Master Instagram Ads with Ads Manager

Master Instagram Ads with Ads Manager

From bakers to bikers and runners to ranchers, Instagram is home to thousands of different communities.

More than 400 million people share around 80 million photos a day on the visual platform, but for years the lack of link sharing put marketers at a major disadvantage.

But not anymore. When you build Instagram ads through Facebook’s Ads Manager, you can include a call-to-action (CTA) — not to mention some kick-ass targeting features.

Still not sure if Instagram’s for you? Keep reading to find out why you might want to consider this photo-sharing app and how to build those highly targeted ads within Ads Manager.

All the Options with Instagram Ads

Much like within Facebook advertising, you can build photo, video, or carousel ads on Instagram. And the objectives are pretty similar, too: clicks to website, website conversions, mobile app installs, mobile app engagement, video views, reach and frequency, page post engagement, and mass awareness.

Which type of Instagram ad you decide to run obviously depends on the ultimate goal of your campaign. Are you just hoping to gain brand awareness? Or do you want to move Instagrammers toward a specific landing page with your CTA? Just like Facebook ads, Instagram ads can do both of those things.

These ads are perfect for businesses with an obvious visual element — think fashion boutiques, bakeries, coffee shops, car dealerships, bike stores, even manufacturing companies. These types of stores have something super obvious to photograph and share. But anyone can benefit from Instagram ads with a little creativity.

And the most important note: by advertising on Instagram, you’ll be targeting a different audience than on any of your other ad platforms.

Yeah, a new audience.

That’s the biggest factor to consider with Instagram ads. The platform is more important to American teens than any other social network. And if you want to start sharing your brand with a new group of people, educating and inbounding them on your business before anyone else, Instagram is where that needs to happen.

Twitter isn’t capturing teens’ attention as much anymore, and Facebook is increasingly becoming for “old people.” (Don’t worry about your Facebook budget, though. To teens, 25-year-olds are “old.”)

Okay. So that’s the nitty-gritty of why Instagram ads are taking off in 2016, and why it’s not a bad idea to start building up your presence on Instagram.

Let’s talk about how to make it happen.

How to Build Instagram Ads in Ads Manager

First up, you’re going to want to build these ads in Facebook’s Ads Manager. In case you forgot, Facebook bought Instagram back in 2012, and now these two are linked within Facebook’s Ads Manager.

Step 1: Get on Board with Business Manager

This whole endeavor will be a “moo point” if you’re not set up in Facebook’s Business Manager. Since we already wrote a full rundown on Ads Manager, I’ll wait here while you read it.

John’s post is targeted at auto dealers, but the rules don’t change for other industries. Go ahead and get cozy with Business Manager. I’ll be here when you’re done.

Step 2: Hook Up Instagram in Business Manager

Great. Now that we’re all working in Business Manager accounts, it’s time to add an Instagram account. Seems like a logical next step, right?

Once you’ve navigated to, you’ll go to Business Settings, then Instagram Accounts.

Instagram Ads | 9 Clouds

This is where you can claim an Instagram account within your Business Manager.

Instagram Ads | 9 Clouds

If you’re an agency that’s working with multiple accounts, you can assign permissions and ad accounts on this settings page (just as you would with different Facebook pages).

For some of you who already had Business Manager synced with an Instagram account, you might have created an Instagram ad on accident. It’s a feature that’s automatically ticked in Ads Manager now, so unless you’re really paying attention to the details, this sneaky setting could get overlooked.

Step 3: Build Your Ad

The first steps in creating an Instagram aren’t too different from the ones used to create a Facebook ad. Click +Create Ad Set at the top-left of the Ads Manager screen, and fill in the beginning steps: Campaign, Buying Type, and Objective.

You can scroll through the objectives to find the perfect match for your goal. Some of the options do require you have the Facebook pixel installed on your website (which we’ve also explained in-depth right here).

Instagram Ads | 9 Clouds

Budgeting, scheduling, and targeting for Instagram ads are just like their Facebook brethren, with the only exception coming at Placement. If you want to advertise on Instagram only, select just the Instagram option.

Instagram Ads | 9 Clouds

We’d suggest creating different ad sets for Instagram and Facebook, rather than running the same copy on both platforms. You want to talk to the different audiences in a way that shows you understand they are truly different.

Instagram accepts a variety of image sizes now, but the minimum is 600 by 315 pixels, so be sure to prepare an appropriate visual for your ad. With Instagram, even more than with Facebook, it’s vital to use highly compelling imagery. You’re really relying on that photo or video to draw viewers into your ad.

Instagram Ads | 9 Clouds

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Just like every marketing strategy, Instagram ads require the same “strategize, analyze, revise” attention. You can’t simply turn on the ads and expect magic to happen.

Because it’s a newer platform in your marketing arsenal, it might take more experimentation before you’re satisfied with a campaign. I’m sure you didn’t ride your bike like a BMX pro the first time you took off your training wheels.

And if you just aren’t ready to pick up your bike (Instagram training wheels and all), our team can strategize and analyze a successful online advertising strategy that includes Instagram.