A Quick Guide on How to Design Instagram Ads

On 10.02.2016, by

A Quick Guide on How to Design Instagram Ads
When Instagram finally announced the introduction of ads entrepreneurs, marketers, and social media-savvy managers were overjoyed. Although Facebook is still leading when it comes to targeted ads, Instagram, it seems, isn’t too far behind. Since Instagram has gathered a colossal audience (400 million active users) in the past few years, it’s easy to see why so many brands are looking forward to Instagram for higher visibility and a chance to connect with their current and prospective customers.

But the question remains, how do we utilize this new tool as best we can and create remarkable ad content for the photo-sharing app? Here’s where we come in to share this post on tips for creating Instagram Ads for your business.

But first… a How-To:

Here’s a simple three-step guide on how to create an Instagram Ad:

#1 Connect Your Instagram Account To Your Facebook: Sorry, folks, but creating Instagram ads also requires Facebook. So if you don’t already have a Facebook account (which we highly doubt), you need to create one now! Go to your Facebook page, and in the Settings, click on Instagram Ads in the left panel. Then you click on “Add an Existing Account” and enter your Instagram login details.

#2 Select Ad Type: The next step is to choose an ad type. There are three types of ads on Instagram: video, carousel, and image.

#3 Select A Call To Action: All ads have a call to action. Your CTA might be inserted right into the image, video, or carousel, or in the caption below it.

You could tell your prospects to join a competition, visit your website, subscribe, and so on.

There are plenty more options to choose from before you finalize your ad. For more on how to create Instagram ads, check out this post.

Some tips on creating Instagram Ads

Get To Know Instagram

If you’re new to Instagram, it would be better if you get to know the platform’s aesthetics first before you decide on the perfect type of ad content. You want to share something you know the typical Instagram audience (and every platform has one) would like. Look into what’s “popular” on Instagram and what type of content generally accumulates a positive response.

Make Sure Its Visually Appealing

visual appealing instagram
Visual aesthetics plays a huge role in Instagram. Your images or videos should be nothing short of beautiful and inspirational. In fact, experts advise that you try to make your images and videos appear Instagram-native. In other words, you try to make it look less like an ad, and more like an image or video your friend would have posted on Instagram. This way, your ad blends in with a typical user’s Instagram feed and has a higher chance of being viewed or liked, rather than skipped over because it appears to be “salesy”.

Keep Space In Mind

One of the problems faced with Instagram ads is that the user can’t click on or expand the image. This gives less room for the actual ad image or video which ad creators must keep in mind. Small text, cluttered background, or too many elements is a big no-no. Focus on the main element, reduce noise, and make sure it’s adequately viewable on a small-screen device.

Use Hashtags

use hashtags
Hashtags are very trendy, particularly on Instagram and Twitter. This isn’t just a fashion you want to follow, but a useful tool that could considerably increase visibility. One of the best things about Instagram ads is that there is no limit to the amount of text you can use. That gives you enough freedom to caption your ads with plenty of hashtags and capitalize on trends. Tip: Research on the hashtags your audiences are likely to use the most and be sure to add them to your ad posts.

Keep It Consistent

It’s always a good idea to be consistent when you’re marketing on an online platform. We’re not just talking about the number of times you push your ads (rule of thumb: once a day), but also the kind of images or videos you use. Keep your ad posts consistent with the rest of the visuals on your Instagram profile. Make sure that all your ads, images, videos, carousels, and other forms of content, whether they are organic or paid, transmit a strong and consistent message, in line with your brand.

In conclusion

Remember, it’s also important to keep algorithms and updates in mind when you’re creating your ad campaigns. Much like Facebook, Instagram favors ads that are high quality and engage audiences with relevant content. Getting the best result usually requires honing in on your audience and being perceptive of their needs, wants, and specific interests.

Have you tried Instagram Ads before? Tell us about your experience!

About the Author

Ashleigh Everston is a social media trend analyst for a start-up that helps clients that ask them “can you help me do my dissertation for me?”. She has a pure love for sweet tweets, interesting pins and more. When not roaming around in social channels, she spends her free time with her favorite books and novels.


  1. Leon says:

    Do hashtags on IG ads make the post appear in the explore page?

    1. Johnny says:

      “Even though ads don’t show up for hashtags on Instagram, including hashtag links on the ad gives you an opportunity to send users to content relevant to the ad.”
      So, no.

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