June 8, 2023

Your Guide to Getting Started with Instagram Ads

With Instagram boasting 500 million + daily users and 1 billion active users on a monthly basis, now is the perfect time to jump in as a business, brand, or advertiser.

And if you are familiar with how Facebook Ads work, you’ll love Instagram, as they use the same powerful advertising tools. This means you will be able to set up, determine a budget, and track your ads all within the application or through their ad manager. But, before you can jump in and run your ads, there’s quite a bit you need to know first.

Getting Started with Instagram Ads

What Is Instagram Advertising?

Don’t expect to see any text advertising at all.

Instagram is a visual platform through and through, meaning that text ads are not a thing. So, be prepared to have images on hand, videos to share, and a story to tell. You can, of course, accompany your ads with short bursts of text but the main thrust of Instagram ads will be visual in nature. The types of ads you can run with Instagram include

  • Stories ads are exactly what they sound like. Ads that are displayed as a story through Instagram’s “story” feature. With over 500 million Instagram accounts using stories on a daily basis, businesses can find a lot of success in using them.
  • Photo ads allow you to tell a story through a simple yet beautiful image. The only way users can tell it is an advertisement is through the “sponsored” text in the top right-hand corner of the image and the call-to-action button you’ve placed above the comment, heart, and share buttons.
  • Video ads are similar to photo ads in format, but they have the added features of sound, motion, and sight. Video ads can be up to 120 seconds long and are available in square or landscape format.
  • Carousel ads are very similar to photo ads, but they allow you to add additional images or videos to be swiped through. This builds a more layered and in-depth advertisement.
  • Collection ads are where Instagram branches out a little bit. Collections allow you to put together a gallery of products for your audience to discover, browse through, and share with others. You can use images, videos, or both in the collection and each product will have a spot for a name and pricing.

The last way you can reach people with Instagram ads is through the “explore” function, which is where people go to discover new brands, people, and businesses to follow. This explore tab shows users curated content that is similar to what they’ve already liked. You can place your ad within this explore tab and catch the eyes of millions of users.

What Do You Need to Get Started?

A Facebook account. Yep. That’s because Instagram is owned by Facebook which means that all of the advertising done on Instagram comes from the use of Facebook Ads API. For larger campaigns, you will be able to use Facebook’s Business Manager software which is a bonus.

You will also want an Instagram business account. Not required, but it allows you to respond to those who comment on your ads. Once you have an Instagram business account open, simply attach your Facebook Business Page or the Business Manager software to the account through your Instagram profile settings.

  • Head to settings and edit your profile.
  • Find “Public Business Info” and select the page option.
  • Choose the page you want to connect to.
  • Tap done.

Are There Any Ad Guidelines That Must Be Followed?

If you are not familiar with Facebook’s advertising guidelines, definitely give them a read-over as they bridge over to Instagram. Here is a short rundown of the major ones you need to know.

  1. Any text cannot cover more than 20% of the ad’s image area.
  2. You cannot feature illegal items in your ads. This includes tobacco, adult content, weapons, and paraphernalia.
  3. Instagram ads can only be used for 1 of 4 objectives at a time. Either website clicks, mobile app downloads, video views, or mass awareness. Choose your goal wisely.
  4. Instagram ads go through approval and require the images and videos to be of high quality. Images should be square and are at least 1080 by 1080 pixels. Any unprofessional cropping, letterboxing, blurriness, or low resolutions will be rejected.
  5. Copy must be legible, clean, and concise. It must relate to your image as well.

Why Instagram Ads?

With 120.7 million Instagram users from the United States alone and the average user spending 28-minutes a day on the app, Instagram has a lot to offer advertisers. Because it is an image-heavy platform, ads are easy to digest and understand which lends itself to a higher engagement rate. Plus, you can build brand reputation and identity and connect other social media platforms to the site for easy use.

Need help with Instagram Ads? Contact us today to discuss a personalized strategy for your business.

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