How to Get Started With Instagram Ads

By in Instagram Strategy, Uncategorized Feb 21, 2018

So you’ve come up with a plan for your Instagram ad campaign.
You’ve created some eye-catching content.
Written a pretty interesting call-to-action.

Only to get nothing in return…

Or maybe, you haven’t even started with Instagram ads yet?

Either way, if that’s the case, then this article will come in very handy.

Bookmark this page, save it to your Pocket, just do something so you can come back and refer to this guide for each Instagram ad you run. It’ll help you in the long-run with a successful campaign in market.

Instagram Ads: How To Get Started

Instagram ads are relatively easy to set-up. Providing you target the right audience and have an eye-catching piece of content with compelling copy, there’s no doubt in seeing success from your ad’s efforts. Take note of the following steps to get started with running a successful Instagram ad.

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Step 1 – Setting up your account

In order to run ads on the platform, you are required to connect your account with a Facebook page. It’s very simple and takes less than a minute. Follow the steps below…

  1. Navigate to your Facebook Page
  2. Click on the Settings tab
  3. Click ‘Instagram’ on the sidebar
  4. Connect your Instagram account

instagram ads

After you have connected your account, it should look something like the below:

instagram ads

Step 2 – Creating the Ad:

Now that you have got your account connected successfully, it’s time to begin creating the Instagram ad.

You will be required to use Facebook’s Power Editor in order to launch and manage your Instagram adverts.

Getting started is simple. Just head on over here, choose your ad account and then follow the steps below.

  1. Click the ‘Create Ad’ button in situated in the top right corner.
  2. Choose your objective for the ad:
      • Awareness:
        Brand Awareness (Reach people who are more likely to pay attention to your ads)
        Reach (Show your ad to the maximum number of people)
    • Consideration:
      Traffic (Send users to a destination on or off Facebook, like a website or app)
      Engagement (Get your ad displayed in front of people who are likely to engage with your post or page. Like, comment etc)
      App Installs (Promote your app to users on iOS and/or Android)
      Video Views (Promote videos to boost views and engagement. Behind-the-scenes content etc)
      Lead Generation (Collect lead information from those who are interested in your business)
      Messages (Get more people to start conversations with you via Messenger)
    • Conversion:
      Conversions (Encourage users to take valuable actions on your site like adding payment information or making a payment. Make sure to track using Facebook Pixels)
      Catalogue Sales (Create ads that automatically show items from your catalogue to targeted audiences)
      Store Visits (Promote business locations to increase store visits of those who are nearby)
  3. Give your campaign a suitable name. Then choose a suitable ad-set name.
  4. Fill out your target audience, try to be a quite specific but not limit yourself. Ideally, you want the find the perfect sweet spot where you aren’t too specific nor too broad.
  5. On the placements section, click the ‘Edit Placements’ text, then set the device type to ‘Mobile only’ after you have done that, you will then need to uncheck Facebook, Audience Network and Messenger. Leaving Instagram the only one to be the selected placement.
  6. Define the budget of your campaign and then schedule the advert. It’s also worth considering to set a daily budget and check back regularly to see how the ads are performing. Once every two days is fine.
    Depending on the ad objective you chose, you will now be required to fill out details for the ad.
  7. Locate the image for your ad and start the upload. I would recommend an image that is 1080px X 1080px with little to no text for the best results.
  8. Enter your text for the ad. Try to keep it short and to the point.
  9. Add a destination link for where your audience will be directed.
  10. Choose your desired call-to-action from the list drop down:
    • Shop Now
    • Sign Up
    • Watch More
    • Request Time
    • Apply Now
    • Book Now
    • Contact Us
    • Download
    • Get Showtimes
    • Learn More
    • Listen Now
    • Send Message
    • See Menu
  11. Once you have filled out the rest of the details, consider enabling your Facebook pixel if you have one set-up. This will allow you to see website activity and build more audiences for ad targeting.
  12. After you have double checked everything and are happy with how it looks. Go ahead and click ‘Confirm’.
  13. After you have successfully submitted your ad, it will join the queue for approving and then will be made public and start being displayed in front of your audience.

instagram ads

Best Practices for Instagram Ads:

When running Instagram ads, it’s important you ensure all your adverts are correctly set-up and optimised for the best results possible. After all, who wants to be running an advert that doesn’t perform at all?

Below are some best practices to keep in mind for your Instagram ads.


In order to get more engagement, reach and success on the platform, you should use an image that is 1080 pixels X 1080 pixels. Square format ads perform much better than the rectangular ad formats.

Text on Images:

Instagram ads are just like Facebook ads. Only 20% of an image can be text. Failing to comply with that will result in very low reach and potentially not even being approved. You’ve been warned!

Different Ads:

Some ad formats and objectives perform better than others. It’s worth running a few different ad formats and maybe different goals for the same campaign. This way, you can identify what works best for your audience to maximize your return on investment (ROI).

Catchy Captions:

If your caption isn’t very catchy, your ad might not perform as well as you thought. Having a catchy caption in place is vital to encourage your audience to make the move, whether that’s clicking a link, installing an app or engaging with your content.

I would recommend running a few different captions through CoSchedule’s headline analyzer. That way, you can see how powerful your caption CTA is and what power words you are/aren’t using.

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Take Care When Editing:

When you edit adverts for your Instagram, you should be extremely careful. Some changes will end up resetting your likes and comments from the previous ad. You’ll want to be very careful otherwise you’ll be almost starting from the beginning.

Video Advice:

If you are looking to use video content in your adverts, it’s worth keeping in mind that your videos can not be any longer than 30 seconds and must not be be more than 30MB. Anything below should be fine.

Ideas for Running Instagram Ads:

Aside from running Instagram adverts for your campaign, you can also run them to increase list growth, engagement and publicity. Below are a few ideas for running Instagram ads that will help with your brand success.


Running competitions on Instagram via an Instagram ad can help list and social growth. Whether you require your audience to give you their contact details or simply request them to follow you – competitions can be a success if planned out correctly.

Build a community:

If you don’t have much of a large or active following, it might be time to consider running an Instagram ad to help build your community. You could promote a post and request your audience to tag their friends or drop a comment. It’s good practice to then respond to all comments and build a strong relationship.

Increase brand awareness:

Instagram adverts are brilliant for increasing brand awareness. Identify the right audience, set the target locations and share high-quality content that is engaging and ideally unique, and then you’ll be on the road to a very successful Instagram campaign.

Measuring Success:

After you’ve pushed live your Instagram ad, it’s important to keep track and monitor it’s progress. By doing this on a regular occasion, documenting the results, you will be able to identify what works and what doesn’t. This will come in very handy for the future, when you then consider optimising and increasing your budget for the best performing ads that deliver the best quality traffic or leads.


Choosing the right objective, creating stunning attractive content and writing compelling copy is the key to a successful Instagram ad. Putting that in place with a successful Instagram growth strategy will help you dominate the platform.

Remember, running adverts won’t guarantee results. There are several key factors involved. You need to ensure your content is high-quality and to the standard where your audience want to engage and and maybe even reshare your content.

The best way to achieve this is to provide them value there and then. The less actions you can get them to do, the more they are likely to make the move. If you have any questions feel free to tweet me @_GarethG and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

Gareth is a versatile digital marketer with experience on various social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and many more. Gareth also writes various blog posts like this one.