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  • Gail Malcolm

Social Ads 101: Beginner's Guide to Instagram Ads

Want to know a secret? You can advertise on Instagram by using Facebook Ads Manager! No idea how to use Ads Manager? That’s okay – you can learn how to by reading our Beginners Guide to Facebook Ads.

You don’t even need to have an Instagram account to advertise – just a Facebook account. When creating your ad in Ads Manager, just make sure that Instagram is selected as one of your advertising placements.

If you’re not using Facebook, that’s okay! We’ll still tell you what you need to know to advertise on Instagram.

Why Advertise?

Instagram now has 1 billion active users and this number is set to grow. With this many people searching for inspiration, Instagram could be a valuable advertising platform for your brand – especially if you have visually and aesthetically pleasing graphics and videos to showcase. We've talked before about the types of Instagram ads you can run: single image, video and carousel ads - but you may still have questions about how to create an advert that will help deliver results.

Last year, Instagram reported that over 120 million users visited a website, got directions, called, emailed or sent a direct message to learn more about a business from an Instagram ad. In addition, 60% of users said they discovered new products on the social network and 75% of users were inspired after seeing a post.

Sound good? Then let’s get advertising!

Run Ads Directly from Instagram

As we stated at the beginning of this article, you can use Ads Manager to advertise on Instagram. If you don’t want to advertise using Facebook Ads Manager, you can run your ads using Instagram on its own.

What you’ll need to do is make sure your Instagram profile is a Business Profile, have it connected to your Facebook Business Page and be an admin of this page. Learn how to do this here.

To promote a post, simply go to the post you want to use as your ad and tap “Promote”. You’ll be asked to fill out the details of your promotion by telling Instagram who you would like to reach, how much you want to spend and how long you want the promotion to run for. All that’s left to do is tap “Promote”!

To give your Instagram Business Page a little extra promotional oomph, certain Business Profiles can add Call to Action buttons to their profile. If you run an e-commerce business, you can add shopping tags to your images and set up an Instagram shop by connecting your Facebook Catalogue to your Instagram account.

To run an ad in Instagram Stories, you will need to use Facebook Ads Manager, the Creative Hub or the API. Bear in mind that not all Campaign Objectives in Ads Manager support Instagram Stories. The one’s that do are:

  • Reach

  • Video Views

  • Conversions

  • Traffic

  • App Installs

Instagram Best Practices

Instagram is the most inspirational and visual social network of them all - which means that great images and copy is essential! If you need help creating assets or social posts, get in touch - our design and community management team know exactly what works.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for when you’re posting content:

  • Use high-quality and eye-catching images

  • Edit your images by straightening them out, brightening them up or adding a filter

  • Develop a theme that will effectively convey your brand story

  • Include your brand colours and logo

  • Post consistently and keep your tone of voice relevant and engaging

  • Keep your videos to 60 seconds with an aspect ratio of 1:1

  • Use hashtags – but not too many! They will boost your post engagement and awareness of your brand. Keep them relevant to your content, industry and audience for best results.

Advertising on Instagram couldn’t be easier, right? So, what are you waiting for? Make a start today and see how you do. However, if you do need help or want to know how to make your posts better – we’re just a phone call or an email away

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