Chapter 6:
Advertising on Instagram

Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing

Getting Started with Instagram Advertising

Another visual and video-driven social platform is Instagram. Instagram is primarily mobile however, it is also among the top 10 most-visited websites in the world.

Over 1 billion people use Instagram each month, the majority of which are age 25-34 and 88% of them are outside the U.S. The average person spends 30 minutes per day on Instagram and 81% of users use it to research products and services. ( )

To set up an Instagram account for your business, you can choose to log in with your Facebook credentials or set up a personal account. If you choose to first set up a personal account, you can convert it to a professional account. Professional Accounts have access to analytics and can include additional contact and location information to their profiles to make it easier for your audience to get in touch with you. You can also connect other social accounts like Facebook and Twitter so when you post to Instagram you can post to other platforms as well.

There are several post types from which to choose.


Select “post” to post a new or existing photo or video to your feed. Instagram is a visual platform so be sure to use high-quality, visually appealing photos and graphics. Take the time to edit your photos and add filters and tags along with a caption and location. You’ll want to be selective as to what and how often you post to Instagram. Again, think quality over quantity. Only post a few of your very best images, and really only once per day.

Reels  ​

Instagram released Reels in August 2020. Reels are 15-second multi-clip videos with audio and various effects. Reels can be recorded in a series of clips, all at once or by uploading videos from your gallery. (  ​

Stories  ​

One of the platform’s most popular features is Instagram Stories. These photos and videos disappear from your Feed after 24 hours. Instagram Stories are often candid, more casual photos and videos and feature text, stickers, GIFs, and music.     ​

Live  ​​

Users can also live stream  directly from Instagram. Live broadcasts are limited to 4 hours. When you go live, your profile image will appear at the top of your followers’ Feeds with the word LIVE. They can click the image to view your stream. Or, you can invite guests to join.  ​​

Instagram Advertising for Your Business

When posting, you’ll want to include relevant hashtags to help people who aren’t following you see your content. Unlike captions, hashtags are both searchable and clickable. So, as a business, you’ll want to use hashtags wisely within your posts. When a user searches for or follows a hashtag, the user can view posts that include that hashtag. Using existing hashtags can help grow your audience by exposing non-followers to your content. However, some general hashtags have millions of posts. For example, #restaurants has over 3.5 million posts. So, the likelihood of your post being seen within that hashtag is slim. Consider niche, custom, or even branded hashtags, and remember to search hashtags before you use them to make sure they are relevant for your content.

As with other social platforms, organic reach within Instagram is declining. So, consider paid advertising to help grow your audience. Businesses can easily promote individual posts to reach not only more people but more of the right people. Businesses can also use Ads Manager to plan an entire campaign across multiple platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger.

Want the entire Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing as a printable PDF?