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Everything You Need to Know About Paid Instagram Ads


Instagram is undoubtedly one of the most popular and active social media platforms in the world. According to a recent report by HubSpot, there are more than 500 million active monthly users on this platform, and this makes it an excellent online marketing platform. Virtually all the global companies use the platform to market their products and services as well as disseminate information to their targeted audiences. If you are planning to start marketing your brand on Instagram, there are things that you need to keep in mind to achieve your set goals and objectives. Let us proceed and look at some of the primary things that you need to keep in mind when planning and executing an Instagram paid advertisement.

Instagram CPC

CPC, cost per click, is calculated by dividing the total cost of your campaign with the number of clicks achieved within a given period. For example, if your total cost is $200 and you got 100 clicks, then your CPC is $2.

Instagram CPM

CPM means cost per thousand Impressions. It is calculated by dividing the total cost by the number of impressions accrued then multiply by 1000. If you record 20,000 impressions and the total cost of your campaign is $100, then your CPM is $5.

Instagram CTR

CTR means Click-Through-Rate and is represented as a percentage. That is, the total numbers of clicks divide by the number of impressions multiplied by 100. If you manage to get 1000 clicks and 10,000 impressions, then your CTR is 10%. All the above metrics will help you to gauge the success or performance of your campaign. The figures should inform your decisions along the way. For example, if a particular ad records low CPM and CTR, consider redesigning it. Below is a step by step guide to help you plan and run a paid campaign on Instagram successfully. Note that this process is 80% similar to Facebook paid ad and so even though the ads will be run on Instagram, all the steps will be undertaken through the Facebook platform.

Step 1: Choose an Editor and Create your Campaign

You can create your ads using any of these three different editing tools.
  • Power Editor
  • Ads Manager
  • Facebook Ads API
The size of your company and the number of ads that you intend to run at the same time are the primary factors that you should consider when choosing an editing tool. For instance, the Power Editor is an ideal choice for advertisers that want to manage multiple mega campaigns and wants precise control.

Step 2: Set Goals

Clear, objective and realistic goals will steer the campaign in the right direction. For the ads to be eligible for placement on Instagram, you will have to choose your goals from a list that will be provided by the company.
  • Send people to your website.
  • Boost your posts.
  • Increase site conversion rate.
  • Get more video views.

Step 3: Choose an Audience

If this is your first time advertising on Instagram, you might have a problem selecting the most appropriate audience to go after. However, that should not deter you from starting off, playing around with the various metrics used to segment the audience. Examples of metrics that you can use for this purpose are;
  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Education
  • Work
  • Relationship
You can also use the “custom audience” feature to connect with people who have in one way or another already interacted with your brand. Alternatively, you can use the “lookalike audience” to connect with new Facebook members who are similar to your main target audiences. Once you identify the ideal audience, you can save and use it multiple times at a later date thereby saving time by helping you remember the audience each campaign should be cut for. Go an extra mile and click on the “Detailed Targeting” section to search for additional characteristics of your target audience. There is also a Facebook Definition Gauge that is designed to give you an idea of how broad or narrow your audience is as well as the estimated reach number to help you budget well.

Step 4: Set Placement

This section will define which platform your ads will be placed. Since you want the campaign to only run on Instagram, make sure that you uncheck all the other boxes except for Instagram.

Step 5: Budgeting and Scheduling

There are two budgeting options: Daily budgeting: This option means that your ads will be live throughout the day and the platform algorithm will base your spending per day. Lifetime budgeting: This option is an ideal choice for people who want to run the ad for a specified period of time. The next crucial step is setting your ad schedule. When do you want the ad to start and end? There is also an option to set the ads to run at specific hours of the day or specific days of the week. Visit the Ad Scheduling section to set a schedule that best suits the objectives of your campaign.

Step 6: Optimization for Ad Delivery

This section will determine who sees your ads. Use the following three options to do this. Link Clicks: This option is highly recommended as the platform’s algorithm will deliver the ads accordingly to get the most clicks to your website. Impressions: The ads will be displayed to as many users on the platform as possible. Daily Unique Reach: If you select this option, your ads will be delivered to users up to once per day. That is, the target audience will come across the ad multiple times, but not multiple times per day.

Step 7: Setting Bid Amount

You are competing with other brands for the same audience, and so you need to make calculated moves every step of the way. Instagram offers two bidding options namely, Automatic or Manual. The latter allows you to set a specific price for link clicks while automatic allows the Facebook algorithm to help you achieve the most clicks for the lowest cost. You can decide to pay based on the number of link clicks or impressions; the choice is all yours!

Step 8: Ad Creativity

To get the most results, you need to use your creativity to come up with an attractive ad. Your primary goals and objectives will help you choose the right format for your ad. Instagram currently offers two format options;
  • Single image or video.
  • Multiple images in one ad.
Make sure that you use high-quality images in all your ads to get the best results. The platform advises advertisers to use no more than 20% text in an ad.

Step 9: Connect your Facebook Account with Instagram Account

Click on “Add Account” and input your Instagram username and password to connect it with your Facebook account.

Step 10: Add your Website URL

Include the URL of the website that you want to drive traffic to use the ads. It is recommended to use any of the accredited marketing automation software to know the conversions and traffic achieved from the various ads.

Step 11: Come up with a Headline

The headline will not be displayed on Instagram, but it is a good idea to come up with one.

Step 12: Create a Caption

The caption can be up to 2,200 characters, but Facebook recommends that you do not exceed 125 characters.

Step 13: Choose a Call-to-Action

The CTA (call-to-action) that you choose should be related to the primary goals or objectives that you want to achieve. Some of the best CTA button options available are:
  • Learn More
  • Apply Now
  • Book Now
  • Download
After setting the text and uploading the images, make sure that you preview the entire ad to be sure that everything is perfect. You can use the Advanced Options tab to include other aspects such as URL parameters, changing display link, adding tags, and option out or in of pixel tracking.

Step 14: Place your Order

Once you are sure everything is OK, click the green button strategically located at the top left corner. After placing the order, the ads will start running on Instagram immediately. Monitor their performance continuously to see if any tweaks are needed. Good luck!