How To Advertise on Instagram: 6 Best Tips That Work

Currently, Instagram advertising is a big, fat topic. That is why many people are interested in getting into Instagram advertising.

Instagram is the leading social network for visual content that boasts over 1 billion daily active users. This provides digital marketers with an excellent opportunity to reach their target audience. 

We already eat differently – #picturesFirst – and we are about to change how we advertise our business.

I’ve outlined a quick step-by-step guide to advertising on Instagram if you’ve already used Instagram influencers or would like to try a new marketing channel but don’t really know where to begin.

Why Advertise on Instagram?

Instagram and eCommerce are both visually driven and designed for audiences with a short attention span, which makes them a natural fit. A high-quality product image is crucial to converting visitors into buyers. The idea of repurposing these high-converting images and learning how to advertise on Instagram on a photo-sharing platform definitely makes sense.

Additionally, Instagram advertising lets you control where and who sees your ads. As opposed to paid partnerships, you have complete control over your ads. You have only to decide how much you want to spend on ads, where to send people who click on them, and who you want to reach with them.  

Your business can benefit from Instagram ads in the following ways:

  • A platform that is easy to use
  • Pricing that is scalable
  • A robust reporting system so you’re always improving

Advertising on Instagram has the advantage of reaching thousands of engaged users without interfering with their browsing experience. Instagram ads are almost identical to the posts users share on the platform. User interactions with native ads are 40% higher than those with display ads, according to the Mobile Marketing Association. An eye-opening statistic for those looking to invest in new advertising channels.

Cost of Advertising on Instagram

Saving the best for last. So, how much does it cost to place ads on Instagram? What is the click or conversion cost and how does it affect my ROI (Rate of Investment)?

The simple answer to the question is the CPC (cost per click) on Instagram is approximately $0.70 to $1.00. In the more competitive industries, like apparel, the cost for ads can go as high per click as $3.00. There are ways to keep your costs low. 

CPC Rates

However, it’s not that simple. Different demographics garner higher CPC rates. The age groups of 18-24 and 35-44 are the most valuable when it comes to marketing on Instagram. 

Additionally, the ad costs for brands on Facebook are higher when brands target women. On Instagram, the male presence is not as strong as females, so you won’t see as many clicks from men.

ROI Rates

However, on ROI (rate of return) ads on Instagram have the highest rate of engagement of all the digital ad positionings. What this means is that sometimes you pay a bit more for the click or 1,000 impressions and still be a winner.

Research has shown that users who are on Instagram are inclined to spend $65 per sale, while users on Facebook spend $55 and only $46 is spent on Twitter.

Additionally, posts on Instagram have a conversion rate of 1.08% second to Facebook’s conversion rate of 1.85%. However, Instagram exceeds Twitter where the conversion rate is 0.77%, and Pinterest at 0.54%. 

Learn more about Instagram ads budget.

Types of Instagram Ads

Here are some types of Instagram ads you can use for your campaigns:

  • Video ads
  • Photo ads 
  • Carousel ads 
  • Stories ads
  • Collection ads

1. Video ads

Videos on Instagram can be 60 seconds long, and they can either be square or landscape in format. Compared to the previous 15-second limit, you now have much more room to promote your business.

2. Photo ads

The photo ad consists of a single image in square or landscape format. As far as visual assets go, these are the simplest to create because all you need is one image.

3. Carousel ads

By swiping through these, people can see 2-10 videos or images. 

4. Stories ads 

As with Snapchat, Instagram Stories allow businesses to share self-destructing visual content. Insta Stories let you share videos and images.

5. Collection ads

A collection ad appears as a video in the user’s feed, like a video ad. They are actually a series of still images that play like a video slideshow. You can also add audio and text to an Instagram collection ad. 

Learn more about different types of Instagram ads.

How to Advertise Your Business on Instagram

To set up Instagram ad campaigns, you first need to connect the Instagram account to the Facebook account. The advertisement will be created with Facebook Power Editor. Under the settings tab in Facebook, you will see the Instagram ads option. 

Click on it and add an account. Here you will have to enter the username and password for your Instagram account. Confirm these details and click.

Next, you have to select the type of ad that you want. Here you can select from three main objectives for your ads. They could be for clicks for your website, video views or installing mobile apps. 

  • Choose an image ad that will have a normal photo with a button that will link the user for clicks. 
  • Choose a video ad that will also have a button but will be in video format. 
  • Choose a Carousel ad that has a series of images to look through. 

Depending on the type of ad you choose, you can accomplish your goal. 

Set your target audience once you have selected the type of ad. You can select the locations, age, and gender of the people you want your ad to reach. There are more detailed options to limit your audience further but these are the basics that will help you reach the people you want. Using this targeting option properly can make quite a big difference.

You can attract your audience with a great ad and see how it boosts your business in more ways than one. An advertisement can be used to build on the brand image along with generating more sales.

Below let’s look at the best tips to advertise on Instagram.

How To Advertise on Instagram: 6 Best Tips

Optimizing your ad for Instagram is what you’re going to need to focus on. There’s a lot that goes into creating just one, single ad. The time, the effort and the energy spent crafting the ad to perfection, making sure that you’ve covered all your bases is a very challenging process. 

Not to mention trying to juggle all of that while sticking to your advertising budget at the same time. Phew! It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed.

4C Insights had a report in 2017 that revealed that social media expenditure was up by almost 62%, and this was year-over-year. Some brands are still new to this scene and trying to figure out how best to work Instagram’s advertising ad aspects to their advantage, all the while trying not to overspend from the budget which has been set (yes, you do need to set a budget).

If you’re looking to get the most out of your Instagram advertising without feeling like you’re about to break the bank doing so, here are some great tips for you to keep in mind:

1. Start with Your Wisest Objectives

It can be hard to narrow it down because it feels like there is so much you would like to achieve with just one ad, but you must start by choosing only your wisest objectives. The ones which are going to make the most sense for your business and bring in the most results.

Otherwise, you’re going to end up with an ad that is trying to do far too much at once, and at the end of the day, it ends up not being very effective at all.

It is always trial and error though when you’re attempting to set up new ads, especially in the beginning, so don’t get too frustrated and allow yourself some time to adjust to the process and get the feel of how things work best. Also, your objectives should be something that you can easily track, so you’ll know if your advertising efforts are producing the results that you want.

2. Naming Your Campaigns

This is a fun little way you can keep track of your campaigns. Give them a unique name of their own! It may seem like a silly (maybe even unnecessary) step, but you’d be surprised at just how effective it can prove to be. True, it isn’t going to do much in terms of saving you big bucks, but what it is going to save you is a lot of time.

Naming your ad is like a tracking system that is going to keep you organized, and it helps you keep track of what works and what didn’t. You can pick your campaign names according to campaign type, country, network, demographics, language, and basically anything that you’d like.

That way, in future brainstorming sessions, instead of saying Oh, remember that one campaign we did? That didn’t go very well, what you would say instead is Oh, remember the Fantastic Feasts campaign we did? And you and your entire team will know at once which campaign is being referred to without having to comb through various data just looking for the specific one.

3. Choosing Your Placements

To minimize the errors which might happen during your ad process, it is important to scroll through Instagram’s ad manager tool and check out the placement selection that they have. Do this step before you start selecting your target audience because it is going to help you decide if this ad is going to actually work well on Instagram, or if it would be best on another social media platform altogether.

Sprout Social’s Media Buyer Shelby Cunningham pointed out that “a good reason to always edit your ad placements was because it would allow you to better track the performance of that ad on the platform.”. Cunningham also went on to point out having Instagram ads separated from Facebook ads will help you optimize the ad for the specific platform.

4. Choosing Your Audience

This is going to be the tipping point for your ad. Choosing the right audience is going to determine if your ad is a success or failure. Setting the right type of audience for your ad is how you focus and zoom in on who your core target audiences are.

You’ll save yourself a lot of time and money when you target the right audience group from the very beginning too. Fine-tuning your reach is how you avoid spending precious advertising dollars hitting the wrong groups of people who aren’t going to bring you any tangible results.

To fine-tune your audience, reach, select them based on age, gender, location, language, demographics, behavior, and connections to name just a few. 

Once you have selected the right audience group for your ad, you’ll see the option of “Audience Definition” on your Ads manager display. Make use of this function, because it is going to tell you if you have targeted your audience too broadly or too specifically.

5. Choosing Your Budget and Your Schedule

You’ll be pleased to know that your Instagram advertising budget is going to be completely customizable depending upon your needs. With Instagram, you have the option of choosing between a daily budget and a lifetime budget.

Now, because Instagram advertising runs on the same platform as Facebook ads manager, what happens with the daily budget is that Facebook will spend a fixed or designated amount to help you deliver your ads each day on the campaign dates that you selected.

The lifetime budget option lets you choose the amount you would be willing to spend during the dates of your ad campaign. Once you’ve chosen the budget of your choice, you will then select the schedule for which your ad will run. This will depend on the timeframe which you have set when you were planning the campaign in the initial stages. It is recommended that you choose the option on Instagram that states run my ad continuously starting today if you are looking to build brand awareness.

6. Choosing Your Ad Format

Once you’re all done setting your budget, schedule and even narrowing down your target audience, the following step of the process is to choose the Instagram ad format that you are going to go with.

If you’re on a tight budget, you’re going to want to take your time carefully selecting the best ad format, so you get the most out of it. Different ad formats will produce different results, and with Instagram, the six different types of ad formats that you get to choose from are Carousel Ads, Single Image Ads, Single Video Ads, Slideshow, Instagram Stories Single Video, and Instagram Stories Single Image. Each option has its own pros and cons that come with it:

Carousel Ads

The pro with this option is that you’re able to show multiple images or videos, which means that you keep your audience engaged for much longer. The cons with this one is that you run the risk of spending far too much on additional visuals, with a very real possibility that it could be skipped by the viewer anyway.

Single Image Ads

The pros include it is great for testing CTAs and copying over visuals. The con would be that it doesn’t drive as much engagement from the viewers, compared to other ad formats.

Single Video Ads: The pros include that it is likely to drive more engagement than single image ads to tell your story. The cons include being a costly option to create, especially highly visual videos which you will need in order to drive the most engagement.

Slideshow Ads

The pros include that you can add music to the background and that this option is great for users with slow internet connection speeds because it loads a lot faster than video content. The con is that it is the least-used ad format because it takes a lot of time to create this type of ad format.

Instagram Stories Single Image Ads

Pros include that it is great for drawing in the younger demographic especially, and it is growing in popularity right now. The cons are that it is easy to quickly skip over your ad, which means that you run the risk of limited audience engagement.

Instagram Stories Single Video

The pros with this one include that it is a great way to tell your story in a quick, concise, and memorable format (because you only have 15 seconds to do so). The cons include that it is sometimes difficult to only tell a story that is 15 seconds long.

How to Write Instagram Ad Copy

1. Short and Appealing Text for Ads

Most people’s attention span in this day and age is short and on social media networks like Instagram, the attention is even shorter. When you write a copy, it needs to be short, direct, and to the point.

Instagram does give you the ability to write ads with long copies, but most people want all the news in a nutshell. Keep the text to your ad limited to no more than 200 characters and less if you can. (Karlson, Karola, 2018)

2. Actionable Ad Words

The part of the brain that makes decisions is said to be the most primitive and uncomplicated. It acts on actionable and simple words. Words that are actionable are “try, purchase, get, start, register, learn, read, and save”.

An example of this is “Buy one pair and get the second at half off.” The response may be even greater if you add urgency to your copy by stating the offer is limited. Some wording could be “Offer extended one extra day to 12 midnight tonight” or “Today only, 75% on all items.” (Karlson, Karola, 2018)

3. Highlight the Benefit

For most customers, it may not be how it looks, but what they’re going, to derive from buying and using the product.

The ad image shows people how your product looks, and that’s the copy that communicates the product and its tremendous benefits.

How To Get a Higher ROI with Instagram Ads

Instagram is a part of Facebook’s advertising network, meaning that Instagram feeds will be combined with the Facebook feed and other placements.

In order to maximize a campaign’s ROI, use Facebook’s option of automatic placements, or a few designated placements, and use the Instagram campaign reports checking if showing your ad in a placement you’ve chosen is a good place for your campaign. 

Instagram Ad Bidding

Ad bidding on Instagram is done just the same way as ad bidding on Facebook. They both are managed on the same platform, so it makes sense. What this means is that you publish a campaign, you move into an auction that is worldwide and the goal is getting people’s attention. (Karlson, Karola, 2018)

Three elements that influence advertising cost:

  • Campaign bid on Facebook – Facebook will deliver ads the more you want to pay.
  • Relevance score – Facebook ranks its delivery in a bidding auction according to an ads’ relevance score. This will affect the ad results cost.
  • Action Rates – Your estimated action rates are determined on Facebook by taking the Advertising Bid and adding it to Ad Relevance and Quality plus Estimated Action equals the Cost.

Final Words

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of how to advertise on Instagram. Take the time to understand the options available to you and build your campaigns. Soon, you’ll see how Instagram marketing can deliver targeted customers that boost your sales.

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