How to Market on Instagram – Ultimate Guide

Many people are focused on advertising through Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and a number of other sites. But they often ignore Instagram. 

Instagram has fewer users compared to Facebook and they are also much younger. But its influence can make a huge difference. For many advertisers, Instagram ads have turned out to be more successful than they anticipated. There are different ad formats available that allow you to display visual stories. 

Currently, active Instagram users are estimated at 800 million. When you think about how big of a platform Instagram is, you may wonder how your little business will stand out. And that is the point of Instagram advertising. 

This post will teach you all there is to learn about Instagram advertising. 

Instagram Advertising: What Is It? 

This is an advertising method in which you pay to have your content sponsored and posted on Instagram to reach the relevant audience. Advertising is done for many reasons. In this case, it is done to generate new leads, increase website traffic, make your brand known and convert leads. 

On Instagram, visuals are everything so you won’t find text ads. You will need a video or images. 

Going by March 2017 statistics, Instagram advertising works. 75% of Instagram users said they were inspired to take action by a post. 

Should You Try Instagram Advertising for Your Business?

Unfortunately, Instagram is not the best idea if you are targeting an older audience. Over half of Instagrammers are 18 to 29 years old. Only about 15% are aged 50 years and above. 

More users (32%) also live in the urban areas and suburbs (28%). 18% live in the country. More women than men use Instagram but the gender gap is getting smaller. 

It is likely that more adults will migrate to Instagram with time.

Instagram advertising allows you to target specific behaviors, interests, locations, age ranges, gender, etc. 

How Much Will It Cost You to Advertise on Instagram?

You cannot get a straightforward answer to this question. There are different factors that determine the cost and the platform doesn’t reveal the factors. They use CPM (cost per impressions) and CPC (cost per click). Instagram uses their ad auction to determine prices. 

According to AdEspresso, the CPC ranges from $.0.70 to $0.80. Know that this number greatly varies depending on the day of the week, time of day, competition, etc. 

You can end up paying a lot depending on the ad engagement. But Instagram allows you to control your budget.

How to Start Instagram Advertising

It may all seem complicated but you will soon master it. If you have been using Facebook ads, this will be easy. The following steps will help you create ads using Facebook Ad Manager. 

Go to Facebook Ad Manager

Log in to Facebook and go to You will use the Facebook Ads UI for Instagram. 

Set Marketing Objective

What is the goal of your campaign? The goal names are self-explanatory so you won’t struggle. Your goal could be increasing traffic, brand awareness, etc. 

For Instagram advertising, these are the only goals you can work with:

  • Conversions (on your app or website)
  • Video views
  • Engagement
  • App installs
  • Traffic (for your app or website)
  • Reach
  • Brand awareness

Some of these goals will require additional steps. Take a look.

  • Brand awareness: this one is simple. It will ensure that the right people see your ad.
  • Reach: if you want more people to see your ads, select your account.
  • Traffic: all you have to do here is choose between an app and a website then input the URL.
  • Engagement: page engagement is not yet available on Instagram so you will be paying for post engagement.
  • App installs: choose the app store app while setting up.
  • Video views: no additional steps.
  • Lead generation: you will have to design a lead form.
  • Conversions: configure an app event or Facebook pixel.

Customize Target Audience

Configure your target audience based on the following:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Languages
  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Connections

Placement Selection

If you skip this step, the ads will be shown on Facebook and Instagram. For Instagram only, go to “Edit Placements” then choose where you want your ads to appear.

Budget and Ad Schedule

If you don’t know where to set the budget, resort to trial and error. You can always stop or pause the campaign. Both lifetime and daily budgets have their pros and cons.

Create the Ad

This is where you pick an ad format. 

Instagram Ad Formats

There are six Instagram ad formats—two for stories and four for the feed.

Image Feed Ads

This is the most standard one and you have probably seen it while scrolling your Instagram feed. They are single image ads and appear natively as your audience scrolls through their feed. 

Image Story Ads

These are just like image feed ads, except they appear natively in stories. 

Video Feed Ads

Instagram will support most video files but they have specific recommendations. 

Video Story Ads

Stories usually contain videos so users already expect them. The ad will not feel forced.

Carousel Feed Ads

Instead of one image, you can show several scrollable images. If your brand is very visual (food, furniture, etc.), this is perfect.

Canvas Story Ads

This is a new addition. The ads offer a 360 VR experience. It only works for mobile devices. 

Best Instagram Advertising Practices

  • Give personality to every ad: make it intriguing, emotional or goofy. The post needs to feel humanized. 
  • Contextual relevance: don’t use your LinkedIn ads for Instagram. Consider the atmosphere and context.
  • Use hashtags: don’t just stick to generic hashtags. Research to see what you audience is likely to search for. And don’t overdo it.
  • Contest: giveaways and contests will help you achieve your goals faster. People love participating in competitions. And who doesn’t like free stuff?
  • Optimal hours: if you know your audience you will know when they are likely to be online. If not, go the trial and error way.

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