How To Create Instagram Ads Using The Instagram App

Create Instagram Ads Using Instagram App | Kanuka Digital

How To Create Instagram Ads Using The Instagram App

Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms in the current climate. It sees 1 billion active accounts every month. That’s people logging in, liking posts, commenting on posts and hopefully, engaging with your content. As a result, it’s imperative that you set up your business here to reap the many benefits.

If you’re reading this post, we hope that you already have your Instagram account set up and are now looking for help to create Instagram ads.

Although you can actually use Facebook for Business to share paid Instagram posts, probably the most common way to create Instagram ads is within the app itself. To do this, you must have an Instagram business account. To set up an Instagram Business Account you can follow the below steps:

Setting Up An Instagram Business Profile

  • Navigate to your Instagram profile page.
  • In the top right-hand corner, you’ll see an icon that looks like three horizontal lines, click on it.
  • It’ll open a sidebar with various options at the top of the screen. At the lower section of the screen, you’ll see “Settings”. Click here.
  • In the “Account” section, you’ll see a variety of options, one of them being “Switch to Business Profile”. Click here.
  • You will be faced with a “Welcome” screen showing what other accounts you follow use the Business Profile. Click “continue”.
  • Instagram will then start sending you through a set of 4 pages, each telling you about the benefits of an Instagram profile, what you can use it for i.e. reaching your customers, getting customer insights, getting new contact options and more. Click “continue” once you’ve read through each page.
Create Instagram Ads Using Instagram App | Kanuka Digital
  • Next, you’ll come to a screen where you must connect your Facebook Page – don’t fret if you don’t have one yet, there’s an option to create one or alternatively, to “skip” this step.
  • If you connect to a Facebook Page, you’ll then be able to share your Instagram content directly to your Facebook Page. This is great for ensuring you’re cross-promoting your content.
  • Without a Facebook Page, you then are faced with a screen to choose your categories to help users understand what your business is about.
  • Finally, you should then choose your “contact” options i.e how your users will be able to get in touch with you directly from Instagram. We recommend using all fields here that are relevant to your business i.e. email, phone number and location.
  • You’re done! You now have an Instagram Business Profile.

If you navigate to one of your Instagram posts, you’ll see new options of “Insights” and “Promote” at the bottom of your image in blue buttons.

  • Insights – This will show you all of your statistics for each post for example, how many people saw the post, how many people clicked on the post, how many people clicked on your profile after seeing the post and more.
  • Promote – This will allow you to turn the post into an advert. Follow the steps below to find out how.

How To Promote Your Instagram Posts

To get started, visit your profile and select the post you’d like to promote using the “Promote” button.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to view the post’ stats first, navigate to your main “Instagram Insights” by using the top right icon on your profile page. Then looking at “Content” insights, scroll down to the “Promotions data” and click on the “Create Promotion” link.

Again, select the post you’d like to promote and tap the right arrow in the top right corner. Then, you must select where you’ll send people.

Choosing Where To Send People

The options you can choose from include “your profile”, “your website”, “your shop front” and finally, “your direct messages”. You’ll be faced with a screen that looks similar to the below:

  • Your Profile

The “your profile” option will ensure that once the users have clicked on your add “action button”, they’ll be directed straight to your profile.

  • Your Website

If you click on the “your website” option, you’ll then be able to put in a unique URL to take your users to visit your online blog or store. It’s best to use a URL that has tracking implemented so that you can really measure the success of your campaign.

You’ll also be able to select your action button from the options: learn more, shop now, watch more, contact us, book now and sign up.


  • Your Shop Front

By selecting this option you’ll then be given another three options, each that can qualify as your shop front. These include your Instagram profile, your business address or your phone number.

  • Your Direct Messages

Finally, the last option is to send your audience to message you directly. This will mean that as they click on the action button a chat opens up where they can inquire about your advert/company, without having to even navigate through to your profile page.

Define Your Target Audience

Having selected your destination, it’s then onto defining your target audience. Simply click on “automatic” in the “audience” tab. You’ll then be faced with an automatic audience that Instagram creates for you. This will decide demographics like location, gender and age.

Good to Know: Instagram has an age limit of 13 meaning that’s the minimum age you can target. It then ranges up to 65+ where users then start to drop off due to limited popularity within the older population.

Alternatively, you can create your own where you can define a target audience by multiple locations, up to 10 interests, age and gender. Below shows the location options you can choose for your Instagram audience.



Having selected your location, you can choose your audience age range and gender. Take a look at the below:

Create Instagram Ads Using Instagram App | Kanuka Digital

Interests can include things like “tennis, organic food, cat lover” and more. Obviously, entering niche interests will ensure you target an audience that you believe is most likely to convert.

Yet, if you’re simply looking for more exposure, a more broad version of your audience might be better. For example, instead of setting the interest to “tennis” you can broaden it to “sport”.

You can then save this target audience and give it a name. It’ll then appear in your “select target audience” page as a “saved audience”. In this case, it’s the audience titled “test”.

Select Your Budget & Campaign Duration

Once you’ve selected your target audience you can set a budget for the campaign and decide how long it’ll run for. There are pre-planned settings that you can choose from or you can customise it so that you set a unique budget and duration.

Review, Preview & Confirm Your Promotion

You’ll then be required to review your promotion and enter your payment information.

During this stage, you can also preview your advert to ensure it looks exactly how you imagined and all information is correct. This is a step that often gets missed though it’s crucial to ensure all of your details are correct.

You’ll also get an informative tip from Instagram estimating the expected success of your campaign.

Example: At the top of the “preview” page you’ll get a message similar to the following, “if you spend £10, we estimate 2,400 – 6,300 people will see your promotion.


If you’re happy with how your advert is looking, hit “create promotion” and it’ll be submitted for review by the Instagram team. If accepted the advert will start to be shown. Ta-da! You can then analyse the insights of this promotion and see similar stats to those in the organic insights page.

By switching between “promotion” and “original” on the post insights page, you’ll be able to compare how the paid advert is performing compared to the organic post. This is particularly good to help you better optimise future campaigns.

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Katie Rose
katie@kanukadigital.com