Instagram ads: How should I start?

In addition to Facebook, Instagram is another advertising platform that you can use as a marketing tool for your ads. Since Instagram has been part of Facebook since 2012 (similar to WhatsApp), you can easily set up Instagram ads in Business Manager. However, Instagram has some specific features, which we will focus on in the following article. 

What types of ad formats can I use on Instagram? 

You have several placement options where your ads may appear on Facebook. Of course, you can also choose the placements on Instagram, but their offer is slightly smaller compared to Facebook. Depending on the placement, you can also choose from ad formats. 


Feed is a standard placement (similar to Facebook feed) where you can use both single images, carousels and also video ads. 


Stories is a very popular placement. Similarly to feed, you can use single images, carousels (two formats – native and expandable) as well as videos. If you do not have the opportunity to create a video in the required size (1080 × 1920), you can very easily create a short video – Slideshow – in Ads Manager on the ad level. You simply create a video from photos, add some special effects and then save it in both standard video size and in stories size (1080 × 1080). 

If you select Stories as a placement on the ad set level, you can also tick  “Asset Customization” for most marketing objectives. This feature enables you to select a different creative (e.g., the same banner but with a different size suitable for Stories) in one ad that will appear on a specific placement you choose.

Shopping on Instagram 

If you meet all the requirements, you can set up Instagram shopping. After connecting the product catalog to Instagram and setting up shopping in the app, you can start creating posts and Stories in which you simply tag your products. You can read more about Instagram shopping here.

How do I set goals and measure Instagram ads performance? 

Setting goals depends on the campaign and what you want to achieve. We recommend setting measurable targets based on the metrics available in Ads Manager, or  the metrics you can easily derive from metrics in Ads Manager. 

If your campaign is performance oriented (e.g. increasing conversions), you’ll be definitely interested in total purchases and their costs. In addition to these metrics, you can also measure other metrics to help you understand the overall picture of the campaign and the decision making process (e.g. total number of add to cart, click-through-rate etc.). 

In case of brand campaigns, we recommend focusing on other metrics such as reach, impressions, frequency, and so on. 

Before starting your Instagram campaigns, set specific KPIs (key performance indicators) that help you optimize your ads and evaluate if your ads deliver demanded results. 

Of course, the metrics and KPIs depend on your business and business model. You will find two illustrative examples below: 

  • Do you run an e-shop with clothes? In this case, one option is to set KPIs using a metric COS (cost of sales). 
  • Conversely, if you run for example a travel agency, it will usually be more important to focus on CPA (cost per action) than on COS. 

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