First launching in 2015, Instagram Ads became a widely used advertising tool by businesses wanting to expand their reach and increase conversions from new and existing customers. 

Instagram has become a huge stepping stone for consumers in the marketing funnel, like all social media it’s used as a research tool to look at brands, enabling owners and marketers to build authenticity and scale when strategizing correctly.

81% of people use Instagram to research a product or service before purchasing. 

What is Instagram Advertising and how is it different from posting normally on the platform?

The video and image sharing platform, Instagram, was launched in 2010, shortly after its demonstrated growth Facebook decided to purchase the mobile app, developing it into the platform we know and love today.

Known as a consistent stream of content, both individuals and brands are creating visuals to capture the eyes of viewers when browsing. Now since Instagram is a hugely visual platform, that makes the creative of your ad to be the most vital part when deciding to advertise, otherwise you’re just wasting budget, and missing out on those key results.

The anatomy of an Instagram Ad

As time has passed, Instagram Ads have developed and adapted to different placements, starting off as just simple feed images and videos, has now expanded to Stories, Marketplace, Explore etc.

Different Instagram Ads available

How much do Instagram Ads cost?

The cost of your Instagram Ads costs are determined by the platform's auction system. This is where Instagram determines which ad will create the most value for users, which is determined by the following three factors:

1.) The advertisers bid amount.

2.) How likely a user is to complete the advertisers specified action that is optimised for (e.g. click through to the website, or make a purchase). 

3.) How likely a user will be interested in the ad, known as the ad quality and relevance. 

So what can you take away from that? 

Bid competitively, target your ads to the relevant audience and make sure the ad is creative & compelling. 

We understand you might want an exact number on how much it will cost you to advertise on the platform, but unfortunately there is not a one size fits all amount. Compared to Facebook Ads, usually the cost-per-click (CPC) is a little higher but can easily be controlled with cost and bid caps through the Ads Manager. We found some interesting statistics that might be of interest:

  • On average, females are more expensive to target through Instagram Ads than males. 
  • CPC (cost-per-click) tends to be higher during the holidays’ and festive season (Q4) due to the advertising competition within the auction.
Cost Per Click (CPC) across each social network including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn

Use our very own ad spend calculator to figure out how much you should be spending on advertising.

How to set-up Instagram ads 

1.) Directly in the Instagram App

CampaignHero Instagram Account Highlighting Promotions and Promote
@campaignhero_app on Instagram
Step-by-step on how to set up an instagram ad within the app

  • Directly on the app with a post or story that you have already shared. You can do this by tapping promote, Instagram will automatically create an audience of people similar to your existing followers. 
  • Set up singular ads within the Instagram app by clicking on ‘Promote’ post, or clicking onto the promotions tab in your business profile.

Where can I monitor the results and my performance?

You can look at basic performance within the Instagram app, looking at your insights and other metrics that are important to your business goals. But you can also look at your results and performance in more depth through Facebook Ads Manager, which leads me to my next point.

2.) In the Facebook Ads Manager Platform

Facebook Ads Manager CampaignHero

  1. Go to Facebook Ads Manager.
  2. Select the green create button.
  3. Choose an objective that is important to your business.
  4. Select continue.
  5. Fill in the details for your ad set including your bid and targeting.
  6. At the placement section, you can select edit placements and select Instagram to have your ads appear on Instagram. If you select automatic placements, your ad will run across a variety of Facebook placements, including Instagram to give you the best value for your ads.
  7. Select continue.
  8. After selecting your placement, you can complete your ad by adding and altering your visuals.

Where can I monitor the results and my performance?

If you have used Facebook Ads Manager before (for Facebook Advertising), then monitoring and analysing your performance should be easy, use custom or pre-set columns to look at data or create custom reporting tables that are easy to export and share. 

Should you be advertising on Instagram?

Step 1: Can you implement Instagram Ads as part of your marketing strategy?
  • Understanding your audience
  • Summarising your business goals
  • Time and budget to invest?
  • Creating your own marketing strategy aligned with your business targets

Step 2: Is your business relevant to Instagram’s platform?
  • Is your industry featured heavily on Instagram? If you’re a specialised law firm maybe not, but a small eCommerce business selling one-off jewellery, absolutely! 

Step 3: Resources and expertise 
  • Have you got the ability to source visuals for your business? 
  • Do you need to get creative? 
  • Do you have an understanding on how you can optimise your campaigns? And see what has worked well? Do your research before investing into the platform!

Need some help?

Want some help getting started with your Instagram Ads?

The CampaignHero app is specially designed to help take your advertising efforts to the next level, even if you haven’t already got started. Learn more about how we can assist with your ads by booking a free strategy video call with our team. 


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