How To Advertise on Instagram in 2021

advertise on Instagram

If you have a budget allocated for paid social, you must strongly think about running Instagram ads. Why? 27% of users say they find new products and brands through paid social ads, and Instagram ads can reach over 1.2 billion people or 20% of the world’s population over age 13. In this article, we’ll offer you a comprehensive overview of how to advertise on Instagram, including a simple 5-step guide to create your first ad in just a few taps.

Advertise on Instagram. What is this?

Instagram ads are posts for which businesses will pay to serve Instagram users.

Instagram ads for office accessories and motion effects

Source: Instagram (@oakodenmark@elementor)

Just like Facebook, Instagram ads appear throughout the app, including in users’ feeds, Stories, Explore, and more. They look similar to normal posts but always contain a “sponsored” label to indicate that they’re an ad. They also typically have more options than a normal post, such as links, CTA buttons, and product catalogs.

How much do Instagram ads cost?

The price of Instagram ads is highly dependent on quite a lot of factors – there is no average or benchmark price. Some cost factors include:

  • Your targeting
  • Competitiveness of your industry
  • Time of year (costs often go up during holiday shopping periods in Q4 such as Black Friday)
  • Placement (costs can differ between ads shown on Facebook vs Instagram)

The best way to evaluate your budget is to arrange a draft campaign in Ads Manager and look for the Audience Definition and Estimated Daily Results modules, which will let you know if your budget settings will be sufficient to achieve your desired audience within your desired duration.

Instagram ads audience definition and estimated daily results

The word that there is no “best practice” for how much to spend. You will get begin with spending just a few {dollars} a day and scale up from there based on success.

In order to manage the costs of your Instagram ads, you’ll be able to set either daily budgets or lifetime spending limits. We’ll explain this in more detail in our 5-step guide below.

Types of Instagram ads

There are lots of different types of advertising formats on Instagram, including:

  • Image ads
  • Stories ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Collection ads
  • Explore ads
  • IGTV ads
  • Shopping ads
  • Reels ads

The wide range means that you can select the most effective ad type that matches your specific business objective. Each ad format has its own selection of call-to-action options.

Image ads

Image ads allow companies to make use of single images to advertise their brand, products, and services.

Veloretti sponsored bicycle ad

Source: Instagram (@veloretti)

Image ads are suitable for campaigns with compelling visual content that can be conveyed in a single image. These images can be created from high-quality photography or design and illustration.

It’s also potential to add text to images. However, Instagram recommends limiting overlaid text as much as possible for best outcomes.

chart: Instagram image ads supported objectives and Call-to-action buttons

Instagram Stories Ads are full-screen image or video ads that appear between users’ Stories.

Instagram Stories are a well-used part of the app, with over 500 million Instagram users viewing Stories every day. Engagement is commonly higher with Stories ads, as the format covers the whole mobile screen and feels much more immersive than in-feed ads.

The most effective Instagram Stories ads are ones that look and feel like normal Stories and don’t stand out as ads. When designing Stories ads, businesses can use all organic Instagram Stories features like filters, text, GIFs, and interactive stickers.

Organic Basics free shipping day story ad

Source: Instagram (@organicbasics)

Stories ads can use still photos, videos, and carousels. The call-to-action is introduced as a swipe-up link at the bottom of the Story.

chart: Instagram story ads supported objectives and Call-to-action buttons

Video ads

Similar to image ads, video ads on Instagram allow businesses to provide users a better look at their brand, products, and services.

In-feed video ads can be up to 60 minutes long, but shorter videos are often more effective. Read more about best practices for designing Instagram video ads.

PocketSNL phone and

Source: Instagram (@popsocketsnl)

chart: Instagram video ads supported objectives and Call-to-action buttons

Carousel ads

Carousel ads function as a series of photos or videos that users can swipe through. They can appear both in-feed and within Instagram Stories, with a call-to-action button or swipe-up link that leads users directly to your website.

You should use carousel ads to:

  • Showcase a collection of related products
  • Tell a multi-part story
  • Share up to 10 photos or videos

Sneaker District shoes for sale

Source: Instagram (@sneakerdistrict)

chart: Instagram carousel ads supported objectives and Call-to-action buttons

Collection ads

Collection ads are a mix between carousel ads and shopping ads. This kind of ad showcases products directly from your product catalog.

Collection ads are greatest suited for eCommerce brands, as they allow users to buy products instantly from the ad. When a user clicks on the ad, they’re directed to an Instagram Instant Experience Storefront where they will learn more about the product and proceed to purchase.

flattered high heel collection ad

Source: Instagram (@flattered)

chart: Instagram collection ads supported objectives and Call-to-action buttons

Explore ads

Explore ads appear within the Explore tab, an area of the platform where users discover new content and accounts which can be tailored based on their Instagram usage habits. More than 50% of Instagram users access Explore every month, so it’s an excellent place to gain exposure.

Instagram Explore ads don’t appear in the Explore grid or the topic channels, but rather are shown after someone clicks on a photo or video from Explore. As the content in users’ Explore tabs is constantly changing, Explore ads allow businesses to be shown alongside culturally related and trending content.

Explore ads can be both images and videos.

Pro Tip: No need to design brand-new assets for Explore ads. You’ll be able to simply re-use existing assets.

chart: Instagram Explore ads supported objectives and Call-to-action buttons

IGTV ads

IGTV ads are video ads that play after a user clicks to watch an IGTV video from their feed. Videos may be up to 15 seconds long and should be designed for vertical full-screen viewing (more IGTV ad specs).

They are shown midroll (in the middle of the video), potentially with the option to skip.

IGTV ads are currently available to users with Instagram Creator accounts in the US, UK, and Australia, with more countries rolling out soon. Creators can choose to have ads shown in their IGTV videos and receive 55% of the advertising revenue generated from each view.

chart: Instagram IGTV ads supported objectives and Call-to-action buttons

Shopping ads

With 130 million users tapping on shopping posts each month, it’s no wonder Instagram has been heavily improving its eCommerce features over the last 1-2 years. With Instagram’s newest Shopping features, users can now view and buy products without ever leaving the app (limited to businesses with Instagram Checkout enabled).

Instagram Shopping ads take users directly to a product description page within the Instagram app. They will then buy through your mobile website.

In order to run Shopping ads, you need to set up your Instagram Shopping catalog.

Color Pop Cosmetics Instagram shop makeup

Source: Instagram

chart: Instagram shopping ads supported objectives and Call-to-action buttons

Reels ads

With the successful launch of Reels, Instagram recently introduced the ability to advertise within Reels.

Ads are shown in between Reels, with similar specs to Stories ads (full-screen vertical videos). It may be up to 30 seconds. They should include sound or music to be well-integrated with organic Reels.

chart: Instagram Reels ads supported objectives and Call-to-action buttons

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