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How to Set Up a Successful Instagram Ads Campaign

By Team Swydo
12 March 2024

In an era dominated by visual storytelling and social media engagement, Instagram is a vital platform for digital marketers. Brands can show their products to over 1 billion Instagram users each month in a visually appealing way. 

This article aims to demystify the process of setting up a successful Instagram Ads campaign. We’ll provide a roadmap for marketers to harness the full potential of this visually-driven social media platform.

What Are Instagram Ads?

Instagram is a social media platform for sharing photos and videos. Paid Instagram Ads help businesses promote their products or services to a specific audience on Instagram. This takes advantage of Instagram’s popularity and focus on visuals. 

Benefits of Instagram Ads Campaigns

Over the past decade, Instagram’s social media presence has experienced exponential growth. As the world’s second most downloaded app, now is the time to capitalize on this expansive platform. If you’re still unsure how Instagram Ads can help you reach your client’s marketing goals, check out these benefits:

Increased Reach: Instagram has a massive number of users worldwide, allowing you to reach a large audience of people. This helps marketers to increase brand visibility and reach new potential customers.

Targeted Advertising: Instagram’s advanced targeting options, powered by Facebook’s advertising technology, enable marketers to reach specific population segments efficiently. Ensure your message reaches the most likely interested audience by focusing on demographics, interests, and behaviors. And through retargeting, you can target users who have previously engaged with your content or website.

Boosted Sales and Revenue: Instagram Ads have a significant impact on boosting sales. Increase your conversion rates by focusing on a particular audience and creating customized content, resulting in more direct sales. Linking ads to product pages or utilizing “shoppable” posts can greatly simplify purchasing, increasing revenue.

High Engagement Rates: Instagram has gained popularity for its impressive user engagement including liking, commenting, and sharing. Instagram ads frequently generate higher engagement rates than other platforms, significantly enhancing the chances of your campaign’s success.

Integration with Facebook: Leverage Facebook’s platform to manage your Instagram Ads campaigns. It provides a straightforward way to run campaigns on both platforms. This integration also grants access to Facebook’s extensive analytics tools.

Mobile-First Approach: Instagram Ads reach audiences through mobile devices, which is how most Instagram users access the platform. This aligns with the browsing and shopping habits of current consumers.

Influencer Marketing: Augment your advertising tactics by leveraging Instagram’s robust influencer culture. Collaborations with influencers can help you reach a wider audience and develop reliability.

Creative Storytelling: Instagram promotes creative storytelling. Marketers can increase brand loyalty by crafting captivating stories about their goods or services.

9 Essential Steps to Setup Successful Instagram Ads Campaigns 

Creating successful Instagram Ads requires careful planning and strategic execution. Here are pivotal steps to guide you in configuring a successful Instagram Ads campaign:

Step 1: Set Your Objectives

Setting up your Instagram Ads campaign with a clear objective that aligns with your overall marketing goals. Instagram recently redefined and simplified these ad objectives, which we’ve highlighted below.

We’ve categorized the objectives into the three primary stages of the marketing funnel: awareness, consideration, and conversion. Here’s an overview of the available objectives within each category:


Expose your ads and introduce your brand to the largest number of people in your target audience. This simplified “awareness” objective encompasses Instagram’s original ad objectives of:

  • Brand awareness
  • Reach
  • Video views
  • Store traffic


Consideration category objectives build upon awareness and communicate the benefits of your product or service. Instagram’s ad objectives that qualify for this category include:

Traffic: Attract a larger audience to a specific location, like an online store, website, app or Instagram profile.

Engagement: Boost the level of interaction on your post, encompassing likes, comments, shares, event responses, and offer claims. This is perfect for promoting a sense of community and brand engagement through personalized content.

Leads: Collect valuable information from potential customers, such as email addresses or phone numbers. You can generate leads directly on Instagram through messages, phone calls or signups.


Motivate individuals to engage with your website or app by guiding them towards a desired action. This could be signing up for a newsletter, completing a purchase, or scheduling a service. When you run conversion campaigns, make sure to set up a Facebook Pixel or App Events to track conversions. Instagram ad objectives that fall into the conversion portion of the marketing funnel include:

App promotion: Drive your app users to take a desired action, like make a purchase or try a newly launched feature. 

Sales: Perfect for e-commerce businesses to initiate purchases or sign up for services.

Choosing the right objective is crucial because it determines how to tailor content, target, and campaign KPIs. Ad objectives also dictate how Instagram optimizes your ad delivery for the best results. Your selection should align with your broader marketing goals and the specific outcomes you wish to achieve with your campaign. Check out additional details on Instagram’s ad objectives.

Step 2: Know Your Audience 

Leveraging Facebook’s advertising technology, Instagram Ads offers a comprehensive array of audience targeting options. These options enable advertisers to reach specific groups of people based on various criteria. Here’s an overview of the vital targeting options available:

Demographic Targeting: You can segment your audience by age range and gender. You can also target based upon location, from large areas like countries or states to small areas like cities or zip codes.

Interest-Based Targeting: Focus on users according to their hobbies, interests, and the content they engage with. This includes websites they like, applications they utilize, and additional relevant pursuits.

Behavior-Based Targeting: Target your audience based on their buying habits, device preferences, and online behavior.

Custom Audiences: Target current customers by uploading a list of contacts, including phone numbers and email addresses. Instagram will match this list to its users and create your custom audience. Install the Facebook pixel to target visitors to your website. Customize this pixel for specific actions on your website, like accessing a product page or quitting a shopping basket.

Lookalike Audiences: Develop audiences that closely resemble your current customer base. Instagram utilizes a source audience, such as your Custom Audience, to discover individuals with similar characteristics.

Connection Targeting: Find and target individuals specifically connected to your page, app, or event. This can include focusing on the friends of those who currently follow your Facebook page or Instagram account.

Engagement-Based Targeting: Reach people who have interacted with your content. This engagement might be through liking posts, watching videos or commenting on your page.

Retargeting: Connect with users who previously engaged with your brand across various platforms. The engagement could take place via social media, apps, or website visits.

Automated Targeting: Instagram utilizes algorithms for automated targeting to reach users who are likely to desire your products or services using available data.

Combine targeting options to reach specific audience segments with personalized messaging and content that resonates with your targets. The flexibility and personalization offered by Instagram Ads are vital advantages for effectively targeting your ideal customers.

Step 3: Create Compelling Content (Visual)

Creating compelling content on Instagram requires a thoughtful approach, blending visual storytelling, high-quality imagery, and brand consistency. The aim is to creatively tell a story, evoke emotions, and drive actions that help turn your leads into customers. 

Visual Storytelling: Craft a visual storytelling strategy that resonates with your audience. Use captions to enhance the narrative, providing context and fostering a deeper connection.

High-Quality Imagery: Invest in high-quality imagery to capture attention and reflect professionalism. Ensure photos are well-lit, visually appealing, and align with your client’s aesthetic.

Brand Consistency in Visuals: Maintain brand consistency in visuals to build a clear and cohesive presence. 

User-Generated Content: Embrace user-generated content to showcase authentic interactions with your products or services. Encourage followers to share their experiences, creating a sense of community.

Mobile-Optimized Design: Nighty-eight percent of Instagram users access the platform through their mobile devices. Ensure your content is mobile-optimized, easily digestible, and visually impactful on smaller screens.

Using these elements in your content creation strategy captivates your audience and boosts brand identity, fostering loyalty and engagement. Regularly analyze performance metrics to refine your approach, adapting to evolving trends and audience preferences.

Step 4: Craft Engaging Ad Copy 

Creating engaging ad copy on Instagram requires a blend of clarity, value proposition, and compelling calls-to-action (CTA). Use language that resonates with your audience and addresses their needs.

Start with Clarity in Messaging: Ensure your copy is concise, conveying your message succinctly. Clearly articulate the benefits or unique selling points to capture attention.

Develop a Compelling Value Proposition: Highlight what sets your product or service apart from your competitor. Communicate the value it brings to the audience, addressing their needs or desires.

Optimize CTAs for Action: Use direct, action-oriented language to guide users. Please encourage them to visit your website, purchase, or engage in a specific action.

Create Captivating Captions: Craft Captivating Captions that enhance the visual content. Share stories, ask questions, or provide context to deepen the connection with your audience.

Master these ad copy elements to connect with your audience, drive actions, and achieve your campaign objectives. 

Step 5: Instagram Ad Formats

Instagram offers diverse ad formats, each catering to different aspects of digital storytelling and audience engagement.

Let’s look at eight types of Instagram Ad formats that any business can use to promote their products and services. 

Carousel Ads for Storytelling: Carousel Ads allow advertisers to include multiple photos or videos in a single ad. Users can swipe through the carousel to view various images or videos. This format is ideal for narrating a story or showcasing a range of products. Carousel Ads offer a versatile option for engaging users with multiple facets of a product or service.

instagram carousel Ads for storytelling


Instagram Stories Ads: Instagram Stories Ads are full-screen, vertical ads seamlessly integrated between users’ Stories. They effectively promote time-sensitive offers or deliver authentic, engaging content. The format’s immersive nature and features like swipe-up links make it perfect for prompting immediate user action.

Instagram stories Ads


Explore Ads: Explore Ads enable businesses to place ads in a space where users are looking to discover new content. The “Explore” section is popular for users to discover new accounts, posts, and content based on their past interactions.

Video Ads for Dynamic Content: Video Ads add dynamism to your content strategy. Craft compelling videos to convey messages effectively, utilizing motion and sound to captivate your audience. They usually appear on the feed or stories and are just a few seconds long. Their main objective is to grab customer’s attention and concisely convey the message quickly. 

Video Ads for Dynamic Content


Instagram IGTV Ads: These 15-second mobile optimized videos appear within Instagram’s long-form video platform, IGTV. Suited for 15-second storytelling, like product demonstrations, tutorials, or interviews, these ads can provide more detailed and informative content.

Reel Ads: Full-screen Reel Ads are crafted to blend in with the entertaining and creative nature of Reels. This offers a unique way for brands to engage with audiences in a fun and immersive manner.

Reel Ads


Feed Ads: These are the standard ads that appear directly in the Instagram feed. They can be photo or video ads that blend seamlessly with organic content. They are excellent for reaching your audience in their regular browsing flow.

Feed Ads


Feed Photo Ads: Appearing in a users main feed, these ads are ideal for showcasing high-quality images. Feed Photo Ads can be a visually stunning shot of a product or a creative representation of your brand. They excel in visual storytelling and brand awareness campaigns, seamlessly blending with organic content.

Feed Video Ads: Feed Video Ads offer a dynamic alternative within the main feed. With up to 60 seconds, these ads allow for more expressive and narrative-driven content. They’re excellent for more detailed storytelling, such as product demonstrations, customer testimonials, or emotive brand stories.

Shoppable Posts for Direct Purchases: Shoppable Posts allow businesses to tag products in their photos or videos. This makes it easy for users to tap on a tag to see more details about the product, including its price. Users can even purchase the advertised product directly from the Instagram app. By streamlining the shopping experience, Shoppable Posts reduce the steps from discovery to purchase.

Collection Ads for Visual Catalogs: Display a product catalog with a primary video/image with smaller product images underneath. When users tap on the ad, it takes them to a full-screen landing page within Instagram. Here they can browse and interact with a collection of products. 

Each of these ad formats provides a way to capture attention, engage with audiences, and convey a brand’s message. Strategically integrating a variety of Instagram Ad formats into your campaigns helps you establish a dynamic and captivating presence. Tailor your approach to match your campaign goals, maximizing the impact and effectiveness of your Instagram Ads strategy.

Step 6: Set Budget and Schedule 

When you schedule and run Instagram Ads, you have complete control over when and how much you will spend. Start by choosing a daily or lifetime budget.

  • Lifetime Budget: The algorithm delivers your ads evenly over a preset time period.. 
  • Daily Budget: This schedule allows the ads algorithm to pace your daily spending. However, you’ll have to meet the platform’s minimum daily budget to start running an Instagram Ads campaign.

In addition, you can set a more specific schedule for your Instagram Ads, including when you want the campaign to start and finish running. For instance, you may want to run a discount sale over the weekends and outreach ads on weekdays. 

You can maximize your budget and expand your customer base by segmenting your followers. Instead of squandering money to reach everyone, divide up your audience based on demographics, job positions, hobbies, and behavior. You’ll effectively reach and connect with more people, allowing you to grow your following and enhance your profits.

Step 7: Instagram Ads Bidding Strategy

Instagram Ads, managed through Facebook’s ad platform, offer several bidding strategies to suit different campaign goals and budgets. Understanding these options is essential for maximizing the effectiveness of your ad spend. Here are the primary bidding strategies available:

Automatic Bidding: This option allows Instagram to handle your bids automatically, maximizing your results while minimizing costs. Automatic bidding optimizes your bid amount to increase the chances of achieving the desired outcome for your ad. This approach is perfect for advertisers who want to get the most out of their ad budget.

Manual Bidding (Bid Cap): Use this strategy to establish a cap on the amount you’re willing to pay for each result your ad generates. It gives you greater control over your bidding process but you need to understand the value of your desired outcome.

Cost Cap: This bidding option establishes a consistent cost per action for your entire campaign. It provides a level of cost predictability while also striving to maximize outcomes. The cost cap is an excellent tool for significantly balancing costs and achieving desired results when scaling campaigns.

Target Cost: This strategy is ideal for campaigns with a steady cost per action. It offers a consistent average cost as your ad spend increases, making it easier to budget predictably. Target cost bidding is most effective for campaigns with a larger budget and a long-term, steady-state objective.

Minimum ROAS (Return on Ad Spend): Campaigns with conversion optimization can use this option. Instagram will bid to reach the minimum return you choose for each dollar spent. This approach enables companies to gain money back from their advertising expenditures.

A proper bidding strategy considers your campaign objectives, budget constraints, and the value of your desired outcomes. If you’re new to Instagram Ads, you might want to begin with automatic bidding. As you gain experience and performance insights, you can experiment with manual bidding for greater control over campaign spending.

Step 8: Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Once your ads run, it’s time to set targets and monitor daily performance. Create an Instagram Ads report with relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to determine how your Instagram Ad campaigns perform. Start by identifying your advertising goals to pinpoint which metrics best match your needs. 

Step 9: Monitor Your Campaign

Use conversion tracking to determine how successful your Instagram Ads campaigns drive actions, like purchases, sign-ups, or downloads. You can leverage Instagram or Facebook analytics to evaluate your campaign performance.

Monitor your campaign to measure the return on your ad spending and optimize your campaigns for better results. Here’s how conversion tracking works on Instagram:

Using Facebook Pixel: Use the Facebook Pixel, a code you place on your website, allows you to track Instagram Ads conversions. The Pixel records and analyzes user interactions on your website by counting the number of clicks on your ad. This can involve various factors, such as page views, add-to-cart actions, purchases, and registrations.

Monitor these actions with the Pixel and assess the effectiveness of your Instagram Ads in achieving the desired results.

Setting Up Conversion Events: Configure and monitor specific conversion events, such as ‘Purchase’ or ‘Lead’, in Facebook Ad Manager. Select an event as your campaign objective when designing your ad. This will help you access more detailed ad tracking and data insights.

App Event Tracking: Let’s say your goal is to drive engagement and actions within your app, such as app installs or in-app purchases. Facebook SDK tracks user interactions within the app that result from your Instagram Ads, just like the Pixel does.

Efficient conversion tracking is a fundamental aspect of performance-driven advertising on Instagram. You can gain valuable insights into your campaign performance by accurately measuring and analyzing conversion actions. This will allow you to optimize your strategies and maximize your advertising budget.

Best Practices for Optimizing Your Instagram Ads Campaign Success

Following best practices is crucial to ensure the success of your Instagram Ads campaigns. Here are some key strategies to consider:

Define Clear Objectives: Elaborate on what you want to achieve with your Instagram Ads campaign. This could be increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales. Clear objectives help in crafting a focused and effective advertising strategy.

Use the SMART framework that lets you break down your objective into practical elements, such as 

  • Being specific
  • Setting measuring units or KPIs
  • Being achievable
  • Being pragmatic with your approach
  • Setting the time limit or duration 

Understand Your Target Audience: Target your audience based on age, interests, behavior, location, etc. Tailor your ads to the preferences and needs of your target audience, increasing engagement and conversion rates.

Create High-Quality Visual Content: Instagram is a visually-centric platform. As such, your ads need to feature high-quality, captivating images or videos. Ensure your visuals are on-brand, aesthetically pleasing, and relevant to your message.

Optimize Ad Copy: Ad copy and visuals need to be compelling. It needs to be concise, clear, and action-oriented. Include a strong call-to-action (CTA) that guides users on what to do next: learn more, shop now, or sign up.

Choose the Right Ad Format: Select the ad format that aligns best with your campaign goals and audience preferences. Stories, feed posts, carousel ads, or videos offer different advantages and suit different types of messaging and engagement.

Leverage A/B Testing: Test different elements of your ads to see what resonates better with your audience. Try new images, copy and CTAs, and use the insights gained from these tests to optimize your campaigns.

Monitor and Analyze Performance: Use Instagram’s analytics tools and Google Analytics 4 to track the performance of your ads. Monitor metrics like reach, engagement, click-through, and conversion rates. Analyzing these metrics can provide valuable insights for optimizing your campaign’s performance.

Set a Realistic Budget: Determine your budget based on your campaign objectives and expected ROI. Instagram Ads offers options for daily or lifetime budgets. Choose what works best for your strategy and adjust as needed based on campaign performance.

Consistency Is Key: Ensure your ads are consistent in style, tone, and messaging across all campaigns. This helps in building brand recognition and trust among your audience.

Bonus: Turning Your Organic Instagram Posts into Ads

Transforming your Instagram posts into ads can be a strategic move for your marketing campaign. Leverage this approach if you have a post that has already garnered significant organic engagement. If the original post resonated well with your audience, then an ad based upon the same content should too. 

The ideal time to turn a post into an ad is when it performs well organically. This could be a highly engaged post with numerous likes, comments, or shares. Look for the opportunity to align an existing post with a specific marketing campaign or promotional event.

Benefits of Turning Organic Content Into Ads

Utilize Proven Content: The audience has already validated posts that have generated significant organic engagement. By transforming them into ads, you effectively promote content you know will strongly appeal to your intended audience.

Expand Your Reach and Visibility: Convert organic posts into ads and increase the number of people seeing your content. This allows you to reach a larger, targeted audience beyond your current followers and their networks.

Simplify Content Creation: Save time and money by leveraging pre-existing posts for effective content creation. 

Transforming your successful Instagram posts into ads is an efficient and cost-effective tactic. Use already successful content to expand your audience and elevate your marketing endeavors.

Leverage Swydo to Monitor and Boost Instagram Ads Campaign Performance.

Instagram Ads empowers you to capitalize on unique opportunities to grow your client’s sales and brand. With these steps, you can maximize your Instagram Ads campaign performance, unlock new ways to boost site visits, and drive sales.

Are you ready to take your Instagram Ads campaigns to the next level? Swydo’s automated reporting and monitoring platform can help you!

Swydo empowers digital marketers to streamline client reporting, saving time and advancing growth. Easily gather data across marketing channels – including Facebook and Instagram – for comprehensive reports and dashboards. 

With over thirty integrations, Swydo allows users to connect and visualize their marketing data seamlessly. Our platform makes it easy to customize and share comprehensive reports and live dashboards in just minutes.

Obtain the in-depth insights you need to boost your Instagram Ads performance! Just reach out today to request a demo for a customized walk-through or start your free 14-day trial.