How to Create Instagram Ads?—An In-Depth Guide

How to Create Instagram Ads?—An In-Depth Guide

Instagram is, without suspicion, the most used digital and social media platform on the planet today. It has become a massive part of our lives as we post photos, videos, and stories to express our feelings and ideas. Meanwhile, it has grown to be a profitable and eligible market for business owners and brands to advertise on. As of June 2018, Instagram has reached the 1 billion monthly active user milestone, which is a considerable development for digital marketing. Therefore, Instagram Ads gets to be the one of the most prominent tools for digital marketing.

Because of Instagram’s success and its ability to reach large masses, advertising on Instagram has become a crucial feature for any social media marketer and business. If you are a business holder who wants to join the game of advertising but not sure how to do it, continue to read the article. We will be covering how to create and run Instagram ads, how much they cost, and every other detail you need to know.

Why Are Instagram Ads Important?

Instagram is continuing to grow every day, and it is growing faster with each passing day. And it does not look like it is going to stop or regress, either. The engagement rate on Instagram is higher than the engagement rate on any other social media platform. That means that your ads will be viewed by wider audiences than it would on other platforms. If you want to successfully improve your small business, Instagram is the platform on which you will easily reach your target audience.

Also, studies have shown that more than half of the Instagram users learn about products and services through Instagram. Considering the user statistics, it is more than a lot. Even more people are clicking on the ads to visit the website and browse other products the business offers. In addition, you can specify your audience by targeting its location, interests, behaviors, and more.

In short, running Instagram ads is one of the most reliable methods to notch up success. If you are interested in how to run the ads, continue reading the article.

How to Create Instagram Ads?

There are two ways to advertise on Instagram. The easiest way is to directly promote an existing post within the Instagram app. But the way that provides the most customization options is to create your Instagram ad using Facebook Ads Manager.

Advertising Within the App

This is the easiest way to run ads and get promoted on the Explore page inside the app. If an existing post on your account is getting lots of engagement and performing well, promoting it will be a quick and easy way to reach more users.

To promote an existing app, you need to have a business or creator account. Then you can go to your post that will be featured and click the “Promote” button under your post.

Advertising With Facebook Ads Manager

The most effective and profitable way to advertise on Instagram is, of course, the paid advertising. As a result of Facebook’s ownership of Instagram, you can create customizable ads on Facebook Ads Manager. Let’s dive into how to get those ads up and running.

Choose your objective for your Instagram Ads

There are some useful objectives you can use and maximize the effectiveness of your ad.

  • Brand Awareness: It helps build a reputation for your products and services among audiences who have not heard from you yet.
  • Reach: Makes sure that your ad reaches as many people as possible, including your targeted audience.
  • Traffic: Measures the clicks to your website, the URL you put, or your app.
  • App Installs: It lets you take a look at the total mobile app installs. 
  • Engagement: Aiming to increase the number of likes, views, comments, and shares.
  • Video Views: Get your video reach your custom audience.
  • Lead Generation: Gather data from different users that click on your ads.
  • Messages: Engage users to send a message and start a conversation.
  • Conversions: Check the number of accomplished goals assigned to your ad.
  • Catalog Sales: Promote the products in your online store catalog.
  • Store Traffic: Measures how many users click on your ad and visit your store.
Objectives for your ads

Identify your audience

You can identify your targeted audience in such detail to maximize your growth. For example, you can determine the factors as age, gender, and location. This feature allows you to create ads directly to your audience’s interests.

Identify your audience

Select placements for your ads

This tool simply allows you to decide where your ad will appear by offering Automatic and Manual Placements.

Instagram ads placement

Choose your budget and schedule

This segment lets you determine how much you will spend on advertising and plan your schedule.

Choose your budget and schedule

And then finally, create your Instagram Ads

There are seven types of ad formats which we will examine.

Types of Instagram Ads

To illustrate how advertising is varied and optimizable, we will go in-depth analysis of what kind of ad formats you can use and what their bringings are. 

Photo Ads

Since sharing photos is the most noticeable feature on the platform, this type of advertisement is one of the commonly used ads on Instagram. It lets you tell your story, display your product, or introduce your brand. You upload a photo you would like to use and fill in the text that should run in the caption. Also, creative captions that give more information about what is being shown is another way to get people engaged. Relying upon your ad objective, you can also include a URL to send traffic to a specific website.

Photo ads

Sponsored Instagram Ads

Sponsored ads are an alternative to business accounts on Instagram, providing the brand to promote their posts through paid ads. These ads will appear on your targeted audience’s feed. Moreover, you can attach a direct link to a website, an app, or a link to the brand’s profile. Building engagement is also quite essential, and sponsored ads help with directing the audience towards the business’ profile.

Sponsored Ads

Mapped Ads – Guided Ads

It’s a rather innovative way to use tags to direct the audience into a series of posts, while also keeping them curious and engaged. Mapped, or Guided Ads, work well for a product-based brand. Creating a Mapped Ad can be confusing and even time-consuming, but it’s sure to get people’s attention.

Mapped Ads

Story Ads

Because Instagram’s story feature is one of the most used functions, Story Ads becomes a great way to be seen. More than 80% of active users are posting stories, which means a lot of traffic. Hence, advertising in the story section requires smart targeting and placement. They appear when a user is switching between two different account’s stories. They typically have the “Swipe Up” option that will direct the user to a website. However, other backlink options, such as the “Install Now” option, will lead to a download link of an app. 

Story Ads

Video Ads

Watching advertisements on the TV for lengthy and boring minutes is in the past. Instead, Instagram allows business owners to create more engaging and exciting video ads. It is a creative and attractive way to advertise your brand. Instagram allows videos to be 60-seconds long at most. So brands can use this time to introduce themselves or their products briefly or make a teaser. 

Video ads


InstagramTV is a new feature compared to posting photos or stories. IGTV is available for businesses, brands, or influencers to post a lengthy video that is not promotional. Nonetheless, it counts as an ad, and when its production is well-done, the traffic it brings becomes unignorable. Once published, IGTV ads stay like photos, and users can rewatch them, save them, and share them.

Carousel Ads

Sometimes, a single photo or a short video may not be enough to make the impression you need. If so, Carousel Ads are an excellent alternative to photo or video ads. It allows the user to swipe multiple images, promoting the same brand but with different products. This type of advertisement keeps the audience engaged instead of seeing a single picture and then swiping away.

Carousel ads

As we mentioned before, advertising and digital marketing on Instagram is a smart and effective way to flourish your business. With so many ad formats, brands can showcase their products the way they see fit. However, what is the cost of advertising on Instagram? What is the price of promotion, and what is affordable for your business? Let’s take a look at the pricing.

How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost?

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Pricing of advertising on Instagram is an object of curiosity for business owners. As in every other aspect of a business, you need to invest first to make a profit later. Three main factors are the determiners of how much you will pay for your ads.

  1. The budget you will use to promote your business.
  2. The Relevance Score. It is a score based on how Instagram considers your ads are relevant concerning your targeted audience.
  3. Estimated Action Rates. This is an algorithm that estimates the likeliness of people’s converting when they see your ad.

That being said, let us introduce you to the actual numbers. Instagram ads will not cost you more than the budget you saved. No matter if your budget is $10 or $1000, it will never charge you more than that figure.

First, there are some terms used to explain the cost of advertising. Those are bidding models for pricing the ad according to its targeted audience, industry, and time.

  • Cost per Mille (CPM), the cost of a thousand impressions or ad views.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR), the percentage of engagement that results in a single click.
  • Cost per Click (CPC), the cost paid for one click.

Instagram advertising costs depend on your bidding models. On average, companies pay from $0.20 to $2 per click and approximately $6.70 per 1000 impressions for Instagram ads. However, other factors also determine the CPC you will pay according to the target country, industry, or age. The age range of the audience you want to reach is one of the most crucial factors affecting CPC.

Cost per click by age range

Moreover, as the year progresses, CPC values change every month.

Cost per click by month

Again, every advertisement will be unique since every business owner has their own budget, goals, and limitations.


Instagram is hands down one of the largest social platforms available for millions of people. It offers excellent opportunities for small developed businesses to promote themselves through digital advertising.

That means you should consider advertising on Instagram as well and not lose the chance to reach out to more people than you already do. Take it easy, and determine your budget, choose one of the ad formats that will work for you and set a course for your brand. Also remember that the cost of advertising is in your hands and will not exceed your budget.

We think Social Media College‘s video on Instagram Advertising Cost will be beneficial for you. You can find the video down below.

Frequently Asked Questions

As they can be viewed for a longer time and are more engaging than other formats, photo, video, and carousel ad formats are the most effective ones.

Yes, you can! All you need is a Facebook Page.

Facebook has an incredible resource about every type of ad for every marketing objective.

Müge Özay

Posts: 45

I graduated from the Department of Management Information Systems at Istanbul Bilgi University. I work with the Dopinger team in the field of digital marketing and SEO. I am sharing the content that I find useful with you.


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