How to use Instagram ads in 2024 : A Step by Step Guide

How to use Instagram ads in 2024 : A Step by Step Guide

Social Media Marketing Strategy
Sheetal Singh

Instagram is like morning tea to the youngsters. The way instagram is growing with users is unimaginable. There are several uses of instagram that keeps the audience hooked on it such as there is entertainment, posting videos and photos.Instagram also helps to promote businesses, products and services, it is done via instagram ads.

Instagram ads are a type of post that help promote products, business, services to a specific target audience. These appear as other regular feeds of a user. Instagram can reach 849.3 million users, instagram marketers spend a huge amount on instagram ads targeting the audience.

But why advertise on instagram? It has its own benefits like high number of engagement, gathering of specific audience, high conversion rates, boosts website traffic, showcases the brand through stories,posts and various other things that are both beneficial for the user and the marketer.

Let's start with our primary goal of understanding instagram ads. The first step we need to take is setting up an instagram ad account.

How to Set Up Instagram Ad Account

Let's get started with setting up our own instagram ad. For that we first need to switch our accounts to business or creator.

This is how you switch an account to a business/creator account,

  1. In the Instagram mobile app, go to your profile
  2. Tap in the top right corner
  3. Tap Settings and privacy
  4. Under For professionals, tap Account type and tools > Switch to professional account - If you already have a Business or Creator profile, tap Creator/Business tools and controls > Switch account type
  5. Continue through the setup prompts - You may be asked to select a category for your profile and enter contact details.

You can even connect your account to your facebook page as it helps you make the best use of instagram tools.

Now that we have switched our account to business/creator, let's dive into how we can represent our ads and in which format.

Different Types of Instagram Ad Formats

To effectively use instagram ads we need to understand which format will best work for our ad and reach the maximum number of people. For that we need to understand what are the types of ads we can put our ads on. Here are the types instagram that will help you understand ad formats more,

#1. Photo Ads:

Description: These are simple image-based ads that allow businesses to showcase their products or services through a single photo. Users can engage with the ad by liking, commenting, or clicking on the link provided. Businesses can use high-quality images of their products or services to create visually appealing ads. These ads work well for showcasing the unique features and benefits of a product. Here's an example of a photo ad.

#2. Video Ads:

Description: Similar to photo ads, video ads allow businesses to share engaging video content with their target audience. These videos can be up to 60 seconds long and may autoplay as users scroll through their feeds. Businesses can use video ads to tell a compelling story, demonstrate product use, or highlight behind-the-scenes footage. This format is effective for engaging audiences and conveying messages in a dynamic way. Here's an example of a video ad.

#3. Carousel Ads:

Description: Carousel ads enable advertisers to showcase multiple images or videos in a single post. Users can swipe left to view additional content within the same ad, providing a more interactive experience. Carousel ads are ideal for businesses with multiple products or features to showcase. Companies can use this format to create a narrative, highlight product details, or present a series of related images. Here's an example of a carousel ad.


#4. Stories Ads:

Description: Instagram Stories are full-screen, vertical ads that appear between users' Stories. They can include images or videos and are particularly effective for creating immersive, temporary content. Businesses can use Stories ads to share time-sensitive promotions, announcements, or immersive content. With creative and engaging visuals, these ads can capture the attention of users as they browse through Stories. Here’s an example of a story ad.


#5. Explore Ads:

Description: Explore ads appear in the Explore section of the Instagram app, where users discover new content based on their interests. These ads allow businesses to reach users who are actively exploring and searching for new content. Explore ads are beneficial for reaching users who are actively seeking new content. Businesses can use visually appealing ads to introduce their products or services to a wider audience interested in related content. Here’s an example of a story ad.

Credit: bookmyshow

#6. Collection Ads:

Description: Collection ads combine a visually compelling image or video with a catalogue of your products. Users can click on the ad to browse through multiple products and make a purchase directly within the Instagram app. Collection ads are great for businesses with an extensive product catalogue. By showcasing a collection of products, companies can encourage users to explore and make purchases directly from the Instagram app. Here's an example of a collection ad.


#7. Shopping Ads:

Description: Instagram Shopping allows businesses to tag products in their organic posts and Stories. Shopping ads take this a step further, allowing users to discover and purchase products directly through the Instagram app. Shopping ads are ideal for e-commerce businesses. By tagging products in posts and using shopping ads, businesses can make it easy for users to discover and purchase products without leaving the Instagram app. Here's an example of a shopping ad.


#8. Branded Content Ads:

Description: These ads allow businesses to promote content created by influencers or other users. It helps extend the reach of influencer collaborations and can be a powerful way to leverage user-generated content for advertising. Businesses can collaborate with influencers or other users to create authentic and engaging content. By promoting this content as branded content ads, businesses can leverage the influence of others to reach a wider audience. Here's an example of a branded content ad.


Now that the ads are set up, the next step is to pull the audience. Moreover it is important to target the right audience which is going to be beneficial for the business.

How important is targeting the right audience?

Targeting the right audience is the most essential aspect of any marketing body.If you know about your audience there is a high chance of conversion. The business that understands their target audience has the most conversion rates. Eventually we learn about what are the different types of customers and who has our interest.

Instagram offers various targeting options to help advertisers reach their desired audience. Here's a brief overview:

Target User Segment Demographic Targeting Age, gender, location, language, and education targeting. Interest-Based Targeting Reach users based on their interests, hobbies, and activities.

Behavioural Targeting Target users based on behaviours, such as shopping habits or device usage.

Custom Audiences Target existing customers using customer lists, website visitors, or app users.

Lookalike Audiences Expand reach by targeting users similar to your existing customers.

Engagement Custom Audiences Target users who have engaged with your Instagram content or ads.

Placement Targeting Choose where your ads appear, including Instagram Feed, Stories, Explore, and more.

Ad Scheduling:

Set specific times and days for your ads to be displayed.

Branded Content Targeting:

Target specific audiences when using influencer content for promotion.

Shopping Ad Targeting:

Reach users who have shown interest in your products on Instagram Shopping.

Automatic Targeting:

Let Instagram optimise your ad delivery to users likely to engage or convert.

Retargeting Options:

Re-engage users who have interacted with your website or app.

Lets understand Instagram Campaign Objectives

We have understood how targeting the right audience is essential to make progress with your ads.

  1. Brand Awareness: Objective: Increase brand visibility and reach a broad audience to create awareness. How it Works: The ad delivery is optimised to maximise impressions and increase overall brand exposure.
  2. Reach: Objective: Show ads to as many people as possible within the target audience. How it Works: The goal is to maximise the number of unique users who see the ad.
  3. Traffic: Objective: Drive traffic to a website or a specific landing page. How it Works: Ad delivery is optimised to encourage users to click on the ad and visit the specified destination.
  4. Engagement: Objective: Encourage users to engage with the ad, such as liking, commenting, or sharing. How it Works: Ad delivery is optimised to maximise user interactions with the content.
  5. App Instals: Objective: Drive installations of a mobile app. How it Works: The ad delivery is optimised to encourage users to install the advertised app directly from the platform.
  6. Video Views: Objective: Increase the number of views for a video ad. How it Works: Ad delivery is optimised to maximise video views and user engagement with the video content.
  7. Conversions: Objective: Drive specific actions on a website, such as purchases or sign-ups. How it Works: Ad delivery is optimised to encourage users to take the desired action, typically through the use of the Facebook Pixel or other tracking mechanisms.
  8. Lead Generation: Objective: Collect user information, such as email addresses, for future marketing efforts. How it Works: Ad delivery is optimised to encourage users to submit their contact information through a lead generation form.
  9. Messages: Objective: Encourage users to send direct messages to the business. How it Works: Ad delivery is optimised to drive user engagement through direct messages.
  10. Catalogue Sales: Objective: Promote products from a catalogue and drive sales. How it Works: Ad delivery is optimised to encourage users to browse and purchase products directly from the catalogue.
  11. Store Traffic: Objective: Drive users to visit physical stores. How it Works: Ad delivery is optimised to encourage users to visit the physical locations of the business.
  12. Dynamic Ads: Objective: Show personalised ads to users based on their past interactions with the business. How it Works: Uses dynamic ad creative and targets users dynamically based on their behaviour.

After learning about objectives of an instagram campaign, you must be thinking about how much does these ads cost or what are the bidding strategies of instagram ads. Come on, let's find out.

Bidding strategy of an instagram ad

A bid strategy determines the way you bid in paid advertising platforms for your ad for the purpose your ads serve. To understand which bidding strategy best suits your ad, let us understand all the bidding strategies available for the advertisers.

There are mainly 3 types of bidding strategy: Goal based bidding, Spend based bidding and manual bidding.

  1. Goal based bidding

Cost cap Cost cap allows the user to fix their desired target Cost-Per-Action (CPA). This bidding strategy gives the user more control over the cost you pay for your results. It is perfect for advertisers who have specific CPA goals. Facebook has a default strategy as cost cap as it gives the user to be in control of their costs.

Minimum ROAS This bidding strategy targets a minimum ROAS(Return on Ad Spend) for each bid. It is ideal for advertisers who want to have more control over the purchase value generated from ads. But to use this bidding strategy a functional pixel or SDK(software development kit) set up to track conversion events is required.

  1. Spend based bidding

This type of bidding strategy advertisers use to optimise their ad campaigns by setting a specific budget for their ads. In this approach, advertisers allocate a certain amount of money (spend) to their Instagram ads and let the platform automatically adjust bids to maximise the effectiveness of the campaign within that budget.

The system aims to achieve the best possible results while staying within the specified spending limit, leveraging Instagram's algorithms to optimise ad delivery and performance based on the set budget constraints.

  1. Manual bidding

This type of bidding strategy helps the user to set up the maximum amount that can be spent in an auction. It helps the user to have more control over their bids in an action. It is ideal for advertisers who aim to set a maximum bid across auctions to control costs and reach as many users as possible.

If you want to put on an instagram ad ,lets see how much it costs in India

Instagram campaign type Instagram ad cost Instagram CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) Rs.8 - Rs.12 Instagram CPC (cost per link click) Rs. 0.48 - Rs. 2.8 Instagram CPL (cost per lead) Rs.4 - Rs.1500 Instagram CPA (cost per acquisition) Rs.45 - Rs. 2000 Instagram CPV (cost per view) Rs. 0.3 - Rs. 2 Instagram cost per event response Rs. 70 - Rs. 300 Instagram CPI (cost per install) Rs. 30 - Rs. 100

Now that we know the bidding strategies ,we should focus on how your ad should be and how we can make it more appealing to the audience.

How to keep audience engaged with your ad

For any ad to reach the maximum number of audience and fulfil its aim it is important to keep it eye pleasing to the target audience.Effective ads are proportional with the wider range of audience.Here are a few points to keep in mind that will help you keep the audience engaged with you.

Compelling headlines Clear calls to action that will prompt users to act. Optimise users( high quality images for visually appealing content) Effective communication Easy navigation Highlight people Keep it short and sweet. Bring out the emotion.

Usage to hashtags is as important as you make your ad people pleasing. It is important to use relevant hashtags for reels, images, and ads, if you want to amplify your reach . Using relevant hashtags with the ads has its own benefits like it expands your reach beyond just your immediate followers, drives traffic that will eventually boost views, likes and shares.

It increases followers by reaching a wider audience. It even gives a clear and wide exposure to the ad. More the retweets, comments, likes,shares etc; your social media marketing posts receive, the more visibility your brand will get.

Now lets make our own instagram ad campaign in 8 easy steps. 8 easy steps to create successful ad campaign

If you are doubtful about where and how you should get started with creating ad campaigns, you are at the right place. Here we will discuss everything step by step and give you a right and easy path. These 8 steps are crucial to the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.

  1. Establish your campaign goal

Clearly outline the objectives of your ad campaign. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, generate leads, or boost sales? Define specific, measurable goals.

  1. Set your campaign budget

Establish a realistic budget based on your overall marketing objectives. Consider the cost of advertising on your chosen platforms and allocate funds accordingly.

  1. Define your target audience

Determine the demographics, interests, and behaviours of your ideal customers. This information will help you tailor your ad content to resonate with your target audience.

  1. Design your content Content is the most important part of any ad campaign. Without the use of rich content your ad will be common and will not be known for its uniqueness. If you’re implementing a direct mail marketing campaign, your content might be a postcard or flyer that asks recipients to redeem a discount.

5.Call To Action (CTA)

Creating a Call to Action (CTA) ad campaign involves a strategic approach to encourage your audience to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading a resource. Your CTA should be loud and clear as soon as it is noticed.

  1. Distribute and promote your content

Create valuable and shareable content around your ad objective. This could include blog posts, videos, or infographics that complement and amplify your ad message. To promote your content efficiently, you have to find out where your customers and leads hang out – is it on social media, websites, forums, or newsletters? Promoting on more than one channel is always better.

  1. Launch

Schedule and launch your ads based on the optimal times for reaching your target audience. Monitor the performance closely during the initial stages and make adjustments as needed.

  1. Data analysis

Marketing campaigns have to be analysed. There is so much data that you collect from your campaign that doing nothing with it is a huge loss and disbenefit. Data also helps us to answer the question of whether or not the campaign was effective and did it reach its goal.

Objectives set the direction, acting as benchmarks. Monitoring, through metrics like engagement and conversion rates, gauges how well these objectives are met. This continuous assessment enables strategic adjustments, aligning the campaign with its goals for optimal effectiveness. In essence, monitoring ensures a dynamic approach, fostering optimization crucial for achieving marketing objectives.

Monitoring your ad performance and making adjustments

Monitoring your ad performance and making adjustments has its own importance such as maximising ROI, adapting to audience behaviour, refining targeting strategies, testing and iteration, adapting to marketing trends,budget allocation,identifying and addressing issues, measuring long term success.Regular analysis and optimization contribute to the ongoing success and effectiveness of your ad campaigns.

Here are a few tips to analyse your ad data and optimise your campaigns.

Set clear goals Use analytics tools Monitor KPIs AIB testing Audience insights Budget optimization Ad placement reviews Ad schedule adjustments Creative refresh Landing page optimisation Monitor competitor activity

Advanced strategies for instagram ads

We have so far seen how to create our own ad campaign and the strategies behind it. Now let us dive deep into some advanced strategies for instagram ads.

#1. Using instagram stories ad

Instagram stories as known by all are the vertical videos on your account that disappear after 24 hrs. Putting ads on them is beneficial in many ways like,

visual Appeal: Instagram's focus on high-quality images and videos creates a visually engaging ad experience.

Engagement Features: Interactive elements like Stories and polls boost user engagement with ads.

Instagram Shopping: Direct product exploration and purchase within the platform streamline the shopping process.

Influencer Collaboration: Opportunities to collaborate with influencers for authentic product promotion and extended reach.

Precise Targeting: Robust ad targeting options enable businesses to reach specific demographics and interests.

Mobile-Centric Platform: Target users on the go with Instagram's mobile-focused environment.

Storytelling Opportunities: Visual format allows creative storytelling for brand narrative building.

Instagram Insights: Detailed instagram analytics provide valuable insights into ad performance and audience demographics.

User-Generated Content (UGC): Incorporating user-generated content adds authenticity and builds trust.

Multiple Ad Formats: Diverse ad formats, including photos, videos, and carousels, allow for experimentation.

Global Reach: With over a billion users, Instagram offers access to a vast and diverse audience.

Cross-Platform Integration: Seamless integration with Facebook ads enables cohesive cross-platform campaigns.

Instagram Reels: Short-form video ads with Instagram Reels cater to a younger, dynamic audience.

Knowing instagram ad benefits is going to be so useful to us in many ways possible. But how to promote your product or service to the people in a more effective and promising way which will make them want to convert? The answer is influencer marketing. What is influencing marketing and how it is done let us read thoroughly about it.

#2. Instagram Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is a way to promote your product or services with the recommendations or reviews of social media influencers or bloggers. They can make a video about it or post anything related to the product or service. As a high number of people follow them and few inspire to be like them can be our potential customers.

Here are few benefits of influencer marketing

Reach new audience

It is considered the biggest benefit of influencer marketing. As the influencers have already made up a great number of followers it is easy to promote your business and increase the number of audience. It can even make more possible conversions than regular ads.

Build brand trust and credibility

It is the key for long- term relationships and driving conversions. As people listen to them and are inspired, people trust them more. Thus building the trust among the audience and making the possible conversions. By partnering with influencers,it gives us the advantage of using their followers and making them ours.The credibility the influencers have built gives us the advantage to make possible conversions.

Brand awareness

Brand awareness is the whole soul purpose of influencer marketing. We want people to know about our brand and how it works. If they see that their favourite influencer is using it, there is a high chance of them using it too. Thus giving me the benefit.

Pocket friendly marketing strategy

As marketing is overall an expensive thing, partnering with influencers can be less expensive if compared. They already have a high number of followers and your ad is reaching all of them. It provides high returns on investment and gives a good amount of engagement and traffic on the site.

Improved SEO

Improved SEO for influencers means higher visibility in online searches, boosting credibility, expanding audience reach beyond social media, attracting better collaboration opportunities with brands, ensuring long-term visibility, and providing valuable data insights for content optimization.

Measurable results and ROI

Improved SEO for influencers yields measurable results and a strong Return on Investment (ROI) by enhancing online visibility, attracting a larger audience, and increasing collaboration opportunities with brands, ultimately translating into quantifiable success and financial gains.

Now, when we have shown our ads,done our branding and even made the influencers market it for us. We still wont stop here. There is a concept called retargeting ads. This is where we can re-engage our audience and make them revisit our sites. #3. Instagram Ads Retargeting

Retargeting ads re-engage individuals who visited your site by displaying tailored ads on various platforms. By reminding them of your brand or specific products they viewed, retargeting aims to bring them back, increase brand recall, and boost the likelihood of conversion through personalised and targeted content strategy.

It can benefit us in various ways

Increased Conversions: Targets users who have shown interest, boosting the likelihood of conversion.

Enhanced Brand Recall: Reinforces brand in users' minds through repeated exposure.

Personalised Engagement: Delivers tailored content based on users' previous interactions.

Multi-Platform Reach: Extends retargeting efforts across various channels for broader visibility.

Measurable Results: Provides metrics to assess campaign performance and optimise strategies.

Last but not the least let us understand about integrated instagram ads with other marketing channels and their benefits.

#4. Integrated instagram ads

Integrating Instagram Ads with other marketing channels can enhance the overall effectiveness of your campaigns and create a cohesive brand experience across various touchpoints. Here are some strategies for using Instagram Ads in conjunction with other marketing channels:

Cross-Promotion: Promote your Instagram Ads on other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, to maximise reach.

Share snippets or screenshots of your Instagram Ads on your other social media accounts to encourage followers on those platforms to engage with your content on Instagram.

Consistent Messaging: Maintain a consistent brand message across all marketing channels, including Instagram. Ensure that your messaging aligns with your brand's identity and values.

Email Marketing Integration: Incorporate Instagram content into your email campaigns. Share visually appealing content or highlight user-generated content from Instagram to engage your email subscribers.

Influencer Collaborations: Collaborate with influencers on Instagram and extend the collaboration to other channels. Influencers can share content across various platforms, amplifying the reach of your message.

Retargeting Across Platforms: Implement cross-platform retargeting strategies. If users interact with your ads on Instagram, consider retargeting them with ads on other platforms and vice versa.

Website Integration: Use Instagram Ads to drive traffic to your website. Ensure that your website is optimised to continue the user journey seamlessly, providing a consistent experience from Instagram to your site.

Event Promotion: Promote events or product launches on Instagram and leverage other channels, such as email and your website, to provide additional details and encourage participation.

Social Proof: Showcase user-generated content from Instagram on your other channels. Share customer testimonials, reviews, or images to build social proof and credibility.

Coordinate Ad Campaigns: Plan and coordinate ad campaigns across various channels to maximise impact. Ensure that the timing and messaging align to create a cohesive narrative.

Offline Integration: If you have offline marketing channels (such as events, stores, or print media), integrate Instagram Ads by promoting your Instagram profile or featuring Instagram-generated content in these channels.

Tracking and Analytics: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your Instagram Ads and compare it with other channels. This helps you understand which channels contribute most to your overall marketing goals. Wrap up

Now you know all about instagram ads; how to create them and make them your own. Are you confused about where to get the tools and get started? Cloudsocial is available for you anytime. Manage instagram along with various other social media platforms from a single dashboard. You can schedule your post, boost post, engage your audience and many more things that will ease up your work and loosen your time.

Hurry up and try it for free today! You can schedule a free demo to learn how to use cloudsocial for your business effectively.

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