A Quick-Start Guide To Creating Your First Instagram Ad

Instagram is one of the most powerful apps in the social media landscape, with an engagement rate that exceeds that of Facebook or Twitter.

Having a strong social media presence is extremely important these days, especially if you own an online business that needs more visibility.

Even when you’ve already reached your target audience and you feel like you have done everything in your online marketing playbook, there is always room to improve your brand awareness, consideration and conversions.

Instagram is one of the most powerful apps in the social media landscape, with an engagement rate that exceeds that of Facebook or Twitter. It can help individuals, public figures and brands create visual content based profiles that have the power to increase popularity and influence. This kind of visibility leads to increased reach and often more profit.


Set Instagram ad goals

Here’s a look at why (and how) brands are using Instagram to build their businesses via direct case studies.


Source: Iconosquare
Source: Iconosquare


  • M.Gemi wanted to expand its advertising efforts by retargeting people on Instagram who have interacted with its Facebook ads. It aimed to increase brand awareness and drive online purchases for both its women’s and men’s product lines. They retargeted their existing Facebook audience on Instagram with pre-tested creative, which lowered the cost per acquisition.

  • Dagne Dover’s primary objective was to increase online sales of its various product lines, but it also wanted to drive more traffic to its website to introduce more people to its brand. So, they created and targeted customer profiles with Instagram ads, resulting in a double-digit return on ad spend.

  • The Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series wanted to raise brand awareness and reach more runners in a short period of time, with the ultimate goal of increasing online registrations for its 2016 events during its annual one-day worldwide sale. So, they created targeted carousel ads to promote its one-day sale, resulting in a double-digit return on ad spend.


How to use Instagram ads

Instagram Ads basically work like any other social media platform with an ads feature. Although it is simple to understand the flow and to set up the ads, there are a few basic things that you should know about Instagram ads before you start advertising:


  • You must have an active Facebook page

  • You need a Facebook ad account

  • You must set a call-to-action

  • You must set a budget

  • You need visual content such as a square image, a landscape image or a 60 seconds long video


Create your first Instagram ad

Creating Instagram Ads is a seamless experience, given that you connect your Instagram account to your Facebook Brand Page. Follow the steps below to setup your first ad.


1. Create an instagram business profile

First, create an Instagram account, if you don’t already have one. Then switch your account from a personal to a business profile. Here’s a helpful video below to get started.



2. Connect your Facebook page to your Instagram account

It all starts from Facebook. Access the Settings tab in your Facebook page and click the Instagram Ads option. Click on “Add an account” and then on the radio button next to the option “Add an existing account”. Then fill in the username (without the @ symbol) and password of your Instagram account. Click on “Confirm” when you’re done and you’re set.


Photo: © YFS Magazine
Photo: © YFS Magazine


3. Manage Instagram ads using the Facebook Ad Manager

From your Facebook page, access Ads Manager and then click on Power Editor (Note: this feature is currently unavailable on the Safari web browser and mobile devices). You will be asked to re-enter your Facebook password.


Photo: © YFS Magazine
Photo: © YFS Magazine


4. Create a new campaign

Before an ad can be published, you must choose the campaign objective (i.e. marketing objective). Next, you can click “Continue” to create your new campaign and begin the setup of your first ad.

Then you will create your Ad Set which includes traffic, audience, placements and budget/schedule details. You can configure your ad audience using demographics shown or a “Saved Audience” that you have already created.


Photo: © YFS Magazine
Photo: © YFS Magazine

Then you can select which ad placements you’d like to use. Depending on the type of ad you want to run and its design, you have the option of showing it in up to 4 types of places:


  • Facebook feeds (mobile and desktop)

  • Facebook right column

  • Instagram

  • Audience Network


Photo: © YFS Magazine
Photo: © YFS Magazine

Select Instagram under ad placements and then complete the remaining budget and schedule details using radio buttons, dropdown lists and advanced delivery settings. After deciding on the details, you will observe an estimate of people that your ad can reach on the right side of the screen.

Note: Don’t forget to select the “Instagram” ad placement. If you forget, your ad will only be displayed on Facebook. Should you want visibility exclusively on Instagram, unclick the other options listed.


5. Create your ad

Instagram Ads lets you select from four ad formats and choose the images and links that appear in your ads.


Photo: © YFS Magazine
Photo: © YFS Magazine

Once you select an ad format you can choose the images or video that your ad will display. During this step, enter a URL, headline (this won’t appear in all placements), text (i.e. ad copy) and an optional call to action button that matches the action you want people to take when they see your ad.


Photo: © YFS Magazine
Photo: © YFS Magazine

The only thing that you need to do next is review your order and then publish the ad. When you’re done, click on “Place Order”.


Don’t forget that you can review your ad performance in Facebook’s Ad Manager, under Performance and Clicks.

Place and test various ads once you get used to the process and optimize them based on the analytics provided in your Ad Manager menu. Good luck!


This article has been edited and condensed.

Nick Denek, an 

SEO expert and avid fisher, is a writer for seekwee.com, he is in charge of reviewing and testing different products. Connect with @seekweenetwork on Twitter.


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