Instagram Advertising – Always Up-to-date Guide (2018 Edition)

instagram advertising guide

Instagram advertising has become a crucial part of every company’s social media strategy.

As reported by TechCrunch, in April 2017, Instagram hit over 700 million daily active users. Moreover, Instagram’s user base includes many young and well-educated people – the perfect audience for your ad campaigns.

If you’re looking to learn how to advertise on Instagram and see how to build a successful Instagram ad campaign, you’ve come just to the right place.

In the eight chapters in this Instagram advertising guide, you’re going to learn everything from campaign setup to advertising cost to creating the perfect Instagram ad.

Each chapter will focus on one particular topic. You can either read through all the eight chapters or click on any link to read about the topic that interests you the most.

So what are you waiting for? Start learning to become an Instagram marketing expert!


Chapter 1: TOP 5 Reasons For Advertising on Instagram NOW

Chapter 2: Instagram for Business – The Beginner’s Guide (2018 Edition)

Chapter 3: Instagram Campaign – How to Succeed Right Away

Chapter 4: Instagram Ad Targeting – 84-point Guide for Major Success

Chapter 5: Instagram Ad Specs and Size in 2018 – The Always Up-to-date Guide

Chapter 6: Instagram Ad Design and Copy – The Beginner’s Guide (2018 Update)

Chapter 7: Instagram Ads Cost and Bidding in 2018 – Everything You Need to Know

Chapter 8: Instagram Ads Reporting and Optimization – Guide to Better Results

Chapter 1: TOP 5 Reasons for Advertising on Instagram NOW


Unsure whether Instagram advertising can benefit your brand?

Read why the world’s leading brands are advertising on Instagram. From the latest Instagram ad stats to the best practices used by experts, here’s what you need to know in 2018.

You will find answers to questions like:

  • How many other brands are advertising on Instagram?
  • What type of marketing campaigns perform best on this platform?
  • Where is the Instagram marketing business headed?

Chapter 2: Instagram for Business – The Beginner’s Guide (2018 Edition)


instagram for businessInstagram for Business is used by brands looking to post and advertise on Instagram.

Learn how to set up your Instagram Business account, open an Instagram advertising account, and set up billing.

You will find answers to questions like:

  • What is an Instagram Business account?
  • What are the benefits of having an Instagram Business account?
  • How to create an Instagram account for your business?
  • How to set up your Instagram ad account
  • What are the best practices for account setup?

Chapter 3: Instagram Campaign – The Ultimate Guide for Success (2018)


instagram ads campaignLearn how to set up your first Instagram campaign and ensure it’s going to be successful.

You will also find tips for campaign optimization, so even if you’re an advanced marketer, take a look to improve your skills.

You will find answers to questions like:

  • How to advertise on Instagram?
  • How to create your first Instagram campaign in the Facebook Ads Manager?
  • How to set up an Instagram promotion inside the Instagram app?
  • What are Instagram ad campaign best practices?

Chapter 4: Instagram Ad Targeting – 84-point Guide for Major Success


instagram ad targeting

Learn everything about Instagram ad targeting, audience types, and retargeting on Instagram.

See how to create Instagram audiences such as Saved, Custom, and Lookalike Audiences (and when to use each of these).

You will find answers to questions like:

  • How does the Instagram ad targeting work?
  • How to create Instagram and Facebook ad audiences?
  • How to set up Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences?
  • What are the best Instagram audience targeting options to use?


Chapter 5:  Instagram Ad Specs and Size in 2018 – The Always-up-to-date Guide


instagram ad specs

Take a look at all the Instagram ad types in 2018 and learn which ones you should use.

Moreover, you can see how various Instagram ads look in action and decide which format you like best.

You will find answers to questions like:

  • What are all the different Instagram ad types?
  • How to set up each ad type?
  • What’s the right Instagram ad size?
  • What are all the Instagram ad specs?
  • What are some of the best examples of Instagram ads?
  • How and when to use particular ad types?

Chapter 6: Instagram Ad Design and Copy – The Beginner’s Guide


instagram ads design

Your Instagram ad design and copy can make or break the campaign.

Learn how to create powerful Instagram creatives and make more people click.

You will find answers to questions like:

  • What are the latest Instagram ad and video specs?
  • How to create a winning Instagram ad design?
  • How to write good Instagram ad copy?
  • What are some of the best Instagram sponsored post examples?
  • How to recognize the perfect Instagram ad?

Chapter 7: Instagram Ads Cost and Bidding in 2018 – Everything You Need to Know

instagram ads cost

How much does it cost to advertise on Instagram?

Well, the average Instagram ad CPC tends to be around $0.80, but in the end, it all depends on your ads, your brand, and your offer.

You will find answers to questions like:

  • How much does advertising on Instagram cost?
  • How does the Instagram ad bidding work?
  • How to set your Instagram ad budgets and bids?
  • What’s the best way to keep your Instagram ad costs low?

Chapter 8: Instagram Ads Reporting and Campaign Optimization – Guide to 10x Results

instagram ads reporting

In the last chapter of our guide, you’ll learn what are the most important Instagram ad metrics and how to measure them.

We’ll also offer you some additional tips for optimizing your ad campaign.

You will find answers to questions like:

  • How to get started with Instagram ads reporting?
  • How to navigate the Facebook Ads Manager?
  • What are the most important Instagram campaign metrics?
  • How to optimize your Instagram promotions?


P.S. If you want to look at the summary of all the eight chapters with the key extracts then read further. 

The WHY of Instagram Advertising

Instagram ads were launched across the world on September 30, 2015.

In a blog post announcing the news, Facebook stated:

“Since we started running brand awareness ads on Instagram a year and a half ago, businesses have seen impressive results, with 97% of campaigns generating significant lift in ad recall.”

In the past few years, Facebook’s been adding many new Instagram ad formats and features to help advertisers get even better results.

Moreover, Instagram’s user base is growing at a fast pace. As reported by TechCrunch Instagram hit over 700 million daily active users in April 2017.

instagram advertising guide

Instagram is growing fast – Image source

Another benefit of Instagram marketing is that the users are all highly engaged and in most cases, positively minded towards the brands advertising there.

Instagram users also tend to spend more money with brands they engage with. According to a report by Shopify, Instagram users spend on avg. $65 per sale. In comparison, Facebook users spend $55, and the average referred sale from Twitter is just $46.26.

Instagram ads roi

Instagram users spend more – Image source

Advertising on Instagram vs. Facebook

As you may already know, Instagram is part of Facebook’s ad network. (Facebook bought Instagram a couple of years ago)

So if you’ve been thinking whether you should advertise on Instagram or Facebook… The answer in 95% of cases is: do both.

You can set up Instagram ads campaigns in the Facebook Ads Manager. Instagram feed is one of the available placements for your ads.

Instagram ad placement

Instagram ad placement

You can advertise on Instagram whatever industry you’re in. Whether you’re doing SaaS marketing, run a small business, or manage an eCommerce business, Instagram ads will help you reach a new audience.

Here are the ad placements recommended by Facebook for every campaign objective:

  • Brand awareness: Facebook and Instagram
  • Engagement: Facebook and Instagram
  • Video views: Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network
  • App installs: Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network
  • Traffic (for website clicks and app engagement): Facebook and Audience Network
  • Product catalog sales: Facebook and Audience Network
  • Conversions: Facebook and Audience Network

As you can see, Facebook almost always recommends you to advertise on Instagram.

Tip: When setting up your Facebook ad campaigns, always consider how your ads will look across all platforms. For example, your Facebook Mobile newsfeed ad will look slightly different from your Instagram ad.

facebook vs. Instagram ad

Mobile feed ad vs. Instagram ad

Use the same landscape image (1200px x 628px) across all your ad placements – it will save you lots of time.

How Much Does Instagram Advertising Cost?

If you’re just starting out with Instagram ads, it’s natural to wonder how much it costs.

According to research by AdEspresso, the average cost-per-click on Instagram is $0.80. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the cost you will have to pay.

instagram advertising cost

Instagram ads click costs around $0.80 – Image source

Here’s a list of elements that affect how much you’ll pay for Instagram ads:

  • Your audience targeting
  • Your ad design
  • Your copywriting
  • Your campaign objective
  • Your ad’s relevance to the audience

Fun fact: Instagram ad costs are higher for brands targeting women.

instagram ads cost

Women are also likely to spend more – Image source

How to Set Your Instagram Ad Budgets

While it’s highly important to nail your Instagram ad design and copywriting, your bid settings and budgets will contribute to three important aspects of your campaign:

  • How many people will see your ad?
  • How many times individual people see your ads?
  • How much will it cost to have your ads be delivered?


Facebook ad delivery is driven by two main objectives:

  • Creating value for advertisers by helping them reach and get results from people in their target audiences
  • Providing positive, relevant experiences for people using Facebook, Instagram or Audience Network

Put simply, Facebook wants all ad viewers to see the ads that are most relevant to them.

happy gif

Facebook wants people to be like – Image source

So how can you set the right Instagram ads budget?

If you’re just getting started, it’s best if you select a daily budget for your ad campaigns. This way, you can easily change the budgets throughout the campaign.

Moreover, you will have the option to select between Automatic and Manual bidding.

instagram ad bidding

Select between Manual and Automatic bidding

Automatic bidding – If you’re unsure which bids to use, let Facebook set the bid to help you get the most link clicks at the best price.

Manual bidding – Set a bid based on what a conversion is worth to you. For example, maybe you’re only willing to pay up to $0.50 for a click on your ad. You can let Facebook know about this.

Tip: Be careful not to set too low Instagram ad bids. If your bid is way below what other advertisers are offering, Facebook won’t deliver your ad to the audience.

Whenever you choose the Manual ad bidding method, Facebook will show you suggested bids and a bid range to help you set up your bid.

Facebook Suggested Bids

Facebook will show you suggested bids

You can use these numbers as benchmarks when choosing how much to bid.

How to Set Up Your First Instagram Advertising Campaign?

We’ve covered this topic step-by-step in Chapter 3 of this guide.

Here’s a brief overview of the most important things you should know.

While this may come as a surprise, there are five ways to create a paid Instagram campaign:

  • In the Instagram app
  • Facebook Ads Manager
  • Facebook Power Editor
  • Facebook’s Marketing API
  • Instagram Partners

The fastest was to set up an Instagram promotion is to use the Facebook Ads Manager, The Power Editor or Instagram’s app.

(Facebook recently announced that it will soon combine the Ads Manager and Power Editor into a single tool)

facebook ads manager

Use Facebook Ads manager to set up your campaigns

To kick off the campaign setup process, click on the “Create Ad” button in the top right corner.

Next, Facebook will guide you through a campaign setup process where you can fill in all the information needed for your campaign.

Tip: As you upload new ad creatives, you can use the Ads Preview tool to check how your Instagram ads will look in action.

Facebook Ad Preview tool

Use the Ad Preview tool

If you want to run a quick Instagram post promotion, it’s even faster to set it up in the Instagram app.

Before you can promote you Instagram posts directly in the app, you must fill a few requirements:

Here’s how to create an Instagram promotion without leaving the app:

  1. Open your Instagram app
  2. Go to your profile
  3. Select the post you’d like to promote by tapping on the post
  4. Below the post’s image, tap on “Promote”
Promote Instagram posts in-app

Promote Instagram posts in-app

If you’re interested in Facebook post promotion, read this guide: Promoting Blog Articles on Facebook – 18 Tactics for More Traffic

How to Select the Right Target Audience for Instagram Advertising?

One of the greatest benefits of Facebook and Instagram advertising are the powerful targeting options.

You can create four types of Instagram audiences:

  • Saved Audience – reach people based on their interests, location, demographics, and behaviors
  • Custom Audiences – reach people who have already interacted with your Facebook ads, website, or are already your clients
  • Lookalike Audiences – reach people who are most similar to your existing users are also the most likely to convert
  • Value-based Lookalike Audiences – reach people who are most similar to your high-value users and customers
confused gif

So many options! – Image source

As you set up your first Instagram campaign, use a Saved Audience.

Here’s a list of demographics that you can target by:

  • Location – global regions, countries, states, cities, postal codes, or addresses
  • Age – range of age, with the widest range being 13 to 65+
  • Gender – target people based on their gender, men, or women
  • Languages – target people who speak specific languages
  • Demographics – education, employment, household and lifestyle details
  • Interests – people’s interests, their activities on Facebook, the Pages they liked, and related topics
  • Behaviors – purchasing behavior or intent, device usage, travel behavior, activities, and more
  • Connections – target people who have connections with your Page, app, or event
instagram ad targeting

Saved Audience setup and options

Once you’re more familiar with marketing on Facebook and Instagram, check out the Custom Audience – the target audience with highest ROI.

Here are some ideas for marketing on Instagram by targeting Facebook Custom Audiences:

  • Website visitors – target people who have already been to your website and interested in your product
  • Pricing page visitors – get your Pricing page visitors back to your website, so that they’ll complete the purchase
  • Free trial users – convert your free trial users into paying customers
  • Past purchasers – test out cross-selling or upselling Instagram campaigns
  • Blog readers – warm up your blog leads with additional content offers (you can create an Instagram Lead Ads campaign to capture their emails and send additional offers)
  • Newsletter subscribers – retarget this audience with sales offers
Instagram Lead Ads

How the Instagram Lead Ads work– Image source

How to Create the Perfect Instagram Ad?

As mentioned before, your Instagram ad design and copy can make or break the campaign.

Facebook suggests that you create ads that blend in with the rest of content on the platform. However, this may not always the best idea.

If your Instagram ads look too much like regular posts, people are more likely to scroll over.

Instead, you should aim to create colourful ads that differentiate from other images in people’s Instagram feeds.

For example, Frank’s Instagram ad catches the eye with custom design and dark background.

Make your Instagram ads highly visible

Make your Instagram ads highly visible

Check out these 142 TOP Facebook ad examples to get more inspiration for your Instagram ad campaigns.

To help you create the first Instagram ad design, here are 5 recommendations:

  1. Create catchy and colourful ad images
  2. Avoid using free stock photos
  3. Use custom designs created with Illustrator or other design programs
  4. Use some in-image text or call-to-action buttons
  5. A/B test your ad visuals to learn what works best

How to Write Compelling Instagram Ad Copy?

Unlike some Facebook ad formats that have a text, headline, and link description, Instagram ads only include a headline and main copy, both under the image.

Instagram ad example

Instagram ad example

When writing Instagram ad copy, try to make it highly engaging, fascinating, and actionable.

Here’s how you can achieve all these three goals:

  1. Make sure your ad is relevant to the target audience
  2. Keep your ad text short and easily understandable
  3. Explain how your product will benefit the customers
  4. Use actionable wording like “Get”, “Try”, “sign up”, etc.

Tip: Include hashtags in your Instagram ad copy to make the ad feel more like a regular Instagram post.

Note that your ads can contain up to 300 characters of text. This also includes hashtags.

Master Instagram Advertising

Instagram advertising can benefit every brand, no matter if you’re in B2C or B2B business. (Although B2C companies have even more to win)

Getting started with Instagram marketing is easy: Simply create an Instagram account, link it to your Facebook Business Manager, and set up your first ad campaign.