Advertising on Instagram - Best Practices and MoreIf your business is looking to connect with a young and growing audience then advertising on the photo-sharing site Instagram may be a great online advertising option. Instagram (whose parent company is Facebook) recently launched advertising options for businesses of all sizes. All you need to start up your Instagram ad campaign is a Facebook page and an Instagram account.

I am a huge advocate of advertising on social media whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Before we explore advertising on Instagram, let’s talk about how social media ads can up the ante for any business – large or small. Here is my “short” list 😉 of what you can stand to gain by advertising on social media:

  • Promotion of your business, products, and/or services
  • Brand recognition
  • Brand growth
  • More website visitors
  • Increase in sales
  • New customers and/or leads

Will all of the above happen for you? Maybe or maybe not. But it’s highly likely that something will happen if you advertise as opposed to staying status quo if you do not.

With that said, let’s take a look at advertising on Instagram.


Instagram currently offers 3 ad formats:

  • Photo Ads: Most similar to an Instagram post, these ads allow businesses to use one photo to tell (sell) their story.
  • Video Ads: Share a video up to 30 seconds long and in landscape format that includes sound.
  • Carousel Ads: These ads can host up to 4 images where users swipe to see the additional images.


Use Instagram ads to:

  • Send people to your website with a call-to-action button (“Book Now”, “Download”, “Shop Now”, “Sign Up”, etc).
  • Get people to install your mobile app.
  • Create mass awareness of your brand and/or product.
  • Tell a story using video.


Use your Facebook Power Editor to set up and manage your Instagram advertising with ease. The cool part is that you you have almost as many targeting options as when advertising on Facebook. For those who have not advertised on Facebook, the targeting capabilities are extensive. Choose your audience based on demographics, interests, location, and much more.

–> With 400 million+ active users per month, 3.5 billion “Likes” daily, and over 75 million daily users, your ad is pretty much guaranteed to be seen by someone!


If you decide to advertise on Instagram, make it count! Follow these best practice tips to make your ad(s) outstanding.

Image Matters

When it comes to Instagram – a site based on photo-sharing – your “image” matters. Use a high quality image that is not pixelated, blurry, or grainy. When taking the photo, use natural lighting, if possible, and keep the content in focus without having too much going on in the background. Nix the use of borders as this draws attention away from the content in the image.

Be Original

Don’t use stock photos. Instagram users are all about sharing a captured moment. Using a stock photo – that most likely people have seen somewhere else – reduces the authenticity of your content.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Your picture should speak for itself. Use few, if any, words in your image. Share what you need to say in the caption.

Hashtag Lightly

Creating a hashtag to capture your brand or product is fun! (e.g. –> #webmarketingtherapyworks) Also, using popular hashtags to connect with people using the hashtag can create visibility if it is relevant. Whatever you do, don’t over do it! Recommendation: 1 to 3 hashtags.

Consistency is Key

Your ad(s) should be in line with your brand and/or what you are promoting. Keeping consistency between your ads is also recommended. Your audience will better understand what you are trying to communicate if your ads are not all over the place.

Listen and Learn

Your ad(s) will accrue likes and comments. Listen to how your audience is responding to your message. The comments will clue you in on whether your advertising is a hit or bust.


Advertising on Instagram is a whole new way to engage an audience. Using the best practices outlined above will help you kick off an Instagram advertising campaign that is effective and results-driven to attract new customers and interact with those that you already have. #WinWin