Social Media

Complete Instagram Guide For Businesses

Instagram ads could be a great way to promote a business through photo sharing. This photo-sharing platform gives limitless opportunities from driving traffic to websites, mobile app downloads and mass awareness drives. Creative marketers can harness power of this platform to share everything that’s great about their business.


Why advertise on Instagram?

Creative Instagram ads are more effective in generating business than any other way and this is evident from the report of eMarketer that says that approximately three-quarters of businesses in USA with 100 employees or more will start using a photo-sharing app for marketing and promotion in 2017.


Advantage with Instagram is that it uses metrics like reach, ad recall and awareness for measuring success of ad campaigns. These metrics give real data instead of likes, comments and follower counts. Monthly book subscription Read Dog Books got 7x returns on ad spend on Instagram stories to connect with its audiences.


Forrester report further strengthened the value of Instagram ads. It evaluated 11.8 million user interactions on 2,489 posts from 249 branded profiles. The survey was conducted on questions number of brands using social media; number of fans following brands; how often the brands make posts and how users interact with their posts. The result was stunning. It is revealed that the average number of followers of a brand on Instagram is over 1 million that is 5x higher than in 2015.


Types of Instagram ads

Instagram ads can be classified into three broad categories depending on the objective to be achieved.

Instagram photo ads

Photo ads are used to tell the story of making of a brand or a featured product. Visually engaging advertisements can be appealing to the targeted audiences. With photo ads, you can address a broad range of audiences or simply connect to the customers in your area of influence.


Instagram video ads

Make short but comprehensive videos showing benefits of your brand to connect to your audiences. The visuals must not be longer than 60 seconds but reports say that the first 30 seconds of the videos are more crucial.


Instagram carousel ads

Carousel ads are digital versions of multi-page print ads of yesteryears but with more features. The viewers can easily swipe the ads to see more images and finally be taken to the website through a call-to-action button.


Call-to-action buttons

Instagram made changes to its ads in 2015 and the most important change was to add call-to-action buttons like Shop Now and Install Now. And these buttons could be linked to any destination on or off Instagram.


How to advertise on Instagram?

You need Facebook profile to run ads on Instagram. It is the property of Facebook and both the social sites work in conjunction. Like FB page, Instagram page can also be customized with stories, events and more.


Once the Instagram page is set, you can choose viewers of your ads. Go to Audience section and create viewers for your ad. Target your viewers using categories like gender, age, ethnicity, location, behavior, interests and politics.


Like FB ads, Instagram also has several payment options like pay-per-management and pay-per-impression. The average CPC for an Instagram ad in Q3 2016 was fixed at $0.72. Go to Budget and Schedule section to set a budget for ad and set its schedule.


Payment options:

• Daily budget: Setting a daily budget gives greater control over spending and an opportunity to adjust the budget according to return on investment.


• Lifetime budget: It allows running a campaign for a certain time without worrying about daily spending. It is beneficial for long term campaigns.


Instagram also provides an opportunity to manually set optimization and bid options. Find Optimize for Ad and Bid Amount sections for manual bidding. Next go to Ad Set Name to give an attractive tagline to your ad. There is Format section where you can choose your media like photo or video. Fill in the details like headline, text and CTA and chose advance options depending on your needs. See ad preview to see placements like the ad showing on Facebook and Instagram at the same time. Finally click on to Place Order to run the ad.


Instagram ads best practices

Know your audience

Who your viewers are? Or who you want to see your ads? The biggest advantage of Instagram is its capability to target customers instead of publishing the ads for all. You can target the viewers that are interested in your business and waiting to hear from you.


Captivate with captions

A good image can attract viewers but you also need a caption to communicate with your audiences. Think what best you can offer and what your customers want you to offer.


Use hashtags

It is learnt that hashtag posts have 12.6 percent more engagement rate than posts with no hashtag. But avoid overcrowding too many hashtags on your Instagram page.


Be consistent

Stick to the style instead of changing the styles frequently. You audiences will recognize your brand or product from its color or style of logo. You should understand close relationship between consistency of approach and the brands.


Learn from the best practices instead of choosing your styles and approach randomly. Watch what your competitors are doing; how they’re doing and whether you need optimizing your ads and posts. Businesses that can harness power of Instagram can become brands. There are many case studies that tell rags to riches stories of brands on Instagram.



Pew Research study revealed that 55% of social media users between 18 to 29 years of age in the USA use Instagram and this number is growing with each passing day. Instagram use metrics that others don’t and it has features that others don’t have. Also, it is quite easy to run, manage and capitalize on Instagram ads.


Instagram provides an opportunity for photos, videos and also carousel ads. It allows users to select their viewers and schedule ads. For instance, the ads can be featured on Facebook and Instagram at the same time or the ads could be featured separately.



Udit Khanna is a Digital Marketing Course professional at Expert Training Institute, an expert in Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click, Social Media, etc. who helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Previously, Udit worked as a marketing professional for various startups and tech companies. He graduated with B.Sc from IGNOU with a dual degree in Business Administration (Marketing & Finance).

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