Everything You Need to Know to Create Instagram Ads: A Complete Guide
These days, it’s tough for online companies to succeed if they don’t advertise on Instagram. The social media platform has exploded in popularity over the last few years and is now an advertising cornerstone, especially for brands focusing on specific industries or targeting users.
But jumping into the Instagram advertising scene without any information beforehand can be disastrous. Let us break down everything you need to know about creating high-quality, converting Instagram ads in detail
What Are Instagram Ads?
Advertising on Instagram has become more popular in the last few years, and for good reason. After all, billions of people use both Instagram and its parent company, Facebook. Advertising on this social media platform is one of the best ways to reach a wide audience regardless of your niche or industry.
Instagram ads are run through the Facebook Ads Manager, which allows you to manage your Instagram ads and your Facebook ads. You can run the same ad on both platforms in many cases, provided the ad in question adheres to platform-specific restrictions.
In general, Instagram ads come in two types: video or still image. The data on this point is clear. Video ads are much more successful at converting target consumers into paying customers, improving brand awareness, and retaining existing customers that may be moving away from your company.
By leveraging high-quality Instagram ads for your company, you’ll see better conversion rates across the board and much more successful marketing efforts.
However, you can’t just post any Instagram ad and expect excellent results. You’ll need to keep a variety of factors in mind as you craft converting Instagram ads. Let’s break down some of these factors now.
Targeting Data and Audience Metrics
For starters, you’ll need to understand targeting data and audience metrics.
For your Instagram ads to be successful, they’ll need to both be targeted to specific people and crafted with specific interests in mind. You wouldn’t make an ad focused on food products if your target audience is in the IT industry, right?
Fortunately, the Facebook Ads Manager allows you to target specific groups of people based on characteristics like their demographic information, sex, age, and more. We go into more detail about this below.
Bottom line: You’ll need to create your ads with specific audience metrics and targeting data in mind for them to be as successful as possible.
Choosing Your Instagram Ad Type
Instagram ads also come in several different types. These include:
- Stories ads: These ads are posted on Instagram users’ stories in between user-generated content. These are fantastic for conversions, raising brand awareness, lead generation, boosting store traffic, and more.
- Photo ads: These are still image ads that can be particularly good for driving app installs and increasing brand awareness, engagement, store traffic, and more.
- General video ads: These are like photo ads but use videos up to two minutes long instead of still images.
- Carousel ads: These ads can include between two and 10 photos or videos that can be rotated with a swipe of a user’s finger. These are great for capturing shoppers or for driving catalog sales, especially during promotional periods.
- Collection ads: These ads are particularly good for driving store traffic and conversion. These are great if you have multiple items you want to advertise as part of a single collection.
- Instagram Explore ads: These ads are great for driving brand awareness, conversions, traffic, video views, and more. Instagram Explore ads run on the Explore screen, where users look for new accounts and content. More than half of Instagram users check out this screen at least once per month.
As you can see, there are lots of different Instagram ads you can create. It’ll take some time to get the hang of all the different types, but you can partner with experienced visual media marketing agencies like VisCap to get a jumpstart on your success.
In general, you’ll want to choose the Instagram ad type that best fits your marketing goals, like converting new users, raising brand awareness, and so on.
Posting Your Ad: A Step-by-Step Process
Once you’ve created an Instagram ad worthy of posting, you can visit the Facebook Ads Manager and post them after just a couple of minutes. Here are the basic steps.
Choose the Ad’ Objective
First, go to the Ads Manager and click “+Create.” You’ll be able to select from two different workflows to help you both create and manage your future advertisement. Guided Creation is better for newcomers to the platform. Click here to get started.
Next, you’ll need to choose the objective for your marketing campaign. You can select from pre-existing campaign objectives right on the Ads Manager screen. These are fairly self-explanatory and include categories like:
- Brand awareness: Useful if you want people to know about your company in general
- Video views: Good if you want more people to share your video
- Engagement: Ideal for driving a higher proportion of comments, likes, shares, and more
- Traffic: Designed to drive clicks to your website or app
You should already know your marketing campaign’s overall objective before even starting to create your ads. Pick the objective that best suits your goals and continue.
Picking Your Audience
Facebook Ads Manager requires you to choose your target audience from their platform as well. You can either create a new audience or use a saved audience (which will be helpful as you post more ads in the future).
When you create a new audience, you’ll be able to filter users based on tons of demographic information, such as their age, location, gender, interests, and more. In general, the more specific you go, the better your ad will perform.
It’s a good rule of thumb in digital marketing that casting a targeted and narrow net is better than casting a wide and potentially ineffective net. In other words, general targeting specifications don’t bring your ads to the people you want to convert the most. This then means the ads connect to fewer target users, resulting in poorer conversions overall.
Choose Ad Placements
You now have to choose your ad placements, which determine where your ads will appear on Instagram and Facebook.
The automatic placements function is great for newcomers and can help to maximize your budget. Manual placements will only be a good choice once you understand the platform in more depth. The manual placement option lets you focus your ads on places like Facebook video feeds, Instagram feeds and stories, Instagram’s Explore page, and so on.
Choose the placements that seem the best fit the goals of your marketing campaign and continue.
Choose Your Schedule/Budget
You’re almost there! Now you just need to choose your ad budget (how much money you want to spend on your promotion) and the advertising schedule.
Facebook gives you many options for your budget, like setting a daily budget (which lets you maximize how much money you spend on ads in a day) or a lifetime budget that has a set limit and stops posting ads once the budget runs out. You can also set bidding strategy options, optimization options, and more.
Again, a lot of these controls are relatively complex and in-depth. You might benefit from the experience and knowledge of a digital marketing agency like VisCap Media, which can help you post Facebook and Instagram ads to their best effect and make the most of your marketing budget.
Post the Ad!
After setting your advertising schedule and budget, you can post your ad! Facebook allows you to make ads right on its interface, but if you want your ads to be successful, you’ll make them beforehand and upload them to the platform. You get more creative control and higher quality ads this way.
Choose a call to action from the available options and post!
As you can see, making and posting high-quality Instagram ads can be complex and fraught with difficult decisions. It’s just another reason why VisCap Media can be an excellent help for your marketing efforts.
Want to see our past work? We’ve got a portfolio right on our main site showing exactly how we can help brands that partner with us. We’re also happy to answer any questions you might have – contact us today or check out our other Instagram advertising guides on our blog!