7 tips to advertise in Instagram successfully

Instagram advertising has evolved since its inception thanks to integration with Facebook’s powerful advertising platform. If you haven’t given Instagram advertising a try, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

Instagram is one of the world’s largest and most active social platforms with over 500 million active monthly users. With a large community like this, it’s no surprise that businesses are increasingly excited about the advertising opportunities available.

Instagram is quickly becoming one of the top marketing channels for businesses due to the fact that visual media is more effective for engaging audiences than other marketing channels online.

So how can a business like yours take advantage of Instagram’s advertising capabilities?

Here are seven tips for successful Instagram advertising to help you launch captivating ad campaigns on this popular social platform:

#1: Be Familiar with All Ad Types

If you’re new to advertising on Instagram, you’ll discover there’s already a wide range of ad formats available. The four major types of ads are:

  • Photo Ads – Photo ads are what most people are used to seeing on their Instagram feed. These are single images with a small “Sponsored” icon in the top-right corner.
  • Carousel Ads – Carousel ads let businesses include multiple images within an ad in a horizontal scrolling format. Carousel ads were created because businesses wanted to tell sequenced stories that lead to meaningful results for their business.
  • Video Ads – Video ads are a powerful way to reach Instagram’s audience and have shown to provide the most engagement. People love watching videos, even if they’re short. Video ads are the recommended ad type if you’re looking for the best engagement.
  • Marquee Ads – Marquee ads are single-day campaigns that offer guaranteed impressions and top ad positions of Instagram’s feed. With the Marquee format, businesses can show an ad with varying creative to the same user up to three times a day.

#2: Target Your Audience

Nothing is more important than getting your ads in front of the right people. One of the biggest advantages of Instagram advertising is its integration with Facebook Ads. That means you have access to Facebook’s advanced targeting features such as Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences, Location, Age, Gender, Language, Interests, and more.

Using these targeting features can increase your click-through rate since your audience is precise and your ads are shown to people who are likely interested in your business. In addition, increasing your click-through rate can also lower your cost per click.

Just make sure not to rush through audience targeting when creating your ads. Carefully think about who your target customer is and create ad campaigns specifically for them.

#3: Team Up With Influencers

Partnering with influencers is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness and grow your Instagram following. There are many professional bloggers, internet celebrities, and social media phenoms who have massive followings on Instagram that you can tap into.

Working with the right influencer, especially one that your target audience identifies with, can give your business instant credibility and trust.

#4: Make Your Ads Look Native

Some of the best performing Instagram Ads don’t look like advertisements at all. Instagram does a great job making ads look native within the user’s feed without controlling the image and caption you use.

Instead of using traditional ad creative for your image, you should use creative that blends in with organic Instagram postsProvide the same experience users would get from organic content. When users are scrolling through their feed, you want your ad to look just like any other piece of content they would see from their friends or people they follow.

An important thing to keep in mind is using remarkable visual content. Make sure you only use high-quality images and video in your ads. Unlike other social channels where the copy and call to actions are the focal points, Instagram advertising is all about inspiring visuals.

#5: Include a Popular Hashtag

Where would the social media world be without hashtags? To help get noticed from the sea of organic and paid posts, it’s important to use a #hashtag. An effective marketing tactic is to use a hashtag that is widely popular (as long as it fits your brand). That way when people search for hashtags or see them trending, they’ll be able to find your business.

Resources for finding popular hashtags:





Another route you can take is branding your own hashtags. This will make your hashtags unique and will only be attached to content centered around your business. Branded hashtags are a great way to increase your reach and build a community of loyal fans. Just be aware that if you don’t have a large following, it may be a while before your branded hashtags are widely popular.

#6: Use a Strong Call To Action

Unlike organic Instagram posts, you can add a call to action (CTA) to your Instagram Ads. As much as brand awareness is important, you’re probably more interested in seeing actual results (web traffic, leads, sales) from your ads . CTA’s help give your audience an opportunity to engage with your business in a specified way.

Instagram takes care of the design aspect by providing a variety of pre-defined CTA buttons including

  • Shop Now
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Sign Up
  • Learn More
  • Download Now
  • Install Now
  • Use App
  • Book Now
  • Listen Now
  • Play Game
  • Watch Video
  • Watch More

Make sure to choose the right CTA that fits the goals of your advertisement.

#7: Test To Optimize Performance

Testing is one of the most important aspects of advertising. It helps you develop your best performing ads. Changing your image, caption and CTA can completely alter your results. Instead of limiting yourself to one ad creative, test several variations of it.

Instagram makes it simple to do A/B testing. You can duplicate your existing ads and tweak different elements of your image, caption and CTA. A good place to start is with your CTA since Instagram provides a variety for you. Once you’ve made changes for testing, be sure to analyze your reports to see which variation delivered the best results.

Bonus Tip: Implement User-Generated Content as Ad content

A successful strategy that major brands are using is leveraging user-generated content (UGC) in their advertising. Instagram was built on its users’ beautiful photos and there’s a level of authenticity to UGC that stock photos cannot match. Think about how powerful it is to have Instagram users see other people happily using your products and services. UGC strengthens brand loyalty and trust in your business.

While there are many ways to acquire UGC, you can easily influence your followers to produce UGC by running a fan content social media campaign.

Final Thoughts

Instagram has one of the most engaged audiences out of all the social media sites. Not only do your ads get seen, but they also get remembered. With these seven tips (and a bonus), you can jump on board today and launch your own captivating ad campaigns.




I’m Joseph, and I started this blog as a way to share ideas with others. I wanted to create a space where people could share their thoughts and feelings, and where we could all have a good laugh. Since then, the blog has grown into something much larger than I ever imagined. We have posts on everything from humorous essays to comics to interviews. And our weekly columns cover sports, video games, college life, and software.
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