How to run ads on Instagram? Overview and instructions

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How to run ads on Instagram? Overview and instructions
How to run ads on Instagram? Overview and instructions

Instagram is one of the leading visual content platforms. In June 2016, the number of active users exceeded five hundred million people, every day more than eighty million new posts are published. The service gives users the ability to instantly transfer data and has a lot of advantages over other platforms. In the context of advertising, the platform is useful because the content on Instagram has a very high virality compared to other networks.

Advertising campaigns here are effective due to the huge size of the audience, so incorporating this social network into any marketing strategy will be a great business decision. This article is a detailed overview of how to run ads on Instagram.

how to run ads on instagram
how to run ads on instagram

Target Audience

The ability to launch advertising appeared on the first of October 2015. In Russia, the audience of users is nine million, the bulk of which are young people (15-25 years old). The number of men and women is about the same. Before launching targeted advertising on Instagram, it is worth considering the main feature of this platform -the ability to share beautiful photos with users and motivate their discussion. This ad format is especially useful for online stores, restaurants, and furniture stores. In short, anyone who has good quality graphic content.

Ad types

For those who want to launch targeted advertising on Instagram, the instructions on the site will tell you to familiarize yourself with the types of ads. There are two of them: static and dynamic ("carousel"). A static ad is a regular post, while a dynamic ad will allow the advertiser to create a feed of photos that the user can navigate through.

how to run targeted ads on instagram
how to run targeted ads on instagram

Goals and objectives

How to run ads on Instagram and make it work? You need to set specific goals and clear goals. For example, it can be building brand awareness, increasing sales, attracting visitors to the site, campaign leads, additional conversions on the site, stimulating interest in products, catalog promotion, likes and shares, increasing the number of app installs, video views, community and event attendance..

The success of targeted advertising on Instagram depends only on the advertiser himself and on his ability to properly organize promotion work. You need to know how this platform works, but apart from that, you need a fresh idea, which can be a decisive moment in the success of the entire campaign. Above all, before running ads in"Instagram" through Facebook, you should tidy up the site and evaluate the chances, make sure that you have everything you need. The presence of a brand or service, high-quality design, a Facebook account (you can only create ads from this social network).


Now let's talk about how to launch ads on Instagram step by step. The work begins with registration in the Facebook business manager. This allows you to create a PR campaign and make it available even to those who do not have a Facebook account. Then you need to register an account on Instagram through the business manager and link it to an advertising project through the "Assign advertising accounts" function. After that, it becomes possible to proceed to the creation of an advertising campaign itself.

In the settings, you need to specify one of the goals pursued by this advertisement: clicks to the site, video views, installation of a mobile application. You can then change other primary settings such as ad name, groups, and so on. Next, a window appears for entering detailed information. At the campaign level, a budget is set - the amount that will be spent on a specific PR campaign. Ad groups indicate the expense for each of them, and you can register not only the daily expense for the entire group, but also scheduled stops and starts.

When getting acquainted with the settings, many users have a question about what an audience pixel is. Behind this term is a special JavaScript code that can be placed on the site. He collectswebsite visitor data and sends user activity information directly to your Facebook account. Will the pixel help the audience with tracking after running an Instagram ad via Facebook? More than! It is this tool that will allow the advertiser to show ads only to those visitors who have performed a certain action on the site or visited the necessary pages. You can also view your site's statistics directly on Facebook.

how to advertise on instagram through facebook
how to advertise on instagram through facebook

Basic settings are done, but before you start advertising on Instagram yourself, you still need to decide on the parameters of the target audience. The interface allows you to select existing audience groups, which greatly simplifies the task, especially if there are many ads or campaigns, but the settings are flexible, you can create a new group that is more suitable for the campaign goals.

How to determine the target audience? The advertiser must clearly understand who exactly will be interested in the proposed product. The simplest method would be to create the image of a "typical buyer", after which the question of the parameters of the audience will no longer be raised. For example, who would be interested in an offer for targeted advertising on Instagram and instructions on how to launch it? Such an audience may be very wide, but the ad will not generate interest among people who do not have their own business, marketing group or income-generating hobby. Such a behavioral sign is worth pointing out.

Audience settings are very flexible, in addition to location, interests, age and behavioral characteristics are indicated. Here's another example.

Location: Moscow and Moscow region.

Interests: computer servers, computer network, remote administration programs, intrusion prevention system, information security, small business, computer security.

Behavior: small business owners enterprises. Age: 23-45 years old.

This is one of the default settings. All saved groups can be viewed in the "Tools" tab. Do not rely on any one group, test different audiences to find the most effective strategy. Create multiple ads for different audiences: practice shows that narrow targeting and a creative message will be the key to the success of ads on Instagram.

how to run ads on instagram instructions
how to run ads on instagram instructions

How to start and how much?

After defining the audience, you can choose a payment model. For most cases, the optimized CPM model is suitable. The price of a particular ad will depend not only on the type of ad chosen, but also on the content and its quality. Facebook has certain requirements for graphic content. The recommended image size is 1080 x 1080 pixels and the format is one to one. The image must not include more than twenty percent of the text.

Next, you need to set the action button and select the goal of the advertising campaign. It can be formed in the "Pixels" menuconversions". UMT tags are required for all advertisements, otherwise it will be impossible to track the advertising campaign in Google Analytics and Yandex. Metrica. To read the report, go to the "Traffic Sources" section.

By the way, do not forget that a lot of tips on how to launch advertising on Instagram, instructions for setting up and prices are also on the platform itself, so you can refresh everything in your memory right away while creating an advertising campaign.

The photo below is an example of an ad from a vegan food brand.

how to run instagram ads on your own
how to run instagram ads on your own

Common mistakes

Having learned how to run ads on Instagram, many wonder why ads have not been moderated? Usually moderators report certain violations that are in this ad, but their elimination at the very first stages will significantly reduce the time. Even the smallest violation of the rules can result in disapproval, as the moderators carefully and manually check each ad. It should be borne in mind that such a check can take up to twenty-four hours or even more.

The most common reason for disapproval of ads is extra text in images. As mentioned above, the text in the picture should take up no more than twenty percent of the volume. Of course, the inclusion of textual information makes the ad more informative, but at the same time it reduces the overall attractiveness and quality. The requirement applies to absolutely all types of advertising posts, even tothumbnail video. Use the grid tool to see if an ad matches a requirement.

Also, before launching an ad on Instagram for a review, channel or site that advertises a product that has age restrictions, you should check that the selected audience clearly complies with these restrictions. For example, moderators will not allow ads about tobacco or alcohol products to be published if the age of the selected audience is less than eighteen years old.

How to run ads on Instagram through Facebook with the right "links"? Some ads require the advertiser to link to Facebook, and in order to comply with this rule, you should remember that the name must be indicated in the original, that is, Facebook, in English and with a capital F. The word must have the same font, size letters and writing style as the surrounding text should not be bolded.

You cannot use a logo instead of a signature, as well as change the word in any way (for example, put in the plural or abbreviate). If the ad contains a modified version of the logo instead of the original one, that ad will also be rejected.

Paid services

Every business has its nuances, and it happens that there is absolutely no time to understand them. In this case, the easiest way is to trust the specialists who promote communities in social networks. Of course, such services have also appeared for Instagram. One of the most popularservices are InstaPlus and Aitarget. How to run ads on Instagram without turning off Adblock or antivirus? Unfortunately, when working with such services, you will have to disable almost all protection. They warn about this in advance. To be wary of this or to trust third-party software is a personal matter for each user.

aitarget how to run ads on instagram instructions
aitarget how to run ads on instagram instructions


Hubspot (a popular software service that has a large selection of online marketing tools) has conducted its own tests of advertising on Instagram. Below is the scheme of this testing and the results.

Hubspot tested photos, text and media types. Advertising effectiveness is evaluated using special metrics, such as the number of clicks and likes, CPC, CTR (advertising click-through rate), lead cost, CPM (cost per thousand impressions), cost per view. The test involved text and three types of media content in ads (carousel, static image, and video).

Among the photos, there were six different types: a picture with a clear call to action, stock photos, clickbait (cute photos, such as cats, not related to the advertised product), images containing part of the information that the user will receive after the transition by ad. The test also included natural-looking photos that the user could easily post on their personal Instagram and images with a saying or a quote.

As a testtext content also used several types of text to describe ads. Here are some examples.

Title: "How to Run Instagram Ads for Business." The headline is text addressed to the reader that explains how they will benefit from downloading or clicking.

A call to action can be text like this: "Check the data from this article on personal experience, run an ad on Instagram and boost your business."

Often among the ads there are humorous, entertaining texts that are only partly related to the advertised product.

In the Hubspot test, the same image was used for all texts.

Received data

The results were as follows. The cheapest type of ads are images with clear calls to action, they are 45% cheaper than stock photos, but at the same time they have a high CTR (twice as much as ads with stock photos).

Stock photos have the lowest CTR but the highest CPC. Image ads have the highest CPC, while photo bait ads have the lowest CPC.


Call to action advertising is one of the most effective in terms of price / quality ratio. In the test, it proved to be the least expensive and received the highest number of clicks compared to other types of ads. The experts concluded that Instagram users like ads with a clear call to action becauseclearly understand what they will get after clicking on the link.

Instagram is picky about the quality of ad content to make the platform look natural.

Stock photos are practically of no interest to Web users, it is better not to use them in advertising.

Natural photos that look like regular Instagram posts also didn't perform well in ads, although Hubspot suggested otherwise. Perhaps the fact is that simple photos on the platform are not clickable, and users simply did not notice the clickable button on these advertising posts. Based on this, the advertiser must make an announcement in such a way that the visitor immediately understands what he is offered.

how to run ads on instagram review
how to run ads on instagram review

"Clickbaits" - cute photos that have nothing to do with the main content, showed themselves in two ways. On the one hand, they got four times more likes than regular ads. On the other hand, it may scare away some of the audience.

The results for the texts are such that a clear call to action here also performed the best. Before deciding how to run an ad on Instagram, a marketer should spend time thinking about the phrase that motivates the user to click on the ad.

This test is just one of many. Perhaps in some other audience it would have shown different results, so it can be taken into account, but not guided as an absolute truth. The best optionwill independently test strategies and identify the most effective for a given audience and a given product. However, in any case, the quality of the content and the unobtrusiveness of advertising play the most important role.

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