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A Beginners guide to Instagram ads

In April 2017, Instagram hit 700 million users and is increasingly popular for its stunning photos. More and more companies are utilising Instagram for marketing purposes, posting images/videos and engaging with customers in the comments, to generate big profits. Instagram ads are subtle, a big bonus for companies looking to utilise Instagram. There are four types of ads on Instagram, photos, videos, slideshows and carousels, that you should be aware of and they can be created using Facebook Ads Manager.

  1. Photo ads

Instagram allows users to create up to six single-image adverts. Simply upload your high quality photo, include a caption of up to 300 characters and add your website URL if you want to direct consumers to your site. Once posted, Instagram indicates to users that it is an add by writing ‘Sponsered’ in the top right hand corner.

  1. Video ads

Single video-adverts works in a similar way to single-image adverts. Simply select the video you want to upload and choose a thumbnail for your video, from the suggested ones or you can upload your own image. Next, add a caption to your video and add your website URL and select a CTA button.

  1. Slideshow ads

It is possible to add up to 10 images for slideshow ads using the slideshow creator in Facebook Ads Manager. Once you’ve selected your images and arranged then, remember to choose a thumbnail, add a caption and a website URL.

  1. Carousel ads

Carousel ads are similar to slideshow ads, but they scroll on their own. They consist of two or more images and allow you to add a unique link to each image or video, allowing you to showcase different products or services in one post. The caption you write will stay the same no matter what image someone is looking at, however, you can create different carousel cards. Carousel cards are each combination of image/video, headline and link and you can include up to 10 in a single ad. For each one you need to upload an image, fill in the headline which will form the first line of your caption and will change as a person scrolls through your post, and fill in the destination URL.

Lead ads

For each of the above formats, you will be required to create a lead form that your consumers will see what they click on your ad. You will be required to fill in the headline, image, layout and button text for the homepage of your lead form.


The cost of Instagram ads depends on your budget as they are run using a bidding system. If you set your budget to £10 a day, your ad will never cost you more than this. You will be asked to select an objective for your ad, define your audience and choose ad placements, before selecting a budget and schedule.

Top tips

  1. To drive more traffic to your external website without using an advert. Instagram can be frustrating for some users because you can’t include clickable URLs in regular Instagram posts. Instead, users post a clickable link in their profile bio which they frequently update, and refer to this link in their posts.
  2. Use hashtags. Hashtags are a very popular way to promote products and services and allow people to search for specific content. Follow a guide to see why they are so important and how they can boost your sales.

You can also now create ads using Instagram stories. These can be single images or single videos. To start your Instagram marketing campaign today, just decide which format will work best for you and you’re ready to go.


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