How to: Advertising on Instagram

Have you ever advertised on Instagram, or are you thinking about it? Are you in two minds about whether it genuinely adds any value or whether it's even measurable?

In this article, we discuss how you get ads on Instagram, and we take a closer look at the different set-up options. We examine the cost of advertising on Instagram, performance measurement and how you can optimise running ads. 

Why advertise on Instagram?

In 2017, 14.000.000 of the English population were on Instagram, and it was the 4th most popular social media in England (according to There's nothing to indicate that this figure has decreased since then, so there's no doubt that Instagram is a solid platform for reaching a large number of users.

Start advertising on Instagram

Instagram is owned by Facebook, which means that when you want to advertise on Instagram, you need to go through Facebook's Advertising Administrator It also means that you need a Facebook page to advertise on Instagram.

On the other hand, you don't need an Instagram account to advertise on Instagram, but if you do have on, we obviously recommend you link it to your ads. This allows you to check and respond to comments on your ads.

If you use Facebook Business Manager, under "Settings for Business Manager" you can set requirements on your Instagram account. You can then select the Instagram account in connection with the actual design of an ad.

If you don't use Facebook Business Manager, you can link to your Instagram account under "Settings" on your Facebook page.

Setting up an Instagram account

Instagram is only a placement in Facebook's Advert Administrator, which you must select under ad set-up - and is not a specific campaign type as you might think. People often run a campaign on both Facebook and Instagram, where the content is either the same or different.  

Start by choosing your campaign goal, under campaign goal. There are several options to choose from, such as traffic, lead generation and post interaction.

You can't use the campaign goals "like the home page" and "event response" and then advertise on Instagram. These goals can only be used for Facebook and to increase followers on a Facebook page.  

Once you have chosen your campaign goal, you need to decide on the budget, target group, placement and optimisation and delivery. It's under placement that you can choose whether you want to display the ad on Instagram or not. Note that Facebook will always pre-select all possible placements, so if, for example, you don't want to advertise on messenger, then you need to de-select that option yourself.

On Instagram, you can choose to advertise in news or in stories. If you want to advertise in stories, then you can't use the campaign goals "post interaction", "messages" or "conversions".

Advert formats

You can choose from 4 different advert formats on Instagram:

  1. Image ads
  2. Video ads
  3. Carousel ads
  4. Adverts in stories

Advertising in stories is relatively new, and is also one of the most exciting advert formats currently available, because with the right material you can really achieve engagement from your target group. Furthermore, when it comes to advertising in stories the competition is still low, so you'll get maximum visibility on a relatively small budget.

Instagram Screenshot

How much does it cost to advertise?

This is a frequently asked question and the answer isn't always straightforward, but we'll try to explain it here anyway:

In short, advertising on Instagram is a bit like an auction, where you bid to display your ad within a selected target group. The bigger the competition in this target group, the more a click or view costs.

When you set up an ad, you choose whether you want to pay per view or per click to your website. If you have a relatively broad target group with a low competition, the price is lower, but then you also risk getting a load of irrelevant clicks.

That's why we see click prices vary from anything between 6 pence to 3 pounds. But you must select a minimum daily budget of 4 pounds. However, if you choose to pay per click rather than per exposure, you need to pay 3 pounds.

Choice of target group on Instagram

When you choose a target group you want to advertise to, you will get an estimate of the group size. So if in doubt about whether your target group can be found on Instagram, or how big it is, go and check first.

Below is the size of the target group on Instagram for:

  • Men and women
  • 18 to 25 years
  • In a relationship 

New "Shopping on Instagram"

With shopping on Instagram, your customers have the chance to view product information in your images by clicking on them.

You can tag up to five products per image or up to 20 products per carousel, add filters or image text. A description of the product, a price and a link will appear, which lead people directly to the product on your website.

Be approved on Instagram Shopping

If your company wants to be approved for shopping on Instagram, your company and account set-up needs to meet the following criteria:

  • Sell physical products
  • Your business profile must be converted to a 'business profile"
  • Your business profile must be linked to a Facebook catalogue (Facebook Administrator)

Business profile on Instagram

It is now possible to set up business profiles on Instagram, something which has been requested for a very long time.

Unlike a normal profile, a business profile has the following features:

  • A button that allows followers to contact the company directly by phone, mail or text, or view a route guide to the nearest store.
  • An analysis tool, which provides information about followers, and which posts perform best. This includes an overview of top posts, reach, impressions and engagement, as well as data about followers, such as gender, age and placement.
  • The option to create ads in Instagram's app. For example, you can select the top performing post, add a "call to action" tab and then launch it as an ad.

How do I switch to a business profile?

Are you administrating a company on Instagram and want to switch to a business profile? Then go to the cogwheel in the right-hand corner. The following screenshot appears with the menu point "Switch to business profile".

We recommend that as a company you make use of the new features, as these will give you extra opportunities to profile your brand.