EXSUM: All About Instagram Ads

Are you looking for a quick introduction to advertising on Instagram?

Here’s your Executive Summary (EXSUM) in just under 500 words/2 minutes.

Why should I advertise on Instagram?

Over 1 Billion people use Instagram every month and on average, each of them spends about 30 minutes per day.

Plus, the engagement rate is high when compared to other social media platforms.

Even though the average CPC is higher than Facebook, the higher engagement rate of its 928.5 million people make it an effective advertising platform.

What do I need to know about to get started?

After you sign up, you start by creating a campaign.


Select the objective of the campaign which can be one of eleven areas under three categories:


• Brand Awareness – Increase people’s awareness of your business, brand, or service.

• Reach – Show your ad to as many people as possible in your target audience.


• Traffic – Send people from Facebook to any destination you choose, such as your website’s landing page, a blog post, app, phone call, etc.

• Engagement – Reach people more likely to engage with your post. Engagement includes likes, comments and shares but can also include offers claimed from your page.

• App Installs – Send people to the store where they can download your business’s app.

• Video Views – Share videos of your business with people on Facebook most likely to watch it.

• Lead Generation – Collect leads for your business. Create ads that collect info from people interested in your product, such as sign-ups for newsletters, or have people give your business a call.

• Messages – Connect with people on Messenger, Instagram Direct, and WhatsApp. Communicate with potential or existing customers to encourage interest in your business.


• Conversions – Encourage people to take a specific action on your business’s site, such as having them add items to a cart, download your app, register for your site, call your business, or make a purchase.

• Catalog Sales – Show products from your e-commerce store’s catalog to generate sales.

• Store Traffic – Promote your brick-and-mortar business locations to people that are nearby.

You then are required to select a Special Ad Category as a part of their Advertising Policies.



Provide some additional ad details…


Setup your A/B testing…


and then select and optimize your budget, and establish the timeline.


After you have established the campaign, you then want to target your audience.

Instagram lets you create a custom audience, and you can narrow the field by location, age, gender, demographics, interests, behaviors, and language.


Once this is complete, you have the option of manually placing your ads or automatically placing your ads.

You will receive a preview and some variations of your ad to choose from, and then it’s time to execute.

Where can I get more information?

Start by going to Instagram for Business.

If you’re looking for some additional help, you can also try this Wordstream article or this guide on Buffer.

Either of these three sites should help you to get started.

Mike Nicholson

I've spent my career working in a variety of Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Public Affairs, Information Operations, and Executive Outreach positions. With a history of planning, preparing, executing, and assessing communication strategies in the U.S. and abroad, I use this site to write, think and share lessons learned on organizational communications.

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