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Growing a Business

10 Types of Instagram Ads (and How to Use Them)

Instagram, with its visually captivating platform and engaged user base, offers brands a unique opportunity to showcase their products and services to a global audience.

Owned by Meta since 2012, as you can imagine, there’s a great deal of crossover between Instagram and Facebook advertising. So, to simplify things, we'll go through the pros of each ad format available via Instagram advertising with some quick-fire tips on how best to use them to drive sales and traffic to your ecommerce store.


What is Instagram advertising?

Typically what is meant when referring to Instagram advertising, is the act of paying Meta to boost and promote sponsored content to relevant audiences on your behalf to drive traffic, brand awareness, and ultimately, sales for your brand.

By using Instagram advertising, you can reach a wider audience than you might by organic posts alone, and ultimately grow your brand more quickly.


Why should I advertise my small business on Instagram?

Instagram is the perfect place to visually showcase your brand and connect with your audience, and as such, it's an ideal tool for business growth. Advertising through Instagram allows for more precise audience targeting, particularly based on interests and aesthetics, as well as age range and more to ensure your products are being seen by the right demographics.

Not only that, but Instagram also offers are range of different formats with which to advertise your brand, which we'll be going into below. It's also a super user-friendly platform, with easy-to-use shopping features that can be integrated into your advertising strategy.


10 Different types of Instagram ads

With all this in mind, let's get into the various Instagram ad formats you can experiment with, and how they might best benefit your brand and advertising goals.


1. Image ads



Best for: Brand awareness, showcasing products, driving traffic to your website.
Tips: Use high-quality images that resonate with your audience. Craft a captivating caption and include a clear call-to-action (CTA).


2. Video ads


Best For: Storytelling, product demonstrations, engaging your audience with dynamic content.
Tips: Grab viewers' attention in the first few seconds, and ensure your video is mobile-friendly. Use captions if necessary for viewers who watch without sound.


3. Carousel ads


Best for: Showcasing multiple products or features, telling a story, or guiding users through a step-by-step process.
Tips: Make sure each slide in the carousel contributes to the overall narrative, or displays a cohesive selection of products or services. Use the 'Learn More' or 'Shop Now' CTA effectively to drive more clicks.


4. Slideshow ads



Best for: Motion-based storytelling without the time & resources needed for video production.
Tips: Keep slides short and engaging, and use transitions to create a seamless flow. Ensure the story is clear even without sound.


5. Story ads


Best for: Real-time promotions, product launches, and reaching a younger, mobile-centric audience.
Tips: Design vertical content that fits the Stories format. Condense information succinctly alongside strong visuals, either static, animated, or through video content. Use interactive elements like polls and links to engage and guide users.


6. Explore Page ads


Best For: Expanding your brand's reach to users interested in new but relevant topics or content.
Tips: Create eye-catching visuals for ad content that stands out amongst users' relevant interests without obviously seeming like an advert, aesthetically blending seamlessly with user exploration.


7. IGTV ads


Best For: Promoting long-form videos, tutorials, and in-depth storytelling.
Tips: Ensure your video content is engaging from the start, and use this format for content that provides value over a longer duration.


8. Shopping ads


Best For: Ecommerce businesses looking to showcase and sell specific products in-app.
Tips: Connect your product catalogue, add clear product descriptions, use 'Shop Now' buttons, and optimise product information and descriptions to drive sales through Instagram Shopping.


9. Collection ads


Best For: Showcasing a range of products and driving traffic to your ecommerce store.
Tips: Use high-quality visuals and ensure product images are well-organised and appealing. Include video content where relevant to diversify content and capture attention.


10. Branded Content ads

Best For: Leveraging the credibility and reach of influencers to promote your brand or products.
Tips: Collaborate with influencers whose audience aligns with your target market for best results, and experiment with both static and video content to compare reach and engagement. Be sure to disclose the partnership transparently to avoid breaching advertising laws.


Get started with Instagram advertising

Each Instagram ad format offers a unique opportunity to connect with your audience in distinctive ways. Choose the formats that best suit your campaign objectives and content, and remember to align your creative elements and calls-to-action for maximum impact.

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