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Why You Should be Using Instagram Ads

02/08/2021 | Share:

To make an impact with your campaign on Instagram can seem pretty impossible. To be able to focus on the right people at the right time, delivering the right message takes time and patience. But, Instagram Ads are a powerful vehicle that helps you do precisely that. Almost 90% of Instagram users follow at least one brand, so this is a very viable project for you if done correctly.

In this post, you should learn everything you need to know to begin a successful Instagram ad campaign.

What are Instagram Ads?

Instagram ads are paid adverts of your desired content, with the plan being that a larger and more targeted audience is reached. Businesses typically use Instagram Ads to grow brand exposure, generate new leads, gain website traffic and ultimately make sales.

Instagram is a visual platform, so an image, set of images, or video (where text can be included) is the way to reach your target audience, with text ads being redundant.

The stats are pretty exciting and reveal just how profitable Instagram ads are. According to the network, 60% of users have discovered new products due to ads; they have so inspired 75% that they take action. In March of 2017, over 20 million users called, emailed, sent direct messages, or visited a brand website after seeing their Instagram ad.

The Different Types of Objectives you can use with Instagram Ads.

There are two platforms for Instagram ads; Instagram Feeds Ads and Instagram Stories (which are viewed by 500 million people daily!). Here’s what the objectives for both are:

Feed Ads: Brand Awareness, Lead Generation, Traffic, Reach, Engagement, Conversions, Store Traffic, Sales.
Stories: Brand Awareness, Lead Generation, Traffic, Conversions, Video Views.

While these objectives are intuitive, some have additional configuration steps:

Brand Awareness

This is the most common objective, where your ads will be shown to the users most likely to be interested in your brand. Instagram is fairly secretive in how this is determined, but we know that it works. Maybe it’s magic. Whatever the method, it is effective in reaching new and relevant users.


If you’re looking for reach (i.e., Maximizing the number of people who see the ads), you must select this when creating the ad.

You can also take advantage of the split testing feature, including Facebook, which lets you split test two ads to learn which one is the most popular. FYI: Split testing is available too for Conversion, Lead Generation, Video Views, App Installs, and Traffic goals.

Lead Generation

Instagram only supports gender, name, phone number, and email at the moment – this may change to be similar to Facebook, but there seems to be no current plans.

Instagram Ads have more of a barrier than those on Facebook, but if you provide users with a form to fill in their details, you reach the same end goal – it’s just that on Facebook, these details have already been stored, so there is no need for a user to re-fill a form.


Conversions drive your leads to take action and convert on your app or business website. An additional set-up here involves configuring either an app event or a Facebook pixel on the site you want to promote. This is how you will be able to track conversions and determine whether you made a return on your ad spend.

The Different Instagram Ad Formats

There are several ad formats for Instagram, including:

Image Ads: Allow businesses to use a single image for advertising their brand, services, or products. This format is best suited for campaigns with compelling visual content that can easily be conveyed through a singular image.

Stories Ads: Full-screen images or videos that are proven to reach high engagement with users. These ads should look natural, fitting, and not in-your-face commercials.

Video Ads: These allow users a closer look at the brand, services, or products. These ads can be up to an hour long, but the shorter the content, the more effective usually. The video can showcase the product or service, how it works, how it can make a difference, and why users need it.

Carousel Ads: Feature a series of videos or images that people can swipe through, with a call-to-action button, or swipe-up link, allowing users to head straight to your brand website. Carousel Ads can tell a multi-part story or showcase a collection of products and services. Up to 10 videos or images can be included.

Collection Ads: Best suited to e-commerce, Collection Ads showcase products or services directly from your range with the option to ‘purchase now.’ Users can also learn more about the product or service before purchasing by being directed to an Instagram Instant Experience Storefront.

Explore Ads: These appear in the Explore Tab, an area where users can discover new brands, accounts, and content based on their usage habits. This section is used by over half of all Instagram users monthly, so it is a great place to gain exposure. Top Tip: You can re-use existing ads for this.

IGTV Ads: These are 15-second long video clips that play after a user clicks to watch them on their feed. They begin to play midroll, with the option to skip, and are currently available to UK, US, and Australian users who have Instagram Creator accounts.

Shopping Ads: There are over 130 million users who tap shopping posts each month, so it makes sense that Instagram is heavily improving its features for e-commerce. With the shopping features, users can view and purchase products or services without leaving the app. To access this, you would need to have a shopping catalogue set up on your account.

This extensive range allows you to choose the best ad format to meet your specific business needs.

How Instagram Can Help You

Instagram Ads can be highly lucrative for a business; they provide ever-increasing opportunities, build a following for your brand, showcase your brand, and leverage higher engagement rates. It is also straightforward to create and upload ads to the network.

Instagram has fewer users and is newer than its parent company Facebook. It is, however, rapidly growing in popularity, and many marketers see higher ROI through Instagram ads than with other ad campaigns. With more than one billion monthly active users, Instagram advertising is something you should be considering with your e-commerce business.

With a good marketing strategy, your brand will reach a much larger and more targeted audience on Instagram through ads.

Instagram is also great for ecommerce. There are some top practices to use that are proven to be highly effective, such as collaborations and giveaways, high-quality and relevant content, relevant hashtags (11 is the golden number), and sharing user-generated content, like testimonials and reviews.

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