instagram ads best practices
February 03, 2016 | Shares:

20 Free Resources on Instagram Advertising Best Practices
3 min.

The internet has tons of great information out there, but you’re short on time.

That’s why we created this curated collection of free resources on Instagram advertising best practices. Whether you’re just starting out or looking for advanced tips to get the best ROI, here are the best articles we could find to answer your most frequently asked questions about Instagram best practices.

Don’t have time to read all these posts? Top takeaways from the articles are pulled out in each section, and at the end, you can find a list of all the posts we include.

Why should I use Instagram ads?

If you’re on the fence about paying for more social ads, look no further than eMarketer’s projections for the future of Instagram mobile ad revenues to convince you.

Forrester also came out with a great report on the Instagram engagement rate. While their Instagram data is a bit old and not specific to Instagram sponsored ads, it’s still relevant as Instagram continues to top engagement among social platforms, showing just how Instagram benefits are rising.

Instagram also came out with a convincing argument on why their ads are the best.


  • Instagram’s mobile-friendly ads have been well accepted by users so far, largely because of Instagram’s efforts to create the least intrusive ad experience
  • Instagram ad mobile revenue is expected to grow tremendously
  • Brands investing in Instagram ads invest in the most engaged social platform

What Are The Best Practices for Creating Instagram Ads?

Just getting started? Check out Social Media Examiner’s awesome guide for creating Instagram ads or The Media Captain‘s post on Entrepreneur detailing how to create an Instagram ad in just 10 minutes.

Also, Customer Magnetism includes detailed step-by-step instructions (with screenshots) in their post answering Instagram FAQs.

Social Insight has an awesome 30-day walkthrough of setting up, running, and optimizing Instagram ads for those just getting started out.


  • Connect an existing Instagram account or create one to set up ads
  • Select an ad type
  • Set up targeting
  • Include CTAs & hashtags

Best Practices for Increasing Instagram Followers?

Check out this advanced marketing guide on best practices for how to get Instagram followers fast. Ross Simmonds went from 0-50,000 Instagram followers and shares how. He includes detailed tips to walk you through strategies like leveraging popular accounts’ follower base, organizing a freebie giveaway, and hiring influencers.

Another great reference is this Shopify post on how to build a massive Instagram following.


  • Shout outs & product placements can leverage influencers’ follower base
  • Freebie giveaways can also attract new followers
  • Smart hashtags bring in the right audience
  • Be sure to target the appropriate influencers so you get the right followers

How Can I Create Effective Instagram Ads?

Since Instagram ads are relatively new, a lot of people are still figuring them out. Look to the big brands with huge budgets to see what’s working for them.

Postano did great coverage of the 5 best Instagram ads, along with what makes them so awesome. They examine campaigns from Ben & Jerry’s, Michael Kors, and more and give you actionable advice for how you can integrate this in your content.

Wordstream’s post on their best social media tips isn’t Instagram-specific, but it does offer some really original ideas, like building ads around life events.


  • High quality ads win – don’t waste money on crappy content
  • Blend in to feeds – use filters and images with little texta
  • Think about how to be aspirational

What Are The Best Practices For Marketing with Instagram Ads?

Contently covered 7 things CMOs need to know about Instagram ads, which is great for understanding how to measure Instagram ads’ effectiveness as it relates to marketing.

Entrepreneur also writes about ways to use Instagram ads in your current marketing strategy.

Sprout Social has another great Instagram post on trends marketers should pay attention to.


  • Direct response buttons create an in-ad CTA to elicit action from viewers
  • Carousel ads are powerful for communicating multiple messages or to promote products on Instagram
  • Instagram’s audience isn’t the same as Facebook’s – so don’t just try to apply FB strategy to Instagram

What Are The Best Practices for Instagram Ad Content?

Already running campaigns, but want to perfect your content? Here are the resources to help you out:

On Instagram, it’s all about storytelling. Industry veteran Pola Zen shares 5 ways to use visual storytelling to improve your marketing images, on Instagram and across channels.

Marketing Land takes a look at what’s working on Instagram. Business2Community provides 6 examples and best practices of Instagram ads, and Yahoo Finance examines why ads work on Instagram versus other social networks.

Our Head of Design, Roni Klein, takes a look at the methods brands are using to effectively engage customers and how to design successful Instagram campaigns that elicit customer participation.


  • Pay attention to lighting and treat every image as a chance to tell a story
  • Be aware of how captions change the meaning of a photo
  • Think of how your audience will interpret your image based on context clues

How Can I Get The Best ROI From Instagram Ads?

PPC expert Adi Palkovic brings her tips to the table in her guide to getting the most out of digital ads.

Social Media Examiner shares advice on creating re-targeting campaigns on Instagram.


  • Never stop testing
  • Smart targeting wins
  • Test even small changes
  • Look at what looks in unpaid content to guide your paid content


Any other Instagram ads resources you’ve come across that you think would be valuable to include? We’d love to add them to the list.

Ready to test your Instagram skills?

Take the quiz below!

Take a look at the answers.

Complete list of resources:

  1. eMarketer: Instagram Mobile Ad Revenues to Reach $2.81 Billion Worldwide in 2017
  2. Instagram: The Next Steps for Ads on Instagram: New Formats, Increased Relevance, Broader Availability
  3. Social Media Examiner: How to Create Instagram Ads
  4. Entrepreneur: How to Create a Killer Instagram Ad in Under 10 Minutes
  5. Customer Magnetism: Instagram Ads Questions Answered
  6. Social Insight: 30 Days of Instagram: Live Blogging Case Study
  7. Yotpo Blog: How to Sell on Instagram / How to Start an Instagram Shop / Instagram Marketing Tips
  8. Shopify: How to Build a Massive Following on Instagram
  9. Postano: The 5 Best Instagram Ads
  10. Wordstream: Our 13 Best Social Media Marketing Tips Ever!
  11. Contently: 7 Things CMOs Need to Know About The New Instagram Ads
  12. Entrepreneur: 4 Ways to Integrate Instagram Ads in Your Marketing
  13. Sprout Social: 4 Instagram Trends Every Marketer Should Know
  14. Yotpo Blog: 5 Visual Storytelling Secrets to Improve Your Marketing Images
  15. Marketing Land: Instagram Advertising: What’s working?
  16. Business2Community: 6 Examples and Best Practices for Creating Instagram Ads
  17. Yotpo Blog: The Best UGC Instagram Campaigns, Picked by Our Head of Design
  18. Yahoo Finance: Why Instagram Thinks Users Love Its Ads
  19. Yotpo Blog: 8 Tips to Get the Most Out of Digital Ads, From Our PPC Expert
  20. Social Media Examiner: How to Retarget with Instagram Ads
Aimee Millwood
Aimee Millwood, Director of Content at Yotpo
Aimee loves hummus and hates misplaced commas.

@aimeemillwood – Follow me

  • Thanks for including my resource in this list Aimee – Means a lot! Definitely in great company here 🙂

    • Aimee

      Of course Ross! We’re big fans of your work here at Yotpo. Keep up the great content.

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