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social media how toDo you use Instagram for business?

Interested in running ads?

Instagram advertising gives businesses and brands an effective way to increase visibility and connect with customer and prospects.

In this article you’ll discover how to create Instagram ads for your business.

how to create instagram ads

Discover how to create instagram ads.

Listen to this article:

#1: Connect Your Instagram Account to Facebook

Before you can start advertising on Instagram, you need to connect your Instagram account to your Facebook page. This will allow you to create your ads in Facebook Power Editor.

To get started, go to your Facebook page and click Settings in the top-right corner. In the left column, click Instagram Ads and then click the Add an Account button on the right.

instagram ads shown in facebook settings

Go to Instagram Ads in your Facebook page settings.

If you have an existing Instagram account, select Add an Existing Account, enter your Instagram username and password and click Confirm.

connecting instagram account to facebook

Enter the username and password for your Instagram account.

If you don’t have an Instagram account, you can create one from within Facebook. Select Create a New Account, enter a username for the Instagram account and type in your email address. When you’re finished, click Confirm.

create new instagram account in facebook

Create a new Instagram account from within Facebook.

Look for an email about your new Instagram account. Then follow the directions to set a password for it.

Once you’ve finished these steps, your Instagram account will be connected to your Facebook page.

connected instagram account in facebook settings

Your Instagram account is now connected to your Facebook page.

Now when you use your Facebook page to create ads that will run on Facebook, you can show those same ads on Instagram.

If you don’t have the ability to edit and create ads yet, you will soon, as Facebook and Instagram are still rolling out this feature.

#2: Select an Ad Type

For Instagram ads, you can choose from three ad objectives: clicks to your website, mobile app installs and video views (up to 30 seconds in length).

Within these objectives, there are three key ad units that you can capitalize on: image, video and carousel ads. Image ads are standard photos with a button driving users to click. Video ads are the same as image ads but with video. Carousel ads are a series of images that users can browse.

instagram carousel ad example

Carousel ads let brands tell a richer story in one ad unit.

All of these ad options can drive results depending on what you want to accomplish.

#3: Target the Right Audience

Most Facebook ad targeting options are also available for Instagram ads. These include location, demographics, interests, actions and more.

With Instagram ads, you set your target audience preferences in the same way as you do for Facebook ads.

instagram audiences targeting in facebook

Set your audience preferences.

Keep in mind you don’t have to use all of the targeting options. The only options that are required are location, age and gender. Use the other targeting options if you want more control over who sees your ads so you can ensure you’re delivering a message that will resonate with them.

This Instagram ad from Shomi Canada showcases the importance of good targeting. The ad resonated with the younger audience on Instagram which responded with more than 5,700 likes and 41 comments.

shomicanada instagram ad

Target your ads to your audience.

If you create an ad for a specific audience, you need to make sure that it will be seen by only that audience. For example, if you create an ad geared toward working moms, you don’t want it to be shown to high school students.

Leverage the targeting features and focus on delivering Instagram content that is both relevant and engaging.

#4: Use Attention-Grabbing Visuals

Instagram is known for its rich and attractive visuals. If want to create ads that drive results, take the time to create compelling visuals to catch people’s attention.

glee instagram ad

Create ads with eye-catching visuals.

The Instagram audience is savvy enough to sniff out stock photos and is less likely to engage with that type of content. Capture photos yourself or invest in a photographer/illustrator to create great content.

#5: Include a Call to Action

With Instagram ads, currently there are no stipulations about the amount of text you can have in a photo. This gives you the opportunity to create ads that are text-heavy and communicate complex stories. You can also include calls to action directly in your photos or video.

This Holiday Inn Express ad works because it provides a clear call to action.

holidayinnexpess instagram ad with text in image

Use text in your image to communicate stories and provide a call to action.

Whether you tell your audience to post a selfie, click a link, subscribe to a newsletter or tag a friend in the comments, being able to use as much text as you want in your visual gives you an opportunity to drive action more effectively.

#6: Leverage Popular Hashtags

From #ThrowbackThursday to #MotivationMonday, Instagram is filled with hashtags that are used by both broad and targeted audiences. This gives you an opportunity to inject your brand culture into the feeds of people using these hashtags and make a connection with them.

One popular hashtag on Instagram is #ThingsOrganizedNeatly. Users post photos like these.

thingsorganizedneatly hashtag images on instagram

Identify popular hashtags on Instagram.

You can capitalize on trends by crafting content like Scotiabank did with their recent Instagram ad campaign. In their ads Scotiabank used images like the one below. The ads asked users to identify a collection of items from a movie with the #ThingsOrganizedNeatly hashtag.

image used in thingsneatlyorganized hashtag ad on instagram

Capitalize on a popular hashtag in your Instagram ad campaign.

According to the Instagram business blog, Scotiabank’s ad campaign led to a 20-point lift in ad recall and a 6-point lift in brand awareness.

Over to You

With the emergence of Instagram ads, you can build a rapport with your audience in a whole new way. Once you attract an audience with your ads, it’s important to keep your followers engaged. With the right approach to Instagram marketing, you can drive great results for your brand and truly stand out on the platform.

What do you think? Have you used Instagram ads for your business? What tips do you have for brands looking to get started with ads? Please share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments below.

how to create instagram ads

Tips for creating Instagram ads.

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  • I tried to use Instagram Adds, but CPC reporting is not showin real data comparing to SHOP NOW button actions. I think it gather also likes. I found FB updated it CPC policy, to not capture payments upon comments, likes. But I think it doesn’t corelate with Instagram Ads.
    Additionally I have poor results after redirections. User sessions are very short <10s. I even tried to use Hotjar for recording – but the js is not even loaded. I guess this is a problem with mobile that opens Chrome mobile or Safari and tries to load the page. But user goes back to Instagram, and they do not expect 3rd party links opening in this matter. How to fix this behavior? Any hints?

  • Muhammad Hazem Sherif

    Thank you for the great article 🙂

  • I haven’t heard of this issue before. Hopefully someone can chime in.

    My best advice would be to ensure that the landing page your users are visiting is optimized for mobile. The short user sessions may be linked to the content on the page but could also be due to a high volume of clicks as a whole.

  • Glad you enjoyed it!

  • WIll check it again deeply. Question: If user clicks CTA button – is Instagram opening the page as in-app (like FB does), or it calls external default browser? I think it can take a huge amount of time – and user is not expecting window switching and additional 10-20s in this process…..

  • Hi Ross I´ve had trouble making an add at all I did however managed to connect instagram to facebook, is it because my region is locked?

  • Ethony

    I can’t see where the option to push the ad to Instagram is? Can someone help?

  • Hi Ross,

    Currently i doubt if Instagram Ads is up and running for countries like Nigeria, cos i ve been following the Instagram is rolling out soon” caption but today while trying to run Instagram Ads via Facebook for a client blog i still got the message that Instagram Ads is still rolling out and i would be updated once its ready via settings>> Instagram Ads on Facebook book page. Why is that please?

  • The page will open in the Instagram app. The experience will only open a new window if you’re using a CTA that drives users to an app download in the Apple Store or some other service.

  • Very possible.

    Once you add your Instagram account, try to visit the FB Power Editor and create a new campaign with video views, app installs or clicks to website as the objective. From there, you’re going to want to click the left side of the page where it says “Create Ad Set” – Once there, select the new ad set on the right hand side before pressing edit. On that screen, you’ll see the option for Instagram ads under the “placement” section. If it’s not there – it’s likely your region is still locked.

  • Once you add an Instagram account, visit the FB Power Editor (www.facebook.com/ads/manage/powereditor ) and create a new campaign with video views, app installs or clicks to website as the objective. From there, you’re going to want to click the left side of the page where it says “Create Ad Set” – Once there, select the new ad set on the right hand side before pressing edit. On that screen, you’ll see the option for Instagram ads under the “placement” section. If it’s not there – it’s likely your region is still locked.

  • Thomas

    Great instructions. I was practicing how to create the ads for weeks prior to them being released from Facebook for Business instruction pages. I have had access for Instagram ads and have been running 2 ads for the past couple days and what I like is that even though the post wasn’t through our Instagram page, likes and comments shows up in the Instagram app from the ads. This gives me the ability to go and thank new followers and have a human engagement factor after they follow. We advertise to photographers and this is a perfect platform for us to advertise on. I can see it having better results than our Facebook ads very soon.

  • Thanks Thomas. I completely agree. I’ve been using Instagram over the last few months for both clients and my own brands, the results have been jaw-dropping. I think it’s a great opportunity and look forward to watching brands take advantage of it in the coming months.

  • Hi Ross, I have ran a campaign for a restaurant in Doha, Qatar and given the ever increasing use of Instagram in Qatar, the results have been great! Facebook Reporting has brought a lot of insights forward.

    However, I want to view that Instagram ad of mine; it doesn’t appear on the Instagram Account profile nor does it show in the Power Editor/Ads Manager on Facebook. Any idea how may I view the sponsored ad post?

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  • Janice MacMillan

    I do not seem to have anything titled Instagram Ads under settings. Am I missing something?

  • You’re going to have to visit “Power Editor” in Facebook ads manager. Once in there, follow these steps in the blog post such as adding your Instagram account to your Facebook page. From there, try to visit the FB Power Editor and create a new campaign with video views, app installs or clicks to website as the objective. From there, you’re going to want to click the left side of the page where it says “Create Ad Set” – Once there, select the new ad set on the right-hand side before pressing edit. On that screen, you’ll see the option for Instagram ads under the “placement” section. Hope this helps.

  • Thank you for good detailed article , I chose website clicks on my Ads on Instagram , Thus get free reach and pay only when click

  • If you are using power editor on chrome yet no instagram ad button appears , may be you should go to help button in the top right and choose reset power editor.

  • Hey Osama – That’s very strange. Is the ad results not showing up under the various ad set you created? It should be there showcasing both the delivery and performance of each ad.

  • Abby Jones-Walker

    Thanks so much for sharing this! Great info!

  • GRACIAS! We are working on them 🙂

  • No worries Abby – Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Thank you Ross for sharing this very helpful article. Posting an ad through Instagram will help marketers gain customer. People now a days are hooked posting pictures on Instagram. So it is easy to spot prospects through this social media. These tips will be a big help to the marketers. They will be able to know the other functions that they have not used before.

  • Haider Ali

    Very helpful article. My question is that Can I use Instagram ads to lead people to follow my Instagram account like what found in twitter ads?

  • lifebysebastian

    Good article Ross. I work out of Sweden, and we have been using Instagram ads for several clients since the launch on September 30th.
    I was surprised to see that the ad format Carousel was not possible to use straight away, especially since I was at the Facebook office in Stockholm 2 weeks before the launch and they recommended that we built our strategy around that format.. But there is always some bugs to be expected with a new ad platform.

    So far our results have been up and down, for some clients we have managed to drive really good volumes in sales, and that at really good CPA levels, almost half of what we have seen in Facebook.
    However, we have seen a lot of negative comments in regards to ads on our posts, they are mostly related to Instagram adding ads to their feeds, but off course it is a stress factor for the customer service people to be able to handle everything.

    But as far as sales goes, you need to be very clear that you are selling something, one client did not want to have any negative comments, and therefore, we decided to change the ads in order to give them a super instagram feel. Decreased the negative comments, but decreased sales even more, actually received zero sales without a strong sales message. So as far as driving sales goes, you have to anticipate some negativity. Just as Facebook had in the beginning, and the more used people get to ads the less negativity we will see.

    Looking forward to the launch of the carousel format in the nordic countries as I do believe that will be a breakthrough in the possible storytelling within the ads.

  • Very confusing like steps are missing between steps 1 and 2. Am I in ads manager, power editor or IG??????

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  • Carlos Valmont

    Hello from my side there is limit on text like other ads Your image may not include more than 20% text.

  • This is definitely true on Facebook!

    On Instagram, not yet – It’s still a free for all:

  • Great points here!

    I think you’re spot on in regards to the negative response to ads on Instagram. I think you can avoid negative feedback (or at least overwhelming negative feedback) by creating ads that add value to the feed of your users and don’t focus on the sale. For example, instead of Fanduel using an ad that is clearly trying to drive more users (See below). They could be delivering ads that help people pick better teams for their line ups.

    Great insight re: Sales & being explicit. It might drive negative feedback but it’s definitely the right idea to be sales driven if you want to make sales. A simple CTA might be enough to move the needle but being explicit is always going to win.

    Thanks for commenting!

  • Sorry it wasn’t clear for you Tamira.

    You’re going to want to visit “Power Editor” in Facebook ads manager. Once in there, follow the steps in the blog post such as adding your Instagram account to your Facebook page. From there, try to visit the FB Power Editor and create a new campaign with video views, app installs or clicks to website as the objective. From there, you’re going to want to click the left side of the page where it says “Create Ad Set” – Once there, select the new ad set on the right-hand side before pressing edit. On that screen, you’ll see the option for Instagram ads under the “placement” section. Hope this helps.

  • You can but it requires a bit of creativity. Instead of creating a CTA in your content that tells users to check out your website, you should post visuals that tell users to follow you on Instagram. An error that says follow us might be enough to do the trick.

  • Couldn’t agree more Barbara – Thanks so much for the comment. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Carlos Valmont

    ok but how to make ads directly on Instagram i just see Facebook link so??

  • You use Facebooks Power Editor to create the ads. Then follow the steps above re: adding your Instagram account to your page.

  • Carlos Valmont

    i already use Facebook Power Editor for Instagram ads but it’s limited to 20% text and you told me there is other solution 🙂

  • Alex

    Instagram ad experts – Can I ask…

    1) on the Instagram Ad campaign, how do I see or view the actual ad on my Instagram account? or if I need to forward the ad to my client to view it, how will the client preview the ad?

    2) The ad objective is ‘click to website’ – how does it actually work on Instagram ad for click to website? does user click on the image to go to assigned website?

    3) what happens when users click on the ‘learn more’ button?

    Thank you so much.

  • Hey Ross, thanks for the prompt response! The ad results were viewable in the Power Editor under the Ad Set that I had created. I was looking for the actual Instagram Ad Post that had comments and likes on it via advertising.

    Unlike Facebook, Instagram currently doesn’t have the option of publishing your ad as a regular post on the profile. So I had to view that ad after logging into the brand’s Instagram account and navigating into the notifications where people liked, and commented.

  • Ethony

    thank you I get to a certain point and can’t go any further it must still be locked as you said

  • Allied Schools

    Hi Ross, great article! Thank you. However, I am trying to create an ad and connected my Instagram account but it is not showing up in Power Editor under the Ad creatives. Instagram ads just became available to us. I don’t know why, can you help?

  • Allied Schools

    You can always see an ad preview in the Ad Creative section in Power Editor. I’m not sure of how to see it in Instagram though except for including “@YourBusiness” in the ad text perhaps? Pretty sure that clicking learn more takes you to your ad’s landing page.

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  • No worries – Glad you got everything sorted! Hope it all goes well.

  • It’s likely it simply hasn’t been rolled out to everyone. You’re not the first person who mentioned this to me so I’m assuming that it’s not available to everyone like they claim. Very unfortunate – Hopefully this gets sorted soon!

  • I figured it out. Thank you for sharing.

  • Camila

    Thanks Ross for your post!
    Im in Australia, where the Instagram ads are available. I have created 2 so far and they have been for over 48hrs on “Still pending approval” status. I’m have linked the account, created everything on power editor, so not sure why they stuck in “pending approval mode” any ideas? Thanks a lot!

  • So maybe it’s just me… but I’m in the U.S. and run ads occasionally on Facebook for my page… and I don’t have IG placement. Do you have to hit a minimum threshold of spending to get access? It’s so frustrating seeing great articles and not being able to act on them!

  • That’s a great guide Ross, will try it today.

  • Josh

    Are people having success with lead generation, or does IG work better as a branding tool? We are looking to recruit applicants for employment, and harvest contact info on a lead form that they are taken to after clicking on the IG ad.

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  • Eek! Sorry to hear Valerie – You’re not the only one who has run into this issue. Have you connected your Instagram account and still no luck? If so, maybe there’s something linked to different regions or spend…

  • I’ve found success on both sides of the table. For lead gen, it’s similar to basic content marketing 101 – Give value and people will give their info. Give targeted value and targeted people will give their info. Think of it like any other channel but optimize heavily for the mobile experience.

  • Hope it worked!

  • Sorry Camila – I’m not sure. Did you sort this out yet? My only thought would be that the ads are somehow breaking the guidelines.

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  • Alex

    Thanks. Yes, I could view on Power Editor preview fine. But how to test out if the ‘click to website’ actually works? because on the preview I click on the image, it doesn’t go to the website. Thanks.

  • Camila

    Hi Ross, it was finally approved after (72hrs!!!) so not great. But still good to know that is all working now 🙂 Thanks for your help

  • Justin Bowen

    Ross,

    I just started using Instagram Ads yesterday. I have seen a little bit of activity. Not too many leads yet, still figuring out the best captions to write to drive to my CTA button. Do you have any advice or seen which optimization works best for getting leads?:

    – Link Clicks to Websites / Pay per Impression
    – Daily Unique Reach
    – Link Clicks to Website / Pay per Link Click
    – Impressions

    I’m spending $10 for my daily budget at the moment. Starting small to see what kind of results I get. I’m leading people to my opt-in site. Let me know what you have found to be most effective thus far. Thank you for this article.

  • carrie

    Great article! Thank you! Can you tell me how much the IG ads will cost? I haven’t done any advertising yet, but just wondering what the costs are?

  • carrie

    Hi, You mentioned you are spending $10 for your daily budget for the IG advertising. What does that include?

  • Justin Bowen

    I’m running just one ad at the moment. I chose the selection Link Clicks to Website / Pay per Impression. $10 is my daily budget. So I get about 60 website clicks a day right now. My conversion isn’t too high and I’m looking for a way to be more effective.

  • Hey Carrie – Ads cost how ever much you’re willing to budget. You set them up along with your budget during the process. It could be as little as $5-$10/day!

  • Hey Justin – I’d suggest links to website w/ you paying per click. The goal here is of course to drive traffic, especially if you’re looking to generate leads so this approach would be at first glance, the best approach IMO.

  • Tatay Teph

    Hi Ross,

    Here is what my FB Page says “Instagram adverts are gradually rolling out and might not be available to you at the moment. You can connect your Instagram account to your Page to have your setup ready.”

    What should I do about it and start rolling my ads? I already connect my IG to FB
    Is the targeted audience in FB Ads are the same with Instagram? Or they have separate?

  • IPB

    Great article! Do you have to have a Facebook Page to run Instagram ads through Power Editor? One of the brands I work with is on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr only – they’d like to run ads on Instagram but don’t have a Facebook page or a Business Manager accounts so I’m not sure what the process would be here?

  • Alex Bobrov

    Hi! I’ve seen that some brands were able to disable call to action button (there was an empty space on the spot where call to action button is supposed to be)
    Do you know how to do that?@thecoolestcool:disqus

  • Alex Bobrov

    @r@thecoolestcool:disqus Hi! I’ve seen that some brands were able to disable call to action button (there was an empty space on the spot where call to action button is supposed to be) Do you know how to do that?

  • Koertah

    Hey, thanks. I did that and it worked

  • Koertah

    It is now. You can try resetting Power Editor. Like Brandomix suggested, go to the help button in the top right and choose reset power editor.

  • Instagram ads is something I’ll be getting into. Especially in the new year. Alongside Facebook ads which is packed with data. Great information in this post ?

  • Andrew

    HI Ross, Nice article, however I do have one problem using this… We do not have an instagram account, but we use facebook to advertise on Instagram! Which works awesomely, BUT, how do we track the different results, like between Facebook/Instagram if it is one ad set?? And also, how do we comment as the business if we do not have an instagram account? But we need to view and reply to comments.

  • Hey Andrew – The best approach for measuring results is by filtering by placement. You can select this in the “Ads Manager” – I’m not sure how you would interacting via comments on the post. I don’t think it’s possible without an Instagram account. As such, why not create one just for commenting?

  • Andrew

    Hi Ross, I appreciate your timely response, I cannot find the filter button :/ so i can’t differentiate the results haha! Thanks so much for your help

  • Steven Res Reszegi

    I too am having this issue and it still has not resolved… :/

  • Natasha Marie

    Although my Instagram is connected with my Facebook page, there is no option to create an ad on Instagram when I go through the step-by-step process. This is incredibly frustrating and haven’t been able to find a solution. Please advise if you know how to resolve this issue. Thank you

  • Don Ayodele Emmanuel

    Mr Ross would love to have your personal mail so i could discuss some issues with you. Thanks