How To Advertise Your Business On Instagram (Full Guide)

Updated: Apr 16

Instagram is easily one of the most effective and profitable forms of online advertising available today, and we will cover some of the most effective ways to take full advantage of it and get more leads, customers, and sales.

When it comes to advertising, what used to work last year or even last month isn't necessarily what's working today, a lot has changed and continues to change very quickly.

This is why when it comes to creating profitable Instagram advertising campaigns or any advertising campaign in general, it's really important to not only stay current and up to date with the latest trends, and all the tactics that are working today, but to also apply proven marketing principles that have stood the test of time.

And that's why we will share with you our pick for the most effective Instagram advertising strategies.

Jump to a topic:

- Facebook

- Where to put your ad

- Feed ads and story ads

- Video Content

- Split Testing

- Funnel


Why Facebook?

Well, what's really important to understand is that Instagram is owned by Facebook, so we have to start there.

When It comes to running Instagram Advertising, its entire dashboard is set up through Facebook Ads Manager, so if you want to run an Instagram ad, you need to create it through Facebook Ads Manager, and that's why it's important to get friendly with Facebook.

Basically, every single part of the Instagram ad is done in the Ad Manager including targeting, campaign objective, traffic, video views, engagement, conversions, the budget limit, scheduling, and even placement options (deciding if you will run feed ads or post ads).

Also, a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to running effective Instagram advertising campaigns is making sure that you have Facebook Pixel installed across all of your online properties like your website, landing pages, or each step of your online funnel.

The reason this is so important is that the Facebook pixel is going to enable you to decide which Instagram ads are giving you the best results when it comes to generating those leads and sales.

Where to put your ad?

Alright, now that we got all that covered, and essentially understood that Instagram ads are run through Facebooks ads manager, the next thing you will need to understand is that if you are going to run Instagram ads, it's really important to go in there and manually select where the placements of the ads you want to appear are going to be.

Basically, if you pick all placements through the Facebooks ads manager it's going to show your ad across pretty much anything that Facebook has available, but if you only want to dial down on Instagram, you need to go in there and manually select just Instagram, and from there, you also need to choose if its just the feed or just the story.

Now, this part is really important, If you are just starting out and you really have no idea then all placements can work fine, but if you know for a fact that your market is on Instagram and you really want to double down on Instagram ads, then its really important to go in there and manually select that, because the creative is significantly different for Facebook ad vs Instagram ad and also within Instagram between feed ad and story ad.

Every different placement is going to have its own style, different design, and different formating. Click here to see all of the correct formatting for every ad design.

Feed ads and Story ads

You will need to choose if you are going to run just the feed ad or just the story ad, and obviously, they are going to have different designs and different specifications.

One of the biggest mistakes advertisers make is simple creating one ad and just blasting it across all different placements and really not changing it at all, which means it's going to come out looking funny, or part of the image cropped off or it's going to seem out of place with what you're trying to get across.

Now, of course, feed ads and story ads are going to have different dimensions but they also have a very different style, tone, and the way that people interact with their feed and their stories. So, you're going to want to make sure that you're understanding this and incorporating those specifications and those design ideas, tone, and the way in which the user engages with these different modalities of feed and story, which you need to bake right into your ad if you want it to be successful.

One tip that's incredibly important to know however is that regardless of whether you are using Facebook or Instagram or the feed or the Story ads is that you want your ad to take up as much real estate as possible.

This means getting familiar with the specification sizes and then really maximizing the screen real estate that your ad is going to take up.

Basically, if you have the option for the vertical post then go with that one. If not, then go with the square option, and if you can't do that either, then stick to landscape, but the point here is that you want to use as much screen real estate as possible to maximize your chances of success. After all, you are paying for them to be shown.

Video Content

The next tip we would love to share is to really use and leverage more video content. And we're talking about whether this is organic or whether you are doing paid ads, but it certainly will outperform picture content in most cases.

One of the key factors and one of the deciding triggers behind the Instagram algorithm (behind most algorithms in general) is what kind of content will keep people on the platform and most engaged, and the video does a pretty good job at this because it often takes a lot longer to consume.

Now, with video, you're definitely going to want to test it across feed and across story ads and see which one works better for you.

An important note to remember here is that you do want to include some kind of caption or text on the screen so that you can get to the people that aren't necessarily watching with the sound turned on.

Test Multiple Ads

This next tip is going to definitely be the key to your success, whether we're talking about Instagram advertising or pretty much any advertising is that you need to be split testing multiple different ads, multiple different images, different audiences, different placements, in order to find that ideal combination that is going to give you the best bang for your buck.

Also, when you're split testing, a couple of really important points is that you really only want to split test 1 element at a time, meaning maybe a different caption or maybe a different image or different video, but you don't want to cram everything all at once and split test million different things because you really won't have any good data about why one ad performed better than the other since you tested too many variables.

Also, make sure you give your split tests a sufficient amount of time.

The last thing you want to do is split test it, give it a few hours, find out that one got a few more clicks than the other, and declare the winner because it's simply not enough data or time for the algorithm to properly optimize in order to give you relevant and accurate feedback.

When it comes to split testing, we've got a pretty strong philosophy here, and it's that you should always be split testing.

There is never an excuse to not be coming up with new creatives, new images, new audiences to test because things can pretty much always be getting better.

Or, let's say you make a killer ad right off the bat, well that's fantastic, but you still want to be testing a backup plan just in case this ad gets saturated or starts to lose effectiveness over time.

Respect the Funnel.

And now what we believe is probably the single most important element when it comes to Instagram advertising success which is you really need to respect the funnel.

When it comes to generating leads or generating sales online, the ad is really just one part of the entire customer journey (the entire sales process).

And that's where most people go wrong. They fail to recognize what's going to happen next, and after that, and after that, and so on... You need to know what happens throughout your funnel and throughout their journey.

Well, this journey is called a "Marketing funnel" and essentially, it's everything that's going to happen right from that initial ad click, right through where they're going to end up after that, what will happen if they take action there, or if they don't take action, how you're going to follow up with them, how you'll show retargeting ads, send them a follow-up email, etc.

Whatever the case may be, that entire process is incredibly important because you can't expect your ad to do all the work for you.

Also, this part is incredibly important, but when it comes to your marketing funnel, especially when we're talking bout Instagram advertising, you need to make sure that your entire funnel is mobile optimized, meaning that it's designed for the mobile user experience because this is where people are going to be originating from, so it simply doesn't make sense to have a landing page, thank you page, or any other retargeting and have that optimized for the desktop where the text is going to be too small, or things are going to get cut off, etc.


In order to run Instagram ads effectively, you need to get familiar with the Facebook ad manager. It will provide you with all the necessary details to make your campaign run successfully.

Make sure to have Facebook Pixel installed to monitor your progress

Always optimize your ads for the type of ad placement you choose. Feed and story are totally different and require different treatment, so make sure to have that in order before you start a campaign.

Do more video content!

Making video content can be very hard and time-consuming but your efforts will definitely pay off in the end. Video Content can get much more mileage and engagement so you should really take advantage of it!

Test your ads. Always know that what you are doing can always be done in a better and more effective way, so make sure to always test different approaches that will allow you to make progress towards your goals.

Make the customer's journey enjoyable and efficient.

You always need to focus on making the whole funnel experience good and effective so that every step is planned and well organized. Don't keep the customer waiting or unsure what to do next.

If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends ❤️ and stay tuned for more amazing guides to help your business grow!


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