How To Run Instagram Ads: A Step-by-Step Guide

7 Min Read. |

Instagram Ads

Instagram is a powerful arsenal in the armoury of Facebook apart from the WhatsApp. Together these three are dominating forces of social media and instant messaging. Instagram is now standing at more than 700 million monthly active users, which is huge! And no wonder that with such a huge active userbase, marketers are eager to tap into Instagram Ads to reach out to their target customers. With more than 1 million active advertisers on Instagram, Instagram Ads are only gaining ground with each passing day.

Let us begin with some of the basics of advertising on Instagram:

Instagram Advertising

As should be the approach of any marketer to begin with the WHY (the purpose), one should be clear with the purpose or the goals one want to achieve through their Instagram Advertising campaigns. Some of the most essential marketing goals, which can be fulfilled by Instagram Advertising are:

  • Brand Awareness

Increase awareness of your brand, business and product/service. The metrics on Instagram to measure the same are:

  1. Impressions
  2. Reach
  3. Reach and Frequency
  4. Engagement
  5. Brand Awareness
  6. Local Awareness
  • Product Consideration

  1. Website Traffic
  2. Video Views
  3. Reach and Frequency
  • Sales/Conversions

  1. Mobile App Installs
  2. Mobile App Engagements
  3. Website Conversions
  4. Dynamic Adverts on Instagram

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Types of Instagram Ads

Primarily there are four types of Instagram Ads:

  • Photo Adverts

This is the simplest type of Instagram Ads wherein you can fulfil your goals using a single photograph. The photo can be in a square or a landscape format. You can run this type of Ad directly from within Instagram itself or from Facebook Adverts Manager. All the three goals discussed above can be achieved using Photo Adverts. Here are two examples of Photo Adverts:

Instagram Ads

Tandtmotors prompting users to click on their Photo Advert with a “Get Quote” call to action to generate leads on next page.

  • Video Adverts

If a photograph is worth a thousand words, then a video certainly is worth a thousand photographs. The mix of sight, sound and motion definitely attracts human senses and conveys the messages more effectively. The videos can be up to 60 seconds of length and you can upload them in landscape or square format. Again you can run these directly from within Instagram or from Facebook Adverts Manager.

Instagram Ads

Instagram Video Advert by macduggal(Primary purpose of this particular Ad is to increase views of the video)

  • Carousel Adverts

Carousel Adverts, as the name suggests, allow a series of photographs or videos displayed side-by-side on swiping the screen. This is an excellent way to immerse the viewer into an experience and thus making her click on your Ad for a particular action. There is a lot of possibility of creativity in Carousels. Here’s one such example:

Instagram Ads

Instagram Carousel Adverts allow multiple pictures or videos which users can scroll. Brands can tell their story along with a call to action like “Learn More” to take visitors to their website.

  • Stories Adverts

Stories Adverts are the latest addition in its advertising arsenal by Instagram. These are unique types of Ads which allow full-screen 9:16 visuals on screen. You can either use a single photograph or a video in your Stories Adverts. These Ads are skippable and appear seamlessly, within Instagram Stories only. Here’s a video showcasing how to create Stories Adverts (courtesy: Iconosquare):

How To Create Instagram Ads?

Since the acquisition by Facebook, there has been a seamless integration between both Instagram and Facebook. This allows one to not just link both their Instagram and Facebook accounts, but also to create Instagram Ad campaigns right from the Facebook Adverts Manager or Power Editor.

Although I want to make it clear that if you just want to promote (or boost) the existing pictures or videos on Instagram, then you can do that on within Instagram app itself on your smartphone. Here are two main steps to create Instagram Ads:

  • Create Instagram Business Profile

A Facebook Page is compulsory for advertising on Instagram. So, if you don’t have a profile already then create a Facebook Page (from You will also have to add the billing details to your Facebook Ads Manager account. To do that go to and then click on the Facebook Adverts icon (pointed as Arrow 1 in the below screenshot), next you will see a drop-down and then click on the ‘Billing & payment methods’ (pointed as Arrow 2 below) and then you will see ‘Add Payment Method’ option where you can add your billing details:

Facebook Adverts Account

Process to add billing details to Facebook Adverts Account

Once you are done with that, next you will need to convert your Instagram account into a Business Profile. To do that open your Instagram account on your smartphone and click on the settings button at the top right corner of your Instagram profile, then scroll down to the Accounts sections and then choose ‘convert to business profile’ option. After that Instagram will prompt you to link one of your Facebook pages with your Instagram account and then you are all set to go. One of the bonus of converting to Instagram business account is that you will see insights/metrics of your Instagram posts right up there within the Instagram app itself (in the top right corner).

The process to convert your Instagram account to Instagram business profile is shown in the screenshots (5 screenshots blended in serial order) below:

Instagram Ads

Instagram Ads

  • Set up the Advert, Budget and Publish

Once you are done with converting your Instagram account to Business Account then open the Facebook Adverts Manager or the Facebook Power Editor. Choose your Advert objective, Target Audience and Advert format. Then set the duration of your Advert and the amount of money you want to spend on the same. Now, click publish. As soon as your Adverts are approved, you will receive a notification for the same. Let me share the method to create Instagram Ads in the Ads Manager, Power Editor and directly on Instagram one-by-one:

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  • How to Create Instagram Ads Using Facebook Ads Manager:

Here are the steps to be followed as defined by Facebook:

  • Go to Ads Creation via following link:
  • Choose an objective (compatible with Instagram). Some of the compatible objectives as defined by Facebook are:
    • Brand awareness
    • Reach
    • Traffic (for clicks to your website or to the app store for your app)
    • App installs
    • Engagement (for post engagement only)
    • Video views
    • Conversions (for conversions on your website or in your app)
    • Lead generation
  • Click Continue after you’ve chosen an objective. Next, fill in the details of your ad including ad targeting, budget, schedule and creative.
  • Before you place your order, make sure that there’s a check next to Instagram in the Ad Preview section of ad creation. This will ensure your ad will be eligible to run on Instagram
  • How to Create Instagram Ads Using Facebook Power Editor:

Here are the steps to be followed as defined by Facebook:

  • Open Power Editor and click the Manage Ads tab at the top of the page.
  • Click on the left side of the page and then click Create Ad Set.
  • On the Create Ad Set page, choose whether to use an existing campaign or create a new campaign. Your campaign must use an ad objective that supports Instagram ads (same as shared in the above section).
  • Enter a name for the ad set and click Create.
  • Select the new ad set and on the right side of the page, click Edit to set details such as budget, schedule, audience, placement (where the ad will run) and pricing. If you want the ads you include in this ad set to run on Instagram, choose Instagram in the Placements section.
  • When you’re ready, click the green Review Changes button to publish your changes.
  • How to Create Instagram Ads Directly on Instagram App:

Once you have linked your Instagram account with your Facebook page and have everything in place (like billing details, conversion to business profile) then you will see a Promote button at lower right corner below your photo or video which you want to promote. Follow these steps:

  • Click on the Promote button.
  • Next you will be asked to choose the objective. Like ‘Visit your website’, ‘Call or visit your business’.
  • Once you choose the objective, you will be asked to Select Button Text, which consist of following buttons:
    • Learn More
    • Watch More
    • Shop Now
    • Book Now
    • Sign Up
    • Contact Us
  • Now scroll down to choose your target Audience. Instagram will show options of Automatic selected audience, your saved audience from your Facebook Ads and an option to freshly select new set of Audience.
  • Once you select the audience, choose the budget and duration and make your ad live!

    Instagram Ads

    Instagram Native Ads (Click on the Promote button to set the advert)


I am sure this article will definitely help you to create Instagram Advertisement campaign for your brand. All the best! If you any queries regarding Instagram Ads, please ask in the comment box below.

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