Instagram isn’t just for selfies anymore. Instagram may be the new kid on the block when it comes to paid advertising, but it’s come out of the gate running! With its new platform, low prices, and powerful user base, Instagram is already beating out some of the major competition. Some reports suggest Instagram’s rates as low as two cents per click. Now is the time to learn how to create an Instagram ad.
Although Instagram is not new in the field of social networks, it’s only been developing its advertiser base since 2015. Piggybacking on the momentum of its parent company Facebook, Instagram’s advertising platform had a boost from the beginning. The relationship between Facebook and Instagram simplifies the process for marketers to create campaigns across the related networks.
Adding to Instagram’s bait for business marketers, the social network now offers third party integration. Resources like Sale’s Force, Sprinklr, Kenshoo, and Nanigans are now playing in the same sandbox with Instagram.
To up the anti further, Instagram recently implemented changes to its platform, permitting wide screen images and vertical video for viewers. Instagram users are accustomed to sharing videos in 15-second bursts. Advertisers, however, now have 30 seconds to get their point across and the option of purchasing 60-second spots. But more time doesn’t necessarily equal better advertising. How to create an Instagram ad has more to do in concept than it does in implementation.
Marketers have challenges to overcome. Instagram caters to an audience with short attention spans. Adding to that obstacle, many mobile users watch videos with the sound off. Marketers must design attention-grabbing ads for quick-thinking viewers who are likely watching without listening. Contrary to its former square style, Instagram is now pushing business marketers to think outside of the box. Knowing that you can advertise on Instagram is beneficial. Knowing how to create an Instagram ad is crucial.
Instagram’s move onto the internet marketing playing field isn’t surprising. Trending now is a shift in the way brands spend their marketing bucks. Television advertising is less lucrative while social network marketing reaches larger audiences. “Click here to buy” makes online shopping and impulse purchases more powerful than ever. Instagram also recognized the need to make marketing easier for advertisers who actively place ads across multiple channels, hence the new video format.
Instagram’s ads are currently considered a bargain buy for marketers at as low as two cents per click. Facebook lends built-in momentum to Instagram’s platform. The recent changes to Instagram’s image and video specs make it possible to design ads for multiple networks, and third party integration makes it easier than ever to advertise with Instagram. Now all you have to do is design an ad for a generation of buyers with short attention spans who scroll with the volume off. Now don your thinking cap and your creativity cloak and go to work! Here’s how to create an Instagram ad.
How to Create an Instagram Ad
In order to run an ad on Instagram, a business Facebook page is required. If you also have a business account for Instagram, you can connect that account to your business Facebook page when creating your ad. A business Instagram account is not required. Businesses that don’t have accounts with Instagram will be represented in Instagram ads by their Facebook page name and profile picture within their Instagram ad.
Placing Instagram Ads via Facebook
If you’ve placed an ad before using Facebook’s Power Editor, learning how to create an Instagram ad is super simple. The process is the same. But if you’ve never created an ad on Facebook, the steps are easy.
From your business Facebook Page, click “Ads Manager” in the left hand column. Next, click “Create a Campaign”.
Select an objective. An objective is the desired goal of the ad. Examples include sending viewers to your website, reach people near your business, raise attendance at your event, etc. Determine what action you want viewers to take, then select that action as your objective. Knowing how to create an Instagram is important, but you must also know what you want that ad to accomplish.
With your objective selected, you can then name your campaign and move to the next step.
Choose Your Audience
With the ability to customize your audience, you’re able to “steer” your ad towards viewers who are more likely to seek your products or services. Using real estate as an example, you can refine your audience to your area, the most likely group by age for homeowners, the income bracket to which you cater, and more. You can then prevent specific demographics from seeing your ad, such as competing real estate agents. When you have a limited marketing budget, you can make every cent count laser targeting your audience and ruling out unlikely leads.
This is also where you’ll determine who sees your ad. People who like your page, friends of people who like your page, or eliminate people who like your page. When running your ad simultaneously on Facebook and Instagram, you’ll have more success if you extend beyond your current reach. Choose to omit viewers who already like your page. If they already like your Facebook page, there’s no purpose in paying to attract them to your ad when you can reach them by other means.
Placements of Your Ad
When using Facebook’s Ad Manager, you have several options for where your ad is placed. You can choose to show the ad on Facebook in mobile newsfeed, on Instagram, across Facebook’s owned networks, on desktop newsfeed, or in the right column of the Facebook page on desktop view.
If you’re only creating your ad for Instagram, deselect all options other than Instagram.
You then have options to show your ad only to IOS users, only to Android users, or to all mobile devices.
Finally, you can select whether users can see your ad using their cellular network, or only when connected to Wi-Fi.
Budget and Schedule for Your Ad
You’ve determined what you want users to do (objective), which viewers you want to reach, and where you want your ad to be placed. The next step is to determine your budget for running the ad.
For your budget, you have two options. You can set a daily budget, or you can select a lifetime budget. The lifetime budget spans the duration of the start and end dates for running your ad.
Although the schedule for your ad allows for “run my ad continuously starting today”, there is an approval process the ad goes through when advertising on Instagram. Facebook states the ad will be reviewed within 24 hours and will run upon approval. That being said, you can choose to run your ad effective immediately (pending approval), or for a future date. You can also select the end date for your ad.
You can then name the ad set you’ve created in the event you’d like to use those same settings for a future ad. For example, if you’re a real estate agent creating an ad targeted at new homebuyers in Las Vegas, you may target that same audience in a future ad. By saving the ad set by title, you’ll be able to easily use this same audience in future marketing endeavors via Facebook and Instagram.
Format and Media
Now you have the opportunity to customize your ad with images and video.
For most ad objectives, you have the ability to include a video, single image, or carousel of images. Carousels allow you to use multiple images within one ad.
If you’re placing the ad on both Instagram and Facebook, you can use the same creative aspects for Facebook and Instagram ads, or you can customize the cropping for individually. You can crop your images directly within the ad manager.
Text and Links: Your Call to Action
The entire purpose of learning how to create an Instagram ad is to encourage users to respond to your call to action. In this example, the goal is to direct users to a website. In the text and links area you have the ability to create compelling content telling the viewers why they should click.
First, select your Facebook business page from the drop down menu, even if you’re only running your ad on Instagram. If you do not have an Instagram account, your ad will be represented in Instagram by your Facebook business page name and profile image.
Next, enter the website URL that you’re directing traffic to from this ad.
The term “Choose your words carefully” is magnified in ad copy. Your headline should be eye-catching, if not witty. In a few short words, you need to express to prospects what’s in it for them if they respond to your call to action. “Save money with this coupon”, “Free product with registration”, “Limited Time Special on Cosmetics”. Avoid tooting your own horn here. “Best insurance company”, “Specialty retailer”, “Biggest Selection”. Those headlines don’t tell viewers what’s in it for them; they talk about who you are.
Some sources suggest the best calls to action are created in four words or less. In four words or less, express to your viewers the benefit they receive when clicking your ad.
With your text, be brief and only use content that supports your heading. Keep in mind that today’s viewers have short attention spans and want you to cut to the chase, get to the point, and avoid beating around the bush. This is not the place to try to impress viewers with your vocabulary. Short, simple, and sweet is the best approach.
On the lower right portion of your screen, you’ll be able to see a preview of your ad. Make sure “Instagram” is selected in this area to ensure a proper preview and placement of your ad.
Connecting Your Instagram Account
You do not need to have a business Instagram account in order to create an ad via Facebook for Instagram. However, if you do have an account you’d like to connect, you can do that here.
On the same screen on which you’ve created your headline and text, near the bottom, there’s a link for advanced settings. When you click that link, you’ll see the Facebook business page you’ve selected. Beneath your Facebook business page, there’s a link for “add an account”. To add your Instagram Account to your Facebook ad settings, you’ll be required to provide the Instagram user name and password for your business account.
Finally, the last step is to click the green button that says “Place Order”. You’ll be notified that Facebook is reviewing your within 24 hours and your ad will begin running upon approval.
In a few easy-to-follow steps, you’ve learned how to create an Instagram ad from start to finish. To know whether or not your ad campaign was successful, track and measure for results. By identifying what’s working and what isn’t, you’re able to know how to create an Instagram ad that’s most effective in meeting your ad’s objective.