We have driven millions of dollars in revenue for our clients over the years using social media advertising and Instagram ads.
And the results you’re seeing right now are just a tiny handful of the small businesses we’ve helped.
So if you want to tap into the reach and sales other businesses are seeing and learn how to create Instagram ads, keep reading.
Because today, we’re going to walk you through every single thing you need to know about how to create Instagram ads.
Let’s go ahead and dive in!
- You’re bound to find your target audience on Instagram, and you’re likely to find them already in a buying mindset.
- If you don’t have an Instagram account already set up, you technically can advertise on Instagram with your Facebook page.
- Even if you have a million followers, you’re not going to reach them all by simply posting organic posts.
What Instagram Ads Are And Some Important Data To Know
Instagram has about 1 billion monthly active users.
And in addition to it just being a social platform for friends and family to connect, 81% of people on the platform use it to research products and services.
That information combined is huge, because it means within the 1 billion users…
…you’re bound to find your target audience on the platform, and you’re likely to find them already in a buying mindset.
Now if you’ve read some of our Instagram posts before, you know that organic reach is down.
Even if you have a million followers, you’re not going to reach them all by simply posting organic posts.
You have to put some advertising dollars behind your content on Instagram…
…in order to get your content in front of more eyeballs within your target audience, and that’s where Instagram ads come in.
Different Types Of Instagram Ads
Now before we discuss how to create Instagram ads, let us first list down the different types of Instagram ads.
Let’s take a look at what Instagram says about these different ad formats.
Instagram says it “may appear in the square, landscape, or vertical format.”
So these are the most basic, traditional forms of Instagram ads using a singular, static image found in the newsfeed and explore page feed.
Instagram says it “may appear in the square or landscape format (except for in Instagram Stories).”
These also appear in the feeds, along with image ads.
Instagram says these ads “will appear in the square format or vertical format on Feed and Stories.”
Carousel ads show as a swipe-able set of ads that the user can peruse through.
IG says “we recommend you use a fullscreen vertical asset in Stories ads, this format can support the same media you use in other placements.
Stories ads can support Feed placement photo and video dimensions,
meaning you can upload a single photo or up to a 120-second video that has an aspect ratio of 9:16 and 16:9 to 4:5.”
With this Instagram ad format, IG says “we recommend you use a fullscreen vertical asset for IGTV ads,
this format can support all video creative up to 15-seconds that have an aspect ratio of 1.91:1, 16:9, 1:1, 4:5, 9:16.”
Instagram says “you can only use a fullscreen vertical asset for Reels ads.”
So those are the different placements for Instagram ads.
As a marketer, you probably know by now that you need to use Facebook Ads Manager to promote your Instagram ads.
Facebook owns Instagram, so that’s why you can conduct all your Instagram advertising through the Facebook Ads Manager.
Now some of you may be saying, “Why don’t you just create Instagram ads on Instagram using the promote button?”
Well, there are several reasons.
If you’ve read our Instagram ad mistakes post, you’ve seen us talk about why the blue promote button on Instagram is such a no-no.
But the short version is that it has limitations and is not as effective.
That’s why we use Facebook Ads Manager instead.
Steps On How To Create Instagram Ads
Step 1: Open your Facebook Ads Manager.
If you’ve never run Facebook ads before, or you’re not familiar with this screen at all, here’s our post on Facebook ads for beginners that you can read next.
Step 2: So you’ll want to create a campaign, and choose whichever objective best suits your needs.
So if you want more post engagement, you can select engagement and then post engagement.
If you want to drive website traffic from your Instagram ads, you can select traffic.
However, if you want traffic and direct sales, you’ll want to choose the conversion campaign.
For the sake of this post, we’re going to name this campaign “Instagram Demo”. Then you’re going to hit Continue.
Step 3: Next you’ll land on the campaign screen, where you can set a campaign budget if you want to.
We’ve done it both ways where we’ve set a campaign budget, and we’ve also set the budget from the ad set level.
If you already have a set method on how you perform your Facebook ads, you can follow that here as well for your Instagram ads.
After that, click Next to continue.
Step 4: Now in this part of our how to create Instagram ads tutorial…
…this is where we usually set the budget and schedule for any ads we create.
Because we like to A/B split test our ad sets and have control over which ad set is getting the majority of our total budget.
Step 5: Below is where we can enter our detailed targeting options.
Now we’re not going to spend too much time on this here, because, again, in our Facebook Ads Targeting post…
…we cover every single targeting option FB provides, and we also show you how to utilize custom audiences and Lookalike audiences to maximize your results.
But what you need to know for this how to create Instagram ads tutorial is that everything we cover in that post applies here…
…and can be used for your Instagram ads as well.
So if you need help figuring out how to effectively target people on Instagram, read that post next.
Now up until this point, you may be thinking, “how is this any different from creating a Facebook ad?” This is where we make it Instagram-specific.
Step 6: Below the targeting section, you’ll see placements.
Click Manual Placements, and uncheck everything except Instagram. Then you can scroll down and see all of the Instagram placements available.
And on the right, it shows you what they would look like to a user scrolling through…
…along with the dimensions we went over earlier, so that you know how big the ads should be.
And that’s important to know, because the Facebook Ads Manager will stop you from using the wrong size ad altogether for different formats…
…but it will allow things that aren’t optimal.
For example, you technically can have a horizontal ad in an Instagram Stories placement, which we know is used for vertical full-screen viewing.
So a horizontal ad wouldn’t be optimal there, and that’s why it’s important to produce creatives that are specifically optimized for the format.
Also, avoid just relying on Facebook Ads Manager to do everything right for you.
Now one other thing you might notice before we move on to the next section is that some placements are not available.
That is even though they are Instagram placements.
For example, it will not let us select the IGTV placement here.
And that’s because not all campaign objectives are compatible with all placements.
So keep that in mind when you’re planning out your Instagram ads.
You’ll want to check in advance first to see which placements are available for the goal you have.
Step 7: Let’s go ahead and move on to the final section here at the ad level.
Now Facebook is going to have several things automatically pre-selected for you, so don’t let that throw you off.
For example, when we first clicked on this section, it had the LYFE Marketing page and Instagram selected…
…but it automatically had the product catalogue of one of our clients selected because it had “Dynamic Formats and Creative” automatically selected.
So we had to go and unselect those things before we could even start with our ad.
Now as we said, it automatically chose the LYFE Marketing Facebook page and Instagram for us.
If you don’t have an Instagram account already set up, you technically can advertise on Instagram with your Facebook page.
It will show your Facebook page as the one “hosting” the ad in the Instagram feed.
However, we don’t recommend this. So if we were you, just go ahead and set up an Instagram account to keep everything native to the platform for users.
That is because oftentimes, if people are interested in your ad, they’ll tap your profile icon really quickly to check out your profile.
But they won’t be able to do that if your Facebook page is hosting the ad.
Next, you have your ad set up where you can choose to create a new ad from scratch, or you can select from an existing post you have.
If you’re wanting to boost your post engagement on Instagram, you would select the post engagement campaign at the beginning.
And then on this screen, you would choose “Use existing post” and choose the post you’re wanting to get more likes and comments on.
Now before we go on in this how to create Instagram ads tutorial, if you choose to create a new ad, you can choose from these ad formats.
- Single image or Video
For the first two options, you can choose one image or video, or a slideshow with multiple images.
A carousel is two or more scrollable or swipeable images or videos.
A collection is a group of items that opens into a full screen experience.
Step 8: Once you’ve got your format selected, you can move on to your Ad Creative.
Since we kept the “Create a new single image or video ad” option selected, it prompted us to add our media.
You can see catalog as one of the options, and that’s something we want to pause to touch on really quickly.
We unselected all of the catalog and dynamic options earlier because we are a B2B company, and we don’t have eCommerce products to sell.
However, if you are an eCommerce company, the catalog, carousel, and collection options are your friend.
Uploading your product catalog will allow you to do dynamic retargeting.
So for example, if someone goes to your website, clicks through a few products, and then exits, dynamic retargeting will find them on Instagram.
And then IG will show them the exact products they were looking at on your website and prompt them to go back and check out.
It’s a more personalized experience for the user, because instead of just showing the same blanket ad to everybody…
…you’re showing them the products they specifically looked at.
Another thing is with collection and carousel ads for eCommerce, you’re sort of allowing the user to shop right there within Instagram.
They can swipe through your products conveniently right there in the ad, and then choose to click to your site or Instagram Shop if they want to see more.
So we wanted to take a second and just mention that for any eCommerce store owners reading.
We also have a whole Instagram shops post that you can read after this.
So in addition to those media types, Facebook also gives you the option to create a video right there within the Ads Manager.
It basically gives you a few different ways that you can create a slideshow or a single image with transition effects to make it a “video.”
And it also shows you how they would look to users.
This is fine as a basic, free feature to use if you’re starting to learn how to create Instagram ads.
But, we would also suggest checking out some of our tutorials on:
…to learn more about creating effective Instagram ad creatives.
Step 9: After that, you can put in your primary text or your caption.
And as you add things or change your images, it will update the preview for you on the right so you’ll know what it will look like in your different placements.
Step 10: You can also choose from a list of call-to-action buttons that best describe the action you want viewers to take.
At the top, it gives you the option to choose “no button”, but in reality, you do need to have a button on Instagram.
So we don’t know why that option doesn’t just go away when only Instagram placements are selected.
But, we just wanted to show you that in case you do choose the “no button” option, it will automatically give your Instagram ad the Learn More button.
Step 11: Next is where you can enter your destination URL.
Now certain campaign objectives won’t have this part in the process.
For instance, the engagement campaign isn’t designed to send somebody anywhere…
…it’s just meant to get more likes and comments on your selected post.
But in this instance, you can choose to put your website or whatever your landing page URL is.
Or if you’re wanting to get more Instagram followers, you could run a traffic campaign and put your Instagram URL as the destination URL.
This is so that when they click the ad, it takes them to your Instagram profile.
That’s kind of the Instagram workaround of the Facebook page-like campaign.
Now, Instagram does have a “more profile visits” campaign if you hit that blue Promote button within the Instagram app that we mentioned earlier.
But again, you don’t get all the same extensive targeting options or ad creative options that you have with Facebook Ads Manager.
So we would still suggest just using the post engagement campaign or the traffic campaign to get more Instagram followers over using the blue Promote button.
Step 12: Once you’re satisfied with how your ad looks and how it’s set up, you can hit the green Publish button!
If you want to see the full video tutorial on these steps, then watch the video at the top of this post.
Now you know how to create Instagram ads!
With Instagram ads, you have the potential to reach customers within your target audience that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
And because Facebook owns Instagram, you can utilize the same well-developed ad platform and targeting options for Instagram.
If you want to really maximize your Instagram ads, work with our Instagram advertising agency.
Contact us at 404-596-7925 to schedule a meeting today.