If you answered yes, then you’re in luck!
Because in this post, we will show you how to design Instagram ads – the easy way.
So keep reading!
- The 4 key elements of ad graphic design are the headline, subject image, button, and logo.
- The goal is to design a unique graphic that doesn’t have a high chance of having duplicates out there.
- It helps to look at designs from well-known brands in your industry as a reference.
4 Key Elements Of Your Instagram Ad Graphics
Before we go on discussing the steps on how to design Instagram ads…
…you first need to know that when designing an ad graphic, you generally should have 4 key things in your image. And these are:
- Subject image
- CTA button
Their position and size in the ad will depend on what your ad is all about.
But, you should probably never have your logo as the largest of the 4 key elements.
This is especially on square ads, with its limited space, as you’d want to feature the service or product of your brand rather than your brand name itself.
By the way, if you want to learn how to make your business logo using Canva, be sure to read this post next.
There are multiple design programs you can create your ad designs with. Some examples are:
And there’s even a completely free site called Photopea that is basically a browser version of Photoshop.
But in this guide, similar to what we have used in the previous design guides, we’re going to use the most accessible design tool site to date – Canva.
How To Design Instagram Ads Using Canva
On the Canva website, we’re going to type and select “Instagram ad”, which is 1080×1080, once the canvas loads.
We can start from scratch or go ahead and type “ad” or “Instagram ad” in the search bar.
And then, Canva will display multiple ad templates we can choose from as our starting point.
If you’re fairly new to graphic design, we strongly suggest picking one of these to start with.
Use the starting template as a placeholder and just swap everything out.
The goal is to design a unique graphic that doesn’t have a high chance of having duplicates out there.
In a previous design guide, we’ve created a mock brand called Koffee Kat, and we’ll be using that as our sample for today’s ad design as well.
Before we start making changes to the template design, make sure you have your own brand’s:
- product photos,
- logo variations, and
…other design material you may have all gathered in a single folder, so that you can go ahead and upload these files to Canva.
If you don’t know the essential materials to prepare, we have a quick guide on what you need to make quality digital marketing graphics.
So if you haven’t already read that yet, be sure to check that out.
The template you select should also depend on the type of ad you’re doing. Here are some examples:
A sale graphic would feature mostly text.
A service-type ad should feature people.
Or in this case, let’s say we’re doing a product feature, which is now our subject image.
So basing on the figure of our subject, let’s find a template that will complement it.
Also, in the search bar, you can type in your product itself and you’ll be shown a bunch of relevant templates.
Let’s go with this template here, and we can start swapping out its elements with our own.
Before you do the steps on how to design Instagram ads, if you have a brand guide be sure to have it open in a separate window.
Or, you can also upload it as a canvas page for reference.
And if you want to know more about social media branding, here’s a must-read post for you.
Now the template background’s color doesn’t really go with the branding for Koffee Kat…
…so we’d like to use a dark color or a grunge texture instead.
Now since the product is coffee beans, we would add actual coffee beans in the background.
So, we’re going to go ahead and type “coffee beans” in the search bar and see what images Canva has for that.
Feel free to explore and add different elements into the design as well.
As it complements your product, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with what works.
It helps to look at designs from well-known brands in your industry as a reference.
And also, try to see what you can do to make yours stand out more and look better.
So now we have most of the imagery set up, let’s move forward with the text.
Let’s say our headline is “Get 10% off” and let’s add the CTA “Order Now” button here.
We mentioned earlier that the logo is 1 of the 4 key elements. We already have our subject image, headline, and CTA button.
But because the subject image already has our logo featured very clearly, we can go ahead and skip adding the logo for this image.
This is pretty much done, but since we’re using Canva, we can even go further with this and turn it into a video ad.
Click on this Animate button over here, and it will then show you a bunch of different animation presets.
These are simple transition animations, but they make all a difference in adding that movement to your graphic that’ll help get your audience’s attention.
Also, if you have any videos of your product or service that you want to feature in the ad, you can do so by:
- adding an extra layer to your design,
- uploading your video, or
- using a stock video from Canva (simply drag it into the canvas)
And since we skipped featuring our logo on the other frame, we can go ahead and feature that here instead.
Edit how long you want the video to run. The Instagram ads limit for video length is 1-60 seconds.
If you want to add music, Canva has a library of sounds you can choose from.
You can add them into the design by simply dragging and dropping them in.
Once done, you can go ahead and download your video ad as an mp4 file.
How To Design For Other Instagram Ad Formats
And there you have it – the steps on how to design Instagram ads.
Keep in mind that the steps above are for the standard Instagram 1:1 ratio ad.
For carousel ads, which is also in the same aspect ratio, the first page should be the most eye-catching one (with all of the 4 key parts present).
The rest can be just product images, but you can also add a branded frame or a few decorative elements.
Don’t put anything too overpowering, as you want to feature the product the most with the slides that follow the first one.
Other IG ad formats to note are Instagram stories for business and IGTV, which are both 1080 x 1920 pixels for this image dimension.
Once you’ve set up a canvas, you can just leave your original square ad open on another tab…
…and copy-paste the elements from that tab to your stories ad canvas.
Be sure to adjust the positioning of your elements so that you’re using all the space in your stories ad.
Also, for both IG Stories and IGTV for small businesses, you’re better off using videos.
So for graphics-based ads for both, take advantage of the preset animations that Canva offers.
Same as your square ad, once you’re happy with your design, go ahead and save it as an mp4 file.
Note that for both IG Stories and IGTV, the maximum video length is 15 seconds.
Here’s the sample ad we created for both formats.
If you want to check out our step-by-step guide on how we created this ad, then go ahead and watch the video at the post of this post.
That’s it for today’s guide! We hope that now that you know how to design Instagram ads, you’ll be able to see more positive results from your ads.
In case you need help with branding or managing your Instagram ads, we offer both solutions here in LYFE Marketing.