What You Need To Know Before Running Instagram Ads

Instagram is continuously proving to be one of the fastest growing social media platforms as it just added another 100 million monthly active users this year, racking up a total of 800 million users worldwide. Instagram has seen its fastest user growth rate in its history. Do you remember it was just last April when they announced that their community had grown more than 700 million Instagrammers?

There's a huge marketing opportunity here especially for brands like you looking to increase more relevant traffic to their website and convert them into sales. If you can get even a fraction of those 800 million users, you will see your business growing in no time.

Why Advertise On Instagram?

Instagram has proven to be wildly successful for businesses thanks to its marketing and advertising campaigns on the platform. It came as no surprise anymore when they doubled the number of their advertisers since March, bringing its advertiser base to 2 million. In addition to that, Instagram has incredible click-through rates, even beating Facebook in the game. You can easily tell how well your ads or campaigns are performing on Instagram through click-through rates.

Why Advertise On Instagram
Source: Instagram

To give you some direction on how to successfully run ads on Instagram, we have put a list of things every social media marketer should know before doing so.

1. Prerequisite

That’s right. You need to have your own Facebook page to run ads on Instagram before you can enjoy the features of Ads Manager. You also need to make sure that your Facebook page is linked to your Instagram account to able to access that tool. Although it's possible to create an ad without a Facebook page, it will limit your ad placements, format, and objectives. You will only be able to advertise on Facebook, use single ad format, and the traffic advertising objective.

2. Campaign

There are several objectives you can choose from on how you would like to run your campaign. 

Instagram Ad Objectives


  • Brand awareness – Choose this objective if you want your ad to reach people that will most likely pay attention to your campaign or might have taken interest in your brand.
  • Reach – It is similar to brand awareness, but this objective expands your range and focuses on getting your ad to show to a maximum number of people in your audience.


  • Traffic – It increases the number of visits to your link. You can also choose this ad objective if you want to increase the engagement in your application.
  • App installs – If you want more people to download your app, select the app install objective to send them to the app or play store where they can download your application.
  • Engagement – If your goal is to get more people to engage with your post or Instagram page, go with Engagement. It will help boost your posts and promote your profile.
  • Video views – This promotes your videos to people. You can show clips or behind-the-scenes footage of your product launch. You can also feature customer stories through videos to raise awareness of your brand.
  • Lead generation – If you are focused on getting more social data or lead information about your audience or people who are interested in your business, pick this objective.


  • Conversions – This ad objective encourages people to use your business website or application while tracking and measuring conversions.
  • Product Catalog Sales – It shows products from your catalog based on your target audience. It also encourages people to continue their abandoned shopping carts online.
  • Store Visits – This promotes your multiple business locations to people who are nearby.

3. Audience

Every campaign should have a target audience. A social media analytics tool can help you identify the right audience for your campaign by connecting it to your Instagram account. So, why specifically analytics? It's because it provides you with valuable data such as your audience's interests, demographics, and behavior to help you make smarter business decisions. If you want to use your social data effectively, find a social media management platform that can easily organize and present your data efficiently.

In Facebook Ads Manager, you can decide whether you want to make your target broad or specific. It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your campaign and the resources you have available. Targeting specifically means that you will provide a set of parameters that will filter the group of people you want your ad to show up. While targeting broadly means that you are relying on Facebook's delivery system to find the best people for your campaign.

4. Ad Formats

You can choose how you would like your ad to show up on your target audience's feed. Whether you want to use photos, videos, or a combination of both, there's an ad format for every campaign. Here are your options:

Instagram Ad Formats
  • Carousel – The carousel format allows you to showcase several of your products or services because it will give you the ability to upload up to 10 images or videos within a single scrollable ad, each with its own link. You can also highlight your products or services individually and let them know about your business.
  • Single Image – The single image format is great for those who are looking to expand their reach and get more attention for their brand. It allows marketers to create up to 6 ads and upload different images for each one.
  • Single Video – The single video format gives you the chance capture your audience’s attention entirely through short video ads since they are known to have higher completion rates. Instagram only allows up to 15 seconds for your video ads.
  • Slideshow – The slideshow format is specifically made for creating an ad using lightweight videos or a set of images so that they load quickly and play beautifully at any connection speed.
  • Collection – The collection format was recently released to make it easier for people to discover and purchase products and have a seamless browsing experience.

5. Budget

You should be able to determine how much you are willing to spend for an ad. Although we can't tell you exactly what your budget should be for each ad set, you should keep in mind the goals you want to accomplish for your campaigns. For example, if you are optimizing for purchase conversions from an audience with high-intent and know your estimated revenue from the sales, you can set a maximum budget for that. However, it’s a different story if you are given a specific amount of budget to work with. If you are in this kind of setup, please avoid setting the budget higher than your limit and let Ads Manager tool help you using automatic bidding. This feature helps users set the bid to get the most results at the best price.

It should be noted that running ads on Instagram cost a bit more than running ads on Facebook.

6. Schedule

Last but not the least, scheduling. Once your ad is approved (the review process normally takes up to 24 hours), you are given the power the control when you want your ads to run on Instagram and how long they will be shown to your target audience. If you specifically scheduled your ad to run immediately after it’s been reviewed, it will already appear on the platform. However, if you didn’t put any specific date and time yet for your campaign, you can do so once it has been approved by Facebook. To view and edit a schedule, you can go to Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor and click the campaign that your ad set is in. Scroll to the schedule column to see when your ads are running and click on the pencil image should you want to make any changes.

7. Hashtags

A hashtag is a keyword used by Instagram users to boost the discoverability of a certain post. Since your Instagram ads will be directly shown to your desired audience in their feed, you can exclude the hashtags in your caption. This would put the focus on your content entirely. So, make sure that you come up with a creative caption that will surely capture your audience's attention.

8. Engagement

Many studies have backed up the fact that Instagram has the better engagement numbers among its competitors. According to the independent research done by Forrester on Instagram ads, it was determined that users are likely to engage with branded content 58 times more on Instagram than on Facebook and 120 times more for Twitter. This would explain why running ads on Instagram cost more than any other platforms. The amount of engagement and conversations it generates for businesses are worth every penny.

9. Limitations

There's a cap on Instagram when it comes to uploading videos on the platform. The same goes for Instagram mobile ads and story ads. Mobile ads should not exceed the 60-second limit while story ads only have 15 seconds. It's harder to create content given the limitation so you must be clear and direct what impression you want to your audience when they come across your post.

Whatever your marketing objectives may be, we hope that you find this article extremely useful before running an ad campaign on Instagram.

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