Instagram Advertising

Taking full advantage of Instagram ads for your business should be a no-brainer. More than 1 billion people use Instagram every month, 500 million people use it daily, and the engagement rates are higher than Facebook and Twitter. Not only that, according to the National Association of Realtors, in 2018, less than 40% of Realtors had an Instagram account. Compare that to Facebook, where 97% of Realtors had an account, and you quickly realize that there is still an opportunity to jump on board. So why wait?

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Module Outline and Objectives:

  • What are Instagram ads and how much do they cost?

  • The most expensive day and times to run Instagram ads

  • Different ad formats fully explained

  • What determines the best ad formats for your objective

  • How to create ads in different ways

  • Instagram advertising tips

What are Instagram ads?

After being purchase by Facebook in 2013, Instagram slowly began rolling out their own ad solutions. However, ads on Instagram were not readily available the way they are now until 2015. That’s only a few years ago!

With a direct integration with the Facebook Ads Manager, you can tap into a huge amount of user data to advertise to your precise target audience.

Here’s one stat that should be enough to convince you to start using Instagram ads:

  • 75% of Instagram users take actions daily on Instagram ads (viewing a website, buying a product, leaning more about a service, connecting with a brand and much more).

What do Instagram ads cost?

The cost of the individual ad will always vary, however, according to Instagram, in 2018, the average cost-per-click for an ad was between $0.70 - $0.80. Yes, you read that correctly.

Remember, this is just an average and ad pricing can fluctuate based on your objective, audience, location, etc.

With over $300m worth of ads purchased in 2017, Hootsuite compiled the following data in regards to the average cost-per-click for ads based on age and placement.

Source: Hootsuite

Source: Hootsuite

Based on the data there are a few things to point out. The time of the year is the most important factor when it comes to the cost of ads. For the most part, the later we get into the year, the average cost-per-click increases — with the last quarter showing the highest cost-per-click.

Different Instagram Ad Formats

You have five format options when running Instagram ads (in no particular order):

  1. Stories ads

  2. Photo ads

  3. Video ads

  4. Carousel ads

  5. Collection ads

Stories ads

Stories ads offer a full screen vertical format that allows for an immersive experience through photo or video. You can utilize Instagram’s built in filters, drawing tools and text overlays when running ads through Stories. Like a traditional Story, ads will disappear after 24 hours.

Note: You cannot use a prior Instagram Story as an ad if it has a tappable element (i.e. already has a link, is a post shared to a story, includes a tag, hashtag or location on the Story).

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Photo ads

Photo ads are a simple and clean way to showcase a photo in square, landscape or vertical format on Instagram.

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Video ads

With the addition of sound, motion and sight — video ads can be shown up to 60 seconds in square, landscape, or vertical formats.

Carousel ads

Carousel ads allow a user to use multiple photos or video. People who see this type of ad will have the ability to swipe to left off the first image or video in order to see more. These type of ads are great for storytelling and walking a person through a specific journey then leading them to a destination with your call-to-action.

Collection ads

Similar to carousel ads, Collection ads allow you to use multiple photos when creating the ad. The difference, however, is in the format. The collection ads will be displayed like a collage and are mostly used to buy a specific product. Therefore, these are the least used ads in real estate.

What determines the best ad format for your objective

Knowing all five formats, which one will work better for you? The answer to this question is based on your goal. We recommend breaking your goal into three phases: Awareness, Consideration, Conversion.

For example, if you are focusing your content calendar more towards brand awareness, you wouldn’t use a Collection ad, since these are focused on selling a product.

Alternatively, If you are advertising a house and want to show some images of the house and direct the person to a landing page to view more, the Carousel ad format would be the best format to use.

Here are the Objectives you can use on Instagram and what they mean:


  • Brand Awareness

    • Helps you reach people more likely to pay attention to your ads and increase awareness of your brand.

  • Reach

    • Allows you to show your ad to the largest audience possible allowed by your budget.


  • Traffic: Website Clicks, App Engagement

    • Sends people to a destination off Instagram.

  • Engagement: App Engagement

    • Gets people to engage with your ad on Instagram.

  • App Installs

    • Encourages app installs in the App Store and Google Play.

  • Video Views

    • Use this objective to get the most views on your videos.

  • Lead Generation

    • Makes it easier for potential clients to submit their information to you.


  • Conversions: Website Conversions

    • Designed to lead people to take a desired action by increasing conversions to your website, mobile app or Messenger.

      • Note: You must have a Facebook Pixel set up and we encourage to have Custom Events set up as well to capture specific events (i.e. Leads, Contacts, View Content and more).

  • Product Catalog Sales

    • Also known as Dynamic Ads, this allows you to promote relevant products to shoppers who have browsed your website or mobile app.

      • Ever browsed on Amazon but didn’t buy? You go back to Facebook and see the same product as an ad? That’s this type of objective and you can do the same thing with your listings.

  • Store Visits

    • Reaches people around your location to drive them to your “office”.

Creating Instagram ads

There are two different ways to create ads on Instagram and they each offer different tools and options:

  1. Using the Facebook Ads Manager

  2. Directly in Instagram

Note: You MUST have a business profile to run ads on Instagram.

Creating an ad in Ads Manager

Step 1: Go to Ads Manager

Step 2: Click Create and then Choose an Objective (reference the Objectives and what they mean above).


Step 3: Define the Audience for your ad set.


Step 4: Choose your Placement Options.

  • You can run ads on all Platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger) or you can choose to run ads on Instagram only.

  • Click Edit Placements to change which platforms you want your ad to appear.


Step 5: Set the Budget for your ad.

Step 6: Select your Instagram account.

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Step 7: Select your Ad Format.

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Step 8: Add your Media (Image(s) or Video(s) and add your URL destination (if applicable), text Description and Call-To-Action.

Step 9 (Optional): Utilize Conversion Tracking to give you information how your audience interacts with your business after clicking an ad through the Facebook Pixel on your website, an app event or an offline event.


Step 10: Click Confirm to submit your ad.

Creating an ad in Instagram

You can create an ad directly on Instagram by promoting an already existing Post or Story.

Note: Once again, you need a business profile to run ads on Instagram.

Step 1:

For a Post, go to your Post and click Promote.

For a Story, go to your Story and click More then select Promote.


Step 2: Select where to send people (Your Profile, Website, or Direct Messages).

  • If you choose Website, you will also add the URL and an Action Button.


Step 3: Select your Target Audience.

  • You can Automatically target people like your current followers, choose an already Saved Audience, or Create Your Own.


Step 4: Choose your Budget and Duration.

  • Instagram will show you the estimated reach based on your audience size and budget.


Step 5: Review your Ad, Destination, Action Button, Audience, Budget and Duration and confirm your Payment Method. Finally, click Create Promotion.

Instagram Advertising Tips

Great ads are an art, not a science. When creating ads, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Know your target audience

    • Before you dive into ads you have to decide who your audience is, therefore also revealing who you audience is not.

    • Having your target audience known in advance will help shape your creative direction and copy by developing content that speaks to your intended audience.

    • Don’t just focus on yourself. What does your audience want and need? Keeping their goals in mind will help you create ads that deliver value.

  2. Use text to your advantage

    • An image is worth a thousand words and a video is worth how many? Not a trick question, if you know send us a message. Since you can’t use too much text in your Instagram ad (character count averages 2,200), you must create an effective call-to-action that encourages a person to take the desired action.

  3. Utilize hashtags

    • On average, according to Instagram, adding hashtags to an Instagram post boosts engagement by 12.6%. Since you can use up to 30 hashtags on each post and 10 on a story, take advantage of FREE ORGANIC TRAFFIC before you create an ad.

  4. Engage, Engage, Engage

    • The Instagram algorithm utilizes 3 key rankings factors. Interacting and responding to people who are engaging with your ad is an easy sign that you’re creating value, thus, Instagram will show your ad to more people.

  5. Brand Consistency

    • Don’t be shocked, but 60% of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter for every post. Why? Consistency reinforces your brand.

Check on Knowledge

  1. Which of the following is NOT an Instagram ad format?

    A. Video ad

    B. Stories ad

    C. Banner ad

    D. Carousel ad

  2. Which buying objective should you use if your goal is to optimize your ad to get people to take specific actions on your website, such as signing up for a newsletter or buying a product?

    A. Conversions

    B. Traffic

    C. Lead generation

    D. Brand awareness

  3. Which of the following objectives should you use to promote relevant ads to people who have browsed your website or mobile app?

    A. Engagement

    B. Video views

    C. Product catalog sales

    D. App installs

Check on Knowledge Answers: 1 | C 2 | A 3 | C

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