What are Instagram ads?

The platform Instagram was independently created and released in 2010, however, shortly after its success in 2012 it was purchased by Facebook where limited advertising was available for the channel at the time. But as of 2015, the entire of all businesses were open to the world of Instagram Advertising with the various format and audience selections that best-suited different business objectives. 

How much do Instagram ads costs?

Like any other advertising platform, costs very much vary depending on your objective, targeting and success of your ad. Costs are usually similar to Facebooks’ however proved to be a little more expensive as a selected placement, but is easily controlled to make sure your costs don’t get out of hand. 

  • On average, females are more expensive to target than males.
  • CPC tends to be higher during the holidays, and the fourth quarter has been proven to be the most expensive because of holiday shopping.
  • The cheapest age group to target was 13-17-year-olds at $0.47 per click.

Different types of Instagram ads

Instagram is the perfect platform for content! It’s literally flooding with the stuff! Both individuals and businesses are always trying to share the best images and videos to best capture people through their scrolling. When choosing what visual you want for your ad it’s important that it stands out, is engaging and has a clear CTA for mobile devices. Instagram is such a popular channel for stand-out imagery and it is important to capture your audience’s attention attentively and effectively.


  • Story ads – either video or image ads are allowed on here, with the ability to add animated stickers, polls, locations and more! Proved to be one of IG’s best-performing placements for advertising. 
  • Image + Video Ads (appearing in feed)
  • Carousel ads- containing a selection of swipeable images or videos. 
  • Collections ads- that can show off different products, perfect for an ecommerce business.

Is Instagram Advertising for your business?

Think about your business goals, Instagram offers a wide variety of campaign objectives when set-up through Ads Manager. 

  • Awareness: reach and frequency, brand awareness, local awareness.
  • Consideration: website clicks, video views, reach and frequency.
  • Conversion: website conversions, dynamic ads, mobile installs and mobile engagement.

Who are your audience?

Before looking at starting paid advertising on Instagram, you need to think, is this the right platform for my audience? Really deep dive into research on your audience’s interests, ages, genders, habits. The majority of Instagrams audience is between the age of 18-34, so perhaps take into consideration the age of the people you are wanting to reach. Below are some of the targeting options ads’ manager can offer you:

  • Location-specific countries, regions, cities or counties
  • Interests – apps people use, ads click on, followed accounts 
  • Demographics – age, gender, languages
  • Behaviours- Activities they do on and off Instagram and Facebook 
  • Custom Audiences- Customers already know, email add, numbers 
  • LAL – Similar to existing customers
  • Automated targeting- IG generated based on interest in business with a variety of signals

How to set-up Instagram ads and measuring performance? 

  1. Using External Advertising Partners
  2. Creating through Facebook’s Ads Manager


  • The best platform to mass produce lots of different variety of ads. 
  • Better insights on performance. 
  • Wider variety of targeting options 
  • More goals/objectives to choose from. 

The Set-Up:

  1. Go to Ads Manager
  2. Select Create
  3. Choose an objective that supports Instagram as an ad placement
  4. Select Continue 
  5. Fill in the details for your ad set
  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 Instagram for a placement, you can complete your ad by adding and altering your visual/ad copy.


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

3. Promoting in the Instagram app


  • Directly on the app with a post or story that you have already shared. You can do this by tapping promote, IG 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.


You can look at basic performance within the IG app, looking at your insights and other metrics that are important to your business goals. 

Instagram Advertising is on a massive rise come 2020, growing year-on-year, promoting stunning imagery and videos making your competition even more challenging. If you’ve read this and think this would be a great idea to get started, make sure you are all set-up for an Instagram Business Profile, to begin posting and advertising on the platform. We’d love to hear success stories you’ve had from the platform, reach out to us on social!