Instagram is a powerful social media platform.

That’s why we’ve been talking about it so much recently. You’ve already learned how to choose the best hashtags for your Instagram photos, as well as how to use Instagram Stories for business.

These things are important, and they’ll help you build a thriving and engaged Instagram following.

But in order to get the most out of Instagram, you need to create high-converting Instagram ads.

Why are Instagram ads so powerful? Here are a few reasons:

  • The targeting is done through Facebook, so you can get super specific with your audience
  • Detailed analytics so you can track your ROI
  • They provide a higher ROI than other forms of advertising. Brand Networks found that the overall cost per thousand impressions (CPM) on Instagram decreased from $7.04 in the last half of 2015, to just $4.16 in the first quarter of 2016. MarketingLand also found that Instagram Ads have higher conversions at slightly lower costs than Facebook ads.
  • They allow you to reach some of Instagram’s 500 million+ daily active users

The question is, how do you create a high-converting Instagram ad? Well, that’s what this post is all about!

Let’s get started.

Step #1: Ad Creation Basics

1. Login to Ads Manager on Facebook

As you probably know, Facebook owns Instagram. And so, you must create your Instagram ads through the Facebook Ads Manager tool.

To do that, look on the lefthand corner of your Facebook homepage. There should be an option that says “Ads Manager.” Click that.


2. Download Power Editor

Before you go any further, download the Power Editor as well. You can download the Power Editor here.

You’ll need the Power Editor to create your Instagram ad.

3. Create a Campaign

Once you’ve downloaded the Power Editor, go back to the Ads Manager menu. From there, select “Create Campaign”.

From here, you’ll have to choose a marketing objective.


Choose the marketing objective that makes the most sense for you. For example, if you want to get more website traffic, you’d select, “Send people to your website.”

Once you choose your marketing objective, name your campaign.

4. Select Your Target Audience

Now it’s time to select your target audience. This will be a big factor in determining just how well your ad converts. If you select the wrong audience, or perhaps an audience that’s too broad, your ad will probably perform poorly.

Initially, aim for an audience size of less than a million (and even less than 500k if you can swing it). The more niche, the better. You can always expand it later.

To select your audience, scroll down to “Detailed Targeting”. From there, you can select relevant interests, as well as omit any demographic you don’t want to be included.

5. Edit the Placements

Your ad placement is just what it sounds like: these are the areas where your ad will appear. Select “Edit Placements”.

From there, you will have three placement options: Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network.

Since you are creating this ad specifically for Instagram, uncheck the other two placement options.

5. Choose Your Budget and Schedule

Choose how much ad spend you want per day, as well as how you want to optimize the ad delivery.

Using the previous example of driving traffic to your website, you’d select “Link Clicks” from the dropdown menu.

Step #2: Optimize the Ad

Okay, so you have the basics all set up. Now, it’s time to optimize it for conversions. To do that, you must nail the copy and the picture/video.

1. Use an Eye-Catching Picture (or Video)

If you’re using a picture, it should be either landscape or square. If it’s landscape, the dimensions should be 1200 X 628. If it’s square, the dimensions should be 1080 X 1080.

Make sure to get these dimensions right so that your image comes across in its highest quality.

The video requirements are a bit more in-depth, so you can check out the design recommendations here.

Here are some elements of a good Instagram ad picture/video:

  • Complimentary color scheme (stands out and is easy to see)
  • Correct dimensions
  • High quality
  • Relatable for your audience

2. Use Strong Copy

Your picture/video is important, but strong copy is what will seal the deal and get people to click your ad.

With Instagram, that means a strong caption. Here are some elements of a strong caption:

  • Emotional words. Headspace, a meditation app, used the following caption for their Instagram ad: “Train your mind for a healthier, happier life.” Healthier and happier are two very emotional words. For more emotional words to infuse into your caption, check out this list of persuasive, emotional words.
  • Benefit-oriented. Include the main benefit people will get from clicking on your ad.
  • Clear and concise. Keep it below the 125-character limit.

3. Include a Clear Call to Action

Instagram will already have a call to action in your ad, depending on the conversion for which you optimize your ad.

For example, if you want to get website traffic, you might have the call to action, “Learn More” on the bottom of your Instagram ad picture.

But it’s also good to include a call to action in your caption. You want to make it as clear as possible what you want people to do.

For example, maybe you end your caption with, “Click here to learn X secrets for doing Y in record time.”

4. Use Other Great Ads as Inspiration

Stuck for ideas for your Instagram ad? Luckily, other businesses have already had tons of success with Instagram ads, and you can use their ads for inspiration.

You can start by checking out this great list by Hubspot, which details 11 examples of great Instagram ads.

You can also scroll through your own feed and check out the ads that pop up. Screenshot the ads you that catch your eye, and use them as inspiration later.


To truly get the most out of Instagram, you should be using Instagram ads. Use these Instagram ad strategies to get the biggest bang for your buck, and reach the most targeted audience. By doing so, you’ll make a great ROI on your ads!

Have you had success with Instagram ads? If so, what worked, and what didn’t? Let us know in the comments below!

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