How To Grow Your Business With Instagram Advertising

instagram advertising

A Pew Research Study has shown that 55% of 18 to 29-year-olds in the U.S. use Instagram regularly. This is a large swath of a generation using this social media platform, which uses video and pictures rather than text to communicate with others.

Businesses that use the power Instagram has to offer can show their audience why they’re the best of the best – ensuring their growth and success among the millennial population.

How can a company be successful on a photo-sharing platform like Instagram? In order for success to be garnered, they need to use Instagram ads. Small, medium and large company advertisers have seen tremendous results from Instagram ads. It has resulted in mass awareness, a rise in mobile app download and an increase in website sales.

Instagram has an array of possibilities for any imaginative marketer. Do you want to learn how to advertise on Instagram?

Why Should You Consider Advertising On Instagram?

Instagram ads have garnered a lot of success in producing new business for companies. According to an eMarketer report, three-quarters of U.S. business with 100 employees or more will use create an Instagram advertising campaign during 2017.

The social media website provides several convincing case studies that show just how effective the ad features are. Instagram measures the success of each campaign using metrics like reach, awareness and ad recall rather than comments, like and follower counts seen with other social media platforms.

For instance, Read Dog Books is a monthly book subscription that used Instagram Stories to reach out to its audience. It also used an ad campaign for both Facebook and Instagram, encouraging people to sign up. What happened?

They got seven times return from the ad.

A 2016 Forrester study looked at the top 50 worldwide brands on social media. It noted there were 11.8 million user interactions on nearly 2,500 posts made by about 250 branded profiles. The information collected included the following:

· How top brands used social media networks

· The number of fans they have

· How often they were making posts

· How often users would interact with posts

According to Forrester, there are more than one million average Instagram followers for top brand – or five times more than what was seen in 2015.

What does this mean? It means Instagram users are not just following family, friends and celebrities. They’re also following brands they prefer. Do you want this to be you?

3 Kinds Of Instagram Ads You Can Use

There are three primary kinds of Instagram ads you have to pick from. It doesn’t matter what your goals are – attaining website visits, establishing brand awareness or boosting downloads for your mobile app – Instagram ads can assist you in attaining an engaging audience. If you’ve been asking yourself “How do I advertise on Instagram,” then you need to look at each ad type and determine how they can fit into your campaign.

Instagram Photo Ads

Companies can use photo ads to convey their story and show off products using visually appealing images. It allows you to market the brand to a large audience or to your local customers that will lead to higher impressions.

For instance, Suvinil is a Brazilian paint brand that began its Instagram ads campaign, targeting a certain demographic – people over 35. With the website’s segmentation tool, Suvinil was able to target folks who have an interest in their paint. In a mere two months, the campaign saw a 15-point increase in its Instagram ad recall.

instagram photo ads

Instagram Video Ads

You can create Instagram video ads that are 60 seconds long. However, information from Wista shows that it’s the first 30 seconds of the video that matters most of all. If your audience is hooked by them, they’re going to engage with your brand.

Many brands have been quite successful using this type of Instagram ads. For instance, Lightricks is a creative app company that uses Instagram videos to assist them in making the top of the download charts with their app Enlight. In fact, their direct-response video ads increased the company’s conversion rate 50%. They attained a higher reach and reduced its cost per install. This led to a 40 million post engagement as well. Enlight managed to attain over 300,000 downloads, making it number one in worldwide iOS paid app charts.


Instagram Carousel Ads

Carousal ads allow users to look through multiple images and use a call-to-action button that transfers them to a website. Think of these ads as a digital version of yesterday’s multi-page print campaigns. These ads provide the additional benefit of sending people to the website to find out additional information.

For instance, a new restaurant could show how many ingredients make one meal. Once the restaurant has peaked their interest, they can use the button that allows them to make reservations.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series used targeted carousel ads to encourage folks to sign up for events during a one-day sale.

The company first targeted people who registered during a past event and established connections with a new audience – friends and family of runners who were also interested in the events. The company used a teaser video ad two days before the sale. The video increased awareness of the race and let people know of the upcoming sale.

It used targeted carousel link ads to people who had interaction with the video. The ad had runners that held signs to announce the low prices it had to offer, using a number of call-to-actions to encourage people to sign up.

Its campaign was a success, giving it a 52% increase in registrations.


Using The Call-To-Action Buttons For Your Instagram Advertising Campaign

Instagram, in 2015, added a multitude of new features like call-to-action buttons like Install Now and Shop Now. These buttons were created to encourage folks to visit the business and buy from it. These buttons can be linked to any area of the web – online or offline Instagram that fits into your company’s goals. Here are some Instagram Ad examples that have garnered tremendous success.

10 Popular Instagram Ads That Have Been Successful

Instagram for Business

Instagram for Business is a great example of Instagram’s advertising power. It uses the Food52, a recipe website, as what ad content could look like if people visualize it for their own Instagram accounts. If you go to Food52’s Instagram account, you’ll see the ad it has isn’t much different from the organic content they publicize. This allows their ad to mix well with their friends’ videos and photos.


Why Does This Work?

  •  The Food52 had is an amazing food photo that has colors that contrast and uses both texture and lighting to make viewers hungry. Pictures of food are extremely popular on Instagram, with more than 189 million pictures listed under the hashtag #food alone.
  • The ad uses symmetrical shapes and lines to lure viewers to engage with the brand.
  • In an Eventbrite survey, more than 75% of millennials would rather spend their money on experiences instead of physical items, which is why images are more important than a picture of the website.

Samsung Mobile

In Samsung Mobile's ad for the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus smartphone, viewers can see the manual controls that have been built into the camera that allows for better photography.

The picture is a mid-shot of the phone that highlights the new features and provides folk with an idea of the produce is used. the picture of each screen showcases various locations, which means you can take amazing pictures regardless of where you take the photos.

Samsung_Mobile instagram ad

Why Does This Work?

  • The phones were pictured against a white background, which allows them to stand out. It’s a common practice, and it works.
  • The pictures is a representation of a simple product demonstration. It’s an approach that allows people to review the new control features by presenting every photo mid-photoshoot, with distinctive white manual controls on the bottom of every screen.
  • Its caption uses a play on words to ensure it stays memorable – the manual camera controls. When ads invoke an emotion, viewers are more likely to share and engage with it.

New York Times

The New York Times’ Instagram ad shows an infamous crossword puzzle, which challenges its viewers to solve it. This brings them into the offer to learn more about the New York Times and makes them excited if they solve the puzzle. If they’re happy, they’re far more likely to click or share the ad.

NYTimes instagram ad

Why Does It Work?

  • While the ad is standard, it encourages people to interact and solve the ad. This produces a higher level of engagement.
  • The ad uses nostalgia marketing – using the popular Nickelodeon TV show “Hey Arnold” for its marketing tactic, ensuring you make the audience feel good about the brand and content.


This website is designed to help job-seekers find the right companies to work for. In its Instagram video ad, Monster uses laughter to demonstrate to job-seekers how they can address their gaps in employment with the help of Castaway (with Tom Hanks). Instead of saying they were abandoned at sea, the job-seeker says he was managing a crew on an island.

Monster ad

Why Does It Work?

  • The ad uses video content that highlights what users want to see more of.
  • It employs the curiosity gap to encourage users to find out more. After all, how does Castaway have anything to do with job hunting? It doesn’t, but it’s a way to explain gaps one has in their employment, using an easy-to-understand method.


Users of the Headspace app get 10-minute meditation and mindfulness sessions each day. Its ad, while simple, is extremely effective – it uses a countdown clock that tells its users that 10 minutes is all they need to eliminate their anxiety. While it may not be the case, the thought is appealing as there are more than 40 million people in the U.S. who suffer from anxiety disorders.

Headspace instagram post

Why Does It Work?

  • The ad uses bright, warm colors to stimulate the energetic, courageous feelings within the body.
  • It’s got a cartoon-style to it, so it stays memorable and helps with brand awareness.
  • It includes emotional words like happier and anxiety, which also helps with brand awareness.


People who use Blinklist can spend 15 minutes of their time reading nonfiction books to get their lessons and key passages. In the Instagram ad, they promote a book on its service that users can read. The title of that book overlays a person using their cell phone.

Blinkist IG ad

Why Does It Work?

  • The Blinklist ad has geometric shapes that divert the user’s attention to the key element of the ad. Shapes such as diamonds, squares and rectangles give the ad a conformed look that’s pleasing to the eye.
  • Its caption has a broad appeal – even to those folks who don’t feel they have the time to reach. Empathy is a wonderful marketing technique that makes brands more memorable because it responds to their needs.


The Bfresh ad, which is a whole foods and fresh preparation market in the Boston area, uses a simple ad – a picture of its new store. It’s designed to catch the eyes of people who live in that region.

bfresh ad

Why Does It Work?

  • It offers the chance for future benefits – recipes, discounts, etc. – to followers who want to feel young, are interested in saving themselves money and want do-it-yourself food prep.


This ad allows fitness and gym enthusiasts a pass to various gyms and classes in the area of the booking system. The Instagram ad cunningly talks about the discount promotion they are using while provides viewers a glimpse into their service.

ClassPass IG ad

Why Does It Work?

  • It has an appealing color scheme – purple, blue and green – and is ideal for both male and female viewers.
  • The graphics don’t just tell users how the product can be used – they actually show the users how the product can be used by showing pictures of people working out.
  • It has a clear-cut call-to-action that’s extremely compelling, letting users know that it’s a limited time only offer. The ad uses the scarcity principle where customers place a high value on something in limited supply.

Method Home

Method Home uses a video Instagram Ad to convey its line of eco-friendly cleaning products, which comprise of non-toxic ingredients. The video endorses its Method Home sweepstakes that are reliant upon the ad’s user engagement count.


Why Does It Work?

  • The ad catches the eye. After all, it’s odd to see food, cups and plates floating mid-air. The ad’s uniqueness, along with its product, is certainly one people will remember.
  • It uses the feeling empathy to communicate to its viewers. Many people know what it’s like to see dirty dishes that have piled up in the sink. The ad uses dish soap in a creative way – to produce strong, positive feelings to establish a powerful brand relationship. This can boost the Net Promotor Score.

How To Advertise On Instagram Successfully

If you’re going to create Instagram ads, you must have a Facebook page. Keep in mind that Facebook currently owns Instagram, which means both websites work hand in hand. The pages are for public figures, organizations and brands.

Similar to Facebook profiles, you can customize pages with events, stories, etc. When people like a Page, they receive updates via the News Feed. How can you successfully advertise on Instagram?

You’ll need to establish a Business Manager account. Here’s how you do this:

  • Hit Create Account.
  • Type the name of your company, choose the primary Page. Type in your name and work email address.
  • You’ll need to input the information for the rest of the fields.

    After you’ve set up the Business Manager, you must link it to your Instagram account.

    • On the left-hand side, hit Business Settings and then Instagram Accounts.
    • Hit Claim New Instagram Account.
    • Type in your Username and Password and hit next.
    • You’ll need to authorize at least one ad account to tie to the Instagram account. Hit the box adjacent to every ad account. Save the changes.

    It may seem like a lot of steps to go through, but once you do, you can create Instagram ads.

    • Pick an object on the list. There are only certain objectives allowable on Instagram – brand awareness, traffic, reach, engagement, app installs, conversions and video views.
    • Some objectives will look different after you create an ad.
    • Choose the Campaign Name, adding a name to it or using the default given name.

    Once you’ve developed your ad, it’s time to find your audience.

    Go to the Audience section to come up with your audience. Pick the characteristics like age, gender, behavior, location, interests, location and politics.

    Find out what targeting options you can use.

    Instagram Advertising Pricing: What You Need To Know

    You may be asking yourself how much does it cost to advertise on Instagram and what the Instagram advertising rates are. Similar to Facebook ads, these ads provide many options to pay either by impression or per engagement. The average cost in the third quarter of 2016 was $0.72. If you’ve been given a particular budget for the Instagram ad campaign, you can input it into the Budget and Schedule section. Here, you choose the budget and ad schedule.

    You can either go with a daily budget or with a lifetime budget. Be sure you choose the right one for your campaign.

    • Daily Budget – This will set the ad up to run constantly every day. The algorithm automatically sets the spending pace. With the option, you have a minimum daily budget that’s based on your campaign’s factors.
    • Lifetime Budget – This lets you run an ad for a certain period of time, which means the algorithm paces the spending during the time you outlined in the campaign.
    fb ad budget

    You can manually set the bid options and optimization. In order to do this, you need to visit the Optimize for Ad delivery area, which allows you to update the ad. Go the Bid Amount to pick your manual bid.

    • Go to Ad Set Name to choose a name for the ad set, or you can use the default name.
    • Go to the Format section and choose what media you want the ad to be.

    Look at the technical and design specs to ensure your videos and pictures are putting your brand in a positive light.

    What Are The Recommended Photo Technical Specs?

    • File type - .jpg or .png
    • Caption - text only, maximum 2,200 characters
    • Minimum resolution - 600x315 pixels (1.91:1 landscape) / 600x600 pixels (1:1 square) / 600x750 pixels (4:5 vertical)
    • Maximum size- 30MB
    • Maximum resolution - 1936x1936 pixels
    • Image ratio - Landscape (1.91:1), Square (1:1), Vertical (4:5)
    • Limited support for landscape format
    • Image may not have over 20% of text. The Facebook text overlay tool will allow you to see the amount of text on the image

    What Are The Recommended Photo Design Specs?

    • Caption - text only, 125 characters recommended
    • Image size - 1080x1080 pixels
    • Image ratio - 1:1

    What Are The Recommended Video Design Recommendation?

    • Caption - Text only, 125 characters recommended
    • File type- mp4 container ideally with leading mov atom, no edit lists
    • Aspect Ratio - 1:1
    • Video - H.264 video compression, high profile preferred, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan
    • Audio - Stereo AAC audio compression, 128kbps + preferred

    What Are The Recommended Video Technical Specs?

    • Caption length text - 2,200 characters maximum
    • Video aspect ratio - Landscape (1.91:1), Square (1:1), Vertical (4:5)
    • Maximum size - 4 GB
    • Minimum length - 3 seconds
    • Maximum length - 60 seconds
    • Minimum resolution - 600x315 pixels (1.91:1 landscape) / 600x600 pixels (1:1 square) / 600x750 pixels (4:5 vertical)
    • Supported audio codecs - AAC, Vorbis
    • Supported video codecs - H.264, VP8
    • Frame rate - 30fps max
    • Bitrate – There’s no limit on the bitrate file if using at least two pass encoding and your file doesn’t go beyond one gigabyte. If not, it’s eight megabits per second for 1080p and four megabits per second for 720p.
    • Thumbnail image ratio – The thumbnail ratio needs to equal the video aspect ratio. It should also have very little text.

    Be sure you add in details to the ad. Pick your headline, call-to-action and text. Hit Show Advanced Options for more creative choices.

    Bear in mind this – creative options can differ based on the preferred ad objective. Under the Ad Preview, you’ll see various placements your ad is going to be shown on. As a default, all placements are chosen. You’ll want the ad to run simultaneously on Facebook and Instagram. However, if you want to show ads only on Instagram, hit Remove for all placements other than Instagram.

    After you’ve developed your ad, hit Place Order. But, make sure it’s done the way you want before you do this.

    place-order-fb ads

    Many people are going to see your ads, so you don’t want to have any mistakes in them. If you must, get a second pair of eyes to take a look. If you need to delay the schedule, do it, but go ahead and place the order.

    What Are Some Instagram Advertising Tips To Keep In Mind?

    Define Your Audience

    It’s important to know who your target audience is, and Instagram ads give you some targeting capabilities that you should take advantage of. Instead of releasing a photo to everybody, send it to people who have a direct interest in what you’re offering/providing. Who is your audience? How old is your audience? What kinds of jobs do they work in? Are they active outside of work? Ask yourself questions that will help you to narrow down your respective audience.

    Use Captions To Capture Their Attention

    Pictures don’t always speak a thousand of words. Make sure to use captions to showcase your brand’s persona. Remember, its voice is a big part of your social media marketing plan. Ask yourself what qualities your brand should have – that you would want to promote. Create a list and use it to create an image. You can use several positive adjectives to talk about your brand and use them to create your voice.

    Make Sure To Use Hashtags

    Posts on Instagram that use one hashtag see a 12.6% higher engagement than posts that have no hashtags. When using them, be sure they’re respective to your posts and target your audience. Don’t overuse them because it makes reading the ad hard to do.

    Make Sure You’re Consistent

    Be sure that your brand’s Instagram posts use the same style and filter to have that consistent look. This ensures the audience recognizes you in their feed. According to researchers, 90% of judgments are made on just color. On top of that, the relationship between color and brand relies on the apparent suitability of the color for that particular brand.

    Get A Performance Report On Your Efforts

    Once the ads are running on Instagram, you need to watch to see how they’re performing. If you notice there are problems, you can go back and tweak the ad. If you notice mistakes or the image isn’t garnering the attention you want, change it. There are two places to find out how your ads are doing:

    Conversion Tracking Software

    A Look At Facebook Ads Manager

    Facebook ads manager has an extensive dashboard that gives users a look at their campaigns. Without customizing the settings, you can find out information on the amount spent, cost per result and reach.

    In the upper right-hand corner, you’ll see the Columns Performance button. Clicking on the drop-down menu, you’ll see where you can customize columns. This lets you pick the data you’d like to view. The data can range from CTR or CPC and can include certain things like Adds to Cart.

    The following categories are what the metrics are categorized into:

    • Apps (installs, engagement, cost per app engagement, etc.)
    • Clicks (unique clicks, social clicks, CTR, CPC)
    • Engagement (post likes, post comments, post shares, etc.)
    • Events (event responses, cost per event response, etc.)
    • Performance (reach, results, frequency, etc.)
    • Settings (start date, end date, ad set name, delivery, bit, ad ID, and objective)
    • Videos (video views, average percent of video viewed, etc.)
    • Website (checkouts, payment details, adds to cart, etc.)
    fb reports

    A Look At Other Conversion Tracking Software

    With an array of metrics to keep track of, it’s not uncommon to overlook the bigger picture. In order to review your success, you need to have a marketing software and UTM codes used in ads to measure its effectiveness.

    With the marketing software, you can look at certain tracking codes that will assist you in know how many leads (customers) are produced through the Instagram advertising campaign. The return on investment data can be used to develop more campaigns down the road.

    After you launch your ad and start to get traffic and conversions, you can see what’s being generated. It’s important to understand what incorporating UTM codes in your conversion tracking can be tricky, which is why Uptrack was developed.

    Should You Use Uptrack?

    Uptrack is extremely powerful in providing you insight into what traffic sources are generating the most value. You can also know what ad campaigns are generating revenue and which ones are wasting your money. If you don’t know which Instagram ad is helping or hindering you, Uptrack gives you the information you need to make sound decisions.

    Don’t waste your time, efforts and money going it alone. With Uptrack, your marketing campaign and business can be successful. It eliminates the uncertainty of your Instagram marketing campaign, as it allows you to strategically craft a campaign that does work.

    Have you been advertising on Instagram? Please let us know in the comments below.

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