For a lot of companies, the main focuses of them are how to market their products or services well. This can be a very difficult decision for a lot of marketers, and one of the decisions that they will need to make is where to advertise and promote their brands. Well, with the rise of different social platforms, they may consider Instagram advertising.

Instagram is already a major social platform in which users can upload different photos and share it with the rest of the world with other 500 million of active monthly users. For active users, it means that they may probably browse their account for more than a time a day. To marketers, this means a substantial opportunity to promote their products or services and this is why advertising on Instagram is so popular.

However, you will need to do it right, and here is a guide for Instagram advertising.

1. Decide on what to promote and your objective first

First of all, you will need to decide on the aim for the Instagram boost first. The rule of thumb is that you will need to have a very clear objective since there will be different ways to achieve different aims. You cannot hope to promote everything you want by only one Instagram promotion. Therefore, make sure that you have a clear objective.

However, there are some limitations for the objective that you pursue, and basically, this is because Instagram has limited the eligible objectives to a list of few. They include:

  • Promote your page
  • Send people to your website
  • Increase conversions on your website
  • Get installs of your app
  • Get video views
  • Increase engagement in your app

Although the choices are far short from infinity, I will say that the choices available for you to select from has already included most of the objectives that you would have when you are engaging in Instagram advertising.

2. Choose the editor that you like

After knowing what you want to achieve with the campaign, you will be able to really start preparing for advertising on Instagram. The first thing that you will need to do is to choose the correct editor.

For example, you can create the ads on Instagram using the Ads Manager software, which is specifically designed for you to manage your different advertisements on different social platforms, including Instagram of course. The Ads Manager is very easy to use, so if you are a starter in doing Instagram advertising then probably this will serve as a good starting point.

The Power Editor is a software for you to manage your advertisement for your Instagram promotion. This software will be more suitable for you if you are running multiple numbers of campaigns at the same time probably due to the larger size of your company and the number of products. This is because the functions and features of Power Editor will allow you to precisely control each and every project that you made for Instagram advertising.

However, please note that both the software is very easy to use and will be able to satisfy what you need most of the time. After you have selected the software you are using, you can either manage any existing Instagram promotion campaigns that are running or introduce a new one.

3. Manage the Target Audience

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The next thing to bear in mind is that you should do an analysis of the target audience for your Instagram advertising campaign. The reason for that is simple: There are just too many Instagram users on the social platform, and therefore you will need to make sure that you have a sharp group of target audience.

In selecting the target audience, the nature of your promotional content, as well as the objective that you want to achieve from promoting your Instagram, will be relevant. For example, if the content of promotion is about handbags and other jewelry and you want to increase traffic to your website, then probably you will be targeting young female users on Instagram. On the other hand, if you are focusing on financial services, then perhaps those working people in their middle ages would be your target.

Bear in mind that you need to understand the trend of Instagram too. The users of Instagram are in general the younger generations of the world, and therefore if your targeted audience is some older people, then perhaps an Instagram boost would not be the proper channel to promote.

For selecting the target audience of the advertisement, you can first start with some large social groups and segments, and then further develop from there. For example, you can consider the age and gender of the population. For example, you may want to engage more females who are around 20-40 years old or teenage boys that are around 13-18 years old. Apart from that, you can also think about the countries that you may want to focus on. This will particularly be useful if you are running on an international Instagram advertising campaign.

Other important factors are the job of the population as well as the income level of them. If you are focusing on some expensive items that you want to promote by the Instagram promotion, then perhaps you will want to target those with a higher income level. All these will serve as a valid and effective starting point for creating the nice target audience. One point to note, of course, it is possible to have more than one group of target audiences.

4. Sometimes Target Audience is less of a concern

Although previously I have said that you will need to consider the target audience of the Instagram advertising campaign, its importance may not be equal across all products and topics that you are advertising. You will need to bear that in mind.

For example, if the product or services that you are promoting is quite basic, like if you are promoting some normal food or normal piece of clothing, then you will not need a very sharp target audience. A group of ‘Young women’ or ‘Males’ would be fine. However, for more sophisticated or luxury products, perhaps you will need to do advanced target regarding which part of the population you would like to focus your efforts on.

5. Video, words, or photos?

video, text or image

Without a doubt, the main content of the advertisement will determine the outcome of the campaign to a very large extent. If you are doing Instagram advertising but the advertisement itself is not attractive at all, then the Instagram promotion will probably end up being a failure.

Therefore, you should make a careful planning about the content of the advertisement, and one of the decisions that you will need to make regarding this is whether or not you should promote the products or services using videos, words or photos. Well, first of all, I will not suggest having an advertisement on Instagram that is mainly focused on words. After all, Instagram is a social platform for photos and videos, and therefore an advertisement that is mainly focused on words will not work.

So, the options that are left are videos and photos. I will say that if you are having a lot of projects about Instagram boost, then perhaps the majority of them should be photos. Photos are considered to be relatively more effective in advertising and catching the attention of people. This is because for some of the users, when they encounter a video that is considerably long, they would not even bother playing it and they will skip it. It also explains another point about videos—the video should be short.

If you really want to do the advertising on Instagram using a video, maybe due to the large amount of information that you want to let the audience know, then I will suggest you choose the right thumbnail. This is because when people are scrolling through their Instagram wall, what will really catch their attention and make them stop is the thumbnail. After that, you should also try to include an interesting title that will raise the interest of the audience in viewing your Instagram advertisement. If you are following these instructions well, then perhaps a video will be as effective as a photo.

6. Techniques on the photo used as the advertisement

If you are choosing to advertise using a photo instead, then you will also need to know some techniques that are required. Again, the aim of the Instagram promotion is to let the audience aware of your product or service, and then get interested in it. The first step is always to draw their attention, and therefore this should be the prime aim of the photo.

Although there are a lot of ways to achieve the same objective—after all, design stuff is pretty subjective, there are some general rules that you may refer to. When you are doing Instagram advertising, you should make the subject of the promotion clear and in the middle of the photo. For example, if you are promoting some kind of food in your Instagram boost, then the food should definitely be the first thing that the audience will recognize when they are looking at the photo or picture.

The brightness also matters. I will suggest for using photos that are sharp and bright instead of relying too much on dark colors. Colors like white, red and yellow are in general, much better than dark green or deep blue. This will be especially true for the main subject of the Instagram advertisement. Therefore, it will be much better for you to use a darker background but a sharper color for the main subject of the promotion than the other way around.

Apart from the use of colors, the font size, as well as any other effects of the photos, will also be relevant in order to catch the attention of the audience to your Instagram promotion. You do not actually need to worry about the effects since there are lots of them available from the software, like Photoshop and Photo Editor. You can create and design a unique and attractive photo using those effects. You can fully realize your creativity there.

7. Links

When you are doing Instagram advertising, you must always remember that you don’t need to post full details on Instagram—it is only a platform for you to catch more attention from a large number of users on the platform. Therefore, you should include the links in the description of the photo or videos to further enhance the Instagram boost.

For example, you should include the link to the website of your company so that if the audience is really interested in your products and services, they can have a way to know more products and services.

As you see, only promoting one or several of the products will also be fine since if that product or the Instagram promotion is interesting enough, you will already be able to attract pretty much of the attention from the audience to other products of the company.

After all, an easy way to place the order means one less reason for the potential customers to be prevented from purchasing the products that they like. Therefore, this is also an important aspect of a successful Instagram advertising.

Another link that you can rely on is a review site. This will be applicable if your products are having a highly positive review on those sites, which show that other users or customers are very happy with the product. This will be a strong factor of persuasive for the audience to really trust that the products will be successful, and therefore this can be relevant to a successful Instagram promotion. After all, when they see advertisements online, people will tend to be quite skeptical about whether or not the products are really as good as it has been claimed, and therefore a positively reviewed product will mean one less worry for the audience.

8. Make use of other social sites

This should always be on your mind when you are doing Instagram advertising. Promote your Instagram is not the only way to achieve the purpose of promotion. Although we are focusing on advertising on Instagram here, it does not mean that we should isolate this particular social platform and takes no look at others at all. After all, all social platforms are related.

For example, you can link the Facebook page to the description of the Instagram advertisement so that the audience who are interested in the Instagram promotion can know more about the services from the page. At the same time, you may also share your Instagram boost on other social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and the result of this is that you will be able to get even more views.

The opportunities on social platforms are infinite, and this is actually one of the reasons that you want to engage on Instagram advertising. Therefore, you should see the whole system of social platforms as a whole, but not only look at Instagram alone.

9. Monitor the performance regularly

After doing all of the above, basically you are ready to post the Instagram promotion and you can execute the project that you have planned for so long. However, this does not mean that this will be the end of the story, and you will need to do follow up works on that.

What I am talking about is that you will need to closely monitor the performance of the Instagram advertising efforts to see whether or not it is going fine, and whether or not you will need to take any corrective actions. For example, one obvious thing that you will need to do is to take a look at the views and the number of likes of the advertisement. The views itself are the most important numbers that you will need to pay attention.

However, the success of the Instagram boost cannot be solely determined by the number of views. After all, someone will just take a glance at the advertisement without really digesting the information there. This is not a favorable response to your Instagram advertising efforts. Therefore, also take a look at the number of likes since the likes represent the positive response of the audience after looking at the videos and photos. It will relatively be easier for them to be transferred to sales.

At the same time, you should also take a look at the comments. For those who are having a particular comment, whether good or bad, about the Instagram advertising projects, or the products and services that you are focusing on, may leave a comment. This is a direct channel of feedback between you and the audience, so, therefore, you should take a look at that section. Is it possible for you to read them all if there are a lot of comments? Well, then that is also a good sign since it means that there are a lot of Responses and views to your Instagram promotion.

10. Closing remarks: ROI

Remember that we are taking at particularly how to do advertising on Instagram with ROI, which refers to return on investment. Therefore, in all of the decisions that you need to make above, you will always need to consider the factor of costs. Specifically, you should only make the decision when the potential profit will be larger than the costs—hence, there will really be a return on the investment.

For example, when you are deciding on whether to employ the Ads Manager or Power editor, you will definitely consider the potential effects of the Instagram advertising as if the profits are not that high, then the software with a lower cost will be a better choice to ensure that you will not suffer from a loss.

At the same time, you will also need to consider the time devoted to design and execute the Instagram promotion since time is also a very valuable cost. If you have spent too many times of that but the profits and sale brought by the Instagram boost are not that much, then perhaps you will need to consider whether or not to end the project since the promotion is not a profitable one. If you are looking at the views and likes of the effort of advertising on Instagram and realize that the numbers are not as high as expected, then you will also need to think about stopping the project.

The purpose of the Instagram advertising should be to increase the sales of the product or services and to increase the awareness of the brand. Therefore, if this is not happening, then you should be determined by the decision to stop the project. This is of course not an easy decision to make but by trial and error, you will gain experience to improve future Instagram promotions.


It is possible for you to achieve huge effects by Instagram advertising due to a large number of active and regular users on this social platform. However, this can only be achieved if you do it right and follow the instructions and tips mentioned above.

For example, you should pay attention to make an attractive video or photo for the promotional content and that you will need to manage the number of views and likes regularly. At the same time, your site should also focus far enough to cover other social platforms and sites like Facebook and Twitter. Then, you will be having a very successful Instagram promotion.