11 July 2018

by Aayush Narang

10 Instagram advertising hacks every marketer needs to know


Instagram’s use for marketing and advertising activities has seen an all-time high. Slowly becoming as one of the top channels for marketers, it’s popularity with businesses and marketers can be due to the selling and superiority factor that visual media has against any other traditional media.

According to Instagram, 60% of people say they discover new products on the platform, and 75% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post.

Why Advertise on Instagram?

Why Advertise On Instagram?

Advertising on Instagram can serve a lot of purposes for a particular business. Right from growing brand exposure, website traffic, generating new leads, and conversions, Instagram can help a brand boost its awareness by 10x.

Ads on Instagram generate revenue because they’ve got over 2 million monthly active advertisers right now.

Before disclosing the hacks for Instagram advertising, let’s give you a quick rundown on Instagram advertising must-knows:


Instagram offers a variety of ad formats to choose from. Make sure you choose the one that reflects and communicates your brand values and idea directly to your audience. Businesses often use these four main types of ads: Photo ads, Stories ads, Videos ads, and Carousel ads.


Visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. Since it’s all about photography, you must leverage Instagram to wow your audience with a visual treat of your brand. Unlike Facebook, the 20% text limit rule does not apply on Instagram. So, make sure you end up making the most of it.


You can buy, run and track ads on Instagram in three ways:

– Within the App: Promoting the posts that you’ve shared on Instagram.
– Ads Manager: You can set up, make changes and see results for all your Instagram campaigns in Ads Manager powered by Facebook.
– Instagram Partners: Instagram Partners are proven experts who help you with everything from buying ads to sourcing and delivering creatives.

Wondering How To Go About Advertising On Instagram?

Ace Instagram advertising with the following hacks and tips that’ll definitely help you market your brand better on this platform:

1. What makes an Instagram ad – a great ad?

You can focus on these three core areas while creating an Instagram ad: Design, Dimensions, and Demographics.

Design: The design elements including text & graphics must be presented in a unique and visually engaging way to grab the immediate attention of your audience. Make it less text-heavy and attractive by incorporating minimal copy and your brand colours. Do not forget to add your logo!

Dimensions: Make sure that your ad meets the Instagram ad specs. Optimise your ad images or videos according to the dimensions identified by Instagram and then go ahead.

Demographics: The most important tactic to pull off your Instagram campaign is to make your ad reach the right people. One way of doing that is filtering out the audience preferences for your ad like location, age, gender, language, interests, lookalike audiences, automated targeting, etc. Setting out specific audience demographics could increase your ad’s reach ten-fold.

2. Incorporate a social ad strategy

To get the highest return on ad spends, it is important for a brand to have a proper social ad strategy in place. Determine the goals for running the ads which will help in carefully selecting the creatives and ad formats. Once this is done, determine the ad frequency and the budget.

You must put considerate thought to who your audience is and what resonates with them when you’re promoting on Instagram. A strategy if implemented correctly will help in planning the sales funnel for your buyer’s persona i.e. easily take your audience from awareness to the decision phase.

3. Choose your Advertising Objective carefully

While creating Instagram ads from Facebook Ads Manager, you’ll be asked to choose an advertising objective. Your advertising objective is what you want people to do when they see your ads. It aligns with your overall business goals and helps you in getting better results. You may choose from the following:

– Awareness: This category includes objectives that will generate interest in your product or service.

– Consideration: This includes objectives that get people to start thinking about your business and look for more information about it.

– Conversions: Objectives that encourage people interested in your business to purchase or use your product or service fall under this category.

4. How to choose among multiple formats?

Carousel Ads – To show off multiple products in one-go

If you have a brand that provides numerous products or services to its customers then carousel is the way to boost up your sales! Upload multiple pictures in one ad and give your viewers a better insight into what you offer. This type of ad is especially recommended when launching a new product line.

Instagram Carousel Ad Format

Video Ads – To spread a valuable message

Want to give out a social message or anything that can better be depicted in a video format? Then video ads are meant for you! Video ads will allow to affordably build audiences since they may have a lower acquisition cost. A brand can lower costs by curating a slideshow-style video from photo assets and use those video ads to target consumers.

Story Ads – To share your experiences

Make use of story ads if you want to share a great deal – discount/offer or experience. Link your stories to your website and make it easy for viewers to check out the information by just swiping up! Direct them towards the link by using emojis like arrow or hand movements. Add music and stickers to make your stories more interesting & personalised. For story video ads, 15 seconds is the max length limit, so create the content accordingly.You can also include a shopping bag sticker on your Instagram stories. Viewers can tap on the icon to view details about the product.

Instagram Story Ads

Photo Ads – To present your USP

Have a product that can drive a lot of people? Use this type of ad to promote your USP with a strong CTA to get more conversions. Looking at performance in terms of total interactions, single images perform better than carousel ads. So, leverage them to bring the most out of Instagram!

Instagram Photo Ad

5. Have a clear call-to-action button

Since organic posts on Instagram do not have an option for a call-to-action button, you can very well leverage a suitable CTA for your Instagram ads. This not only helps in generating web traffic, leads, sales but also boosts your brand’s presence and engagement on social media by giving the audience a chance to interact with your business.

6. Have a specific landing page for your ad

Marketers should know where do they want the customers clicking on their Instagram ads to actually land on their web page.

We recommend brands to build a dedicated landing page for the Instagram ads for an effective campaign rather than directing them to any page on the site. The landing page on your website must be mobile-friendly and should load in under 4 seconds for best results.

It is important to make sure that the graphics in the ad are well aligned to the aesthetic on the website for better conversions.

7. Pre & Post Advertising Phases

Go live and introduce your brand or include posts/stories on your Instagram feed before putting an ad to a get a hands-on experience on how people interact with your posts organically. This will definitely help you in planning out a performance analytics based campaign. A little survey of what your viewers actually enjoy seeing is an advantage, isn’t it?

8. Keep testing your creatives and audience

Marketers should try to increase the performance of their ads by constantly testing and optimising.

You can test different combinations of an audience, content, and visuals to make sure that the ads are highly relevant to your users. Figure out a specific ad within your different ad sets which is showing a higher CTR and assign your ad budget to that.

9. Remarketing to Custom Audience

Make sure to add a tracking pixel to your website or app that will help in retargeting consumers who’ve already visited your page, profile, or engaged with your posts or ads. Advertising by retargeting your Instagram audience will be more effective in terms of the number of people who’ll be converted as it also provides a lot of insights and analytical perspective.

Converting a prospect into a customer is easier by creating a retargeting campaign on Instagram since your brand is already established with these people.

10. Influencer Marketing is a boon!

Influencer marketing platforms, especially those targeting the 900 million monthly active users on Instagram, have boomed over the last 12 months.

Imagine your ad being run by several influencers who have already created a niche on social media? Reaching out to top influencers on Instagram in order to promote your brand is the best possible way to gain attention, increase brand awareness, build trust & loyalty, and increase sales eventually if done the right way!

[Know more about influencer marketing at bit.ly/InfluencerMarketing_SP18]

Learn how you can run your Instagram ads to get the most ROI out of them. Contact us at coffee@sparkeighteen.com and we’d be happy to help you out!

Aayush Narang

Aayush Narang is the founder of Spark Eighteen Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd. He is a startup evangelist, entrepreneur, business and tech enthusiast.
Aayush Narang

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