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How to Advertise on Instagram (2024 Guide with Examples)

By Lauren Lietzow 6 February, 2023, 6 mins read

(Last updated March 2024)

Why Should You Read This?

Instagram advertising can easily make you $5, $10, and $20 for every $1 you spend on the platform. Just ask our clients. As a top Meta partner, we routinely deliver results like these. In fact, our clients routinely make as much as 17x ROAS. 

But how do you get started – and make money on Instagram – if you’ve never done IG ads before? 

This guide gives you all the answers. From ad formats to step-by-step guides, here’s how to advertise on Instagram.

What are Instagram ads?

Instagram ads are advertisements that appear alongside other content on the platform. They can be used to promote brands, products, services, events, and more.

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You can create an ad based on any type of content, including videos, images, links, text, and even polls.

Why should you advertise on Instagram?

Instagram is one of the most popular social networks in the world. It boasts over 1 billion monthly active users, so the potential for audience growth and reach is massive.

The earning potential on Instagram is massive — when you partner with a top agency like Megaphone, your ROAS can go as high as 19x (a real win we recently got a client). You’ll also see thousands of followers, subscribers, and sales start pouring in.

Once you’ve created your ads, you can target specific audiences within Instagram’s vast database of users. This allows you to reach people who may not have otherwise seen your message.

Instagram makes creating and running ad campaigns super easy—It’s a straightforward process that you can incorporate into your overall marketing strategy. And with built-in tracking and analytics, you can assess your ad performance and make changes accordingly.

How much do Instagram ads cost?

How much it costs to run an Instagram ad campaign depends on ad style, length, and target audience. The average cost per click is around A$1.5 – but this can go as low as A$0.1/click or as high as A$10/click. 

When you get into the ad creation process, Instagram will ask you to set your budget, which will determine how widely your ad is circulated and how many impressions it will generate. 

Meta recommends setting a budget of at least $5 per day, and running your ad for at least six days. They say that this will give their algorithm the best chance at targeting your ad to the right audience and will produce the best results. 

Instagram ad formats

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You can run Instagram ads in a variety of formats, ranging from standard photo posts to video stories and Reels. 

  • Images—These are your standard, in-feed image posts that appear alongside followed content when you scroll through your feed.
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  • Stories—You can display full-screen pictures or videos as ads in the Instagram Stories format. Instead of appearing in your feed as a post, these display between users’ Stories.
  • Carousel—These allow you to showcase a series of pictures or videos. Users can swipe through the display, and will be shown a CTA button or link that can direct them to your website or store page.
  • Collection—Collection ads essentially link your Instagram store to a carousel formatted ad. You can show off multiple products, allowing users to purchase them directly from the ad itself. 
  • Explore—Instead of ads that display in users’ feeds or  Instagram Stories, Explore ads show up in the Explore tab. This method is great to use in conjunction with other methods to increase exposure.
  • IGTV—These ads play during IGTV videos. The ads can be up to 15 seconds long, and should be optimised for full-screen viewing. 
  • Reels—Basically Instagram’s alternative to TikTok-style content, these ads run in between Reel posts. They can be up to 90 seconds long, and should incorporate trending music or sounds to make the most of the ad experience. 

How to choose the best type of Instagram ad

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When choosing which type of Instagram ad to go with, you should define your goals, audience, and research how different ad styles perform.

1. Define your goal

Think about what you most want to accomplish with your Instagram ad. Are you looking to drive traffic to your site? Grow your audience and followers? Or convert more customers and drive sales?

2. Define your target audience

Different ad styles and content perform better with different audiences. That’s why it’s so important to nail down who your target audience is, so you can play to their content preferences.

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Research whether they’re more likely to enjoy static or video content, if they prefer Instagram Stories to Reels, etc. 

3. Research ad performance

Depending on your answers to the previous sections, now you can research and analyse how your chosen ad styles generally perform. You can also look at how your organic content has performed with your current audience, and use that insight to influence your ads. 

How to create Instagram ads

To start creating Instagram ads, you first have to set up a business profile through Meta (Facebook). From there, just follow these simple steps:

1: Link your Instagram business profile to your Facebook page

From Page Settings in your Facebook Business page, click Instagram on the left menu. 

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Select Connect Account. Choose whether or not to sync messages, then hit Continue

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Log in with either your Instagram or Facebook login, then proceed to the next step. 

2: Create an Instagram ad campaign

Start by logging into your Ads Manager. 

Select the Campaigns tab, then click Create. 

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Choose your campaign objectives from the available list.

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3: Create your Instagram ad set

Once you’ve set your objectives, you can create the specific ad set. 

Name your ad set and choose a conversion type from the available options.

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Set your budget and define your audience. 

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Determine if you want manual or automatic ad placements, and make your selections.

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Click on New Ad. Choose your Instagram ad format, then upload your content. 

Scroll down and add text or a CTA to your ad.

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Check out your ad preview, then hit Publish

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Frequently asked questions

Can I advertise on Instagram for free?

While you can’t run a paid ad campaign for free, there are other ways to promote your business on Instagram that don’t cost anything. 

You can organically grow your following through regular posts and content marketing, as well as partner with affiliates and influencers to build your brand. 

How can I promote an Instagram post?

Promoting an Instagram post is different than running an ad campaign, as you can choose to boost individual posts and set post-specific goals. 

Simply navigate to the post you want to boost, and tap Boost. Then you’ll be directed to fill out some information on your goals and budget. 

You can find more information and detailed support from Instagram here.

Can I create Instagram ads on desktop?

Yes, you can manage your Instagram ads through their Ads Manager platform, which can be accessed on mobile and desktop.

Should I run ads on both Facebook and Instagram? 

The answer depends on your specific goals and budget—however, since both platforms are under the Meta umbrella, it’s super simple to set up simultaneous campaigns. 

The Most Important Thing to Consider

Instagram ads can help grow your audience, boost engagement, and drive sales. And with a host of customisable options and easy integration with the Meta platform, getting started with them is easy. 

The main points to remember are…

  1. Choose an Instagram ad format (or formats)
  2. Define your goal
  3. Define your audience
  4. Create Instagram ad creative
  5. Launch your ads
  6. Review ad performance and refine over time
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If you’re looking for expert help setting up and running your ad campaign on Instagram, why not partner with the #1 rated marketing agency in Australia? 

Megaphone specialises in social media advertising, and we work with creators and businesses of all types and sizes. Get in touch today to see what we can do for you!

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