Tips To Help Your Instagram Ads Stand Out

My post on “How to Boost Instagram Posts As an Agency” yielded quite a few logistical questions on surrounding Instagram. There is definitely a learning curve and I don’t believe there is adequate user help articles available through the Facebook platform to help you through it.

Here are some helpful tips that I have picked up along the way that I hope help you as well.

Facebook Ads Manager or the Instagram App?

Unless you’re boosting posts with the goal of traffic or profile visits, use Facebook Ads manager for your ads. Here is the short list of campaign targeting methods you can use on Instagram via Facebook Ads manager. This is helpful to keep in mind since it’s a much shorter list than what you can use for Facebook Ads and I sometimes forget which objectives are available for each channel.

  • Brand awareness
  • Reach
  • Traffic (to your website or to the app store)
  • App installs
  • Engagement (for post engagement only)
  • Video views
  • Conversions

Text on Images

Most likely, one of your ads or boosted posts has been dinged in the past for too much image in the text. I’ve even had one flagged for text in the image itself (someone was holding a sign with 3 words on it). To know ahead of time if your image contains too much text, run it through the Image Text Check tool in the Creative Hub.

Get New Ideas

When I’m stuck in a rut for ad ideas, the Creative Hub is the place I go.  You can look through ad types for inspiration in the “Get Inspired Section.” 

You can also play around with ad ideas in the “Manage Mockups” section.  While you can also do the same thing in an ad set in Ads Manager, I find this much easier because I personally dislike the drafts concept in the interface. I’d rather save my draft here and import it later if I still want to use it. This section is also helpful to send concepts to the client and save them in case you need to make a revision or launch later.

Use (More) Hashtags

The right (or wrong) hashtags in your ads can make or break your Instagram ad or boosted post. This year brought the ability for Instagram users to follow and not follow certain hashtags, so using the right branded hashtag is key. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using hashtags:

  • You can use up to 30 hashtags in a post or ad, with 9 being ideal
  • Vary hashtag character length, with between 21-24 characters performing best
  • Be respectful of Instagram Brand Guidelines and do not use any part of their brand in conjunction with your brand or product or your ad will be disapproved. Examples: #cakesoninstagram, #instacakes, #cakeagram
  • Avoid generic or spammy hashtags
  • Vary your hashtags to broaden your reach
  • You can always reply to comments with additional hashtags

Try a Mixture of Ad Types

While Instagram is well known for its stunning images, video ads might perform better for you. A new video ad for one client that I recently tested has been generating CPLs at half the cost of the control ad. If you don’t have videos, try carousel ads.

Breakout Regions

If you’re targeting different countries or areas in the same campaign, consider breaking them out to test creative performance differently.  Think about how someone on the East Coast of the US might respond to different messaging and images than someone in the Mid-West or on the West Coast. I recently broke out ads for Australia from the US since I was seeing the same video ad yield double the CPLs on Instagram in Australia.

Contact Support

When you’re confused, frustrated or need help in any way, contact support. It’s much easier (most of the time) than hunting around online for answers you may or may not find.  Visit I personally use the chat option at the bottom the most. It’s not always fast, but I’ve gotten the answers I needed.

If you’re new to Instagram Ads, then you’ll also find this guide helpful.

What other tips do you have to help you navigate the world of Instagram Ads?  Comment below to share!