A Comprehensive Guide to Instagram Ads in 2023 (1/2)

Consider running Instagram ads if you have a budget for paid social. Instagram ads can reach 96.6% of Instagram’s active user base every month, which is almost 2 billion potential customers. Moreover, Instagram’s ad reach has increased by 21% in the last year, despite changes in ad reporting. This guide to Instagram Ads will provide easy tips to creating your first Instagram ad.

Instagram Ads Definition

Instagram ads are posts that businesses can pay to serve to specific target groups on Instagram. These ads appear in users’ feeds, Stories, and explore pages in the same format as organic content from other Instagram accounts.

Instagram ads can include images, videos, carousels, or collections, and they look similar to normal posts but always contain a Sponsored label. They often have more features than regular posts, such as links, CTA buttons, and product tags. Keep reading for the guide to Instagram Ads, the secret is right underneath!

Guide to Instagram Ads

Instagram Ads Cost

The cost of Instagram ads depends on the total budget, duration, and objectives you’ve set for your ad or campaign. You can set a daily or lifetime budget for your Instagram ads, and there is no best practice for how much to spend. However, Meta recommends starting with at least $5.00 per day.

There are various cost factors to consider, such as your specific audience targeting, the competitiveness of your industry, the time of year, and your chosen placement.

Advertisers can set their maximum bids for each auction or let Instagram optimize them automatically. For new advertisers, it is best to start with a low maximum bid to gain experience. Once you have more insight into your chosen industry and demographics, you can decide whether to raise your maximum bid. The Audience Definition and Estimated Daily Results modules in the Instagram Ad Manager can help you evaluate your budget and determine whether it will be sufficient to reach your desired audience within your desired campaign duration.


There are various advertising formats, such as:

  • Image ads
  • Story ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Collection ads
  • Explore ads
  • Shopping ads
  • Reels ads

This range of options enables businesses to select the most suitable ad type for their specific business goals. Instagram ads support six simplified campaign objectives, and call-to-action options differ depending on the ad type and objective chosen.

Image Ads

Instagram image ads are perfect for campaigns with visually compelling content, as businesses can advertise their brand, products, and services using a single image. High-quality photography, design, and illustration can be used to create these images, and text can also be added, although Instagram recommends using minimal overlaid text for accessibility and optimal results.

Story Ads

This is very important for the guide to Instagram Ads. Story Ads randomly appear between users’ stories as full-screen image or video ads. Over 500 million Instagram users view stories every day, making it a well-used part of the app. Stories ads usually provide higher engagement since the format covers the mobile screen and feels more immersive than in-feed ads.

When designing Stories ads, businesses can take advantage of all organic Instagram Stories features like filters, text, GIFs, and interactive stickers. The best Instagram Stories ads blend in perfectly with normal Stories and do not appear as ads.

Video Ads

Instagram video ads are an excellent way to showcase your product or service in a captivating and attention-grabbing way. You can leverage video ads to illustrate how products work, emphasize unique features, or narrate your brand story. The length of in-feed video ads can be as long as 60 minutes, but shorter videos are usually more impactful.

Carousel Ads

Instagram carousel ads feature a series of images or videos that users can swipe through and can appear both in-feed and within Instagram Stories. Businesses can showcase a collection of related products, tell a multi-part story, or share up to 10 images or videos using carousel ads.

Collection Ads

Combining the features of carousel ads and shopping ads, Instagram collection ads display products directly from your product catalog. These ads are particularly useful for ecommerce brands, enabling users to purchase items right from the ad itself. When a user clicks on the ad, they’re taken to an Instagram Instant Experience Storefront, where they can find more information about the product and complete their purchase.

Explore Ads

Explore ads appear within the Explore tab and allow businesses to be shown alongside culturally relevant and trending content. They can be both images and videos, and businesses can reuse existing Instagram ad assets rather than designing new ones.

Shopping Ads

Finally, with 44% of Instagram users shopping on the platform every week, Instagram has been heavily improving its ecommerce features. With Shopping ads, users can view and purchase products without leaving the app, and they are taken directly to a product description page within the Instagram app. Businesses can then make sales through their mobile website. To run Shopping ads, businesses need to set up their Instagram Shopping catalog.

Reels Ads

Following the successful introduction of Reels, Instagram has recently unveiled the option to advertise within Reels. Advertisements appear between Reels and have similar specifications to Stories ads, with full-screen vertical videos up to 60 seconds long. For better integration with organic Reels, ads should contain sound or music. All Instagram Reels ads include a Sponsored mark beneath the account name.

It is important to note that Instagram Reels ads loop endlessly until stopped. Furthermore, users can like, share, comment on, and save your Reels ads.

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