For several months, Instagram has allowed sponsored content. After trying trying them out for few months, I want to share with you a  guide with 10 steps on how to create a campaign,  and a few tips.

The importance of Instagram as an advertising channel

Instagram has become one of the best low cost  advertising alternatives. The number of Instagram users now exceeds 400 million and the level of participation is very high. It is still to early to know if the ads get more clicks conversion here than in other systems, such as Facebook or Twitter Ads, but what we do know is that users interact and actively follow their favorite brands to be informed of discounts and contests. That means Instagram targeted ads  can become very effective.

Some interesting facts about Instagram:

  • More than 60% of active users are women (age 18-45 years). Most statistics place women above men in terms of Internet shopping.
  • Along with Facebook and Youtube, it is the social network where users spend the most time online (dwell time), so the likelihood that they get your message is high.

Are Instagram campaigns cheap?

Whenever a platform starts out , CPC costs are very low. The cost per click is usually between 0.05 cents and $1. Compared to Google Adwords, Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter Ads it is very cheap. You can get lots visibility for very little money! This will not last forever so you have to seize the moment.

Management from Facebook Ads Manager

Another feature of Instagram Ads is that it does not have its own ad manager., but is managed from within Facebook Ads Manager.

Guide to creating ads in Instagram

Here is my guide with 10 steps on how to set up a campaign from start to finish in Instagram . I added a few tricks you can use to design your ads and set up segmentation and budget for your campaign:

1. Link Instagram with Facebook

If you are sure that you want to try and run a campaign on Instagram the first thing you need to do is link your IG account with its Facebook page. This is a simple but very important step. If you have not previously created a Fan Page, you will not be able to create ads in Instagram.

To link both accounts, go to the  “Settings” on your Facebook Business page and then click on “Instagram Ads “ on the left sidebar. Click “Add an account” or “delete account” if you want to change it.

Facenook page Instagram ads facebook setting


2. Types of campaigns and objectives

The next step is to choose the most suitable type of campaign for your goals. Currently there are 5 types available, depending on whether you want to do page post engagement, clicks to website,  website conversions, mobile app installs or if you want video views.

page post engagement

Choose this type of campaign, if you want to increase the visibility of some of the post on your site. You can reuse the post you have on your Facebook page. It is a good choice for those brands who want to improve their reach and get users involved  by having them like or comment on a fb post. The trick to getting engagement in this type of campaign is by providing something original, funny or useful content for users. I advise against sales messages in these campaigns.

clicks to website

This campaign aim to get visitors to a specific page or to your website. The ad includes a button that automatically redirects to where you want. This is very useful because you can’t have redirect links in your regular Instagram posts

website conversions

Same as above but incorporates a tracking conversion pixel that tracks how many people purchase the product you were advertising.

mobile app installs

This  campaigns is design to get users to download mobile application. This campaign is very  effective because most users, if not all, use Instagram from their phones.

video views

Along with  pictures, videos are and will remain the most striking and attractive format in any social networks. This campaign will serve to increase your brand recognition.

 3. Targeting Options

When segmenting and trying to reach your ideal target audience, you’ll have the same options that exist on Facebook. On one side are the basic segmentation options including geographical segmentation, language, age and gender. On the other hand we have advanced targeting options such as:

custom audience

Custom audiences allows you to create your own lists of users depending on whether you want to use a database (emails) or list users who have previously browsed your website (re-marketing). With both options you can target your ads to people who somehow already know of you so there are likely to return and convert.


In this section, you can segment based on personal aspects of users. some examples are education, relationship or job


Interests, help you reach people based on pages they like and content they participate in. For example: sports and outdoor activities, technology, food and drinks, etc.


With behavior you can reach users depending on the activities being carried out at this time. For example, you can target your ads to “people who are currently traveling” or “people who are administrators of facebook pages”


This option will be very useful if you want to add or exclude fans of your Facebook page in the campaign. It also gives you the option to add or exclude similar users (similar in interests, gender, age, language, etc.) to your fans. Also people who have participated in your events or people who have interacted with your app.

 4. How to choose your budget and bid

After defining who your target audience is, it will be time to create a budget, group your ads and create a bidding strategy. As I said at the beginning, if you  want to advertise on Instagram the cost will be cheap. The minimum budget that you can set is $5 per day.

The duration of the campaign and targeting affect how fast or slow the budget is consumed.

In the section “Optimizing for delivering ads” you will find a drop down that lets you choose what you will like to pay for and normally you find 3 options for interaction (or clicks), for impressions or daily unique views. When you are choosing one or the other? Reflect on your goals to decide:

  • If you want to get a response from the user or just clicks I suggest you use interaction or click.
  • If you want brand awareness, or just exposure go with  impressions.
  • If you want to limit the volume of impressions, 1 per user, the third option of daily unique scope is for you.

 5. Ad Formats + example

You currently have 4 types of ads available to design for your users. Whatever you do try to be original and daring. Particular emphasis on the quality of the images, Visuals are very important on Instagram!


Carousel ads bring an additional layer of depth to photo ads. People can swipe to see additional images and a call to action button takes them to a website to learn more.


Photo Ad

With photo ads, businesses can tell their story through beautiful imagery. Whether it’s inspiring people to see your brand differently or to take action, they offer a clean, simple and beautiful creative canvas.



Video ads offer the same visually immersive quality as photo ads on Instagram — with the power of sight, sound and motion. And now, you can share videos up to 60 seconds long and in landscape format.


6. Strategy: Ads with valuable content

Advertising is constantly evolving and we need to innovate and do things different . I recommend you switch occasionally from commercial content (discounts, contests, special offers, and new products) to advertisements that offer valuable content.

There are thousands of options to encourage participation from the Instagram community. From  funny videos,  branded designs,  motivational quotes or post about everyday activity’s  (event, birthday, team challenge, etc). You can also use it to tell a story about your company. 

7.  Tips for creating ads on Instagram

  • Use the most used hashtags in your industry (3 to 7).
  • Use a specific campaign or hashtag for your brand.
  • Add smileys faces and Emojis .
  • You have to be short and direct, less is more.
  • Make sure you use friendly and familiar language to your niche.
  • Repeats the call to action in the text (eg Purchase, Enter now, subscribe, download, etc).
  • Add your URL.
  • Ask questions to encourage participation.
  • Always use your brand colors.
  • Use images with high definition.

 8. Set the conversion pixel

As in Facebook campaigns, you can create a conversion pixel from the Ads Manager to measure the results of your campaign on Instagram. The first thing to do is to define what users will do to trigger a conversion  and then create the pixel to place in your sites html code.

Once you have the code, you must insert it into the page you want to track for the conversion. If your conversion is a purchase, you must add the tracking tag on the “thanks for your purchase” page. This is how you make sure that the user clicked your ad and finally bought.

 9. How to Interpret Results

Your campaign data appear within the Facebook Ads Manager site. They have greatly improved the site to make it easier to follow the evolution of your campaign and ad groups. Many advertisers prefer to use Power Editor to create campaigns and study the data, but you can also do so from the Ad manager. I recommend Ads Manager until you go get more experience with Power Editor.

10. Campaign Optimization

Since the cost per click CPC is so low at this time on Instagram, it is rare that you will not achieve great visibility for your ad. Still, I recommend carefully studying your stats and record a list of optimization tasks to further improve your future campaigns. Below is a list of the most important questions you should ask yourself to analyze what is right and wrong and what you can do to correct the result:

  • Have I reached the expected number of impressions?  If you need to increase the view, you should increases your budget and bid.
  • Is CTR of the campaign or the rate of results greater than 2%? If not, you should increase the bid to increase the number of impressions and increase the ratio of clicks.
  • Have I got clicks or results (interactions)?  If the answer is no, or very few, rewrite the ad design and message. If you think the ad is not showing to the right people change your target audience.


What do you think of Instagram Ads?

Hopefully you enjoyed this post and find it useful. Online advertising is a crucial area for many companies. Demand for certified marketing professionals and management on all major platforms is increasing. I recommend everyone gets familiar with the marketing platform that best suits your needs.

We want to hear from you, so if you want to tell us about your experience with Instagram or Facebook advertising or add something to the article please post below in the comments section.