How to Create Instagram Ads to Grow Your Brand

As much as organic growth is absolutely pivotal, there’s an incredible amount of success to be found when utilizing strategic and effective Instagram ads. Here are our top tips for successful Instagram ads.

How To Create Instagram Ads

In case you were wondering how to create Instagram ads, the answer is: easily.

All you have to do is head to your Instagram profile, choose an image from your feed and select ‘promotion.’ From there, you’re prompted to 'Create Promotion,' and then the destination of the link from the ad — you can make your own or use Instagram’s automatic algorithm – and then your budget and duration. It only takes a couple minutes for the entire process.

The step-by-step is easy. It’s the execution is hard.

Pro Tip: Find out what businesses are allowed to advertise on what platforms using this complete guide to digital advertising policies

Know Your Niche

Facebook surveyed over 11,000 Instagram users aged 13 to 24 in order to find out which topics they talked about and interacted with the most. The most popular categories are unsurprising: food, fashion, beauty, music, tv, films, and hobbies — although we realize that’s a general category.

If you happen to be a niche industry, you may not see a return on your investment or benefit much from Instagram ads. But if Instagram ads are in fact relevant for your industry, carry on.

Using your profile’s engagement feature will allow you to see which of your posts have performed the best. (And therefore the posts you should emulate to create successful Instagram ads.) To access this data, simply click on the bar graph icon when in your sidebar settings.

Focus On Creative Visuals

Creative visuals are absolutely critical not only to run successful Instagram ads, but to succeed on Instagram in general. Beyond taking a photo that’s aesthetically pleasing in and of itself, it’s still important to go the extra mile to make sure your Insta ad stands out.

Focus on creating scroll-stopping visuals that will inspire potential customers at every stage of the Instagram Ads funnel to click through and buy your products. For example, you could use dynamic creative ads to allow you to personalize your ad, retarget your audience and present more compelling content to individual users. This can lead to better conversions and more engagement. 

If you’re a small brand — whether personal or corporate — your content is absolutely key. You have to stand out and compete with your competitors, all while finding your own footing within the industry. Visually engaging content will help catch the eyes of potential followers, and many of the features within the Instasize app can help you accomplish that goal.

While Instagram doesn’t like ads with a lot of text, you can include a bit of text here and there. Advertising a giveaway, for example? That’s a great example of when some short text would be effective and eye-catching. (Beyond that, however, staying away from text is a good rule of thumb.)

Making a holiday-themed post? Perhaps you want to try out a fun border.

More than anything, beautiful and cohesive imagery is important. Find a filter that you love — in case you haven’t noticed, we have more than you can count — and make sure it matches the vibe of the photo you’re posting.

To boost the effectiveness of your campaigns through visual content, it's essential to put time and effort into creating high-quality Instagram marketing visuals. There are many tools nowadays that can help with the creative process. The Instasize app is a solid option for mobile. You can also consider an online ad maker on desktop like Creatopy—a design solution that offers thousands of templates made by professional designers.

Pro tip: it’s a good Insta habit to have a go-to filter that becomes part of your signature aesthetic.

Add Value

Successful Instagram ads provide value to their audience. That value will vary based on industry and genre, but value-added content always succeeds. The content you’re sharing in your ad should feel genuine, helpful, and relatable.

Basically, your ad shouldn’t be an ad.

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day does a great job with messaging that doesn't come off as too sales-y, and encourages engagement from Instagram viewers.

Instead of being sales-y, forced, and try-hard, make your focus to evoke emotions. (And no, annoying people with a bad ad doesn’t count as evoking an emotion.)

It’s totally possible to run ads on Instagram that allow you to build your audience and engagement. Your ad should feel like natural content within your target audience’s timelines. With creative vision, compelling content, and cohesive strategy, you’ll be well on your way to Insta success.

Pro Tip: There are platforms out there that can help you unify your data. One we like is Metricool -- this tool can help you check your metrics, plan your content and manage your online advertising all in the same place.

Join the Community

Get exclusive creative insights, editing tutorials, and social media secrets

Most Popular

5 Tools That Can Help You Build Your Photography Business
Make Your Instagram Story Ads Unforgettable with These Six Tips
The Growing Trends of Instagrammable Restaurants