How to Create an Instagram Ad

How to Create an Instagram Ad

Instagram continues to grow in users and business uses. It’s a great visual platform and many businesses are seeing the power of connecting with their ideal customer audiences on the social network.

Running Instagram Ads is a great way to harness the power of this social media powerhouse to reach more of your ideal audience. The Ad platform is new and it offers some great potential for business marketing.

With over 400 million users from over 30 countries on the site, Instagram is a powerful medium for marketing. Creating an ad on Instagram places the spotlight on the business and enhances the reach of a brand. With a few simple steps, an ad can be published to Instagram.

The process of creating the actual ad is quite similar to that of Facebook's ad platform due to Facebook's ownership of Instagram. The benefit is that many same features can be used (provided you're familiar with Facebook's Ad setup model).

Because Instagram uses the Facebook platform for ad creation, ads can also take import user information from Facebook and use it in ad targeting (demographics, locations, interests).

The first step in creating an Instagram ad is to have a Facebook account and business Facebook Page. Then connect the Instagram account to Facebook in the Page area.

Under Facebook's settings, one can add an Instagram account by selecting Instagram ads and then clicking "Add an Account".

Instagram ads for facebook page


From there, either an existing or new account can be added or created. With Facebook and Instagram connected, ads can run on both platforms.


instagram ads for facebook


The next step is to select what kind of ad will be created based on its purpose and the available ad units. For Instagram ads, three objective categories can be chosen: video views, website clicks, and app installs. The major ad units are image, carousel, and video ads.

Because Instagram is an image-rich medium, ad units are designed for marketing efforts that use visual content. Each ad unit has its own effect on the style of the overall ad.

Carousel ads are more flexible than image and video ads. It's particularly effective for attracting mobile users as ad viewers can swipe to view pictures in the gallery and links to the site.

Image ads encourage marketers to use photos to tell stories and communicate brand values visually.

With video ads, short, up to 30-second videos are used instead of photos and galleries.Video ads are used by both big and small brands to add a story effect to ads.

After the actual construction of the ads, the final step is to add targeting to narrow your audience. Ad targeting in Instagram works similarly to Facebook. In addition to the usual targeting categories, there are options to create custom and lookalike audiences. Custom audiences consist of a business's existing customers.

Using that tool, ads can be sent directly to customers who are on Facebook or Instagram. A lookalike audience is an audience with similar interests and demographics to a business's followers and customers. This group can also be specifically targeted.

Just as the steps for creating ads for Instagram are similar to the Facebook method, the tips for enhancing ads are also the same for Facebook and other marketing platforms.

  • Visuals - Visual content is the backbone of Instagram. The photos in ads should be eye-catching, powerful, unique, and attractive.
  • Hashtags - Use popular hashtags for trending topics to show a brand's savviness and create a connection with audiences.
  • Calls to Action - Directing and driving the audience to an action is key to marketing success. It is possible to include call-to-action buttons or motivating text in an ad.

That’s the basics! It’s a new ad platform and is showing promise for driving traffic to websites.  If you want to “be where the people are”, then places like Instagram should be considered by your business. However, many new programs now exist and offer to increase likes or followers with their ads. However, some like Instazood are a scam, and you should choose alternatives if you choose to use a third-party app.

In the comments below, let me know of your successes with Instagram ads.

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