Instagram Ads: 3 Tips for Instagram Advertising

January 3, 2016

Instagram has 400 million monthly users, 80 million photo shares every day and over 3.5 billion photo likes per day. It is needless to say that the world of marketing is excited by the long awaited arrival of Instagram advertising. The question is, how can companies take advantage of this new advertising capability on Instagram and what do you need to get started? This blog looks into the top ways to succeed with paid advertising and a few instagram ad tips.

1) What type of Ads are available?

There are several types of ad formats available on Instagram. The four main types are:

  • Photo Ads: This format is a posted image on Instagram with the label 'Sponsored' in the top-right corner. These ads include a call-to-action such as Shop Now, Learn More and so on. They are also compatible with ads for other mobile app downloads.
  • Carousel Ads: Carousel ads allow advertisers to show several images in a scrolling format offering brands an opportunity to showcase sequenced stories or products. These ads also have a call-to-action to guide users to a browser page within the Instagram app.
  • Video Ads: Video ads on Instagram come with a call-to-action and the option to drive users to a website or mobile app. This is a great way to tell a story through compelling visuals in a quick, captivating video.
  • Marquee Ads: Marquee ads offer a guaranteed placement at the top ad position on Instagram's feed for a single day campaign. An advertiser can show ads with a varying creative up to three times a day to the same user.

2) Targeting?

With Facebook as the parent company to Instagram, the new advertising platform comes with some of Facebook's perks including Facebook targeting used on the Facebook advertising channel. Advertisers can use the same interest, category and behaviour targeting in the same way as Facebook. There are also attribution window tools available so brands can track conversions across the different channels and ensure that they are targeting the right audience. Brands can also release ads on both platforms at the same time, adding consistency and cross-promotional opportunities.

3) Native Advertising

Ads that look like ads will not succeed on Instagram. Users are looking for compelling visual content that encourage emotions, whether that be a desire to travel, motivation for their relationships or inspiration for their life in general. Successful ad campaigns on Instagram don't look like ad campaigns at all but they blend in organically with the other content. By seamlessly integrating the ads within the Instagram feed in this way, brands gain trust from the recipients of their ads.

It goes without saying that your ads need to be as visually appealing as possible to succeed on Instagram, considering how colours combine between picture on your profile. Developing a creative strategy to your own Instagram is the best way to prepare for Instagram advertising.

Have you tried Instagram ads? Share your experience with us over on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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