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Instagram Ads: How to Set it Up + Best Practices

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  • Instagram Ads: How to Set it Up + Best Practices

Instagram went through a striking evolution in recent years. From a mere photo-sharing platform, it has now become every marketer’s favorite tool.

And if you want to get more out of Instagram marketing — paid ads are the way to go (howe. Properly crafted and placed Instagram ads can increase traffic to your website and generate effective leads.

As Instagram has a wide user base, you can target different segments of your audience and move them down the conversion funnel.

The average organic reach on Instagram is only around 10-12% according to the latest Instagram benchmarks. If your profile struggles to hit double-digit organic reach, you may need to invest time and money towards paid boosting or Instagram ads.

Well-designed Instagram ads are more likely to encourage visitors to contact the business directly. These ads are eye-catching and contextual, which intrigues the viewer and increases brand awareness.

However, setting up Instagram ads may seem tricky for beginners in the Instagram marketing space. If you are facing the same challenge, today’s article will guide you on the step-by-step process of Instagram ads and the best practices to follow.

Why you need Instagram Ads

Here are some benefits of running Instagram ads:

  • With Instagram marketing, you can make sure your content and ads are available throughout the channel.
  • They make segmentation easier by giving different options for running the same ad.
  • Brands can use Instagram ads for sales collaboration.
  • Brands can target their core market and push ads to the stories and feeds of the relevant audience.
  • Targeted ads are far more capable of showcasing the USPs to a newer audience and increasing their following.
  • Instagram ads make content syndication easier, creating a barter arrangement for the brand and third-party websites.
  • Increases traffic to the brand’s website.
  • Encourages leads to contact the business directly.
  • Through proper CTAs, Instagram ads deliver product information and help the audience make the right choice.

How to set up an Instagram Ads account

Setting up a Facebook Ads account

  • Create a page for your business if you don’t already have one. It will create an ad account ID for you by default.
  • If there is a particular page you want to advertise for, you will need to have an admin, editor, or advertiser role.
  • Now create a Business Manager account if you don’t already have one.
  • You can add one ad account to the Business Manager only once.
  • You can’t add an ad account here if you have already linked it to Facebook Pay.

You can run Facebook ads and Instagram ads simultaneously. Still, Facebook’s interface will handle all the billing and account admin concerning your Instagram ads.

Steps to add an account in the Business Manager

  • Go to Business settings.
  • Click on the ‘Accounts’ option from the left side menu.
  • Then click on ‘Ad accounts’.
  • You will see a blue ‘Add’ dropdown menu.
  • Choose one of the three options:
    • Add an ad account
    • Request access to an ad account
    • Create a new ad account
  • If you choose to request access or add an ad account, enter the ad account ID. (You can find your ad account ID number in the account dropdown menu in Meta Ads Manager or in your browser’s address bar in Ads Manager.)
  • Once you do that, the next window will prompt you to select people and access levels.
  • You have successfully added your ad account to Business Manager.

Linking your Facebook Ads account to Instagram

For this, you will need an Instagram account for your brand or business. Follow the below steps to link your Facebook ads account to Instagram.

  • From the Business Manager, go to the left-hand navigation area. Select ‘Business Settings’ and then click on the ‘Instagram Accounts’ option from the drop-down menu.
  • Click ‘Claim New Instagram Account’ on the next screen.
  • The next step will prompt you to provide a username and password. Here you just need to put the name of your Instagram handle.
  • You will see your account listed on the ‘Instagram Accounts’ page.

Setting up Instagram Ads in the Ads Manager

Now that you have connected your Instagram business account to your Facebook ad manager and possible LinkedIn groups, it’s time to set up the ads. Follow the below steps to get your Instagram ads started:

Decide campaign objective

The first step is to decide on the aim of your marketing campaign. Sign in to the Ads Manager and click on ‘Create an ad.’ Then you need to choose an objective from the below options.

Instagram Ads

Choose the option that represents your business goals in the best possible way.

Adjust target audience

Once you set up your campaign objective, it’s time to define your target audience. Here, there are two approaches you can take: broad and specific. Your choice depends on your business objectives and resources.

Examine your funding data and resource allocations for marketing before setting up an Instagram ad. It will help you maintain a balance in budget while still optimizing your Instagram ad’s potential.

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Choose the placement

Using ad placements smartly can help you reach a wider audience in a brief span. However, where you place your Instagram ad depends on its design and your budget.

You can choose to place your ads on different locations like Facebook feeds (mobile and desktop), Facebook right-hand column, Instagram stories, feeds, instant articles, and other websites. You can choose your ad placements in the ‘Placements’ section of ad set creation.

You can opt for ‘Automatic Placements,’ which lets Instagram optimize the placements to ensure the best results at the cheapest overall average cost.

Choose a format for promotion

There are several options available if you choose to advertise on Instagram’s newsfeed. You can opt for formats like photo, video, carousel, and slideshow. If you choose to advertise on Instagram Stories, you have limited options of only a single image or video.

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Setting up payment information

Once your ad format is set, it’s time to put in the payment information on Instagram.

  • First, go to your business profile and click on the upper right corner.
  • Click on Settings.
  • Select Business.
  • Click on ‘Ad Payments’ and then select ‘Payment Methods.’ Now you can choose an existing method or add a different one, such as PayPal, debit or credit card payments, or any local manual method.

Decide the duration

Under ‘Ad Scheduling,’ you can choose to run ads continuously (most common), or only at certain times of the day.

Create the ad

Under ad creative, you can review and change your options as you like. Here you can also choose the CTA button and enter the URL where you want to direct your audience through the ad. After carefully reviewing all the data, click on ‘Confirm’. Your Instagram ad will run according to your selected format, placement, and duration.

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Best Practices to Create Successful Instagram Ads

Here are the best practices to follow to create high-performing Instagram ads:

Create striking visuals

With Instagram, visual content is the highlight. So, to convey the right message through your ads, using attention-grabbing images and clips is of utmost necessity.

If you’re struggling to create compelling visuals, why not consider hiring an AI Freelancer? They can help you create stunning images and videos that represent your brand amidst the rest of the posts on this platform

Be it a photo, a video, or a story, the content should represent your brand amidst the rest of the posts on this platform. It needs to be striking and interesting enough to grab attention.

However, creating an appealing visual is not enough for a successful Instagram ad. It needs to inform your audience and showcase your brand in a way that catches its unique charm. It will help you stand out among the vast crowd of Instagram marketing.

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In the above example, we can see how Bloomberg Businessweek uses an attention-grabbing image.

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Spotify also runs Instagram ads with strikingly colorful imagery. The above example grabs attention instantly.

Use the right hashtags

Instagram is a marketing channel dominated by hashtags. It allows the audience to find content and profiles they are interested in. Relevant and witty hashtags also add personality to your Instagram ads.

However, only using hashtags on your ads will make them look out of place. Thus, hashtags need to be a part of your content marketing on Instagram.

Combine hashtags of different categories for popularity. But how do you search for the top hashtags on Instagram? Just type a topic on the search bar and go to the hashtag tab. You will see hashtag topics based on the number of posts.

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Instagram posts sometimes have random hashtags. However, brands should strictly stick to niche-specific hashtags while structuring Instagram ads. They should portray the qualities your target customer is looking for. You can select the top two popular hashtags and two moderately popular hashtags.

Add personality

What makes you stand out in this crowd is your brand’s personality.

So, if you want to be among the frontrunners, you must humanize your brand through your Instagram ads. They must portray the distinct, self-expressive value of your brand, whether you are running ads on stories or through Instagram videos.

The more reflective your ads are of your brand personality, the more intrigued the new audience gets about your products. They are more likely to click on ads with some distinct quality. Make sure your ads adhere to that.

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For example, Louis Vuitton runs Instagram ads that have vibrant imagery reflective of its brand personality. From the colors to the text on the ads, everything aligns with Louis Vuitton’s aesthetics.

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Another brand with stellar Instagram marketing is Adidas. Not only is their profile extremely on-brand, but they also make sure the paid ads reflect their personality.

The key to running personality-driven Instagram ads is to maintain a strong focal point throughout your advertisements. Whether it’s a specific product, service, or logo, the aim here is to hold the viewer’s focus on your USP to increase your chances of conversion.

Make sure it’s contextually sound

Contextual advertising on Instagram has gained quite some popularity in the recent marketing landscape. Such targeted advertising depends more on the content and context of the ad instead of on user behavior.

An AI writing tool can help businesses create compelling and contextually relevant ads for Instagram’s targeted advertising.

For example, if an individual is reading articles on gardening, they may find Instagram ads of various nurseries on their feed.

So, the keywords and hashtags you choose have to be in context. It is also a good idea to test different Instagram ad formats, such as:

  • Story ads
  • Photo ads
  • Video ads
  • Explore ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Instagram Shopping ads
  • IGTV ads

This way, you can test which format supports the context of the ad more seamlessly. Make sure your chosen format signs with the entire personality of your brand and is within your campaign goals and limitations.

Choose the right posting hours

How you schedule your Instagram ad posting makes the difference between a successful campaign and a failed one. You need to choose a time that strategically aligns with your target customer’s browsing time. This way, you are far more likely to maximize post reach and engagement on your Instagram ads.

Posting ads regularly is important. But the tricky part to finesse here is the time of posting. You need to do thorough research on when your core audience is most active on the platform. Only then can you squeeze every drop of the marketing value of an Instagram ad.

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Here, running competitor analysis can help you gauge the best times to post ads on Instagram. Keep track of your competitor’s posting schedule. This way, you will have an idea of the posting hours that work for your target audience.

You can also test out a few ads by posting them at different hours and tracking data using an Instagram analytics tool. Do that for a few days and see what hours bring the most engagement.

For an in-depth analysis of your competitors’ online presence and to refine your SEO strategy for better visibility, consider utilizing tools like Ahrefs to gain actionable insights.

Once you have a better understanding of what works, you can use business automation tools to streamline posting activities to maintain consistency.

Final Thoughts on Instagram Ads

Instagram ads can deliver tangible results significantly quicker than other ad formats. But to run them successfully, brands need to understand the audience’s expectations, online patterns, and needs.

Make sure you optimize your Instagram ads to fit into a mobile screen. Try adding vibrant images and videos, but align them with your brand’s personality.

Regularly analyze your performance and benchmark it against your competitors. It helps accommodate changing customer preferences and drives better marketing results.

By creating relevant and high-quality advertisements on Instagram, you can improve ROI and increase your followers. To reap the top benefits of Instagram marketing, give Instagram ads a try.

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