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How To Create Instagram Ads Step by Step

Step by step guide to create instagram ads

How to create Instagram ads step by step tutorial


I often feel as I scroll through my Twitter feed that digital marketers have “Shiny Object Syndrome” as they find the next cool thing, after the next cool thing after the next cool thing. Looking to be thought leaders we marketers rush to point out a new app and why you “have to” be on it or  post another “old rules are dead” post.

Well, here’s a relatively new shiny object, but I think it is going to actually really helpful to you. Let me introduce you to my friend Instagram ads.

In this article I’m going to give you an overview of why you should consider using Instagram ads for your business and secondly how to set your first one up. Sound good?

Why Advertise With Instagram?

1) You can target your customers in extreme detail with Instagram’s integration with Facebook If Facebook were your neighbor it would be the woman with the telescope pointed out her back window taking notes on you… One of Facebook’s telescopes  looks like this:

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Look familiar? It seemed so innocent before, didn’t it?  This button along with all the data collected from what you share and do on Facebook allow us marketers to have real deep insight into people’s behaviors online. Because Instagram integrates with Facebook, all their wealth of data becomes yours.

2.You have access to millions of active users- I know, I know, every article ever written on the big social media platforms mentions the amount of users in the first few paragraphs, but Instagram’s reach is truly significant, it has more than 300 Million active users!

That’s the population of the entire United States.While saying this, I am not saying that you should use Instagram simply because it is big, because that is not what marketing is all about.

However, if your target market aligns with the platforms you have a huge group of potential people you can reach.

3. 100% Mobile traffic- Because Instagram ads only display on mobile devices, it makes it especially good for businesses that benefit from people on the go (like mobile apps.) I can attest to this by experience.

I have download a bunch of apps from their ads, it’s so easy and they know me so well… (I’m telling you the telescope through the window is not a bad analogy.)

Beyond just making it super simple for apps here are some other things the platform allows you to do: Video ads, Mass Awareness Campaigns, Drive traffic to websites etc.



How to set up an Instagram ad:

Step 1: Log into your Facebook ads manager

( To do this you don’t need a separate account, just login to the ads manager with the Facebook account that manages your business page (if you have one.)


Here is where you start with setting up your instagram ad

Here is where you start with setting up your instagram ad.

Step 2: Select your campaign objective

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As you can see here there are many options for what you can pick as your main target. Which one you pick here entirely depends on you, but realize that some of these options are not available to you when creating Instagram ads because they are Facebook specific such  as promote your page, raise attendance to your event and collect leads for your business.

For this article we chose the campaign objective of “clicks to website”

Name your campaign (feel free to name it whatever you want, Bruce or Netmark are great suggestions… if you run out of other ideas…)

Step 4:  Choose who you are targeting

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In this step you are targeting your potential customers really specifically with your choices of ad demographics and psychographic information, if you do not know based on well supported evidence who your target audience is, I would suggest downloading my free guide here, because if you don’t know who you’re going after you are going to waste a lot of time and money running ads to them.

On the top left of this image you’ll see that you can target specific geographic areas, this is useful in narrowing down your audience. Below that you change choose the age range, gender, language, what pages they like, websites they visit, likeliness to move and on and on and on.

On the right hand side you’ll see a summary of how many people you’ll potentially reach, unless your goal is not to rival a superbowl ad in mass numbers of ineffective impressions, it is definitely not a bad thing to have a highly targeted small group of people.

Step 5: Choose Instagram as the the placement

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Facebook allows you to choose the different locations that the ad will appear including Instagram, in this step you can choose all or one of these options. The right choice will be determined by your audience and their behaviors (although I think the desktop right column is stupid personally, (aka when was the last time you click on or even noticed one of those?))


Step 6: Set a daily budget

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You can choose the duration of the campaign as well as your daily budget here. I would suggest starting off small with ads, seeing how they are received and adjusting as you hone them in.

Step 7: Choose Ad Type

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There are several different ad types that you can use on Instagram, many people find that the carousel type advertisements work very well for engagement, you’ll need to test and see which works best for your company, industry and advertising style. Pick images that captivate and engage your audience, not some junky stock photo images (as I have been guilty of doing in the past…) 

Step 8: Choose ad content

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If you took the time to figure out who your buyer is (remember step 4?) then you should have a really good idea of what your audience will respond well to on Instagram. Take time to make the headline and text captivating and benefit oriented, leading them to take the action your designing the ad for. 

If you want in depth best practices check out this article for some examples and best practices for Instagram ads. One tip is that Facebook doesn’t like lots of text in images, they have tools that will automatically search for how much space the text takes up and it takes too much space they won’t let it pass.


Step 8: Place order

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Once you click the green button and clarify they way that you’ll pay, your ad will get reviewed and when it passes, your ad will go live.



Congrats! You now know how and why to set up and run Instagram ads, however, to run them effectively is a challenge in and of itself.
At Netmark we run paid ads for the major social media networks daily and we’d love to share with you what we’ve learned and help you to be successful with it. Go ahead and shoot me an email at: [email protected] or give us a phone call at 800.935.5133.

Let’s keep in touch!

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    Hello, my name is Bruce Peck! I love digital marketing and I am the social media strategist for