How to Create Instagram Ad Campaign: 10-Step Guide

how to create instagram ad campaign

Are you wondering about growing your Instagram account and receiving more leads to your website or increasing sales? Then it is undoubtedly time to launch your first Instagram advertising campaign.

With more than 1 billion monthly active users Instagram provides you with a great opportunity to create engaging ads in order to target the right audience and convert them into your loyal customers.

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Actually, the secret of building a successful Instagram ad campaign isn’t just about attractive images. For your Instagram ads to be profitable, there are some other things that you need to ensure once you have decided on your ad’s picture or video.

So, if you haven’t created an Instagram ad campaign before, you shouldn’t worry! Because today you will get the information how to create, launch and evaluate the success of your Instagram advertising campaign.

Here are 10 simple steps to create & run your Instagram ad campaign.

Step 1. Connect your Instagram account to Facebook ads manager

If you are already connected to a Facebook Business manager, then just click “Business Settings” on the top left corner of your screen and select Instagram Accounts. A new page appears, where you will be able to add your Instagram account by clicking “+Add” button. After that you will be asked to enter your username and password and press “Next”.

In order to authorize one or more of your ad accounts to use the Instagram profile, you need to check the boxes next to each ad account and select “Save changes”.

That’s all. Now your Instagram account is linked with your Facebook ads manager and you can start creating your Instagram ad campaign.

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Step 2. Choose your objective

To begin your Instagram ad campaign, you need to decide on what you want your advertisement to achieve and the reasons why.

In this case, it is important to choose an objective for your advertising campaign. When it comes to goal setting, Instagram provides you various options.

Select from the following:

  • Brand awareness. Helps to spread word about your brand to the audience who haven’t heard of you yet.
  • Reach. Helps to show your ad to as big audience as possible.
  • Traffic. Helps to send visitors to your website.
  • Engagement. Helps to boost the amount of likes, comments, shares, events responses and claims for a special offer.
  • App installs. Helps to encourage your audience to download your app.
  • Video views. Helps to increase the amount of video views.
  • Lead generation. Helps to gather the main data from the audience who clicks on your ad.
  • Messages. Helps to induce the audience to send messages to your brand, in other words, generate conversation.
  • Conversions. Helps to get the audience to go to your website and take a particular action, like subscribe for a newsletter or make a purchase.
  • Catalog sales. Helps to collect all your ads in one Facebook product catalog and display them to the audience.
  • Store visits. Helps to send the audience to your brick-and-mortar store. This is relevant to brands that have their stores in multiple locations.

I hope that now it is clear which objective to choose in order to align with the main goal of your Instagram ad. For instance, if you run a carousel ad to raise awareness of your brand, then it is advised to choose reach as an objective. Why? Just because in this case your brand’s advertisement will be noticed by as huge audience as possible.

What is more, once you have selected your ad’s objective, you need to name your Instagram ad campaign. Actually, your campaign will receive the default name based on the objective you have chosen. However, you have an opportunity to give a name to your Instagram ad campaign that will help you to keep track of it.

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Step 3. Identify you target audience

Once the goal of your Instagram ad campaign is selected, it is time to decide who you want to target with your Instagram advertisement.

If you are new to Instagram advertising, it is most probably that you cannot know who your target audience is. That is okay, you shouldn’t worry because you will learn more about your audience over time. However, it is logical that you don’t want to spend your budget on advertisements which aren’t relevant to the Instagram audience who sees them.

In order to avoid this situation, it is recommended to start looking at your Instagram analytics. It can provide you with a lot of valuable information about your audience. After analyzing your Instagram analytics and understanding who your target audience is, you may set clear targeting parameters for your Instagram ad campaign.

Facebook ads manager through which you are creating your Instagram ad suggests you the options to set your audience based on location, age, gender, language. Moreover, you can choose detailed targeting which includes audience’s interests and behaviors.

If you are creating your first Instagram ad campaign in order to increase your brand awareness, in this way, to target a wider audience is a better choice rather than use custom audiences. However, if you know exactly who are the customers of your particular product and want to drive traffic to your website, then it is advised to narrow your audience by including only people who have visited your website and took specific actions.

Overall, your ad’s objective, target audience and ad format are all related to each other. So, it means that you can’t determine your target audience, if you don’t have a selected goal. Also, the format of your Instagram ad will depend on who your target audience is and what kind of content aligns with them.

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Step 4. Select your ad placement

While deciding on your Instagram ad placement, you will have 2 options to choose from:

  • Automatic placements. If you select this type of ad placement, then your ad will be shown to the audience in the places they are likely to perform best. It is advised to run your ad on Instagram and Facebook as well.
  • Edit placements. By choosing this type of ad placement, you will be able to decide where to put your ad. It means that the amount of users you can reach will be reduced.

Keep in mind that when you are creating your Instagram ads, you can only run them on mobile devices.

Moreover, if you are running Instagram feed ads, you have an opportunity to select to run other placements options at the same time. However, if you are running Instagram story ads, then other placements aren’t available.

Overall, many advertisers use a combination of ads placements in order to keep the average bid cost low and get better performance results.

Step 5. Decide on a budget and schedule

During this step, you need to decide how much you want to spend on your Instagram ad’s promotion and for how long.

Actually, if it is your first Instagram ad campaign, then it is better to be conservative with your spending.

When it comes to the budget, you have 2 choices. Either you can set a daily budget, which means how much you want to spend on your Instagram ad per day, or a lifetime budget – specifies the maximum amount you will spend on your Instagram ad campaign.

While thinking about your Instagram ad budget, keep in mind the average cost-per-click (CPC) on Instagram fluctuates depending on your target audience’s demographics and the days you choose to run your Instagram ad. Remember, that it will be the most expensive if you run your Instagram ad on Sunday.

Furthermore, you need to choose the schedule of your Instagram ad campaign. In other words, what time and date you want your ad to run. In this case, you can select to run your Instagram ad set continuously starting once you create the advertisement or to set a start and end date.

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Step 6. Choose your ad bidding

Instagram ads work as a bidding system. It means that who bids more will win an ad placement. What you bid on actually depends on what you optimize for. There is an opportunity to bid for clicks, impressions, landing page views or daily reach.

If you apply manual bidding, you need to decide on a maximum amount you can pay for one click. However, if you choose automatic bidding, then the algorithm will determine it for you.

It is recommended to use automatic bidding when your target audience is huge and competition isn’t so important for you. On the other hand, if your audience is small and you feel high competition, then it is better to set your bid manually. In this way, you will try to overcome your competitors by suggesting higher bid.

Moreover, determine whether to display your ad throughout the day (standard delivery type) or whether to speed it up (accelerated delivery type).

Step 7. Pick your ad format

While creating your Instagram ad, you can select from different shapes and sizes. In other words, you are able to pick the best ad format that suits your determined goal, target audience and overall Instagram ad campaign message.

Here are the main types of ads that you may run on Instagram:

  • Photo and video ads. This type of ad is considered as a traditional one. It appears as an Instagram feed style post with a “Sponsored” tag on the bottom of the picture.

Advantage of this ad format is that it flows into the Instagram audience’s newsfeed and, consequently, makes your ad more visible.

However, it may be difficult to stand out from a crowd of other Instagram posts and ads. In this case, you need to create an Instagram ad, which seems catchy, informative and engaging enough and has attractive CTA (call-to-action) phrase that instantly grabs audience’s attention.

  • Carousel ads. Looking for an unusual method to show off your brand’s new collection? Then carousel ad format, which is a combination of images or videos, should be the best choice.

Social media studies show that carousel ads are 10 times more effective at grabbing audience’s attention and encouraging them to scroll through photos or videos. What is more, this ad format is considered as a cost-effective way to give explanations about your brand and display your brand’s products.

  • Stories ads. Although this is the newest ad format, it doesn’t mean that stories ads is an ineffective way to show your brand to the Instagram audience.

With more than 500 million of Instagram Stories daily viewers, usage of this type of ad can give you a huge amount of exposure.

Similar like carousel ads, this ad format is also a great method for your brand’s storytelling. Instagram provides you with an opportunity to upload 3 consecutive ads, each of 15 seconds length, in order to create one Instagram story.

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Step 8. Design your ad

Now it is time to work on your Instagram ad creative!

Firstly, you need to select an image or video of your Instagram ad and only then fill in sections, such as headline, text and decide which call-to-action (CTA) button will better reflect the action you desire your Instagram audience to take.  

Also, don’t forget to preview how your ad will look like in selected placement before showing it to the audience.

It is recommended to keep in mind a few things:

  • Ensure that your Instagram ad is understandable, informative and attractive, which means it easily catches your audience’s attention.
  • If you are seeking to boost your brand awareness, then it important to insert your brand’s logo.
  • It doesn’t matter which ad format you are using, make sure you added a strong call-to-action (CTA) in your Instagram ad in order to encourage your audience to take the action you need.

Step 9. Test your ad

Before your Instagram ad will go live, it is better to make split testing with Facebook ads manager, in order to understand whether your ad is working for your target audience or not. In this way, you will find out how various details of your Instagram, such as call-to-action buttons, hashtags, descriptions or ad formats influence on your overall ad campaign’s performance.

So, make 2 different A and B versions of your Instagram ad and see which one works best with your audience.

However, it is advised to test only one element of your ad at once. For instance, if you want to test your call-to-action, then keep everything constant and only change CTA part.

What is more, use A/B Test Statistical Significance Calculator to figure out which version of your ad will give you the higher conversion rate.

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Step 10. Measure your ad’s performance

Once your Instagram ad is uploaded, you need to track and measure its’ progress in order to accomplish the objective you have set in the second step.

In this case, Facebook ads manager provides you with a comprehensive data, like reach, link clicks, impressions, cost per click (CPA) and much more, that will help you to determine whether you Instagram ad campaign works successfully or not.

Although it is useful to find out how much reach your Instagram ad is receiving, however, it is more important to focus on results you are getting and what you are paying for them.

Overall, monitoring of your ad campaign’s performance is considered as a crucial because it helps you to learn what works and where improvements are needed. In this way, you will get knowledge how to create the more powerful Instagram ad campaign in the future.

That’s it for today. Now you are ready to create your first Instagram ad campaign!

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Wrapping everything up, it is naturally that while setting up your first Instagram ad campaign this step-by-step guide should be as an assistant, helping you to get the great results of your Instagram ad performance.

However, if you still have questions regarding the creation of an Instagram ad campaign, please write them in the comments’ section!

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