Getting Started with Instagram Ads

Table of Contents

Instagram ads are paid promotional posts or stories that appear on the Instagram platform. These ads are created and managed through Facebook Ads Manager, allowing businesses to reach their target audience on Instagram. They can appear in various formats, including photo ads, video ads, carousel ads (multiple images or videos in a single post), and story ads (full-screen ads that appear between users’ stories). Instagram ads enable businesses to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, generate leads, and boost sales by targeting specific demographics, interests, behaviors, and locations. They offer a powerful way for businesses to connect with potential customers and grow their presence on the platform.

How much does it cost to advertise on Instagram?

The cost of advertising on Instagram Ads varies based on several factors, including the ad objective, target audience, ad placement, ad format, and bidding strategy. In South Africa, the cost per click (CPC) or cost per thousand impressions (CPM) can range from around R2 to R20 or more, depending on the competitiveness of the target audience and industry. Businesses can set a budget for their Instagram ads, specifying the maximum amount they are willing to spend per day or for the lifetime of the campaign. Additionally, businesses can control costs by optimizing their ad targeting, creatives, and bidding strategy to achieve their desired results within their budget constraints.

To effectively analyze baseline engagement on Instagram Ads, we recommend spending at least R50 per day. This budget allows for sufficient exposure to the target audience and enables the collection of meaningful data on engagement metrics such as likes, comments, shares, and clicks. With a daily budget of R50, businesses can run ads consistently over time, monitor performance, and make informed decisions based on the results obtained. Keep in mind that the actual budget needed may vary depending on factors such as the competitiveness of the industry, target audience size, and campaign objectives. Adjustments to the budget can be made as needed to optimize performance and achieve desired outcomes.

What you need to run Instagram ads

To start running ads on Instagram and promoting your products online, you’ll need to have set up the following three things in order to get started with Instagram Ads.

Step 1: Instagram Business Account

You need to have an Instagram Business Account to access advertising features. If you don’t have one already, you can easily switch your existing personal account to a business account or create a new one specifically for your business. In order to do this all yu need to do is the following:

  1. Head over to your Instagram profile and click on the three stacked lines (the hamburger menu) in the top right hand corner
  2. Scroll down to the “For Professionals” heading or simply search for the “Account type and tools setting”
  3. Then select “Switch to professional account”
  4. Follow the on screen steps and set up your account as either a creator or business account depending on your needs

Step 2: A Facebook Page

Instagram ads are managed through Facebook’s Ads Manager platform. Therefore, you’ll need to set up a Facebook page to access a Meta Business Manager account. This centralized dashboard allows you to create, manage, and analyze your Instagram ad campaigns alongside Facebook campaigns. With Meta Business Manager, advertisers can:

  1. Manage Multiple Accounts: Businesses can manage multiple Pages, ad accounts, and Instagram accounts in one place, making it easier to oversee their advertising efforts across various platforms.
  2. Collaborate with Teams: It allows teams to collaborate efficiently by assigning roles and permissions to team members. This ensures that each member has access to the necessary tools and resources while maintaining security and control over the accounts.
  3. Create and Launch Ads: Advertisers can create ad campaigns tailored to their specific objectives, whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or generating leads. The platform provides customizable ad formats, targeting options, and budgeting controls to reach the desired audience effectively.
  4. Track Performance: Meta Business Manager offers robust analytics and reporting tools to track the performance of ad campaigns in real-time. Businesses can monitor key metrics such as reach, engagement, conversions, and return on ad spend (ROAS) to evaluate the effectiveness of their advertising efforts and make data-driven decisions.
  5. Optimize Campaigns: Advertisers can optimize their campaigns based on performance insights gathered from the analytics dashboard. This includes adjusting targeting criteria, refining ad creative, and reallocating budget to maximize results and achieve business objectives.

Step 3: Add a Payment Method

To run ads effectively on platforms like Instagram through Meta Business Manager, it’s crucial to have a valid payment method linked to your account. This ensures that your ad campaigns can be funded and executed smoothly. When you set up a payment method, you’re essentially authorizing Meta to charge your selected payment source for the cost of your ad campaigns.

One notable aspect of ad payments on Meta platforms is that they’re typically broken up into installments throughout the month. This means that instead of being charged a lump sum upfront for your desired ad spend, the total amount is divided into smaller payments spread across the duration of your campaign. This installment-based payment structure provides more flexibility and allows advertisers to manage their budgets more effectively.

Moreover, it’s important to note that ad campaigns can be canceled at any time during the month to stop further charges to your linked payment method. This gives advertisers the freedom to adjust their strategies, pause campaigns that aren’t performing as expected, or make changes to their targeting or creative elements without incurring additional costs.

What does the “Boost Post” icon mean on Instagram?

Boosting a post on Instagram refers to the process of paying to increase the reach and visibility of a specific post within the Instagram app. When you boost a post, you’re essentially promoting it to a larger audience beyond your existing followers. This can help increase engagement, drive website traffic, or achieve other marketing objectives.

Boosting a post is a simplified and quick way to run ads directly within the Instagram app itself. It’s typically done directly from the post you want to boost, where you have the option to select your target audience, budget, and duration of the boost. Instagram provides basic targeting options based on factors like location, interests, age, and gender.

On the other hand, running ads from Meta Business Manager offers more advanced features and customization options compared to boosting posts. With Meta Business Manager, advertisers have access to a comprehensive dashboard where they can create, manage, and optimize ad campaigns across multiple platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Audience Network.

Using Meta Business Manager allows for more precise targeting options, such as custom audiences, lookalike audiences, and detailed demographic targeting. Advertisers can also choose from a variety of ad formats, including photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and Stories ads. Additionally, they have access to advanced campaign optimization features, analytics, and reporting tools to measure the performance of their campaigns.

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