Instagram Ads Manager: A Guide

We’re taking you through our Guide to Instagram Ads Manager, so you can begin advertising on Instagram. You’ll learn how to easily publish successful adverts to help boost sales and reach new audiences.

Instagram Ads Manager: A Beginner's Guide

Instagram has quickly grown to become one of the world’s largest social media platforms, with over 1 billion active users and plans for expansion over the next few years, so it’s not going anywhere soon.

As a result, their ever-increasing user count and audience size mean Instagram has become the place to be for businesses looking to grow their social media presence. Instagram’s variety of ad formats allows advertisers to get creative and take advantage of influencers’ powerful reach to target new audiences.

Useful link: Read more about our influencer marketing tips for success.

Getting Started

Instagram is owned by Facebook so to get started you’ll need to log into Facebook Ads Manager to create, monitor and manage your Instagram ads.

Make sure that the Instagram account you want to start advertising from is added to your Business Manager or connected to your Facebook page.

If you don’t have an Instagram account, then you can still advertise on Instagram using your Facebook page instead.

9 Easy Steps to Get Started with Instagram Ads Manager

Step 1 – Head to Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook ads manager

Log into Facebook and head to the Ads Manager section, from the dropdown menu in the top righthand corner. Here, you’ll see any existing campaigns listed and be able to view their performance. If you don’t have any existing campaigns then this section will be blank, so click ‘Create’ to begin.

This guide will take you through the in-depth ‘Guided Creation’ process. This is generally the default and most popular approach, particularly for beginners and users creating ads for the first time.

The guided tour will allow you to select the advert type, objectives and budgets to meet your business needs. However, if you’re in a hurry then select ‘Switch to Quick Creation’ to set up your adverts quicker.

Step 2 – Choose your Objective & Campaign Type

choose your ads marketing objective

Three categories make up Facebook Ads objectives; awareness, consideration and conversion. Each category has a range of campaign types, with different focuses to suit all kinds of goals.

A new business is likely to run an awareness campaign, focusing on “Brand Awareness” to get their name out there. However, an established business trying to increase the number of people buying their products might choose a more sales driven campaign such as “Conversions”.

available marketing objectives on Facebook ads manager

Tip: Facebook includes a small “i” icon as you hover over each objective and campaign type. This is great for helping you select the most relevant objective to your business and goals.

However, not all campaign types are eligible to be shown on Instagram Ads. Make sure to choose one of the following; Brand Awareness, Reach, Traffic, App Installs, Engagement, Video Views or Conversions.

Step 3 – Name your Campaign

Now you’ve selected your objective and campaign type, you need to name your campaign. Choose a logical campaign name containing the objective so you can easily identify the campaign purpose later on.

At this stage, you can also choose whether to run an A/B test and whether you want Facebook to automatically optimise your budget across ad sets.

A/B tests are particularly useful. Allowing you to test how well your creatives work and what your audience respond well to. By running two different creatives within the same campaign across the same audience, you can see what stands out best.

By allowing Facebook to automatically optimise your budget, ad spend is spread evenly across all adverts will help to get the best results possible because only the best performing audiences or ads receive budgets.

Note: You’ll be asked to set up a Facebook Ad Account at this point if you haven’t set one up already. This includes adding your ad account name, account country & time zone and the currency that you’ll pay for your adverts in.

Step 4 – Set your Audience Targeting

Set up audience targeting on Facebook ads manager

The next stage is to create an “Ad Set” which will sit within the campaign. At Ad Set level you’ll create an audience to target, set a budget, an ad schedule along with selecting a bidding strategy.

Your audience is where you define the types of people you want to see your ads. You can narrow this down by targeting people in specific locations, age ranges, gender or who speak a specific language. You can build on these factors by targeting people with certain behaviours or interests relevant to your business.

Facebook generates an estimated audience size, showing you how broad your audience is and the potential reach of your ads. As a result, this enables you to get an insight into what results you could expect from your ads.

Tip: The broader your audience targeting, the greater the potential reach for your campaign will be.

If you’ve applied very specific audience targeting, your reach will be much smaller. However, your ads should, therefore, be very relevant and resonate well with the audience.

Step 5 – Select your Ad Placements and Set a Budget & Ad Schedule

The next step is to select where you would like your adverts to show – your placements. This ensures your ad pops up in the right place on the right platform.

By selecting ‘Edit placements’ you can choose exactly where on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or the Audience Network you want your adverts to appear.  If you only want to advertise on Instagram, deselect all of the options apart from ‘Instagram Feed’ and ‘Instagram Stories’.

Here, you’ll define your daily budget (how much you want to spend) and ad schedule (when you’d like your ads to appear).

You can choose to either set a maximum daily budget, set a date range and choose an overall budget. You can also let your ads run 24/7 or select certain times of the day or days of the week.

Good To Know: You can track your progress using the left-side checklist. By selecting the different stages you can switch between the tabs, making it really easy to correct your mistakes if required.

Step 6 – Choose a logical Ad Set name

The way you set and name your ad is extremely important. Using a random, meaningless name will make it harder for you to manage and differentiate your adverts and see which ones are performing well.

Try to include information like placement, targeting, age range and creative type within your ad name. This will help make monitoring and managing your ads quick and easy. Take for example:


This could represent a mobile-focused video ad, targeting users in Australia aged between 18 and 24.

Step 7 – Choose your Ad Format

First, in the “Identity” section, select the correct Facebook page and Instagram account to run your ads from.

If you’re creating your ad from scratch, select your ad format choosing from either a carousel, single image, single video or slideshow. This is depending on the creative that you want to share.

If there’s a post on your Instagram or Facebook account that you wish to use as your ad, then switch to the ‘Use existing post’ view and select the post from the list.

Step 8 – Add Ad Copy, Call-to-Action & your URL

Fill in all the fields of the ad creation form, making sure to include engaging ad copy, eye-catching creative and add a link to your landing page.

Select a call-to-action from the drop down, which will encourage users to click-through to your site from your ad. There are lots of options for a call-to-action, from ‘Contact Us’ and ‘Learn More’ to ‘Shop Now’ so choose the message most relevant to your ad and business goals.

After filling in the necessary fields, you can preview your ad before you set it live. You can then make tweaks to your copy or design if required.

Tip: Have a look through the different preview modes to see how the ad will look in different placements. Make sure you’re happy with how it looks on mobile, desktop, in-feed, in your Stories and more.

Step 9 – Review and set live!

Once you’re happy with how you’re ads are looking, you can then “review” your entire ad creation or alternatively “Confirm” you’re happy with the edits.

Tip: We advise that you review your ad creation before confirming it should be scheduled. This will give you another chance to ensure everything has been entered correctly and you’re happy for them to be posted.

Once you’ve hit ‘Confirm’, your adverts will go through the review process to make sure they comply with Facebook advertising standards. The review process typically takes anywhere from a couple of hours to 2 days.

After they’ve been through the review process, your ads will be live and start to show in your audience’s feeds. Facebook and Instagram will monitor what type of people are interacting most with your adverts and automatically adjust targeting. This will ensure that you’re reaching the best users possible.


Hopefully, you’ve now got a better understanding of how to create powerful Instagram Ads using Facebook Ads Manager.

To make life a little easier, Facebook Ads Manager provides helpful tips to guide you throughout the process, so refer to these hints if you’re unsure of what to do next or which options to choose.

Read a similar blog: 5 Ways AI Can Improve Your Paid Ads Campaigns

Remember, it’s important to monitor ad performance and spend, to ensure that budget isn’t overspent. Make adjustments based on the best performing ads or audiences and check regularly for any comments and interactions.

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