These seven steps will help you create an effective ad campaign on Instagram whenever you need it.

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The following excerpt is from Kim Walsh Phillips’s book Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business. Buy it now from Amazon Barnes & Noble | IndieBound or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code MARKET2021 through 4/24/21.

If you want to amp up your game when it comes to Instagram marketing, you may want to look into Instagram advertising — the payout can be incredible. Of course, anytime you advertise, you’re risking your money, so it’s best to arm yourself with all the facts before diving in.

Related: How to Make the Power of the Hashtag Work for You

All Instagram ads are set up through your Facebook Ads portal so first, you’ll need to set up either Facebook Ads Manager or Facebook Business Manager. Facebook Ads Manager is used only if you run ads for one Facebook Business Page and one Instagram Account. Facebook Business Manager is used if you run ads for more than one business page or account. Once you get your account set up, it’s time to create some Instagram ad magic.

Before jumping right into the ad creator, it’s important to decide how you’re going to adapt your message to the crowd that follows you on Instagram. Every social media platform is used by fans for different reasons, so identifying what it is that appeals to your target audience is a key component in building out your Instagram ad plan.

Cold, hard truth alert: There will be some strategic guessing in the beginning stages as you see what imagery resonates with your audience, so don’t get discouraged if the icon ads that performed so well on Facebook don’t give as spectacular results on Instagram.

Review your Instagram posts and consider what your audience engages with the most. Are you racking up page upon page of comments on photos of people using your product? Or does the perfectly positioned hero shot of your product standing tall in all of its glory steal the show? Or maybe your video posts are the favorite child? Make a list of what you see doing well in your Facebook ads and what your fans on Instagram love to see and start testing.

Test the water

Now that you have your accounts linked and an idea of the direction you want to take, it’s time to start creating the actual ads. Facebook has updated the system so that you can use your ad builder of choice (Ads Manager or Power Editor) to create your Instagram ads.

To use, Ads Manager, go to Click Create Ad. Next choose your marketing objective from the categories listed below.


  • Boost your posts: Expose your posts to as many people as possible, expanding your reach and increasing your page engagement.
  • Increase brand awareness: Expose posts to audiences specifically targeted based on the likelihood that they’ll pay attention to your ads. The posts can be used to expose more people to your brand and ultimately grow a larger following.


  • Send people to your website: This option is to increase the flow of traffic on your site or landing page. In the ad-builder process, you have the options to make consideration and conversion ads clickable so that someone can be redirected to the site where you want them to go simply by touching the photo. This option is recommended when sending traffic to a piece of value-driven content that doesn’t require an opt in, such as a blog.
  • Get installs of your app: Send viewers to the app store to encourage them to download and install your app.
  • Get video views: These videos can be testimonial based, product how-tos, behind-the-scenes clips, product launches or just promotional videos designed to drive traffic.


  • Increase conversions on your website: Use this when you want your customer to take an action such as entering their contact information or purchasing a product. Website conversions let you track the number of actions that are taken via Facebook through this option.
  • Promote a product catalog: If your business has a store or a catalog, this ad will automatically pull from that catalog to promote your products to your target audience. Add a new pair of kicks to your online selection? If you’ve set this up ahead of time, ads for that product will automatically start showing in the Instagram feed to those you’re targeting.

Setting up your ad

Once you’ve selected your objective and named your campaign, you’re ready to create an ad. Start by setting the audience, placement, budget and delivery schedule of your ad.

Select your target audience

1. Custom audience. If you have a custom audience, such as an email contact list, website traffic, conversion pixel or lookalike of one of these, you’re able to upload it here. The three categories are:

  • Custom audiences. Target your current customers by securely uploading a contact list of people you’d like to reach.
  • Lookalike audiences. Find people who are similar to your customers or prospects by building a lookalike audience from your Facebook page fans, customer lists or website visitors.
  • Custom audiences from your website. Remarket to people on Facebook who’ve already visited your website.

Related: Harness the Power of Stardom With Instagram

2. Set your location by entering an address or town and selecting how many miles away you will allow this ad to expand. The options are:

  • Everyone in this location
  • Lives in this location (meaning they have a home there)
  • Recently in this location (meaning this is their last tracked location)
  • Traveling to this location (meaning they were recently in this location but their home is somewhere else)

3. Set age range.

4. Select your target gender.

5. Enter any specific languages.

Note: You don’t have to set all of these up. They are optional and based on who you want to target specifically.

Set your detailed targeting

Set your Detailed Targeting by including any interests, demographics and behaviors you’d like to identify. To narrow a broad audience, try stacking interests. For example, if you’re selling a gym membership that specializes in classes, you could target people who have an interest in yoga and Pilates plus the purchasing behavior of buying fitness equipment. Then you’d know that these people have an interest in your product and are willing to spend money on it.

Set a connection to your page

Setting a connection to your page will further narrow your audience to show your ad to the people who already have a connection to your page or other related categories.

Set the placement for your ad

This is where you select that you want your ad to circulate on the Instagram feed. Note: You can select more than one option and edit the images to fit both categories later.

Set the budget

Select either the daily or lifetime budget and how much you want to dedicate to the distribution of this ad. The more money you opt to spend, the higher number of impressions you’ll receive, increasing the likelihood of reaching your objective.


Once the logistics are set up, name your ad set and click Continue to set up the ad creative. There are four options for Instagram images, depending on which objective you select.

Next, select the associated Facebook page and the Instagram account option. If you’ve synced your Instagram account with your Facebook in Business Manager or your Facebook page, your account name will appear in the drop-down menu. If you haven’t, you can do so here.

To add your Instagram account, click “Add an Account” and enter your Instagram login information.

Build the ad creative

Upload the ad images you’ve selected, and using the Edit Crop button, Facebook will allow you to alter the image so it fits appropriately in the Instagram feed. If you elect to use the ad for Instagram and Facebook in the same campaign, it will give you options to edit the size for both individually.

Next, add in the text that describes the action you want the viewer to take. This is an opportunity to utilize popular hashtags that you’ve found success with on your Instagram page. That way your ad will be shown not only to the people who fall into your target audience but also to people who search that hashtag.

Related: One-Week Schedule for Promoting Your Lead Magnet

And that’s it. Review and click Place Order. Within 24 hours, Facebook will review your ad to make sure it meets all of the guidelines, and then begin circulating through the feeds of your target audience.

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