How to create Instagram Ads

A Comprehensive Guide to Advertising on Instagram

By Snigdha | Last Updated on April 22nd, 2024 11:59 am

Social media apps have become an integral part of digital marketing with a massive audience ready to consume your content and become a part of your own little community. Among all the popular social media apps, Instagram has emerged as a powerhouse platform for businesses to effectively reach their target audience. Instagram's active user base has continued to grow, making it a fertile ground for advertisers. In fact, Instagram ads have the potential to reach 849.3 million users (Source). In this guide, we will take you through the process of creating Instagram ads by breaking it down into simple and easy-to-implement steps. Whether you're a seasoned marketer or just dipping your toes into the world of Instagram advertising, you'll find valuable insights here.

What are Instagram Ads?

Instagram ads are paid posts that businesses can use to target specific audience groups on the platform. These ads appear seamlessly in users' feeds, stories, and explore pages, matching the format of regular organic content. Instagram ads can include images, videos, carousels (multiple images), or collections (dynamic product galleries). They may resemble regular posts, but they are labeled as "Sponsored" to indicate their promotional intent. Additionally, Instagram ads often come with extra features such as links, call-to-action buttons, and product tags.

How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost?

The cost of Instagram ads varies based on multiple factors like your budget, campaign duration, and objectives. You can set a daily or lifetime budget, giving you control over your spending. While there's no universal benchmark for ad costs, Meta (formerly Facebook) recommends starting with a minimum daily budget of $5. Factors that can influence costs include audience targeting, industry competitiveness, seasonality, and the choice of ad placement (Facebook or Instagram). Advertisers can set maximum bids for each auction, or they can opt for Instagram to optimize them automatically. For newcomers, starting with a lower maximum bid is advisable to gain experience. As you become more familiar with your industry and demographics, you can adjust your bid accordingly. To evaluate your budget in the best possible way, set up a draft campaign in the Instagram Ad Manager. Look at the Audience Definition and Estimated Daily Results modules to determine if your budget aligns with your campaign goals and timeline.

Types of Instagram Ads

Instagram offers a diverse range of advertising formats to suit various marketing goals and strategies. This is precisely why Instagram marketing has become so crucial in the world of marketing. Let's delve deeper into each of these ad types, providing more details and examples for a comprehensive understanding.

  1. Image Ads
  2. Image ads are single, static visuals that appear in users' feeds. They are ideal for showcasing your brand, products, and services with a captivating image. Image ads are focused on building brand awareness, showcasing your product, or encouraging users to take action. For example - imagine you're a clothing brand, and you want to showcase a new summer collection. An image ad featuring a stunning image of a model wearing one of your latest outfits can effectively convey your message.

  3. Story Ads
  4. Story ads are full-screen image or video ads that appear between users' Instagram stories. These ads offer a more immersive experience and often feature interactive elements. Story ads are great for engaging users, driving brand awareness, or promoting special offers. For example - if you're a restaurant, you can create a Story ad showcasing a visually appealing dish from your menu. You can use interactive stickers like "Order Now" to allow users to place orders directly from the ad.

  5. Video Ads
  6. Video ads allow you to use short videos to capture users' attention. These videos can be up to 60 seconds long and provide a dynamic way to engage your audience. Video ads are effective for demonstrating products, sharing brand stories, and encouraging user engagement. For example - a fitness brand can create a video ad showing a quick workout routine using their products. This not only highlights the product's features but also engages the audience with valuable content.

  7. Carousel Ads
  8. Carousel ads feature a series of images or videos that users can swipe through. They are versatile and can appear both in users' feeds and Stories. Carousel ads are perfect for showcasing a collection of related products, telling a story, or presenting a step-by-step guide. For example - an e-commerce store can use carousel ads to display a range of handbags. Users can swipe through the images to explore different styles, making it easier to choose and make a purchase.

  9. Collection Ads
  10. Collection ads combine elements of carousel and shopping ads. They feature a primary image or video along with product images below. Collection ads are designed for e-commerce brands to promote their products and offer a seamless shopping experience. For example - a fashion retailer can create a collection ad with a video highlighting a new clothing line and product images below for easy shopping. Users can click on the products to learn more and make purchases.

  11. Explore Ads
  12. Explore ads appear within the Explore tab, where users discover new content tailored to their interests. These ads are integrated seamlessly with user-generated content. Explore ads help you reach users in a content discovery mindset and increase your brand's visibility. For example - an outdoor adventure company can place Explore ads within the hiking and camping topics, showcasing their products to users interested in those activities.

  13. Reels Ads
  14. Reels ads are integrated with Instagram's short video feature, Reels. They can be up to 60 seconds long and are displayed in between user-generated reel content. Reels ads are designed to engage users through entertaining, short videos, making them suitable for brand storytelling and product demonstrations. For example - a beverage company can create a Reels ad featuring a quick and fun tutorial on how to make a refreshing summer drink using their product.

  15. Shopping Ads
  16. With shopping ads, you can showcase your products directly on Instagram. Users can browse and purchase products without leaving the app. Shopping ads are perfect for e-commerce brands looking to boost sales and provide a seamless shopping experience. For example - an online beauty store can use shopping ads to display a range of makeup products, complete with prices and direct links to purchase each item. Users can shop effortlessly without navigating away from Instagram.
These various Instagram ad types provide marketers with a wide array of tools to engage and convert their target audience effectively highlighting the significance of Instagram for business. By choosing the right ad format that aligns with your campaign goals, you can create compelling and engaging content that resonates with your audience.

How to Advertise on Instagram: Setting Up an Ad Step-by-Step

You can create Instagram ads in two ways: boosting an existing post or using the Meta Ads Manager. The latter provides more customization options, making it a preferred choice for many businesses.

Method 1: Using Instagram Boost

Step 1: Choose a Post to Promote

To start advertising on Instagram, you first need to select a post from your Instagram account that you want to promote. This post will serve as the basis for your ad. Let's say you have a recent post featuring a new upcoming event that received a high engagement rate from your followers. You decide to promote this post.Screenshot 1

Step 2: Click on the "Promote" Option

Once you've chosen the post, click on the "Promote" option below the post. This action will initiate the process of creating your ad. After selecting your post, you can click on "Promote" and proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Define Your Objective

Instagram will prompt you to choose your ad objective. You can select from three options: "More Profile Visits," "More Website Visits," or "More Messages." Your choice will determine the ad's call to action and target audience. In the above scenario, you can choose "More Website Visits" to drive traffic to your online event website or ticketing page.Screenshot 2

Step 4: Specify Your Target Audience

Instagram offers options to either automatically define your audience based on your follower data or manually enter your targeting options. You can narrow down your audience by location, demographics, interests, and more. As an event organizer, you can set the audience to target users in specific geographic locations which are approachable for the people and those who have shown interest in content related to your event.Screenshot 3

Step 5: Set Your Budget and Duration

You'll need to establish a daily budget for your ad campaign, as well as choose the duration for how long the ad will run. Instagram allows you to set a maximum daily spend or select a set number of days. As an example, you can set a daily budget of $50 and decide to run the ad for 10 days.Screenshot 4

Step 6: Review and Confirm

Before launching the ad, Instagram will display a summary of your choices, including the selected post, objective, target audience, budget, and duration. Review these details to ensure everything is correct before confirming. You should carefully review the ad summary, ensuring all the settings align with your campaign goals, and then click "Confirm."

Method 2: Using Ads Manager

Step 1: Create a New Instagram Ad Campaign

To create a more advanced Instagram ad campaign, head to Meta Ads Manager and click "+Create" to start a new campaign. For example, if you're an e-commerce store that wants to run a comprehensive ad campaign for your winter clothing line. You initiate a new campaign in Ads Manager.Screenshot 5

Step 2: Choose Your Objective

In Ads Manager, you'll be asked to select your campaign objective. There are various objectives available, such as awareness, traffic, engagement, leads, app promotion, and sales. For example, for your winter clothing campaign, you can choose the "Traffic" objective to drive users to your online store.Screenshot 6

Step 3: Name Your Campaign

Give your campaign a specific name that reflects its objective, making it easier to track and manage in the future. In the above scenario, you can name your campaign "Holiday Campaign 2023"Screenshot 7

Step 4: Set Your Budget and Schedule

Determine how much you're willing to spend on your campaign and whether you prefer a daily or lifetime budget. You can also specify the schedule, deciding whether the ad should run continuously or only at specific times. For example, you can set a lifetime budget of $500 and choose to run the campaign for three weeks, coinciding with the winter season.Screenshot 8

Step 5: Define Your Audience

You have the option to use saved audiences or create a new audience. A saved audience could include past website visitors, while a new audience can be crafted based on various other criteria. For example, you can create a new audience by specifying that you want to target users in regions with cold climates and a history of purchasing winter clothing.Screenshot 9Screenshot 10

Step 6: Choose Your Instagram Ad Placements

Decide whether you want your ad to appear automatically where it's likely to perform best (Advantage+ Placements) or manually select the placements. For example, you can choose Advantage+ Placements to maximize the ad's reach, allowing Instagram to determine the optimal placement for your winter clothing campaign.Screenshot 11Screenshot 12

Step 7: Create Your Instagram Ad

Here, you'll craft the specific ad that will be displayed to users. You can customize various elements, including ad name, ad type, visuals (images or videos), headlines, CTAs, and ad copy. For your new engagement campaign, you can create a visually appealing ad with an attractive image representing the brand. The headline reads, "Chat with us" and the CTA is "Send message"Screenshot 13

Step 8: Publish Your Instagram Ad

Once you've filled in all the necessary details, click "Publish" to launch your Instagram ad campaign. The ad will run according to your defined budget and schedule. With everything in place, you only need to click "Publish" to set your winter clothing campaign live. By following these detailed steps in any of the two methods, you can effectively set up Instagram ads tailored to your specific marketing objectives and target audience. Whether you're boosting a post or using Ads Manager, careful planning and execution can lead to successful ad campaigns on Instagram.

How to Create Instagram Ads with AI-based Instagram Ads Maker?

Now, if you're ready to take your Instagram advertising to the next level and make the process even more efficient, we have a solution for you. Introducing the AI Instagram Ads Maker from Appy Pie Design. This cutting-edge tool is designed to help you create stunning and effective Instagram ads in no time. With the AI Instagram Ads Maker, you can:
  • Save Time: Say goodbye to the hours spent designing ads. Our AI technology can generate visually appealing ads in minutes.
  • Boost Engagement: Create ads that resonate with your audience and encourage them to take action.
  • Increase Conversions: Craft ads that drive sales, leads, and traffic to your website or app.
  • Customize Easily:Tailor your ads to match your brand's style and message effortlessly.
  • Stay Updated: Keep your ads fresh with the latest design trends and templates.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to enhance your Instagram advertising efforts. Try the AI Instagram Ads Maker and other AI design tools from Appy Pie Design today and see the difference it can make in your campaigns. Create eye-catching ads that grab your audience's attention, tell your brand's story, and drive results like never before. Get started now and unlock the full potential of Instagram advertising with Appy Pie Design. Your success is just a click away!


In this comprehensive guide, we've walked you through the world of Instagram ads, from understanding what they are and how much they cost to exploring the various types of ads available. We've also provided you with an in-depth, step-by-step process for setting up your own Instagram ads. By now, you should have a solid foundation for creating successful Instagram ad campaigns. The power of Instagram advertising cannot be overstated. With over 2 billion potential customers and a reach of 96.6% of its active user base, Instagram offers an incredible opportunity to showcase your brand, products, and services to a massive and engaged audience (Source). As the platform continues to grow, so do the possibilities for reaching your target audience effectively.

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Content Head at Appy Pie