5 Tips for Launching Paid Advertising on Instagram

Measurably Daring™

Instagram currently has over 400 million users and has attracted numerous types of advertisers to the platform. Understanding the fundamentals of launching paid advertising on Instagram is crucial to your brand’s success. We have broken down some simple tips to benefit your Instagram campaign.

Our first point sounds obvious, but is crucial.

1. Comprehending the nuances of advertising on Instagram can make or break your brand.

Videos are set on auto-play and mute on Instagram feeds. So be mindful of how dependent your video is on audio. Instagram claims, “Craft your videos spots as if they will play silently, and consider sound a plus.” As for auto-play, adjust for possibly lag times and the video layout. This is important to keep in mind for the layout of your video if someone were to begin watching your clip slightly later than you originally intended. Adjust for lag-time.

There is currently some discrepancy over whether or not the “disable auto-play” function actually works. For most viewers, auto-play is still in effect on Instagram.

2. Split testing between Facebook and Instagram

Split testing concepts between these 2 platforms can be beneficial to see if your ad is more informational based (Facebook) or visually focused (Instagram). The platforms are similar enough to test these concepts effectively.

Pay attention to these elements:

  • Colours of Call to Action Buttons
  • Creative
  • Copy (Shorter length for Instagram vs. Facebook)
  • Call to Action (Shop now vs Learn More)


3. Be aware of copy requirements for Instagram

The rule is as follows, “Instagram limits caption length to 2200 characters (that’s enough characters to market the hell out of each image you post and then some)”. Instagram recommends no more than 125 characters. Be sure to keep the “more…” rule in mind. This rule shows copy that is long as “more…” underneath your image or video and your audience may have to take an extra step to read all of your copy. Heavily worded ads on Instagram do not necessarily gain more engagement than ones with less.

4. Hashtags in ads are only useful for certain events and call-to-action ads.

Overly hashtagging your ads can steer away your audience onto other related topics, but away from your brand and your desired direct response. If used understand that they will bring your audience to another destination online. (That should be directly related to your ad). (Amazon’s “Learn more” button will take you to a purchase page directly on their site). Hashtag usage will also impact video views and clicks as well. (Less is more here).

5. Be conscientious of whether to utilize a square format or landscape format.

What will work for your ad on Instagram? Instagram’s image requirements are in square or landscape format. You should test which format works appropriately for your ad, as long as the dimensions are 1.9:1 to 1:1. Watching videos or viewing images that do not adhere to these guidelines is quite unappealing for the viewer.

Instagram recommends 1:1 aspect ratio for design purposes. However, some brands on Instagram have been successful with the landscape format.


This article was written by Ana Chave (Marketing Associate) and Eric Duchek (Senior Social Media Manager) from Fetch San Francisco.