Question & Answer, 22/10/15 Image


1.28 What is instagram
3.19 Types of instagram ads available
14.01 How do i set it all up?
22.06 Best Practices

Hey, guys. Malisa here from Small Business Performance Coaching.

Today, I want to have a bit of a chat with you about Instagram ads.

As many of you would know, Instagram ads have recently been rolled out to the general advertising population. Previously, they were only available for large companies that were doing some trials in conjunction with Facebook and Instagram. But as of October, it is being rolled out to everyone, which is really exciting for all of us out there with businesses that have been using social media as a platform to advertise and to generate leads for our businesses.

What we thought would be a good thing to do today is actually go through some things that will help you with your Instagram ads. Today, what we’re going to be touching on is:

Obviously, we’ll go through a little bit about what is Instagram? For those of you who are unfamiliar with the platform or for those of you who only use the platform for personal things, it’s really nice to touch on what the bases of Instagram is and how it’s obviously different to other social media outlets.

We’ll go through the types of Instagram ads that will be available to you for advertising. We’re going to go through how you set it up, and lastly, we’ll go through the best practices – things that are going to help you get the most out of your ads and ensure that that you aren’t upsetting the Facebook/Instagram advertising people, and try to get the most out of everything.

What is Instagram?

Let’s have a look firstly at what Instagram is. As many of you probably already know, Instagram is obviously a social media outlet where people can share their moments, and it allows people to discover new things, be inspired by things, and it also is now becoming a platform for business of all sizes to see things visually from the business’ point of view. It is a little bit more creative than a Facebook ad or something like that.

Something that’s really interesting about Instagram is it’s currently one of the fastest growing communities online. At the moment, Instagram has more than 400 million monthly active monthly users, which is a really huge resource for you to be able to tap into as a business, obviously, and something that you can target and really niche down to your particular area to bring in the right types of clients for you.

With such a large audience available to you, from a business perspective, you can showcase your products, applications, or services. Just by using some visual cues – obviously, some exciting photos and stuff like that – you’re able to basically show that your brand is unique and has a different point of view to other people, again, by using your photos and really capturing the essence of your business.

Like I was saying before, by being able to niche the right people, you can really reach the right people with content that’s relevant to them and excites them in the ways that you want to be able to excite your clients and stuff like that. Something that is really exciting if you are slightly creative is you can create images that are really memorable and creative that help get across the message that you’re really trying to portray with your business.

Type of Instagram ads available

In terms of types of Instagram ads that are available, first, you need to understand that on Instagram, the advertised content is going to appear in the newsfeed – the same place that the normal content, the normal photos appear.

People are going to be scrolling through photos and they are going to see your images intertwined with their normal images throughout the day, so you need to be creating things that do stand out, that do attract attention, but don’t stick out too much to the point where people are like, “What the hell is that?” in the wrong way, obviously. It’s going to be a place where people can discover your brand and be inspired by it, so you really need to think about that when you’re creating your images for your ads.

Let’s have a look at the types of ads that are going to be available because there are a whole heap of different ad types, and obviously, the types of images that you create or the stories that you want to tell on Instagram are going to differ depending on the type of ad.

The several ad types that are going to be available are:

  • Image ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Link ads
  • Mobile app install ads.

Image ads are obviously going to be the most common type of ad. They allow the advertiser to share a unique point of view and to raise awareness for your business just through visual, high-quality photo ads.

With this, obviously, your ad will need to either be square or landscape. They give dimensions saying that your maximum dimensions are 1936 x 1936 pixels. Obviously, it’s really handy to have really good quality ads because they are going to help with your ads there in terms of that.

Something else that’s really important to notice is that with your caption that goes with the ad, on your image ad, you can only have a maximum of four lines of sales copy. It’s 300 characters, and that is basically your ad. It gives you something for them to look at and get to know your business a little bit better, so they can click through to your profile on Instagram and go from there.

The next thing, obviously, is going to be video ads. Very similar to your image ads, and again, they’re going to share a unique point of view, but you get to have sounds and give your message across that way, as well.

Your videos also need to be square or landscape. Again, the maximum dimensions are the 1936×1936. The minimum length is going to be 2.5 seconds, and the maximum length of the video is 30 seconds – so standard Instagram videos.

For your thumbnails for the video, it’s the same spec as the image ads that we just spoke about. The same sort of details apply. Video ads need to be uploaded to the advertising platform with a thumbnail, so you need to choose a really nice picture that will sit there as a thumbnail and make people want to press on your video ad. Again, only four lines of copy maximum, so 300 characters, and these ones are actually allowed hashtags, but no more than three hashtags are allowed.

The next type of ad that we’re going to talk about is carousel ads. Carousel ads basically will give you a way to tell a little bit more of a story and share a few more images with people who are interested in your posts.

Basically, with the carousel ads, similar to the carousel ads on Facebook, people are able to actually swipe to the left and see more images. Don’t get it mixed up with Tinder there. You’re basically able to show more images to tell a bit more of a story about your product or your brand.

With your carousel ads, same dimensions again, and you can have up to four lines of copy again. You can have a maximum of one caption, and the same caption is used across all of the images. You can have a maximum of four images in that.

Just something else to note there, as well, that when the link display comes up, it will be a button that says “Learn more.” You can’t actually change that to “Buy now” or anything at the moment. It is just purely “Learn more,” and obviously, that will click through to a link of your choice.

Things to remember: four images maximum, one caption maximum, and one link maximum. That’s pretty much everything there for your carousel ads. They’re a little bit more exciting.

Lastly, the thing that I think a lot of us will be using is link ads. Link ads will allow you, as the advertiser, to drive awareness and engagement through website clicks. People are actually able to click through from your Instagram ad to a website. Obviously, you’re going to want to have this to be mobile optimized specifically for mobile, because a majority of people are going to be using Instagram either on their mobile or on their tablet device.

It’s really something that Instagram obviously has been lacking for such a long time. If you’ve tried to use Instagram for free advertising in the past with building your brand, knowing that you can’t click through from links in comments and stuff obviously has been a frustration for businesses for a very long time. I know it’s been quite frustrating for me.

This is something that’s really going to change everything. If the person watching is interested in the image itself, they can click through on the call-to-action button and go through a website or a landing page for you.

The same dimensions, again, for your link ad. Again, that’s maximum of four lines of copy, so 300 characters. They really do discourage using URLs in the caption, so I would try to avoid doing that so as not to upset the powers that be at Facebook/Instagram.

It will open in an Instagram browser, or on an Android device, it is going to open in the default browser for Android. That’s something to note, as well, if you want to be testing out and looking and seeing how everything looks before you go ahead and go live with an ad.

There are a few different calls to action that are available on your link ad. Things that you can use include “Book now,” “Contact us,” “Download,” “Learn more,” “Shop now,” “Sign up,” and “Watch more.” It is one-tap functionality that will open the page directly from the photo for you. That’s really cool.

Lastly, the last type of ad that is available is called mobile app install ads. This is something that I probably won’t be using all that often, but if you are an app developer or you do decide to go down that path or you have an app already for your business, awesome. It basically will allow you to drive awareness and install your app on your client’s mobile.

It’s one-tap functionality, and it can help drive people to either the Google Play Store or the App Store on iTunes, and they can basically download and install your app directly from their phone.

Obviously, there are going to be some really strict assets that need to be adhered to in terms of this because of the downloading capacity. Instagram and Facebook are going to be a little bit more strict with this.

In terms of the ad itself, it is a picture, the same dimensions apply, you can have the four lines of copy, and URLs in the captions are really discouraged. The link will open on either the Instagram browser or on the default browser for Android.

Then your calls to action available are going to be “Book now,” “Download,” “Install now,” “Learn more,” “Listen now,” “Play game,” “Shop now,” “Sign up,” “Use app,” “Watch more,” and “Watch video.” What’s going to happen is one-tap functionality directly from the photo. It’s going to take them either to the App Store or Google Play so they can download that.

Something else that you might find really exciting as an advertiser on Instagram is the way that you can set your ads up in what they call an Instagram marquee. Basically, this will allow you to tell a story over the course of 24 hours, over the course of a day, so you can drive mass awareness and really get people interested in your brand by telling a bit of a story.

An Instagram marquee is a single-day campaign that drives maximum reach, frequency, and exclusivity on Instagram. What will happen with the marquee is it basically guarantees you impressions and placement as the top ad position on Instagram’s feeds, and the ads are inserted up to three times per day.

The marquee campaigns basically guarantee that your business story is at the center of the Instagram experience for those particular people you’re targeting, and it extends the campaign’s reach by 10% to 20% over the day of the advertising.

With a marquee ad, basically, you can use it for your image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and link ads. What will happen with that is basically someone will get up, say, at about 7:00 in the morning, and they’ll see the first ad in that mid-morning timeframe.

Then it hits about 12:00, they’re on their lunch break at work, they’re scrolling through Instagram again. They see a different ad for your same business – so telling the same sort of story, but things have progressed a bit. Again, later on in the day, they’re on the train ride home from work or something at 6:00 p.m., and they get to see their next ad.

It’s three separate ads but all telling a story about your business over the course of the day. You can really, I guess, relate to your client and what they’re getting up to at that particular time of the day and create ads that are really going to fit in with that.

This particular type of ad does actually need to be purchased through your Facebook representative, so you will need to actually have an account representative for your business manager account to be able to do that, but it is definitely something really exciting that you can do and play with.

How do I set it all up?

I guess you’re probably wondering at this point in time how you set everything up. Instagram and Facebook, obviously, same company. They have set everything up so that you can do it in a couple of different ways, and it depends on your objective. There are three ways to get your Instagram ad set up. This is either through API, through your Power Editor on Facebook, and through what they call an insertion order.

It depends on the type of ads as to how you can do it. Video ads and link ads can be set up through API, and mobile install ads, as well. The same thing with Power Editor. You can set up video ads, link ads, and mobile app install ads. Then with your insertion order ads, you can set up image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and link ads. If you are wanting to do your carousel ads, they need to be done through an insertion order.

An insertion order is basically only available through your Facebook representative. They actually need to process the order for you, which is good for you because it means they will give you some advice along the way as to how to set up your Facebook ad.

When I’m talking about API, this is basically through Facebook’s marketing partners. You can find out a little bit more about them on the Internet by going to Basically, they manage campaigns for you and help you improve your measurements and things like that.

At the moment, I believe there are more than 40 different trained Facebook marketing partners that you can work with, and they will help you set up your Instagram ads, etc. If you are, though, comfortable and confident with doing it, you can, like I said, do your video ads, link ads, and the mobile app install ads directly through the Facebook Power Editor in your Facebook Business Manager.

What we’ll do now is we’ll actually go through and I will show you how you can claim your Instagram handle in your Power Editor and get started. Let’s have a look at setting up your Instagram ads account, and setting up an ad.

What you’re going to have to do firstly is obviously go into your Business Manager, and then you’re going to go into the Business Settings and see here, you actually have to claim your Instagram account. It should be a really simple process. Click “Claim new Instagram account.” I’m going to type in my account details. Then I’ve basically claimed my Instagram account.

What you actually need to do is assign it to an advertising account. I am going to assign it to my RBT Gyms account, obviously. You can have it assigned to multiple accounts, but with the terms and conditions of Facebook advertising, you only want to be advertising one particular genre or type of advert to each particular type of account. It makes sense me having my RBT Gyms account attached to my RBT Gyms advert account, obviously.

Next things next, we’re going to actually go in to our Power Editor to start doing the ads. Here we go. I’m going to go into my RBT Gyms account, and I’ll jump into my Power Editor. You are going to have to do a quick download to Power Editor because you have made changes to the account.

This is something that you should actually be doing quite regularly, whenever you make changes and stuff. I’m going to hit “Continue,” and then what should happen is there should be some new options then available when you go to actually do your advertising.

In here, I am going to create a test advert for you guys. What we’re going to do firstly is go to “Create campaign.” I’m just going to call it “Instagram.” When you hover over “Clicks to website,” you will see that there is a new “Create adverts for Instagram.” That means it is currently available.

They are still rolling it out. If you don’t have that currently, you won’t be able to do it until they finish rolling that out. I have about 12 different ad accounts that I manage, and I only have it available on three of them so far. But it is something definitely for you to look out for, and I would claim your Instagram name in the meantime. Hopefully, that will speed things up a bit for you.

We’re going to choose “Clicks to website” as per normal. Obviously, choose an advert set, create the advert name, and then “Create.” Basically, you’re going to set up your budget, etc. as you normally would with a normal ad. I’m not going to show you that on the video, but the main thing that we need to do, obviously, once you’ve done your targeting, is go down here.

“New! Show your ads on Instagram.” I’m just going to close that. We have “Instagram” ticked there. I’m going to get rid of right hand column, obviously get rid of desktop news feed, get rid of audience network. You can actually leave your mobile news feeds if you choose to do so. Personally, I think that your Instagram ad is going to perform better only on Instagram, because like we were discussing earlier, it is a different type of picture and it is more beneficial for the Instagram community.

Down here, obviously, you can choose the type of mobile device that you’re using – great if you’re advertising your app and it’s only available on, say, Android or only available on iPhone, so that’s handy to use there. You’re going to use your optimization and pricing, etc., the same way as you normally would, and then we’re going to go across here and we’re actually going to create the ad.

We’re going to choose the Instagram account. Obviously, RBT Gyms is there. This something that wouldn’t have shown up before we connected the account. Here we go. I’m going to obviously choose RBT. There we go.

I’m just going to do a really quick test ad. Like I said, it’s not actually going to go up but just to show you. The website URL is there. I’m keeping my text really, really simple. We’re going to go with an image. I’m going to upload my image. Again, I’m just using something as a bit of a sample image for you, guys.

Here we go. It does actually give you a preview here of what it’s going to look like. You get to choose your call to action here – “Contact us,” “Learn more,” “Book now,” etc. Basically, it looks something like that.

Obviously, you’re going to want to come up with something that’s quite compelling in your three lines of text and the maximum of the three hashtags. Obviously, you’re going to choose a really cute picture, etc. and go from there.

But that is basically how you set your ad up. It basically will work like a dark post. The place where you’re going to preview it is going to be in your Power Editor. That’s where you’ll want to preview the ad and see it.

When people start liking the ad, obviously, etc. you are going to get those notifications. You’re still going to get the notifications as per normal through your Instagram, but it won’t actually appear on your Instagram account when you go to view that.

From there, it’s just a matter of simply uploading the changes.

Best practices

Let’s talk about some best practices to maximize your Instagram ads and get you some really good results with your campaign. Obviously, you’re going to want to have a really good profile photo for your actual Instagram account.

They do recommend that having a really simple photo is the best, so just using the business’s logo or a graphic symbol, keeping in mind that it’s going to a cropped circle, so it will appear as I think it’s about a 150 x 150 pixel image. That’s really, really small on most phones. It is one of the first things that people will look at in terms of your branding, so you want that to be nice and strong.

You want your account name, obviously, to represent your business, as well. That’s really simple there. You need to keep it to a maximum of 30 characters. Most of you will just it as your business brand. Again, it’s about building your brand.

You want your image subject to be really pretty, and I guess unexpected moments that feel authentic and immediate, and they really draw in the person who’s looking. It can obviously be a person or an object. You want to caption it in a context that gives you a sense of identity for your particular branding and gets people excited about your brand.

Next up, you can use the image tools to edit your images. Everything that’s available on normal Instagram is available for your ads, so you can use the filters and other tools available that are in the Instagram app. These will give you effects that give it that Instagram look that people really like and enjoy that is part of the fun of Instagram.

Obviously, with your comments and liking on Instagram, you want to use hashtags, your location, and things like that on your photos. That way, people can obviously find your images and you can find other images by clicking on those, as well.

That is a little bit of extra stuff. People like to use hashtags that are witty. If that’s a representation of your brand, then it’s certainly something that you can do, bearing in mind the rules regarding how many hashtags you can use and the number of characters that you can use, and stuff like that. People do engage with them, and you have to encourage, obviously, likes and comments on your advert just in the same way that you would on just a normal ad, as well.

Then you obviously want to keep your captions short and fresh. They say a maximum of three hashtags so that it doesn’t detract from the simplicity of the post. A good thing to do here is to ask a question to engage people in your advert, and that then will help with additional reach, as well. That’s a really good place to start in terms of your Facebook ads.

Some dos and don’ts to consider when you post your images on Facebook: I would recommend not using images that are too busy or complex. These images are distracting and can easily be overlooked by the potential customers and clients of yours.

Don’t make content that easily becomes irrelevant – so things with specific dates or times. People on Instagram come in and out of the app, and you don’t know exactly when someone is going to see something, so if your audience sees an ad referencing morning in the afternoon or evening, the ad’s going to seem irrelevant.

You don’t want to include content that infringes upon or violates against the rights of any third party, obviously, including copyrighting, trademarking, privacy, publicity, etc. And you don’t want to include other people’s personal things. Just make sure that you’re not including any of that sort of stuff. Obviously, this includes the image, the captions, and hashtags that you use, so be really, really careful with that.

Things that are really good for you to do: obviously, utilize the caption as a concise way to deliver your message with your image. Take pictures with your logo visible on your product or packaging, things like that. Obviously, that’s going to help with branding.

Make sure your image has a strong focal point so it sends a clear message. You want to have one focus in the image to really make the image stand out and get your message across. You want to create content with your target audience in mind. This is a bit of a no-brainer.

Remember that your ad delivery time will carry out throughout the day, so the content should not have a required sequencing for the ad. Like we’re saying before, you don’t want to have something that references the morning in the evening and stuff like that, unless that’s something that’s relevant to your brand. If you have a coffee brand, obviously, you may want to make reference to coffee to get through the day.

You obviously want to obtain permission to use images or videos if the content includes someone else in it. That’s a bit of a no-brainer, as well.

Now that we’ve gone through the types of ads that are available and how to set up your ads and some of the best practices to follow, I guess the next thing for you to do now is actually get stuck into it and give it a go.

Just remember that Facebook and Instagram are both essential advertising platforms in today’s world, and they are both very distinct and different, so you do want to tackle them with a slightly different approach. The main thing with Instagram ads is to be creative, have fun, and get the message across for your business and your brand.

If you have any questions about Instagram ads, guys, I’d love you to post them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If you found this post enjoyable or interesting, I’d certainly love it if you clicked the “Like” or the “Share” button at the top.

Thanks, guys.

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