#60: Instagram Ads: What You Need To Know

In today’s episode of The Art of Paid Traffic we’re talking about Instagram ads.

Everyone seems to be talking about them, yet I’m not seeing a ton of people use them yet (outside of big brands).

I haven’t yet tested them because I feel like there is a lot of conflicting information out there and I’ve wanted to let things settle a little bit before testing.

So on this episode of AOPT, I’m sharing the most up-to-date info that I have come across about what you need to know about Instagram ads.

Why Use Instagram Ads?

First off, if you’re considering advertising on Instagram, you want to be sure you have a strategy. Hopefully this goes without saying, but you need to have a clear “why” for spending money on Instagram.

Close to 30% of the US population is now using Instagram (that’s about 400 million monthly active users).  Reaching such a large engaged audience to build your brand wouldn’t be a bad “why”.

So if you’re a business that wants to promote visual content on mobile devices, Instagram may be a great platform to start testing.

Speaking of mobile devices, right now, Instagram ads are only available on mobile and can be in image or video format.

The recommended image size is 1080 x 1080, with video up to 30 seconds in length.

You don’t need to have an Instagram account to run Instagram ads but consider that:

  • Your Facebook Page’s name and image will be used on your Instagram ad so that people can easily identify your business.
  • You won’t be able to respond to comments on your ad.

If you do have an Instagram account, you can either connect it via Business Manager or a Facebook Page that you’re an admin of.  Connecting your account will then allow you to create ads in Power Editor.

Instagram Ads Guidelines

After you’ve connected your account, you’re going to want to be really clear on what Instagram wants from its advertisers.

I’ve heard stories where people had the same ads approved on Facebook but not on Instagram.

So I want you going into this with your eyes open.

When Instagram ads are reviewed, they look for things like:

  • Poor image quality (resolution, blurriness or cropping)
  • Poor copy (grammar, capitalization or excessive symbols)
  • Relevance (mismatch between image and copy or irrelevant landing page).

For your ad images, find different ways to incorporate your brand’s logo, icon or a color scheme that’s recognizable to the audience you’re trying to reach.

Keep in mind:

  • Avoid using heavy image filters
  • The 20% text rule on images (the same as Facebook ads)
  • Images must be “true to your brand” — and not be cheesy or shocking
  • Ads should capture “moments,” not products. Ads must not simply be a product shot.  In other words, use images that are concept driven. These images need to tell a story or have a theme.

How to Set up Instagram Ads

Now that we’ve covered what Instagram wants to see from advertisers, let’s talk about how to set them up.

A this, Instagram ads are not yet available to create in Facebook’s standard Ads Create tool.

You have to set them up in Power Editor – yet another reason you should be using Power Editor!

You’ll set them up very much like you would a regular Facebook ad, except know that right now the following ad objectives currently support Instagram ads:

  • Clicks to Website
  • Mobile App Installs
  • Video Views

I’m sure Instagram will be adding more Objectives soon enough.

You’ll then want to choose Instagram under the Placements section.

For targeting, you can use all the same targeting you would for your Facebook ads which are location, demographics, interests, custom audiences or lookalike audience.

Call-To-Action Buttons

When you’re setting up the actual ad you can use a call-to-action button on your Instagram ads, which is huge, because you normally don’t have a clickable link in your Instagram post.

At the time of this episode release, the following calls-to-action are available:

  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Donate Now
  • Download
  • Learn More
  • Show Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch More

You can also use conversion tracking pixels just like you can with Facebook ads.

If you’ve been testing Instagram ads and have been seeing results, I’d love to hear form you. Leave a comment below.  Let me know your experience and how Instagram ads have done for you.

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Got A Question You Want Answered On the Podcast?

Every month I’m doing a Q&A episode where I answer your questions about Facebook ads and paid traffic.  If you ask something I can’t answer or I feel will be better answered by a specific expert, I’ll find that person to get an answer for you.

To ask a question to be answered on the podcast, click below and leave me a voicemail.  All you need is a microphone and Internet connection.

Other Episodes You’ll Like

#59: The Anatomy of a Highly Converting Video Ad with James Wedmore

#58: Case Study: How to Scale from $500 to $11K Monthly With Facebook Video Ads

#57: How to Speak Your Customer’s Language – Copywriting Hacks With Joanna Wiebe

#56: Proven Copywriting Strategies that Convert with Ryan Johnson

4 Responses to #60: Instagram Ads: What You Need To Know

  1. Great podcast Rick. I live in Guam, so I was waiting for the International roll out of Instagram ads and added it to both my day job and personal business online strategies. We have seen great engagement, an increase in new followers, and in-store and online sales boost using Instagram ads. For my day job I work at one of the largest Telecoms in the region and we were able to increase our followers by 10% and also we had a spike in android sales. Plus with the 30 second limit for video ads, we are able to use our TV commercials on Instagram now. We plan to allocate a piece of our facebook ads budget to Instagram moving forward.

    For my personal company, we take local legends and stories and create digital products and experiences. We’ve been using facebook ads to increase likes and also for brand awareness and have had great success, so I was eager to try this on Instagram. We average about 20-50 likes per post and with just a three day campaign we had 987 likes and we had an increase of our followers by 15%! We also doubled our average newsletter signup on the landing page.

    The only thing I wish was accessible in Power Editor is Instagram Carousel Ads. I’ve seen some big brands utilize this type of ad, but I can’t find any information on how to implement them. Do you know if this type of ad is only through the Instagram API? Or do these big brands have early or exclusive access? Thanks again for this great podcast and I look forward to you diving into this new and exciting platform.

  2. Ross says:

    Rick, I’ve been using Instagram Ads to send cold traffic to a blog post to get them “warmed up” to remarket an opt-in to later.

    Just a small test the last couple weeks but the CPCs have been much lower than FB (about half) and relevance scores have been really good (but interestingly high positive and negative feedback).

    A couple people commented on my Instagram ads that the link wasn’t working but I know it has been since I’m tracking with UTM codes – but maybe I’m missing out on a good amount of traffic.

    Anyone else experience anything like that?

    Also, been recommending your podcast several places that people have been asking for PPC podcast resources 🙂 keep it up!

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