Instagram is more than a platform for sharing visual content. Every year, new features are introduced, like Instagram ads, offering plenty of opportunities for brands.

However, competition becomes real as more and more businesses join the platform. Standing out in the feed becomes more crucial than ever.

Thankfully, the platform keeps evolving. They add features that brands can utilize in order to catch their audience’s attention. Instagram ads are one of such features.

In late 2015, the platform introduced Instagram ads. It uses Facebook’s advertising system to reach new audiences. With that said, Instagram ads are perfect for boosting awareness.

In this post, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide to get started. Additionally, we’ll discuss how much Instagram ads cost and the different types of ads.

But First, What Are Instagram Ads?

Instagram advertising entails paying to post sponsored content on the platform. This allows the content to reach more audiences. Since Instagram is a visual platform, you’ll need an image or set of images or video to get started.

Instagram Ads sample

Instagram first introduced this concept in 2013. However, it was only a limited advertising service. In late 2015, the platform rolled out this feature and allowed brand advertising.

It was a huge success!

Instagram claims that 60% of users discovered new products on the app. Secondly, 75% of users who saw Instagram sponsored ads took action. This includes visiting the website and purchasing a product.

Just like Facebook ads, paying for Instagram sponsored ads leads to brand exposure.

Need more reason to use Instagram ads?

According to a report, there are two million advertisers on the platform. As you scroll through your feed, you’ll see one labeled “Sponsored” every three posts. In fact, you might’ve noticed the frequency of Stories ads.

Your competition is using Instagram ads. You should too!

Instagram Ads sample

Audience: For one, Instagram is continuously growing. Secondly, most of your audience is here. According to TrackMaven, brands saw a 100% median follower growth on the platform yearly.

Attention: Mark Zuckerberg once said that users spend around an hour a day on Facebook or Instagram. With that said, investing in Instagram ads means reaching new audiences.

Action: As previously mentioned, Instagram found that 60% of users learn about products through the platform. Additionally, 75% of users take action. This means Instagram ads can generate leads. Most importantly, it can turn leads into sales.

Targeting: To advertise on IG, you’ll need Facebook’s advertising system and it has a powerful targeting ability. You can specify your target audience’s

  • Location
  • Demographic
  • Interest

You can even target users who previously bought your products!

Common Types of Instagram Sponsored Ads

Revolutionize your digital marketing campaign though Instagram sponsored ads. It’s time to think out of the box! Instagram offers plenty of opportunities to hook your audience with a visually stunning and highly creative ad.

Photo Ads

Instagram has grown from a simple photo sharing platform. Today, it is used by influencers and brands to promote products, services, events, and more.

Advertisers now have the option to create Instagram sponsored posts. More importantly, they can add call-to-actions to generate leads.

Some of the CTAs include:

  • Sign up now
  • Install now
  • Learn more
  • Shop now

Utilize this feature to showcase your products and services to a wider audience. Take a look at this Instagram ad.

Instagram ads sample

What they did right:

  • Showcased a compelling content
  • Added a call-to-action “Shop directly @
  • Added a link
Instagram ads sample caption

Carousel Ads

Just like photo ads, you’ll need visually compelling content. However, with this option, you can showcase multiple photos in a single advertisement. In fact, you can add up to 10 photos in a single ad.

For instance, use it to tell a story. Another option is to use multi-photo Instagram ads for your newest collection. Take this example from Reformation.

This option is beneficial for both advertisers and consumers. Why? It allows advertisers to showcase different products. Consumers, on the other hand, are given more visual information. More importantly, advertisers can add a link to their website to easily direct consumers.

Video Ads

Instagram videos are a huge hit. In fact, according to a report, the amount of time spent by users watching an IG video is up more than 80% year over year.

With that said, advertisers leverage videos to grow their brand. Instagram video ads seamlessly combine traditional and digital marketing. It’s also highly beneficial that this type of ad garners higher viewer rate than other mediums.

Typically, an Instagram video runs between 30 and 60 seconds. Brands can then create a full 60-second advertisement or use it as a teaser for the actual one.

With video ads, don’t be afraid to experiment! Take this example from Muzen 1964. They sell portable retro-looking smart speakers.

Video Instagram ads sample

Their video ad is like an unboxing video played in fast-forward. They showed how their product is packed and its inclusions.

Story Ads

80% of active users post Instagram Stories at least twice a week. Additionally, 500 million users view Stories every day. With these astounding numbers, advertisers are seizing the opportunities that this feature is offering.

Firstly, story ads can reach a massive audience. Secondly, advertisers can choose their target audience and how often the ads will appear. Lastly, the 24-hour limit makes it perfect for limited-time promotions.

Instagram Story Ads sample

Tip: Create Story Ads that look and feel like your normal Stories. This provides users with a seamless experience. They won’t feel like they are bombarded with ads out of nowhere.

Don’t forget to add a call to action. For example, the Calm app added “Download Now” to their Story. The Swipe Up feature then directs users to their website.

Instagram Story Ads sample

Now you know the most common Instagram sponsored ads formats. It’s time to dive into creating your first Instagram ad.

Beginner’s Guide To Creating Instagram Ads

There are different ways to start advertising on Instagram. In the following section, we’ll talk about the two most common ways:

Creating Instagram Ads Through Facebook Ads Manager

Before we begin, you’ll need to connect your Instagram business account to your Facebook Business profile.

Go to your Facebook Page. Tap Settings then select Instagram.

Creating Instagram Ads Through Facebook Ads Manager

In the example above, we’ve already linked an Instagram account. But initially, this is what you’ll see (below).

Simply Log In to your account and fill in your credentials.

Creating Instagram Ads Through Facebook Ads Manager

Getting Started

Go to Ads Manager. You can access it through the drop-down arrow at the upper-right corner of your Facebook page. Select Manage Ads.

Access Ads Manager

Another option is to use this direct link.

Select the Campaigns Tab. Tap Create.

Facebook ads manager 2

Choose a campaign objective. There are a total of 11 objectives available in Facebook Ads Manager. However, only 8 allow you to create Instagram ads.

  • Brand Awareness
  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Traffic
  • Video views
  • Conversions
  • App installs
Facebook ads manager - objective

Once you’ve selected, tap Continue.

Note: Not all objectives are compatible with Stories ads.

Fill in the details for your ad set.


This is where you define your target market.

Facebook ads manager - audience

Facebook advertising allows you to target a specific set of audience. For instance, you can create a target market by combining several factors:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Languages
  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Connections


In this section, select Edit Placements. Choose Instagram to have your advertisement appear on the app. Tap Continue.

Facebook ads manager - placement

Note: When you choose Automatic Placements, your ads will appear on different Facebook Placements- this includes Instagram.


Lastly, set a budget. Facebook’s ads manager gives you the option to set a daily or lifetime budget. The former is the average amount you’ll spend every day. The latter is the total amount you’ll spend throughout the duration of your campaign.

When setting a budget, consider your marketing goals and constraints. Remember, you can always increase your budget if you find that your campaign is doing well.

Facebook ads manager - budget

Click Continue to proceed to the next step.

Creating An Instagram Ad

In this section, you’ll find two tabs:

  • Create Ad
  • Use An Existing Post

For example purposes, we’ll choose to create an ad from scratch.

In the Format section, you can choose how you’d like your advertisement to look.

Facebook ads manager - format

You can also take a look at Facebook’s Ad Guide to Instagram ads formats. They included specifications as well as design requirements.

After this, the next steps are pretty much straightforward

  • Upload photos or videos
  • Create an enticing ad copy. Don’t forget to add a call to action!
  • Choose a payment option
  • Make sure to review your ad
  • Confirm

Tip: Preview your ad before submitting it.

When it’s approved, it’ll appear on Instagram.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t fret!

You can also create Instagram sponsored ads directly within the app. Here’s how.

Creating Instagram Sponsored Ads Within The App

Advertising through Facebook Ads Manager can be a bit intimidating – especially for beginners. It’s a good thing that you can now advertise within the app.

How? By promoting the existing content in your account.

Promoting Instagram posts

These Instagram sponsored ads look like any other Instagram ad. They also have “Sponsored” tag at the upper portion.

But before you can promote a post, you’ll need to:

  • Convert your account to a Business Profile on Instagram
  • Your account should be connected to your Facebook Page. Additionally, you must have Admin access to the said page.

Go to your profile and choose the content you want to promote.

creating instagram ads sample

Tap the “Promote” button.

If your Facebook account is not logged in, you might be prompted to enter your details.

Choose what happens when the users click your ad.

creating instagram ads sample

You have three options:

  • Visit your profile
  • Direct users to your website
  • Go to your direct messages

Determine your target audience

In this section, you have two options:

Automatic: The app will target users who are similar to your followers

Create Your Own: Manually set your targeting options. You have to set the location, Interests, age, and gender.

creating instagram sponsored ads sample

Set your budget and duration.

creating instagram sponsored ads sample

Tap Next.

Review the details of your ad. When you’re satisfied, simply tap Create Promotion.

creating instagram sponsored ads sample

Remember, promoting doesn’t equal to creating a new ad. It means that the exact same content is shown to new audiences.

Lastly, monitor and analyze your performance.

Successfully launching Instagram sponsored ads isn’t the last step. Once it’s running, you need to monitor it.

Additionally, your ads need to keep evolving. Try different types of ad formats to see which one your audience loves. Continue to create new campaigns and be creative with your ad copy.

How Much Will Instagram Ads Cost Me?

Instagram ads cost differs for every business. However, the average cost-per-click for ads is between $0.70 and $0.80. However, this figure may change depending on other factors.

Graph from AdEspresso

For instance, choosing where you place your ad, age range of target audience, or their location has a huge impact on Instagram ads cost.

Graph from AdEspresso

Another important factor to consider is the time of the year. Take a look at the graph below. It shows that as the year progress, cost-per-click also becomes more expensive. With October having the highest cost-per-click.

Graph from AdEspresso

Most importantly, bidding options also affect Instagram ads cost. Facebook’s advertising system gives you two options:

  • Cost Per Click (CPC): Your Instagram ads cost will depend on the number of users who click on your ad content. Remember, you’re paying for the click, not the conversion.
  • Cost per Impression (CPM): You’ll pay for every 1,000 impressions that your Instagram ads receive.

Not all Instagram ads are created equal. Each marketer has their own goals, budget, and constraints.

Remember, Instagram ads will not cost more than your budget. For instance, you’ve set $20 per day, the ad will never cost more than that amount.

Take these factors into account. Analyze and compare how much Instagram ads cost and your expected ROI. In doing so, you’ll get the most out of your money.

In Conclusion

As a beginner in creating Instagram ads, it can be overwhelming. But when used at the right time with a great ad copy, Instagram ads can be a huge asset for businesses.

It can help in growing sales and followers. So don’t be afraid to invest in it. Instagram ads are relatively new but just like any other feature in the app, it’ll continue to evolve. Make the most out of it!

Have you run Instagram ads? What were your strategies? I’d love to hear from you!

Share your thoughts and tips in the comments below!

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