Instagram Ads has landed and we give a run down on how best to make it work for your brand or profile

They’ve been coming for a while and now, they’re here… Instagram ads. As they are a new product, when used correctly they could be a really powerful tool to support album releases, gig and festival ticket sales or even app launches. The new ads allow for a direct click through to websites which was not possible on the platform before and you can select from a range of call to actions. The new ad formats also allow for up to 60 second of video content to be uploaded and the option of a Watch More CTA, so can also provide a new way to push out content. With the recent news of Instagram’s news feed changing from linear to algorithm based much like Facebook’s, Instagram ads are going to become more and more prevalent.

Firstly here are some stats on Instagram so you can evaluate whether it is a platform that’s worth investing in for you…
– Over 300 million active users
– Primarily 18 – 35 year olds
– Affluent
– Early adopters
– Mainly interested in (but not limited to) fashion, food, travel, fitness, music and design
– Visually stimulated

Before we begin here are some basic Instagram ground rules..
– Ensure you have enough inspirational visual content
– Use #tags cleverly to gain more reach
– 15 second video format available for more creativity (up to 60 second for ads)
– Remember no click through on non ad posts so use mainly for brand engagement

So why use Instagram ads? Well the demographic of the instagram userbase is desirable to many brands, influencers and artists. Users of the platform are generally interested in the creative industries and you can target who sees your ads by age, gender, location demographic and interests. The targeting can be extremely specific as Instagram uses Facebook’s detailed audience targeting. As again with Facebook ads you can select your budget so campaigns can be built for £20 or £2000 (currently the average cost per click on an instagram ad is around 50p).

Now, on to how to get your instagram ad campaign up and running. Instagram ads can be bought on a self serve basis (like Facebook and Twitter) but to do this you have to have a business Facebook page as this where you set the ads up from. Once your page is created (or already exists) head to, here you set up the instagram ad just as you would a Facebook ad and it isn’t until further down the process you can select that the ad is to run on instagram. See below for a step by step guide on to where to go from here.

Choose your objective (use either boost posts or send people to your website)
Add in a pixel if you want to track the user journey on your website after they’ve landed
Choose targeting (same as FB ads) – you can target by location / age / gender / demographic / interests / relationship status / Friends of people who have had a new baby, just got engaged / new parents / the list goes on….

As you break down your targeting keep an eye on the reach figures on the right hand side and aim for in between 20,000 – 500,000. Facebook will advise on whether it finds the targeting too specific or too broad. Only go to over 500,000 for a mass awareness campaign, not engagement and I would recommend changing the buy later on to a CPM rather than a CPC format

insta ads

Budget – choose daily or lifetime. I would recommend running a £100 test campaign to gain learnings before spending more
– Try to not run ads for more that 7 days to avoid repetition to your audience
– I would always recommend staying with a CPC buy unless as previously mentioned the KPI is awareness and not engagement
– Within the advert scheduling you can select on what days of the week and times your ads are served
– Ensure you name your ad in ad set as each audience has a different set and naming these clearly will make reporting a lot easier

It is now in the creative section that you can add your instagram account, just click the link and log in. In the right hand side box remove all the Facebook options and leave just instagram ticked. You can add in multiple image options to the creative section and instagram will optimise to the best performing ones. Don’t forget to add in your caption and include your brand / campaign or relevant hashtag – try to only use 1 or 2 hashtags in your ad. To add a click through to your ad you can select a CTA button which gives you options of various CTA’s including Apply Now, Watch More, Learn More and Sign Up. You can also select no button if you aren’t wanting to send your audience anywhere.

Once your campaign is up and running keep your eye on it’s progress in the Facebook ad manager. Current instagram formats you can use are a single image, up to 60 second video and image carousel.

For budgeting look to spend around £200 – £1000 per campaign and carefully monitor how this is going before increasing. Hopefully this should be all the information you need to get up and running but before you do keep these tips in mind… Don’t stray away from your usual style Instagram style just because it’s an ad – audiences will be more receptive if the image fits seamlessly into their newsfeed alongside their organic posts

Grab your audience’s attention through using bright colours, striking imagery or creative ads such as a collage. Don’t be afraid to try new things, could you run a campaign using only UGC content from your audience perhaps?
Keep your eye on for more information, inspiration and case studies.

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About the Author

I have been a huge electronic music fan for years and it was firmly installed me during my summer working in Ibiza in 2010. I love attending gigs and festivals so thought I’d turn my hobby into something productive and share my experiences and views for the readers of Decoded. I run a start up social media company, BAM Digital that specialises in events, primarily electronic music ones, so the two go hand in hand nicely. Sunday Funday lover, Gin drinker, Unicorn believer!