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Are Instagram Ads Worth It? The Ultimate Guide to Maximizing Your ROI

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Instagram ads

Instagram ads have become a resourceful advertising tool that has pushed many businesses and brands to the top. While the TikTok platform is prominent among the younger population, Instagram is still the go-to for many B2B users worldwide due to its diversified clientele. 

Instagram is the most popular social media platform besides Facebook and among the top five largest globally. Unsurprisingly, marketers are taking advantage of this app for advertising purposes.

However, the cost of running ads on the platform vs the expected result is a topic of discussion among many marketers. As a result, they are keen to find out if Instagram ads are still worth it in 2024, given the rising ad costs.

Do you think Instagram ads are expensive? This guide will answer your question and explain everything you need to maximize your ROI on the platform. 

Understanding Instagram Ads

Instagram ads are paid posts businesses and brands create to promote their products and services. The ads have a “Sponsored” label to indicate that it’s intended for promotion. Instagram ads aim to create awareness, grow an audience, and drive sales using promoted content. 

These advertisements can be:

  • Photo ads or images convey a specific message.
  • Short video ads that demonstrate or showcase the products in action.
  • Carousel ads or multiple images in a single ad allow swipes, providing a more detailed examination of a product or service.
  • Stories ads
  • Reels
  • Explore ads that appear on the Explore feed

These formats contain features like CTA, links, product tags, and buttons.

Different Types of Instagram Ads

Instagram ads come in various options, each with its cost and perks. Examples of Instagram ads include:

Image Ads

Image or photo ads are Instagram’s cheapest advertisements, containing a single image. They are Instagram’s O.G. of ads. Almost all businesses started advertising on Instagram with image ads. This ad showcases a particular product with its details. You can make it pop by choosing the right image.

Apart from their cost-effectiveness, they are concise and deliver your messages precisely. Because it’s image-based, you need a high-quality picture to grab the audience’s attention. Instagram has several built-in tools to enhance the appeal of your image, making it professionally-looking.

Video Ads (including Instagram Video Ads)

Video marketing has become the most popular form of online advertising, thanks to TikTok. However, Instagram has taken these video ads to the next level with Reels and Stories. Brands and businesses can pay for video ads and get the exposure they need across different placements, from feeds and Stories to Reels.

Instagram’s video ads can run for up to 60 seconds. However, Meta recommends keeping video ads around 15 seconds for better engagement. Video ads are powerful and can quickly grab the audience’s attention. Since Instagram has an autoplay feature, you can leverage this to convey your message and get them hooked immediately.

Carousel ads are an extension of image and video ads. They allow you to use up to ten individual images or videos to enhance conversion. Each can have its headline, description, links, and landing page. You can use one carousel ad to show different products at once, which is great if you run a fashion house or a bookstore.

Collection Ads

Collection ads are similar to carousel ads but full-screen and more customizable. These ads can work for you if you run an online store. They’re online shopping windows, allowing users to browse through selected product lineups and purchase directly through the ad. Since it simplifies browsing and buying, you can track users who have purchased the product.

Shopping Ads

Shopping ads are essentially image or video ads with shopping tags inserted. The tags show specific items within the ad, allowing customers to purchase products or services directly from Instagram. They help to streamline a user’s shopping experience.

Stories Ads

Stories ads are full-screen ads that appear when users browse their Instagram Stories section. They can be either video or image-based, with the ability to customize with interactive elements, such as emojis, stickers, filters, and GIFs. 

Explore Ads

Explore ads appear on Instagram’s Explore page as sponsored ads. They can be video or image-based and only show in users’ Explore feeds based on their interests. They’re great for exposure, with over 500 million people flicking through the page every day. You’ll be able to connect with users who don’t follow you through this ad format. Instagram ads in explore is great for increasing your audience reach.

Reels Ads

Reels are short video ads that appear in users’ Reels feeds. They can run for a maximum of 30 seconds and usually include some audio or music. Reel ads can enhance visibility and make those who aren’t your followers interact with your brand.

Benefits of Advertising on Instagram

Instagram ads engagement statistics

Advertising on Instagram has immense benefits for brands. It’s not surprising that over 200 million active businesses advertise on the platform. Here are some benefits of promoting your products and services on Instagram.

Reach a Massive Audience

Instagram’s user base exceeds a billion, offering unparalleled access to potential customers worldwide. The platform can give your business more exposure than you can ever imagine. Instagram’s diverse audience allows businesses of all sizes to find their niche market and connect with them effectively. Therefore, you can carve out your niche market on the social media platform. 

Create Highly-targeted Advertising

Crafting highly targeted advertising is no mean achievement. However, Instagram ads, through Meta, have advanced targeting abilities. They allow you to tailor ads to reach specific segments of users based on their demographics, age, location, gender, interests, behaviors, etc. You can hit the nail on the head with Instagram’s targeted ads, ensuring you get a good return on your investment.

Leveraging Facebook’s advanced targeting algorithms, Instagram ads can pinpoint the target audience accurately, ensuring ads reach the most relevant customer base. It’s a great way to promote your brand since you can zero in on a specific target audience.

Instagram Ads Are Visually Appealing

Instagram is a video-sharing app designed to showcase captivating images and videos that grab attention. Businesses can use high-quality graphics, engaging videos, and creative visuals to tell their brand’s story, highlight product features, or showcase customer testimonials.

High Engagement Rates

Instagram’s engagement rates are among the highest across social media platforms. Users can actively like, comment, and share content that resonates with them. High engagement rates on Instagram translate to better ad performance, with a greater likelihood of conversions, customer retention, and more sales.

Drive Website Traffic and Sales

Instagram ads can drive website traffic and sales by incorporating call-to-action buttons and directing users from the ad directly to the website or landing page. This direct link facilitates buying and encourages users to engage further with the brand.

Different Ad Formats

Instagram is visual-centric. However, businesses and brands can tailor their marketing strategy to fit their goals and audience preferences through engaging videos, enticing visuals, or interactive stories.


Besides equipping you with the tools to craft a compelling video ad, Instagram allows you to measure the success of your ads. It provides comprehensive analytics through its Insights feature, giving businesses access to key metrics such as reach, impressions, clicks, and conversion rates. Through this feature, you can track ad performance in real-time and adjust your advertising strategy. You can make informed decisions to enhance ad effectiveness and optimize their budget allocation.

Influencer Marketing on Instagram

Influencer marketing is an effective way of promoting your product on the social media app. Instagram has taken influencer marketing to the next level, allowing brands and businesses to tap into the appeal and follow the app’s celebrities.

The beauty of influencer marketing on Instagram is these popular faces can use various features to promote your business. Plus, followers can win prizes from giveaways through personalized codes.

Influencer marketing works best if they cater to your niche audience. This will boost engagement rates and even maximize sales. Connecting with influencers can place your ads in front of the right people.

Creating Effective Instagram Ads

You can create effective Instagram ads by using Instagram Boost and Ads Manager.

Using Instagram Boost

Like Facebook’s Boost feature, you can leverage Instagram’s Boost feature to promote your current posts. It’s straightforward for beginners who don’t want to undergo the stress of launching a traditional Instagram campaign.

You can promote your ad on Instagram to show it to new audiences. However, it would be best to have a business or creator account to use this feature and a Facebook Business Page. Connect your business page to your Instagram account and proceed to boost your desired post.

Using Instagram Ads Manager

Ads Manager is a dedicated tab on Instagram where you can create and manage ad campaigns. Like Instagram Boost, you need a Facebook Business page linked to your Instagram account. Once you have this, log into the Ads Manager and tap ‘Create an Ad.’

You’ll be presented with several options regarding how to create and tailor your campaign. Here’s how to go about it.

Choose Your Objective

Choose between 11 marketing objectives in Meta Ads Manager. The cost of your Instagram ads will depend on what kind of advertising campaign you run.

Advertising Budget and Schedule

Your marketing budget is the deciding factor when it comes to running ads. Decide your ad spend by choosing a daily or lifetime budget option. Only commit to what you’re comfortable with.

Target an Audience

An Instagram ad won’t be effective if it’s just blasted online without considering who’s viewing it. You can select a target audience based on age, gender, language, location, etc.

Establish Brand Safety

Head to the ‘Brand Safety’ section to filter the content you don’t want associated with your ad. You can even block specific publishers and sites if you want to be extra careful.

Create Your Instagram Ad

Choose your corresponding Facebook and Instagram accounts, choose your ad format, and then fill out the rest of the finer details under ‘Ad Creative.’ This includes the ad’s placement, audience, budget, and run time.

Best Practices for Instagram Ads

You must comply with Instagram advertising best practices to ensure your ad yields positive results. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Choose a Post that Represents Your Business

Boosted posts target people who aren’t your typical followers or know the nuances of your products. Therefore, use posts that truly reflect your brand and its message. It will help your potential customers understand your brand better.

Use Text Wisely

Instagram ad allows you to use a maximum of 2,200 characters to write your ad copy. Therefore, make good use of the limited characters. Your Instagram ad campaign should have clarity and communicate the right message.

Get Creative

Harness your creative prowess to develop a unique Instagram ad. Brainstorm ideas to create Instagram ads using online tools like SwipeBuilder to stand out from the crowd.

Test and Measure Your Results

The beauty of social media ads is that you can fine-tune your campaign repeatedly. With Instagram’s analytics, you can monitor essential metrics and adjust your strategy. You can also experiment with different ad formats to see their best outcomes.

Is Instagram Ads Worth It?

This question must have been burning through your mind up till this moment. Advertising on Instagram has its upsides and downsides. Concerning giving consistently high results for various business topics, Instagram has few rivals. Do you know why? Because the platform has a market for target customers.

The social media marketing platform has over 2 billion monthly active users, with 59% spending about 7 hours weekly interacting with content on the site. Over 45% of users are Gen-Z and millennials. That means Instagram doesn’t cater to just Gen-Z consumers; millennials are also a significant part of the customer base. The stats speak for themselves.

The visual nature of the social media site makes it appealing for brands and businesses to push their products and services to the right audience. You can promote your products through several ad formats, sponsored posts, and influencers. So Yes! Advertising on Instagram is worth it in 2024, based on data.

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