How to create Instagram ads

The explosion of social media has opened endless possibilities for advertising and visibility. Many companies now advertise on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But another platform is also proving to be very promising, and that is Instagram. While the addition of advertising content on this channel is relatively new, it is still powerful and offers advertisers unparalleled visibility, especially if your target audience is relatively young.

Why create an Instagram ad?

Every social network is different in its display and purpose, and in the profiles of its users, so you will need to create a separate ad or ads for Instagram, not duplicate those you already use on other social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Instagram by the numbers

How do I create an ad on Instagram?​

No matter which platform(s) you choose to advertise on, you will first need to establish your strategy: What is your target audience? What are your objectives with this advertising campaign? What is your budget? Can I create my ad myself or can I ask for help from web marketers?

To create your Instagram ad, you have 2 options: either you create it via your Facebook Ads Manager (Instagram has been a member of Facebook since 2012), or you create your ad via Instagram directly.

Via Facebook Ads Manager

Did you know that you can create an Instagram ad from your Facebook Ads Manager? Indeed, as Instagram belongs to Facebook, many tools can be used on these two platforms and will allow you, from one, to create an ad that can be used on the other.

Set up your goals:

Before you advertise, you will need to establish the goal(s) you want to achieve with your ad. Do you want to increase the traffic on your site? Acquire a greater notoriety? Increase your visibility on Instagram? Allow more user interaction?

Define your target audience:

If you are considering advertising on Instagram, you may want to target a young, social media-savvy audience, but you may also want to target users even more specifically. For example, you could target Internet users between the ages of 20 and 30, living in the Montreal area and who like specialty coffees, or young professionals who are passionate about travel in the South.

By knowing the tastes and habits of your target audience, it will be even easier to reach them where they are!

Define where you want to place your ad:

Just like on Facebook, Instagram offers you the possibility to post your ad in different places on the platform.

Your advertisement will blend in with other publications in the User News Feed; only the Sponsored mention will be displayed. This ad may consist of text with an image or a video, as desired.

A “story” on Instagram is a publication (text or video) or a series of publications that are posted online and automatically deleted after 24 hours. You may choose to publish your ad in this format.

The Explore page is a powerful marketing tool! If you already have an Instagram account, you can access it by pressing the magnifying glass at the bottom of your screen; you will then see a series of photos or videos to discover.

How can you make your ad be part of this very select group? All it takes is for your publication to be commented on by a user with hundreds or even thousands of subscribers, and your ad will instantly gain visibility.

In addition, you will need to know your subscribers’ points of interest, the type of content they like and who they follow, interact with your subscribers, publish the right content at peak times and, of course, use the appropriate hashtags. By applying these rules, you’ll increase your chances of ending up on the Explore feed!

IGTV is a video sharing application that allows the broadcasting of videos longer than those usually found on the platform (up to 1 hour, compared to 60 seconds in the news feed). This is your chance to present your products and services in more detail to users, and to create attractive and original content!

Define your budget

While creating an ad on Instagram will require an investment—just like any other platform—the amount of money you spend will vary depending on your needs, your budget and the type of ad. Indeed, you can opt for a maximum amount per day for your advertising campaign (daily) or for a budget based on the total duration of your campaign(s).

However, certain minimums exist for printing, number of clicks or interactions, application installation and use of an offer, among others.

Choose the format

Different formats are available for your ads. For example, for your Instagram publications, you can choose a campaign presented in the form of a photo with text, a carousel of several photos in the same publication, or a promotional video. Depending on your tastes and the type of products or services you wish to present, you may choose one or more of these options.

Finalize and publish your ad

Once you are done, you will need to check that all your company information is present… and correct, so that users are able to reach you! At this stage, you will also be able to add a call to action button (buy, subscribe to the newsletter, participate, etc.).

After a few days, you will be able to collect some data about your ad. You have zoned in on your target audience and the performance is there? Congratulations! If not, do not panic: a bit of re-optimization is probably necessary to increase the performance of your campaign. Re-evaluate your target audience or the format, time of publication, message, etc.

Advertising via Instagram

Of course, it is also possible to create your Instagram ad directly via the platform, provided of course that you have an account on the platform! You already have an account and one of your publications has been remarkably successful? It is possible to turn it into an advertisement in no time at all! In fact, all you have to do is go to that publication and click on the “Sponsor” button to quickly reach a large number of users, and then direct them to the destination of your choice, namely your Instagram profile or your website.

Define who you want to see your ad

Just like with an ad created via Facebook, you will be able to select which type of audience you wish to display your ad to. People looking for a new culinary experience, top athletes, theater lovers? Depending on your products, services, and objectives, you will be able to target the users most likely to be interested in your business and what you have to offer them.

Set a budget

As in the case of an Instagram ad made via Facebook, you will need to plan a larger or smaller budget for your social media advertising, depending on your means. But you don’t have to be a multinational company to advertise on Instagram!

Keep an eye on the statistics

Once your ad is online, you will be able to monitor its performance in terms of page views/video viewing, conversion rate, number of shares, etc. and correct it if necessary.

In conclusion

No matter how you create your Instagram ad, remember that it is a medium to long-term job and if you have 200 subscribers today, the chances of 300,000 tomorrow are almost non-existent. But by targeting the right audience, by proposing an attractive and striking advertisement and by using the tools provided by the platform, it will be much easier to get yourself noticed and to obtain, sooner or later, more success on social networks!

And don’t forget that the vast majority of Instagram users are under the age of 30, so if your products and services are aimed primarily at Millennials, it is in your best interest to use the channels favoured by this category of users, and Instagram is one of them!

Need help or advice in creating your Instagram ad? LeadStream’s digital marketing specialists can meet your needs and help you develop a digital strategy that reflects your image, while staying within your budget. Contact us today to get a quote on our products and services!

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