. They are, however, made up of still photos that play like a video slideshow. Audio and text can be added to your Instagram collection advertising.
Instagram Collection ads offer a compelling e-commerce feature – Users can buy directly from the ad. When users click on the ad, they will be directed to an Instagram Instant Experience Storefront.
#6 Reels ads
Note: Instagram previously had an IGTV Ad. However, since it didn’t gain much popularity or traction among users and creators, in 2020, Instagram decided to remove the IGTV from the app. Therefore, there are no IGTV ads anymore.
Currently, Instagram reels have taken its place in case of showing videos. Reel ads are similar to regular Reels, except that they have a ‘Sponsored’ label and a ‘Shop Now’ button that directs users to the advertiser’s website or app.
Reel ads can last up to 60 seconds and be shown in full-screen vertical format or in a 4:5 aspect ratio. Furthermore, they can use various creative features, such as music, filters, stickers, text, etc.
#7 Instagram Explore ads
Explore is the Instagram screen where users discover new content and accounts. More than half of Instagram users access Explore every month.
Instagram Explore ads do not appear in the Explore grid or the topic channels. Instead, the ads appear when someone clicks on a photo or video from Explore.
Note: Learning how to get on Instagram Explore Page without having to run an Explore ad can help you reduce your advertising costs and increase your view organically.
#8 Shopping Ads
Instagram shopping is one of the wonderful features Instagram added for Business accounts. Now, they can create a store and lead their audience to purchase their products without leaving the Instagram app.
Shopping ads are similar to other types of Instagram ads; instead, they have a ‘View Product’ or ‘Shop Now’ button, showing that the user will go to that product’s shopping page by clicking the ad.
Pro tip: Instagram advertising is not always about the paid advertisement on the platform. If you want to promote your brand on Instagram, you can also take advantage of Instagram influencer marketing.
To make this happen, you can use Influencer marketing platforms, like Ainfluencer. Let’s see how it works.
Ainfluencer: The Best Instagram Influencer Marketing Platform
If you want to show your ad to more people, you can join Ainfluencer to connect with thousands of influencers and collaborate with them to show your ad on their page. The result of this collaboration will be more views, engagement, and gaining more potential customers.
As a Brand, you can run successful influencer marketing campaigns on this platform and wait for influencers to send their offers, or search for the proper influencers to collaborate.
Ainfluencer is a 100% DIY marketplace that easily connects brands and influencers. With Ainfluencer’s advanced AI system, brands can explore a vast database of influencers using various filters, including username or keyword, hashtags, niche, location, category, language, gender, quality, budget range, and number of followers.
This targeted approach ensures that your brand partners with influencers who genuinely resonate with your target audience. With Ainfluencer, brands can create a free marketplace campaign, which is then posted to the marketplace where thousands of qualified influencers can see and make offers.
On the other hand, influencers can also join Ainfluencer for free to connect with brands and see their campaigns to make offers for collaboration. Therefore, joining Ainfluencer can increase the chance of making money on Instagram for influencers. Since it’s free, why not try it now?
How to advertise on Instagram
In the past, Instagram advertising was only possible for businesses with a large following. However, in March 2016, Instagram announced that they were opening up their advertising platform to all businesses, regardless of their follower count. This change has made Instagram a powerful marketing tool for those who use Instagram for business.
If you’re thinking about how to advertise on Instagram, here are two methods:
1-Boost an Instagram Post
Instagram allows businesses to select one of their posts and boost it. What does Instagram boost mean?
When you boost a post on Instagram, you pay Instagram to show that post to more people; the ones that don’t follow you. So, it will get more reach and impression. Generally, it means, you turn your post into an ad.
How to Boost a Post on Instagram?
Boosting a post is the easiest method to create an Instagram ad. Here are the steps to boost your post:
- Select the post you want to promote and click on the Boost Post button, located under the post.
- Choose your goal. Why are you boosting the post? You can select among three options: More profile visits, More website visits, and More messages.
- Select target audience. You can change the target audience to what you prefer. Therefore, you can set your post ad to be shown in a specific location or to people with a certain age. However, it is usually recommended to use the ‘Automatic’ option here, so your post will be shown to people like your followers; the ones that might be more interested in your product.
- In the next step, you can select your budget and duration. How long do you want to run this ad? And how much money do you want to spend on it? You set your daily goals, it can be as low as $1 to as high as $1000. Set the duration and you will see it calculates the estimated reach and the price of the ad for that duration. You should note that the more budget you put on the ad, it will be shown to more people.
Review and confirm the ad. You should then select a payment method to pay the price of the ad before it runs.
2-Create an Ad Campaign with Facebook Ad Manager
The second method to create an Instagram ad is to use meta ad account, which is a bit complex compared to the previous method. Here are the steps:
#1 Set Up a Meta Ad Account
Enter the Meta ads manager by your Facebook or Instagram business account. You should note that Meta Ad Manager is accessible through your Facebook business account. So, you should have linked your Facebook with Instagram to be able to use this tool.
There is no need to add your personal info, as all your information is already there. Go to Campaigns and click Create.
In the first step, you should choose a ‘Buying Type’ from two options:
- Auction is the first ad type here. If you select this option, you will compete with other Instagram advertisements to target the people you want to show the ad to. It might bring you more engagement, but at the same time, it is costly. You may even spend all your ad budget in one day.
- The other option is Reach and Frequency, where you can set a certain number of people to see your ad in a day. It will bring you a smaller audience, but it’s more affordable.
#2 Set Smart Goals
The first step of any marketing plan should be choosing the ad objective. You should know what you want to get from your Instagram ad. It will help you create a better advertisement and choose the most suitable ad type.
Six different campaign objectives are available on the ads manager. Do you want to increase your brand awareness with this ad, or do you want to bring more traffic to your website? You may also want to increase sales. The objective depends on your Instagram marketing strategies.
#3 Select Your Target Audience
You are creating an Instagram ad for people who would become your followers or potential customers. So, you should define what type of people you want to target. The surprising thing here is that Meta can select the audience based on the actions you want them to take. For example, if you want them to click on the ad to open your website, it will recognize the likelier users to tap on a link and show it to them.
So apart from selecting the gender or age, you can Create a Custom Audience and tell Meta what is the best behavior for your Instagram ad.
#4 Set Your Budget
Instagram advertising has costs you should consider in your advertising budget. As mentioned, if you select Auction as buying type, your ad competes with other ads. So, it will dedicate a higher price to itself. You can also choose a daily budget, so when it’s up, Instagram will stop showing your ads. However, it might finish at the first hour of its presence.
Budgeting for Instagram ads might be the most challenging part. You can run different ads or A/B testing on the same ad to decide which performs better. However, in the end, the costs may still remain a concern for most businesses.
We will discuss how Instagram ads are calculated in the next section. So, don’t worry! We will get to it.
Note: It is possible that your first Instagram ad doesn’t work well or fail. So, put as much budget as you afford to lose.
#5 Select the Most Appropriate Format for Your Ad
Now you’re one step closer to running an exciting advertisement on Instagram. In this step, you should select what type of Instagram ad you want to run.
#6 Choose the Instagram Ad Placement
Where is your ad going to be displayed? That’s up to your preferences too. There are two options here:
- Automatic placement, which is selected automatically by Meta. It may show your ad in the Story, between posts, or in Explore.
- Manual placement, which you choose where specifically you want to show your ad. For example, you might only want your ad to appear in the Instagram Stories, nowhere else.
#7 Publish the Ad
Your first Instagram ad is ready; you only need to publish it to see how well it will perform.
#8 Track the Performance
As mentioned, your Instagram advertising is measurable. You only need to click on the campaign you have created and see its analytics.
How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on Instagram?
As promised, it’s time to calculate the costs of advertising on Instagram. If you’re using Instagram for business and want to advertise on this popular platform, you need to know the Instagram ads’ cost. Like other platforms, Instagram ad cost is influenced by a number of variables including campaign objectives, audience size, budget, and click-through rate.
Depending on the bidding methodology, Instagram advertising costs anywhere from $0.20 to $6.70 on average. Advertisers pay $0.20 to $2 per click for CPC (cost-per-click) and $6.70 per 1000 impressions for CPM (cost-per-impressions.)
Still sounds complicated? As mentioned, influencer marketing can be an alternative type of Instagram advertising, especially if you don’t want to struggle with the challenges of creating an Instagram ad. The costs of Influencer marketing are more controllable.
Did you know Ainfluencer can help you have a more cost-effective advertising on Instagram?
Have a More Affordable Instagram Advertising On Ainfluencer
First of all, it’s free to join Ainfluencer. So, you don’t need to dedicate your budget at first step. Therefore, sign up on Ainfluencer now to get one step closer to running an affordable advertising campaign on Instagram.
After joining the platform:
- You can create a campaign, which is still free! So, feel free to write about your ad and objectives. If you want to show your own advertisement design, you can upload it too.
- Either you can wait for influencers to send their offers to you or find influencers based on different factors. Apart from the category, location, language, and gender of the influencer, you can select a budget for this campaign. So, only the influencers in that budget range will be shown to you.
As you can see, your ad can be shown to thousands of people with a fixed budget. You won’t have to do complex calculations to see if an Instagram advertising is worth trying. Influencers can show your ads in their posts, stories, or reels. It’s up to you and your negotiations with influencers.
Do you want to give it a try?
What Type of Instagram Advertising Suits Your Business Best?
Every Instagram Ad format mentioned earlier has its own supported objectives and CTA buttons you can choose from. To provide you with a more in-depth insight into the “ins” and “outs” of their use, you can take a look at the following list.
|App installs||✅||Apply Now||✅|
|Brand awareness||✅||Book Now||✅|
|Catalog sales||❌||Book Test Drive||❌|
|Post engagement||❌||See Menu||✅|
|App installs||✅||Contact us||✅|
|Brand awareness||✅||Apply Now||✅|
|Catalog sales||✅||Book Test Drive||✅|
|Lead generation||✅||Get Directions||✅|
|Link clicks||❌||Get Offer||✅|
|Store traffic||✅||Shop Now||✅|
|Video Views||❌||Install Now||✅|
|App installs||✅||Apply Now||✅|
|Brand awareness||✅||Book Now||✅|
|Catalog sales||❌||Book Test Drive||✅|
|Link clicks||❌||Get Directions||❌|
|Post engagement||❌||Get Offer||✅|
|Store traffic||✅||Watch More||✅|
|Video Views||❌||See Menu||✅|
|Brand awareness||✅||Apply Now||✅|
|Catalog sales||✅||Book Now||✅|
|Lead generation||✅||Request Time||✅|
|Link clicks||❌||Watch More||✅|
|Post engagement||❌||Order Now||✅|
|Store traffic||✅||Use App||✅|
|Video Views||❌||Check Availability||✅|
|App installs||❌||Apply Now||❌|
|Brand awareness||✅||Book Now||❌|
|Catalog sales||✅||Contact us||✅|
|Link clicks||❌||Install Now||❌|
|Post engagement||❌||Send Message||✅|
|Store traffic||✅||Shop Now||✅|
Instagram Explore ads
|App installs||✅||Apply Now||✅|
|Brand awareness||✅||Book Now||✅|
|Catalog sales||❌||Contact us||✅|
|Lead generation||✅||Get Directions||❌|
|Link clicks||❌||Get Offer||✅|
|Store traffic||❌||Watch More||✅|
|Video Views||❌||Shop Now||✅|
Best Practices That Will Transform Your Instagram Ads
You might have learned the technical skill to create an ad on Instagram, but what is the use of spending, say, $100 on an Instagram advertisement without necessarily getting the right results? The following tips will probably prevent you from learning some details the hard way.
#1 – Know your audience
It’s crucial to know who you are targeting with your Instagram ads. Check Instagram insights to find out who are the people viewing your posts and learn everything about them, such as their demographics, to reach more people by focusing on them. Use your data analysis to target your audience more precisely.
#2 Check data analysis regularly
Track the number of people who saw your ads to improve your Instagram performance. By checking and tracking data analysis, measure the success of your Instagram advertising and see how your strategies (hashtag strategies, number of likes per post, etc.) work.
#3 Increase your engagement rate
Sometimes keeping an eye on the engagement of your ad is even more important than other metrics.
Because by advertising on Instagram, you are more likely to create a conversation, get comments, and questions directly related to your product.
#4 Use Sounds to Make Your Ad More Engaging
People are more engaged with content with music or voice-over. It seems that they are more like the ads that talk to them. Therefore, it is recommended to create Instagram reels that are not only visually appealing, but also make them stop and listen to what you say.
#5 Use a Variety of Ad Types
Don’t stick only to one type of ads. At first, you may have to test different types of ads to see which gets a better result. You should remember that the main idea behind advertising on Instagram is to improve your online presence or reach more followers. Therefore, test different methods, from Instagram Story ads to influencer marketing, to see which one might be the right online marketing method for your business.
Overall, Instagram is not only successful at the moment, but it has also proved to have a promising future. As Instagram is growing bigger, your business will also grow more with it. So, if you have not looked into Instagram ads yet, it’ll be worth checking it out for your business.
In many cases, Instagram advertising has a fantastic ROI (return on investment) that may even save your business.
Log into your Facebook account, go to your ads manager, and create a new campaign to begin designing your first Instagram ad.
1. Create an ad campaign with Facebook Ad Manager.
2. Choose your objectives.
3. Select your target audience.
4. Choose Instagram as the place where your ads will be shown.
5. Set up your budget and schedule.
6. Select the most appropriate format for your ad.
7. Publish the ad.
8. Keep an eye on all the metrics and track the performance.
Because it’s easy to communicate your message to people who are on the go and scrolling through Instagram rapidly, image or carousel ads are often the most successful and effective types of IG ads.
An Instagram ad is a type of online advertising that allows businesses to promote their products or services on the Instagram platform. This type of advertising can help businesses reach and engage their target audience, increase brand awareness, drive traffic, generate leads, and boost sales.
Advertising on Instagram can yield different results, depending on a business’s marketing plan and the type of the ad they choose. However, you should note that Instagram ads also require some planning, creativity, and optimization to get the best results. Therefore, if you don’t get the best results with your first ad, try different ad types and analyze the results to see which works better.