Your Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ads

June 30th, 2021

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Precise targeting? Actionable insights? New customers? Need I say more?

Let’s review Instagram Ads, the benefits, how to use them, and how to build a budget for them. Five hundred million Instagram users are on the app every day. Within that 500 million, there are a lot of new audiences to inspire.

Instagram ads can be a powerful vehicle to drive impact and break through the clutter organically in the saturated Instagram space. You know we love our stats here, so check this out: 75% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by an Instagram ad, and 60% of people say they have discovered new products on the platform.

We hope that captured your attention. Let’s dive in.

The basics 

Advertising on Instagram involves paying to post sponsored content on the platform that will be pushed to a larger and more targeted audience than your current organic reach. The most effective use of Instagram ads is to increase website traffic, grow brand awareness, generate new leads, and inspire current leads into conversion if you are really killing it.

Instagram is a visual medium. Ads posted on the platform need to be an image, a set of images, or video content. Your captions are where you should put vital info, or you can add text on top of your assets.

Instagram demographics

Take a look at your target market before hopping on Instagram and investing money in ads. Instagram users skew towards the younger side. Here is how the ages break down when it comes to user age demographics on the app:

  • Ages 18-29: 55%
  • Ages 30-49: 28%
  • Ages 50-64: 11%
  • Ages 65+: 4%

Also, take a look at the location demographics:

  • Users that live in urban areas: 32%
  • Users that live in the suburbs: 28%
  • Users that live in the country: 18%

If your target market falls within these parameters, then Instagram Ads is well worth the investment. Let’s take a look at the benefits next.

Do you desire to inspire new audiences? 

Inspire your audience to discover how fabulous your brand and products are. Using shopping tools from Instagram, you can link your products directly to your posts and allow customers to purchase from you without ever leaving the app.

Similar to other social advertising platforms, Instagram gives your brand the control to target specific age ranges, locations, genders, interests, behaviors, and more. They even allow you to set up a custom or lookalike audience to target, so your ads only show your direct list of leads. Customization is particularly useful when you are targeting a niche audience.


Specific audience targeting means more efficient marketing spend and more considerable ROIs.

It’s all about the money, honey: budget benefits 

It can be a little difficult to explain how the Instagram Ads pricing structure works. For better or for worse, it is not a one size fits all price. Costs are based on a diverse set of factors, anything from your ad feedback to your audience. 

Similar to how Facebook advertising works, Instagram ads are purchased through an auction system to determine their price. 


Your marketing team can set their ad campaign budget by the day or over the whole lifecycle of a campaign. They are also in control of setting their bid, which is the maximum amount you are willing to spend to complete the ad objective.

Careful. Instagram ads cost slightly more than Facebook ads. With a super highly targeted ad, you could end up spending $5 a CPM (cost per thousand impressions).

TLDR; you have complete control of the budget and can analyze ROI effortlessly as well as CPC (cost-per-click) and CPM.

Look back at it – your analytics, we mean 

Instagram analytics help you understand the social platform’s role in your overall marketing strategy and indicate room for improvement. Take a look at metrics such as impressions, reach, profile visits, website clicks, mentions, and interactions. While analyzing your data, make sure you are aware of your overarching goal. 


Detailed analytics provided by Instagram make adjusting and optimizing your ad spend and content much more efficient.

Ads Manager 101

Ok, let’s break it down into five easy steps to get you started on your Instagram ads journey.

1. Facebook Ad Manager 

When Facebook bought Instagram, they combined their ad managing system into one Ad manager configured for both social platforms. Jump onto the ad manager and get familiar with the interface and options available.

2. Marketing objectives 

Prepare clear marketing objectives for your ad spend. Choose a campaign goal – are you looking to increase traffic? Looking to increase brand awareness? The campaign manager section has options for you to choose from so that the system understands what you are looking to achieve. Here’s a list of your options for Instagram ads:

  • Reach
  • Video views
  • Traffic
  • Engagement
  • App installs
  • Conversions
  • Brand awareness

3. Configure your target audience 

Once you have established your marketing objective, it is time to program your ads to reach the right people. Now, the data that Instagram Ads has also comes from Facebook. The depth of demographic knowledge from the two platforms is expansive, allowing precise targeting to be accomplished.

Here is a rundown of the targeting options offered:

  • Location: Country, state, region, city, zip code
  • Age: Target ranges from 13 to 65-plus
  • Gender: All, male, female, non-binary, and more
  • Language: You should probably leave this blank unless the language you are targeting is not very common.
  • Demographics: Interests, behaviors, connections, custom audiences, and lookalike audiences

4. Placements 

Suppose your goal is to only show the campaign on Instagram. In that case, you can edit your placements to specify Instagram and if you want your content to appear in the main feed and/or the stories feed. 

If you are going to ignore this step, then Facebook will push your ads to both platforms.

5. Budgets and schedule 

Unfortunately, this step can get a little complicated and needs a bit of trial and error specific to your brand to know how to budget your ads appropriately. Take a deep breath; this is all part of the adventure, and the plus side is that you retain total control of your campaigns while they are running. This means you can stop or pause your campaign if the budget just is not working correctly for your strategy. 

You can base your budget on daily or lifetime spend. Suppose you don’t want your budget spent too quickly. In that case, I recommend beginning with daily budgets to maintain more control over the ad spend. On the other hand, choosing lifetime budget options allows you to schedule your ad delivery.

Once you know when your audience is the most active on the platform, you can run an ad schedule that targets specific times of day and days of the week. This is an essential tool to optimize your budget.

Now that you have gotten yourself set up on the ad management system, it’s time to post your beautiful creation and watch the leads come pouring in.

Today is the day! 

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So, what do you say? Let’s chat about how we can take your brand to new heights.



10 Instagram Statistics You Need to Know in 2021 [New Data] | Oberlo

Getting Started on Instagram for Business | Instagram

Demographics of Social Media Users and Adoption in the United States | Pew Research

Instagram Demographics in 2021: Important User Stats for Marketers | Hootsuite

How Much Do Facebook Ads Cost? | Facebook Ad Manager

Facebook/Instagram Ad Manager | Facebook