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“More than 30% of users have bought a product they discovered on the platform, and images on Instagram get an average of 23% more engagement than their Facebook counterparts.” – Ad Espresso

As Instagram continues to dominate the social space, it’s no longer a question of “should I be using Instagram ads?” because if you have something to sell, whether that be a service, an item or an idea, the chances are that you should.

Step 1 – You need a Facebook Business page

First things first, I’m going to get to arguably the most important bit out there: without Facebook, there is no advertising on Instagram.

You need to be set up with a business page on Facebook to run ads on your Instagram (and yes, your Instagram also needs to be set up as a business page in order to be linked) whether this is Facebook’s dying plea to keep people using it or not, it does also offer the chance to view your Instagram analytics too, which is essential in improving your digital marketing strategy.

Step 2 – Learn the types of ads

If you’re going to dip your toe into the Insta Ad ocean (which can feel vast if you don’t know what you’re doing) you’re going to want to familiarise yourself with the types of ads you can utilise.

1.Newsfeed Ads (these can be presented as single image link ads, carousel ads, video ads or a slideshow)

This is where it all began, a humble newsfeed ad. This is what comes up as your unsuspecting (or not so unsuspecting if you’ve got your targeting right…) viewer is scrolling through their feed.

2. Story Ads (these can be still images or video but as usual, video seems to be trouncing stills in the engagement game)

Stories have skyrocketed since their launch in 2016 with plenty of people heading straight to the top of the app before ever making it to their feed. With their success, in March 2019 came the opportunity to advertise in this space too. But be careful, it’s almost quicker to skip a story than to scroll past an advert. You might reach more people but you’ve potentially got to work even harder to engage them!

Step 3 – Plan your campaign properly

Are your visuals strong enough?

Double-check how it’s going to look- as with anything you’re sharing on social media, make sure it’s a high-quality image with the right ratio aspects for your chosen ad.

You can check the ratios for whichever type of ad(s) you’ve chosen with this handy guide by Sprout Social.

What’s your CTA?

The super-fast-paced nature of social media means you need to grab the attention of your audience and you need to do it quickly. It’s essential that you’re completely clear about what you want them to do.

If you need some inspiration on how to write a call to action that gets results, take a look at our blog on exactly that, here.

What do you want to spend?

You’ll need to decide on your budget and set your bid. Budget is how much you’re willing to spend overall and bid is how much you’re willing to spend per click/impression/swipe-up.

Last but certainly not least, who is it for?

As with any campaign, you’ll need to consider who you want to see it- who is your target audience?

Here are some things straight from the horse’s mouth to consider when setting your targets (the horse is Instagram) :


Target people based in specific locations such as counties, regions, cities or countries.


Narrow your audience based on information such as age, gender and languages.


Reach people based on interests such as the apps they use, ads they click on and accounts they follow.


Define your audience by activities they do on and off Instagram and Facebook.

Custom audiences

Run ads to customers you already know based on their email addresses or phone numbers.

Lookalike audiences

Find new people who are similar to your existing customers.

Automated targeting

We help you quickly create an audience who might be interested in your business using a variety of signals including location, demographics and interests.

What’s next?

Now you know what your objectives are, and you know what type of ad you’re going for, head over to Facebook’s ad manager and get started!

If you’d like a hand with your social media advertising, why not speak to one of our experts by getting in touch below?

How can we help?