If you’re looking to build your business on Instagram with ads, our handy guide and tips will help you get started.

Instagram is part of the group owned by Facebook that includes Messenger, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal and Calibra.  With Instagram ads, just like Facebook ads, you can drive awareness, increase customers and share your story amongst highly engaged audiences.
If you’ve used Facebook ads then Instagram ads will feel familiar.

How much do Instagram ads cost?

There’s no set cost for Instagram ads.  After all, the duration and number of people you want to reach is up to you.  However, a general rule of thumb is that the average cost-per-click for Instagram ads is around $0.70 – $0.80, based on analysis of more than $300 million of ad spend.*  Your ad may cost more or less depending on the parameters that you set.
Timing is important too.  The time of year can be a very important factor in determining the cost of your Instagram ad.  Costs tend to escalate the closer you get toward the last quarter of the year
Types of Instagram ads available:
  1. Stories ads
  2. Photo ads
  3. Video ads
  4. Carousel ads
  5. Collection ads
  6. Ads in Explore section
You can buy Instagram ads inside the app itself or via the Facebook Ads Manager.
Just as you can with Facebook ads, you can reach your audience using targeting options such as location, interests, custom audiences (useful if you have an email list), demographics, behaviour or lookalike audiences (based on a website pixel or existing followers/customers).
The process for creating Instagram ads is similar to creating Facebook ads. You can promote existing posts on your account as well as creating new ads from scratch.  Consider how long you want your ads to run for and what budget you’re comfortable with.
Think carefully about what you want to achieve by running an Instagram ad.
Do you want:
  • More followers
  • Greater brand awareness
  • Email signups
  • Web traffic
  • Increased sales
  • Promote your Event
  • Announce a sale or discount

Knowing the end goal makes it much easier to work out which path will lead to it most effectively.

Your Ideal Customer Avatar

Open book with someone writing who is your ideal customer

It’s also important to look ask yourself “Who is our ideal customer?”
How old are they, where do they live, what interests do they have, are they likely to use Instagram and, if so, which accounts are they likely to follow?
Once you create an identifiable ideal customer avatar/s then you can start to create the audience that you’re going to target for advertising on Instagram.
If you don’t pay close attention to this part of your Instagram marketing strategy you could easily waste money targeting people who aren’t interested in your product.

Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3

person tapping microphone to see if it's working

Consider testing different Instagram audiences to gauge the effectiveness of your ad.
Split testing (aka A/B testing) an Instagram ad gives you the opportunity to see which ad variable works best.  You might want to see if different types of ad copy work best or you might prefer to test which type of image or audience works best.
If you’re prepared to invest time, thoughtful planning AND money into this approach for ads you’re much more likely to achieve informed and successful outcomes.
Even a split test that shows an ad that didn’t respond well is a good result because it shows exactly where not to spend money again.
Constantly testing and trying out new ideas will give you a good idea of how to refine your Instagram ads, get the best possible results as well as the best value for money.

Meet Your Business Goals

various stages of growth of a seed to a seedling in earth with green background
By using paid Instagram ads and organic posts, you can grow your business and inspire people to follow your brand.
Engaging with customers & answering their questions is a clear sign that your business cares about them.
Instagram has a variety of tools that can reach potential customers.
Develop local awareness of your products or global brand positioning,  Start converting curiosity into sustainable business growth.