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How to run Instagram Ads Step by Step Guides

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How to run Instagram Ads

We all know that Instagram is an effective way to generate sales, build engagement and awareness, a current statistics state that 75% of users take action on Instagram such as visiting a website or making a purchase, after looking at an Instagram ad

Quick Reminder: Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, it uses Facebook’s advertising platform. So even though this guide is about how to run Instagram Ads, all of the ad setup, budgeting, scheduling, and creation are done through Facebook.

How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost?

“The cost of Instagram ads are influenced by many factors — everything from your audience to your ad feedback,” says Andrew Tate from AdEspresso. “There’s a lot that goes into understanding how to run Instagram Ads.”

Though the cost of your specific Instagram ad will be unique to you (after all, not all ads are the same), the average cost-per-click for Instagram ads is around $0.70 – $0.80. This figure comes from an analysis of more than $300 million of ad spend and this is around N252 – N288 in Naira

The 2 ways you can advertise on Instagram

There are 2 ways you can go about advertising on Instagram and they are

  • With Facebook Ads Manager
  • With Instagram

The Facebook Ads manager has more functionality than advertising within Instagram; this article will focus on Advertising on Instagram using the Facebook Ads Manager

What this article will cover?

We’ve broken the process down into 4 key steps: campaign objective, targeting, creative, and tracking.

The campaign objective is the goal or desired outcome of your Instagram advertising campaign, whether that’s increasing brand awareness, generating traffic, or making sales.

Targeting is about finding audience groups that are most likely to help you achieve your campaign objective.

Creative is the creation of images, videos, slogans, and call-to-actions that motivate Instagram users to engage with your ad.

Tracking is the process of measuring the results and impact of your Instagram advertising campaign according to the objective you set.

Creating Your Campaign Objectives

how to run instagram ads

What is a campaign objective? A campaign objective is what you want people to do when they see your ads.

Instagram offers several campaign objectives, you can select from a pre-made list — and the objective you choose will influence how your ads are optimized and how you pay for them.

For example, if your goal is to get more Brand Awareness, Link Clicks on your ad will be less of a priority.

You may already be familiar with campaign objectives from creating Facebook ads. However, not all campaign objectives available for Facebook can be used on Instagram.

On Instagram, the campaign objectives you can choose from are as follows:

Brand awareness: This is the most standard goal that will try to show your ads to more potential people likely to be interested. How does Instagram determine this? It’s a secret, but this goal will likely expose some new and relevant folks to your brand

Reach: If reach is what you’re looking for (as in maximizing how many people see your ads) then you’ll just need to be sure to select your Instagram account when creating the ad itself. It’s also worth noting that if you’re looking to run an Instagram Story ad “reach” is currently the only objective you can choose

Traffic: If you’re looking to send more people to your website or app store to download your app, this is the appropriate goal for you. The only additional steps you’ll need to take is choosing between those two options, then enter the URL of choice, and let the traffic jam in!

App installs: Send people to the store where they can purchase and download your app

Engagement: Who doesn’t want more likes, shares, and overall engagement? If your goal is engagement, one thing to note is that you currently can only pay for “post engagement” on Instagram. Facebook will allow you to pay for “page engagement” and “event responses,” but this is not currently available to Instagram.

Video Views: Videos are often an investment of time and money. Luckily, this goal is very straightforward and doesn’t require additional setup steps.

Lead Generation: Who doesn’t want more leads? If that is your main goal this objective is for you. Just note that lead generation ads do not provide all of the same pre-filled fields as Facebook. Instagram currently only supports email, full name, phone number, and gender. These ads also have more of a barrier than Facebook lead generation ads, since when leads click to open the ad they’ll need to click through to fill out their information. On Facebook, leads can fill out their information without all the additional clicking.

Conversions: Get people to take valuable actions on your website or app, such as adding payment info or making a purchase

If your objective is to sell eCommerce products (conversions) or to run a remarketing campaign for users who visit your website, you have to create and install a Facebook pixel first.

As we mentioned above, a Facebook pixel is a small piece of code that you can place on your website to track visitors and conversions.

Create a Facebook pixel

  • Go to your Pixels tab in Events Manager.
  • Click Create a Pixel.
  • Read how the pixel works, then click Continue.
  • Add your Pixel Name.
  • Enter your website URL to check for easy setup options.
  • Click Continue.

Add the Facebook pixel to your website

Once you’ve created your pixel, you’re ready to put the Facebook pixel code on your website. For instructions on how to do this, choose your setup option:

  • Manually add pixel code to the website
  • Use a partner integration
  • Email instructions

If you have a Facebook pixel on your website, when someone clicks on your Instagram ads, visits your website, and purchases one of your products, the pixel tells Facebook that a conversion occurred.

Facebook then matches that conversion against the set of people who clicked on your Instagram ads so that you can see how many sales you made from that ad.

Setting Up Your Instagram Advertising Targeting

how to run instagram ads

Instagram ads targeting is about trying to find the best person to advertise to — as in, who is the most likely to perform the action you specified in your campaign objective.

For example, if you’re a business that sells Organic Skin Products, you’re going to try and target people who are most likely to purchase your products.

Luckily, Instagram ads have all the same targeting options as Facebook ads, including targeting based on location, demographics, interests, behaviour, and more.

Location: Whether you want to target a country, region, state, city, zip code, exclude or include certain places, location targeting will allow you to do all of this and more.

Age: Allows you to target ranges from age 13 to 65+

Gender: Choose between all, men, or women

Languages: Facebook recommends leaving this blank unless the language you’re targeting is not common to the location you’re targeting.

Demographics: Under “Detailed Targeting” you’ll find demographics, which has several sub-categories with even more sub-categories under those. For instance, you can target “Demographics” > “Home” > “Home Ownership” > “Renters.”

Interests: Interests are also under “Detailed Targeting” with multiple sub-categories to dig into. For instance, if you’re looking for people interested in distilled beverages, science fiction movies, and aviation, those options are available for you!

Behaviours: And yet another “Detailed Targeting” option with multiple sub-categories to explore. Whether it is purchasing behaviours, job roles, anniversaries, or other behaviours the options seem endless.

You also have the option to create a Custom Audience to reach people who have already interacted with your business, or a Lookalike Audience to reach new people on Facebook who are similar to your most valuable audiences.

Custom Audiences: Facebook Custom Audiences are groups of people who have already visited your website or shared their contact info with you.

Ads targeting these groups tend to perform well because they’ve already expressed an interest in your business!

When you build a custom audience, you don’t select any of Facebook’s built-in targeting options.

Instead, you upload a database of emails or phone numbers and Facebook matches those up with Facebook users. You can then target ads to this audience on Instagram.

Using an eCommerce business, for example, if you collect information about your audience (email, phone number, first and last name, city, state/province, country, etc.) through a newsletter, surveys, interviews, or otherwise, you can upload this data to Facebook’s Ads Manager.

  • Simply navigate to the Ads Manager, open Tools
  • Click the Create New dropdown and select the Custom Audience.
  • Next, select Add customers from your file.
  • After uploading your data, Facebook will create a new custom audience that you can target with your Instagram ads.

Lookalike Audiences: A Facebook Lookalike Audience is a type of custom audience that allows you to create super-specific targeting for your ads.

These audiences tend to convert well because they target people who are most like your established customers!

Lookalike Audiences let you take your custom audience and then serve ads to people who are similar to that audience.

Facebook identifies the common qualities of the people in your audience, such as demographics or interests, and then finds people who are similar to them in the country you choose

Building Your Instagram Advertising Creative

Building your Instagram ad creative is part art and part science. Before you get started, you need to think about what your objective is, who you’re trying to reach, and what kind of message and tone will motivate your followers to engage with your ad.

There are three different kinds of Instagram ads that you can choose from: photo ads, Carousel ads, slideshow ads, and video ads. Here is a brief description of them

Instagram photo ads: With photo ads, businesses can tell their story and feature products through visually engaging imagery. If you’re just getting started with Instagram advertising, it’s best to stick with photo ads. They’re the easiest to set up and tend to perform quite well.

Instagram Carousel ads: When it makes strategic sense to showcase multiple products (or multiple users of a single product), Carousel ads are a great option.

With Carousel ads, Instagram users can swipe to see additional images, and a call-to-action button takes them to a website to learn more.

Instagram video ads: You can make Instagram video ads up to 60 seconds long. If you don’t hook your viewers in the first five seconds, you risk losing them forever. When designing new video ads, try creating content that blends organically into your followers’ feeds.

It’s also a good idea to stick to a single theme or focus. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your audience with a ton of information!

Instagram Slideshow Ads: With Instagram slideshow ads, advertisers can create lightweight video ads from a series of still photos. That way, businesses that don’t have time or resources to create video content, can quickly create videos from assets they already have!

Some businesses also see great results by basing their ads off user-generated content (UGC). If you’re promoting a product in your Instagram ads, try showcasing it in real-life situations that your audience can relate to.

For example, for an eCommerce business that sells Organic Skincare Products, it would make sense to feature images of people using your product.

Now that you know how to set objectives, target audiences, and build your creativity, it’s time to create your first Instagram ad!

At the most basic level, your campaign needs to target a specific country, gender (if promoting a gender-specific offer), and age group. For example, your campaign could target women aged 18 to 40 who live in big fashion-forward cities.

But it’s better to get as narrow as possible with your target marketing! The more targeted your ads are to the right audience, the better chance they have of achieving your campaign objective.

You also have the option to create a Custom Audience to reach people who have already interacted with your business, or a Lookalike Audience to reach new people on Facebook who are similar to your most valuable audiences.

Step 1: Link Your Instagram Account to Your Facebook Page

The first step to creating an Instagram ad is to connect your Instagram account to your Facebook page.

  • Head over to the settings area of your Facebook page (you need to be an administrator) and click on Instagram Ads.
  • Next, click Add your Instagram to get started and fill in your Instagram login credentials. When you’re finished click Confirm.

Step 2: Create a Campaign

  • Next, head over to the Facebook Ads Manager and click on “+ Create Campaign” near the top left corner of the screen.
  • This is where you pick your campaign objective.
  • Remember, if your goal is to increase conversions, you need to have a conversion pixel installed on your website.
  • You can do this by selecting “Create a Pixel” on the Create New Ad Set Page.

Step 3: Create Your Ad Set

Once you’ve chosen an objective, it’s time to create your Ad Set. This is where you define who you want to see your ads, and how much money you want to spend.

If you have any Custom Audiences already created, you can select them for targeting with your Instagram ads at this point.

There are two options for your budget, daily budget, and lifetime budget.

A daily budget sets your ad up to run continuously throughout the day, meaning that the algorithm will automatically pace your spending per day.

A lifetime budget sets your ad up to run for a specified length of time, meaning the ads algorithm paces your spending over that entire period.

If you’re just starting, it’s better to start low with your ad spend. You can always increase the budget later if your ad performs well.

When you’re finished choosing who to target and how much to spend, click Continue at the bottom of the page.

On the next screen, you’ll see an option for whether you want to use a single image or video in your ad, or if you want to use multiple images for a Carousel ad. Once you’ve decided, scroll down to upload your images or videos.

After you’ve uploaded your visuals, scroll down further to find an option to add text to your ad. Here you can pick your headline and text caption.

If you chose traffic or conversions as your campaign objective, you’ll also be able to customize the call-to-action in your link button. There are several different options for your button, and they vary based on the page you’re sending your visitors to.

Your call-to-action has a huge effect on your campaign’s click-through and conversion rate, so make sure you pick something relevant to your offer and target audience.

You can also click Show Advanced Options for additional creative options. However, keep in mind that creative options may differ based on the objective you chose.

Finally, to the right of the text editor, you’ll be able to preview how your ad will look on Instagram. You can also see how your ad would look in other formats.

You can run the ad on Facebook and Instagram, but if you only want to run it on Instagram, make sure the other distribution options have been removed.

Once everything looks good, click Confirm

Track Your Engagement and Conversions

Unless you strike it lucky and have a successful campaign from day one, just launching your Instagram ad and hoping for the best is unlikely to produce great results.

Instead, you need to edit and optimize your Instagram advertising campaign as it runs!

When choosing which tool to track your Instagram advertising campaign, you’ll want to consider both your company size and the number of ads you plan to run:

If you’re managing a large number of campaigns, or you’re looking for really precise control over your campaigns, you might want to use the Power Editor.

If you’re part of a large team, then Facebook’s Business Manager is probably best.

If you’re just starting with Instagram advertising, Facebook’s traditional Ads Manager should suit your needs fine.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and a member of our team will get back to you

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