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How to Advertise on Instagram: A Step by Step Guide

Instagram is perhaps the number one social media platform you should advertise on. After all, over 1 billion people worldwide check out their Instagram feeds daily. If your content can be added to their feeds, you might just reach the biggest audience your brand has ever seen!But how exactly do you advertise on Instagram? This step-by-step guide will break down precisely what you need to do to create an Instagram business account and start your first ad campaign on this popular social media platform.

Make an Instagram Business Account

Before you can start advertising on Instagram, you’ll first need to make an Instagram business account. You can do this in one of two ways:

  • Convert a regular Instagram profile into a business account through the Instagram app, or
  • Convert a regular Instagram profile into a business account through Facebook. Remember, Facebook owns Instagram, and you’ll create most of your ad campaigns through Facebook instead of through Instagram itself.

Either way, making an Instagram business profile is quick and simple.For the Instagram profile path, simply log into your Instagram profile on any mobile device, navigate to your settings, and click “Switch to business profile” from the available options. You can then connect your Instagram to your Facebook page, provide a phone number, email address, and other personal information, and snap! Your Instagram account will now be a business account.The Facebook version of this is pretty similar. Log into Facebook, click on Settings in the top right corner, and then click Instagram from the menu that pops up.Log in to your Instagram profile through this portal to connect it to your Facebook page. You can again provide vital contact information that will be displayed on the business’s profile. The transition from a personal to a business account should be instantaneous.

Use Facebook Ads Manager

Once you’ve successfully transitioned your private Instagram account into a business account, you’ll be able to make advertisements for both platforms using the Facebook Ads Manager: a powerful and versatile tool that allows you to supercharge your business’s advertising efforts.To get started with Facebook Ads Manager, simply log into your Facebook profile, then click Create Ads from the drop-down menu. This will open the primary ads manager.

  • Click Create New Campaign
  • Choose between Guided or Quick Creation. Guided creation is best if you’re new to creating ads for Instagram.

Choose an Ad Objective

Your next big step is to choose an objective for your ad campaign. Using the Facebook Ad Manager, you’ll be able to select from three broad categories:

  • Awareness ad campaigns are designed to generate more awareness or interest in your business or products. This can tie into objectives like reach or brand awareness. 
  • Consideration ad campaigns are designed to get people thinking about your business, specifically for objectives like generating views on your high-quality ad videos, website clicks, and general traffic generation. 
  • Conversion ad campaigns are designed to get people to make a purchase, install an app, visit your store, and more. In many ways, these ad campaigns are the most important and the most difficult to pull off.

Choose whichever broad objective seems to fit your marketing campaign’s goals. Remember, you can create an unlimited number of ad campaigns, so don’t worry if this one advertising campaign doesn’t hit all of your goals.

Set Up Your Account

Next, you have to set up a dedicated advertising account. This is pretty simple:

  • Choose the primary country of the account
  • Choose the applicable currency
  • Choose the time zone

You don’t normally need to mess with the advanced options. Once you’re done, you can progress to the next step.

Set Your Ad Audience

Now it’s time to choose your audience for your Instagram advertisements. Remember, the most effective ad campaigns target specific consumers rather than serve as catchall ads that connect to anybody.Fortunately, Facebook Ad Manager gives you several targeting tools and options. These include:

  • Custom audience controls, which you can use to specify a consumer base. You need lots of information for this to work, including phone numbers, email addresses, or demographic information. If this is your first ad campaign, chances are you’ll need to use the other targeting tools below. 
  • Location tools can help you target consumers based on their location. Facebook allows you to target locations as small as single towns or as large as entire countries. 
  • Demographics tools allow you to select your audience based on aspects like age, language, or gender. 
  • Connections tools allow you to target people who already have a connection to one of your Facebook pages, apps, and more. 
  • Detailed targeting tools allow you to sort your audience even further. These tools are perhaps the most important since they allow you to exclude people, which prevents you from wasting time on demographics that don’t matter.

The Ad Manager interface is pretty simple to grasp. Tweak the settings until you are satisfied, then click Save Audience.

Customize Where Your Ads Will Show Up

You can now start to think about where your advertisements will show up. The Ad Manager allows you to either allow automatic placements or edit the placements yourself. Automatic placing of advertisements is recommended if this is your first time creating an ad campaign for Facebook.But if you want to place ads on Instagram, you’ll need to dive into the Edit Placements tool.Click on that button, then scroll down and find Platforms. Deselect the platforms that don’t apply to your advertising efforts, such as Facebook and Messenger. You can then select Instagram, which will tell the Ad Manager that you want your advertisements to show up on Instagram primarily or exclusively.

Set Ad Budget and Schedule

The next step is setting your advertising campaign budget and schedule. Fortunately, Facebook allows you to set a daily or lifetime budget, limiting what you can spend in a single day or over the course of the entire marketing campaign.Work with your marketing team to figure out a budget that fits your needs.Then choose a schedule for your advertisements. You have two options: running the advertising continuously from the moment it launches or setting a start and end date.This factor can seriously affect the cost of your overall marketing campaign, so consider this heavily before finalizing the option.

Create the Ads!

Now comes the fun part – creating the advertisements!The Facebook Ad Manager comes with some limited tools to create new ads within its interface. Still, you can also hire digital marketing agencies like VisCap Media or use your own internal team to create a truly stellar advertisement for your Instagram followers.If you want to see the most success, you’ll click Existing Ad and use one of the ads you’ve previously made for your marketing campaign.

Add Customizations

Facebook Ad Manager will allow you to customize your ad by uploading additional images, adding a website URL, and writing more text. Once you’ve tweaked the ad and are fully satisfied, the Ad Manager will show you a preview before finalizing the design.Crucially, you’ll be able to select whether you want your ad to be displayed in Instagram Stories or Instagram Feeds. Choose whichever works best for your marketing efforts on the Instagram platform, then click Confirm.There you go! Now you’ve successfully started an Instagram ad campaign for Facebook. But what about doing ads through Instagram itself?

Instagram Post Promotion

You can technically advertise directly on Instagram without using Facebook at all. But this advertising method doesn’t have as much customization. It’s done for the so-called post promotion feature, so you can only make advertisements out of existing posts and artificially funnel them to the top of the Instagram algorithm.Navigate to your Instagram app profile and select a post that you want to promote, then:

  • Click Promote, which should be right below the post’s main image
  • Click on any advanced settings you want to tweak for your promoted post, including the budget, duration, and audience
  • Click Promote again once you are satisfied with the ad

As you can see, this doesn’t give you nearly as many choices as Facebook Ad Manager. But it can still be a great way to drive traffic and improve brand awareness over time.

Keep an Eye on How Ads Perform

Regardless of which toolset you use to advertise on Instagram, be sure to keep an eye on how the ads perform over the long term so you can tweak future marketing campaigns and make the most of both platforms. Advertising on social media through Facebook and Instagram is a fantastic way to promote your brand and its products or services.Of course, any marketing effort will see more success with top-tier video content created by agencies like VisCap Media. Contact us today and see how we can help your marketing campaign come to life with engaging, traffic-generating video ads!Sources:Distribution of Instagram users worldwide as of January 2021, by age group | StatistaAbout Facebook Ads Manager | FacebookHow to Define Your Target Market | Inc.com

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