Instagram leads the show when it comes to driving sales and engagement. It has the most successful influencers and some of the top campaigns. It’s a stunning platform that appeals to our visual perceptions and an effective tool for small businesses to compete.

But if you’re on Instagram, you already know this.

What you may not know is that the Instagram platform allows a brand of any size the opportunity to compete in a massive digital arena. They can get in front of larger audiences and see engagement off the charts. In this article, we’ll explore Instagram ads for small business:

The Lowdown on Instagram Ads

80% of Instagram users follow a business, proving that it’s an excellent platform for your small business to be active on. Posting pictures and videos give your audience a glimpse into your work culture, the way your products work, or the faces behind your brand. But if you want to attract new leads, creating Instagram ads is how you’ll drive conversions. But, the social app offers a variety of different ads you can run to achieve specific objectives, so you must know your options. 

1. Single Image

The simplest type of ad, a single image (either landscape or square) is used. It’s best to avoid any stock images with these. Authentic photos score best.

2. Single Video

This is a video or GIF that can also contain text and/or links. Video performs higher than still images and is considered dynamic content. The best way to get users to click through is by adding a CTA (call-to-action) button that redirects to your site.

3. Carousel

If you have two or more images/videos, you can create an ad carousel. Users can then scroll through each one. These are best used when creating a “step-by-step” guide or showing a variety of different products.

4. Collection

This Instagram ad is a browsable combination of image, video, or slideshow. Deep links can be added for third-party tracking through integrations like BuzzSumo.

5. Slideshow

These ads are looped and scroll automatically. You can add up to 10 images. Use the Ads Manager for detailed targeting. This enables you to show slides to older devices and remote locations.

6. Instant Experience

This type of Instagram advertising is mobile-only. It’s a post-click experience that can bring a product/service to life. These types of ads can also encourage clicks by using gamification. “Get the ball in the hoop to win a prize.” The idea is you are creating an experience for the consumer outside of a simple ad.

7. Instagram Stories Ads

Most people are familiar with Instagram Stories, but you can also run ads on them. These appear between users’ Instagram Stories in the form of a single image or video. It should be noted that 60% of people turn the sound on when watching Instagram Stories, so don’t be shy to include a catchy tune. 

Instagram Ad Campaign Objectives

Before you create your first Instagram campaign, consider your reasons for doing so. There are many objectives and goals when going this route. The Ads Manager allows you to choose the focus of your ads, so you target the right people. Here are the objectives of the different campaign for Instagram:

    • Brand Awareness: This displays the ad to people who might be interested in your business but are unaware of the brand.
    • Reach: Choose this objective when you want to maximize your reach. This includes the number of people who see your ads. It focuses on location over interest.
    • Traffic: This is the objective that helps bring more people to your website or landing page. You are driving traffic with these ads.
    • Lead Generation: This improves marketing possibilities by collecting important customer information like email addresses or social accounts. 
    • Engagement: These types of ads help to promote offers and increase audience interaction with your account and posts.
    • Conversions: This objective gets people to take a specific action on your app or website by following your CTA.
    • Video Views: These ads help increase video awareness and viewership.
    • App Installs: Choose this objective if you are promoting a downloadable app.

Tips For a Successful Instagram Ad 

When it comes to marketing your brand on Instagram, there are a few rules to follow. Here are seven go-to tips for running a successful ad:

  1. Use high-quality content with clear visuals.
  2. Include a CTA button.
  3. Keep text to a minimum. Let the pics do the talking.
  4. Consider the proper dimensions and orientation. 
  5. Use short captions that are to the point.
  6. Hashtag effectively and appropriately.
  7. Always include your branding.

How to Create Instagram Ads

While you can promote your profile posts through Instagram, you have to actually create your Instagram ads in the Facebook Ads Manager platform. Here are a few steps to help you develop and customize a quick Instagram ad:

  1. In Facebook Ads Manager, click “Create” and choose “Guided Creation.” 
  2. Choose your ad objective (see above).
  3. Name your campaigns and set up an ad account.
  4. Check details and click continue.
  5. Choose your audience.
  6. Under “Placements” choose “Edit Placements” and select Instagram.
  7. Set the budget and schedule your ad.

If you select a lifetime budget, you can set a limit. That way, your ads never go over a certain amount.

Instagram advertising takes some testing. Pay attention to your metrics and adjust campaigns accordingly. If an ad isn’t working, don’t be afraid to yank it. However, never shy away from paid social advertising. It’s how a small business levels the playing field.