How do you get an ad on instagram

A 5-Step Guide to Using Instagram Ads

If you have a budget allocated for paid social, you should strongly consider running Instagram ads. Why?

27% of users say they find new products and brands through paid social ads, and Instagram ads can reach over 1.2 billion people, or 20% of the world’s population over age 13.

In this article, we’ll give you a comprehensive overview about how to advertise on Instagram, including an easy 5-step guide to create your first ad in just a few taps.

What are Instagram ads?

How much do Instagram ads cost?

Types of Instagram ads

How to choose the best Instagram ad type

How to advertise on Instagram

Best practices for Instagram ads

Bonus: Download a free pack of 8 eye-catching Instagram ad templates created by Hootsuite’s professional graphic designers. Start stopping thumbs and selling more today.

What are Instagram ads?

Instagram ads are posts for which businesses can pay to serve to Instagram users.

Source: Instagram (@oakodenmark, @elementor)

Similar to Facebook, Instagram ads appear throughout the app, including in users’ feeds, Stories, Explore, and more. They look similar to normal posts but always contain a “sponsored” label to indicate that they are an ad. They also often have more features than a normal post, such as links, CTA buttons, and product catalogs.

How much do Instagram ads cost?

The cost of Instagram ads is highly dependent on a variety of factors – there is no average or benchmark price. Some cost factors include:

  • Your targeting
  • Competitiveness of your industry
  • Time of year (costs often go up during holiday shopping periods in Q4 such as Black Friday)
  • Placement (costs can differ between ads shown on Facebook vs Instagram)

The best way to evaluate your budget is to set up a draft campaign in Ads Manager and look for the Audience Definition and Estimated Daily Results modules, which will tell you if your budget settings will be sufficient to reach your desired audience within your desired duration.

Note that there is no “best practice” for how much to spend. You can get started by spending just a few dollars a day, and scale up from there based on success.

In order to control the costs of your Instagram ads, you can set either daily budgets or lifetime spending limits. We’ll explain this in more detail in our 5-step guide below.

Types of Instagram ads

There are many different types of advertising formats on Instagram, including:

  • Image ads
  • Stories ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Collection ads
  • Explore ads
  • IGTV ads
  • Shopping ads
  • Reels ads

The wide range means that you can choose the best ad type that matches your specific business goal. Each ad format has its own selection of call-to-action options, which are listed below.

Image ads

Image ads allow businesses to use single images to advertise their brand, products and services.

Source: Instagram (@veloretti)

Image ads are best suited for campaigns with compelling visual content that can be conveyed in a single image. These images can be created from high-quality photography or design and illustration.

It’s also possible to add text to images. However, Instagram recommends limiting overlaid text as much as possible for best results.

Instagram Stories Ads are full-screen image or video ads that appear between users’ Stories.

Instagram Stories are a well-used part of the app, with over 500 million Instagram users viewing Stories every day. Engagement is often higher with Stories ads, as the format covers the whole mobile screen and feels much more immersive than in-feed ads.

The best Instagram Stories ads are ones that look and feel like normal Stories and don’t stand out as ads. When designing Stories ads, businesses can use all organic Instagram Stories features like filters, text, GIFs, and interactive stickers.

Source: Instagram (@organicbasics)

Stories ads can use still photos, videos, and carousels. The call-to-action is presented as a swipe-up link at the bottom of the Story.

Video ads

Similar to image ads, video ads on Instagram allow businesses to give users a closer look at their brand, products, and services.

In-feed video ads can be up to 60 minutes long, but shorter videos are usually more effective. Read more best practices for designing Instagram video ads.

Source: Instagram (@popsocketsnl)

Carousel ads

Carousel ads feature a series of images or videos that users can swipe through. They can appear both in-feed and within Instagram Stories, with a call-to-action button or swipe up link that lead users directly to your website.

You can use carousel ads to:

  • Showcase a collection of related products
  • Tell a multi-part story
  • Share up to 10 images or videos

Source: Instagram (@sneakerdistrict)

Collection ads

Collection ads are a combination between carousel ads and shopping ads. Collection ads showcase products directly from your product catalog.

Collection ads are best suited for ecommerce brands, as they allow users to purchase products directly from the ad. When a user clicks on the ad, they’re directed to an Instagram Instant Experience Storefront where they can learn more about the product and proceed to purchase.

Source: Instagram (@flattered)

Explore ads

Explore ads appear within the Explore tab, an area of the platform where users discover new content and accounts that are tailored based on their Instagram usage habits. More than 50% of Instagram users access Explore every month, so it’s a great place to gain exposure.

Instagram Explore ads do not appear in the Explore grid or the topic channels, but rather are shown after someone clicks on a photo or video from Explore. As the content in users’ Explore tabs is constantly changing, Explore ads allow businesses to be shown alongside culturally relevant and trending content.

Explore ads can be both images and videos.

Pro Tip: No need to design brand new assets for Explore ads. You can simply re-use existing assets.

IGTV ads

IGTV ads are video ads that play after a user clicks to watch an IGTV video from their feed. Videos can be up to 15 seconds long, and should be designed for vertical full screen viewing (more IGTV ad specs).

They are shown midroll (in the middle of the video), potentially with the option to skip.

IGTV ads are currently available to users with Instagram Creator accounts in the US, UK, and Australia, with more countries rolling out soon. Creators can opt in to having ads shown in their IGTV videos, and receive 55% of the advertising revenue generated from each view.

Shopping ads

With 130 million users tapping on shopping posts every month, it’s no wonder Instagram has been heavily improving its ecommerce features over the last 1-2 years. With Instagram’s newest Shopping features, users can now view and purchase products without ever leaving the app (limited to businesses with Instagram Checkout enabled).

Instagram Shopping ads take users directly to a product description page within the Instagram app. They can then purchase through your mobile website.

In order to run Shopping ads, you need to set up your Instagram Shopping catalog.

Pro Tip: Take advantage of Hootsuite’s integration with Shopify to access your catalog right from your Hootsuite dashboard.

Source: Instagram

Reels ads

With the successful launch of Reels, Instagram recently announced the ability to advertise within Reels.

Ads are shown in between Reels, with similar specs to Stories ads (full screen vertical videos), and can be up to 30 seconds. They should include sound or music to be well-integrated with organic Reels.

How to choose the best Instagram ad type

With so many different ad types available, it can be overwhelming to select one to use for your campaign. The good news: Ads Manager is well set up for experimentation, which means you can test multiple formats and see which one performs best before running a full campaign.

To narrow down the formats, use these questions to guide you.

1. What is my goal?

With your social media marketing strategy in mind, identify the most important outcome for your Instagram ads campaign. Do you want to:

  • Drive traffic to your website?
  • Get video views for a new product?
  • Increase brand awareness for a new business?
  • Drive ecommerce purchases, app installs, or email signups?

After clarifying your goal, you can choose some potential formats based on the supported objectives and call-to-action options for each ad type. For example, Stories, IGTV and Reels ads are better for driving video views, while Shopping and Collection ads will be best for driving ecommerce purchases.

Bonus: Download a free pack of 8 eye-catching Instagram ad templates created by Hootsuite’s professional graphic designers. Start stopping thumbs and selling more today.

Download now


Who is my target audience?

Depending on who you wish to target with your Instagram ads, some ad types may be better than others.

Think about your audience’s habits and behaviors. Do they like watching lots of videos? Are they avid online shoppers? Do they spend more time watching Stories and Reels instead of scrolling through their feed?

Choose ad types with objectives and call-to-actions that match your audience’s natural preferences.

3. What has performed best on organic?

Chances are that your organic followers have lots of similarities to the audience you’ll be targeting with your Instagram ads. So, look to your organic feed to see what types of content have performed well, and that can give you a good indication of what paid formats might resonate with your audience.

How to advertise on Instagram

There are two routes for creating Instagram ads campaigns: promoting a post and Ads Manager. Promoting an existing post only takes a few taps and can be done right from the Instagram app, but lacks the customization options available in Ads Manager.

Below, we’ll walk you through both methods.

Source: Instagram

Instagram advertising method 1: Promoting a post in-app

The easiest way to start advertising on Instagram is to promote one of your existing Instagram posts. This is similar to Facebook’s Boost Post option.

If you have a post that’s performing well in terms of engagement, promoting it within the app is a quick and easy method to scale up the post’s success—and show it to new people who aren’t following you yet.

You’ll need to have a business or creator account on Instagram to do this. You’ll also need to have a Facebook Business Page connected to your Instagram account (here’s how to connect your Facebook and Instagram accounts in Facebook Business Manager).

Then, it’s as simple as clicking Promote on the post you wish to turn into an ad.

You’ll be prompted to choose your preferred audience, destination, budget, and duration for your ad to run.

Finally, tap Create Promotion.

That’s it! Your ad will be reviewed and approved by Facebook. Once it goes live, be sure to monitor the results of your ad in the Promotions tab of your Instagram profile.

Instagram advertising method 2: Creating Instagram ads using Facebook Ads Manager (5-step guide)

In order to get the most out of Instagram’s extensive ad targeting, creative, and reporting abilities, you can use Facebook Ads Manager to create ad campaigns (remember that Facebook owns Instagram).

Although it requires a bit more work, our 5-step guide will guide you through the process.

Step 1: Choose your objective

To start, go to Ads Manager and click +Create.

First, you’ll need to choose your campaign objective from the list below.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what each of these objectives aims to achieve.

  • Brand awareness: Increase awareness of your business or products among users who haven’t heard of you yet.
  • Reach: Show your ad to as many people as possible in your target audience.
  • Traffic: Drive clicks to your website, app, or any other URL.
  • App installs: Get users to download your app.
  • Engagement: Increase comments, likes, shares, event responses, and offer claims on your ad.
  • Video views: Get video views from users most likely to watch it.
  • Lead generation: Gather personal info from interested users (i.e. email signups).
  • Messages: Get users to send a message to your brand account.
  • Conversions: Drive sales or sign-up conversions on your website or app.
  • Catalog sales: Promote sales from your online store catalog.
  • Store traffic: Direct users to your brick-and-mortar location.

This video can help identify your objective:

[Instagram Ad Options video]

After selecting your objective, you’ll be prompted to name your campaign. Tip: Give it a specific name based on the campaign objective to help you keep track of your campaigns.

Finally, you’ll have the option to turn on Campaign Budget Optimization. This option allows Facebook’s algorithm to determine how to spend your budget across ad sets. AdEpresso has a full guide about if you should use Campaign Budget Optimization.

Step 2: Choose your budget and schedule

In this step, you’ll choose how much you want to spend and how long your campaign will run.

For your budget, you’ll have two options:

  • Daily budget: Set a maximum daily spend, useful for always-on ads
  • Lifetime budget: Set a maximum spend for your whole campaign, useful for ads with a clear end date

Under Ad Scheduling you can choose to run ads continuously (most common), or only at certain times of day (for example, if you’re a food delivery company and only want to run ads in the evening when your audience is most likely to place delivery orders).

As you adjust these options, you’ll see the Audience Definition and Estimated Daily Results modules in the right-hand column which will give you an idea of expected reach for your chosen budget. Try to choose settings so that your ad set falls in the middle of the green range.

Step 3: Identify your audience

The next step is to define your audience targeting. In this step you can either Create a New Audience or use a Saved Audience.

Saved Audiences are useful if you have your own custom audience data (i.e. past website visitors) or past audiences from previous campaigns that performed well. If not, you can create a new audience based on demographics, interests, and behavioral targeting.

During this step, you can also select Dynamic Creative. If you choose this option, you can upload separate visual assets and headlines, and Facebook will automatically create combinations that are optimized for your target audience.

Step 4: Select your ad placements

In the Placements section, you can decide where your ads will appear.

There are two options:

  • Automatic Placements: Ads will be shown to your audience wherever they’re likely to perform best.
  • Manual Placements: You can choose specifically where your ad will appear (and not appear). If you want to limit your ads to show only on Instagram (not Facebook), you can choose this using Manual Placements.

Here’s where you can select your manual placements:

While previewing placements, Ads Manager will display the technical requirements for each one. To ensure your visual assets are optimized for each format, see our guide to social media image sizes.

Step 5: Create your ads

Now it’s time to create the actual ad. Start by choosing your Facebook Page and corresponding Instagram Account. Then you can select your preferred ad format.

Then, proceed to fill out the rest of the details under Ad Creative:

  1. Choose your pictures or videos (unless you’re using an existing post)
  2. Input your ad copy
  3. Select a payment option
  4. Review your ad
  5. Click Confirm

At this step you will also choose the call-to-action button and enter the URL where you want to send people who click on your ad.

If you want to track conversions from your ad, it’s important to select the Facebook Pixel in the Tracking section. Once connected to your website or app, your Facebook pixel will allow you to see insights about how your audience interacts with your business after clicking on your ad.

When you’re ready, click Confirm to launch your Instagram ad.

Best practices for Instagram ads

Now you have everything you need to know about setting up and launching Instagram ads. The next step is designing effective visual assets for your ads.

Here are some tips for how to design attention-grabbing creative for Instagram ads.

Design mobile-first ads

98.8% of users access social media via a mobile device, so it’s vital to design your creative for mobile viewing, not desktop.

Here are a few tips to design mobile-first ads:

  • When capturing video content, make sure to film in vertical (9×16) as this is easier to crop to 4×5 than from landscape
  • Minimize the amount of text in your ads
  • If you do add text, choose large font sizes that are easy to read on mobile screens
  • Add animations and motion graphics to videos to quickly engage viewers
  • Keep videos short (15 seconds or less)

Keep branding and messaging upfront

The first few seconds of your ad will determine whether a viewer will stop scrolling and watch the whole thing. That’s why it’s important to start your ad with the key message and showcase your branding within the first 3 seconds.

Use sound to delight

40% of users consume social media with sound off. As such, it’s important to design your ads for sound-off consumption, and to use sound to delight users who do have sound on. Here’s how to do that:

  • Use visual elements to tell your story and deliver your key message without sound
  • Add captions for any voiceover or scripted audio
  • Use text overlay to deliver your key message without sound

Pitch, play, plunge

Facebook recommends designing a combination of creative types that work together to grab attention and reward interest:

  • Pitch: Short assets that get the campaign idea across immediately and grab attention
  • Play: Assets that allow light exploration and interactivity for interested audiences
  • Plunge: Immersive assets that allow people to go in-depth into your campaign idea

Looking for more inspiration? Here are 53 examples of amazing Instagram ads.

Get the most out of your Instagram advertising budget with AdEspresso by Hootsuite. Easily create, manage, and optimize all your Instagram ad campaigns in one place. Try it free today.

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Bonus: Get the Instagram advertising cheat sheet for 2022. The free resource includes key audience insights, recommended ad types, and tips for success.

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How to Create Instagram Ads In 2022

I’m sure you’ve heard stories about entrepreneurs running Instagram ads and having massive success. 

And they probably make you think about integrating ads into your own Instagram marketing strategy.

But just how much do Instagram ads cost, and how do you go about setting up an Instagram advertising campaign? These are a few important questions that I aim to answer.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Instagram ads, including how to set up your first ad campaign on this social network.

Post Contents

  • What Are Instagram Ads?
  • Types of Instagram Ads
    • Stories ads
    • Explore ads
    • Collection ads
    • Shopping ads
  • Benefits of Instagram Ads
  • How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost?
  • How to Create Instagram Ads
    • How to run Instagram ads within the app
    • How to create Instagram ads using Facebook Ads Manager
      • 1. Pick an objective
      • 2. Name your campaign 
      • 3. Set your budget and schedule
      • 4. Choose your target audience
      • 5. Select your ad placements
      • 6. Create your first Instagram ad
  • Conclusion
  • Want to Learn More?

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What Are Instagram Ads?

Instagram ads are posts that pop up on a user’s Instagram feed.

The business or person advertising pays to display the content across Instagram, which is often accompanied by a “Sponsored” label. 

Post ads typically appear in the form of a carousel, still image, video, or slideshow.

They can also feature a call-to-action button like “Shop Now” or “Learn More”. This depends on the campaign’s objective, i.e. whether you want to get traffic or conversions.

Types of Instagram Ads

Instagram also has many other ad types. The most interesting ones include:

  • Stories Ads
  • Explore Ads
  • Collection Ads
  • Shopping Ads

Here’s some information about each type:

Stories ads

Instagram Stories Ads appear between people’s Stories in full screen. 

The call-to-action in Stories Ads encourages the audience to “swipe up” from the bottom of the story to shop or learn more. 

Plus, the ads allow you to utilize all capabilities of Instagram Stories, like adding video effects, face filters, and stickers to grab the attention of your audience.

Explore ads

Instagram has an “Explore” section that allows people to discover content linked to their interests.

But Instagram Explore ads don’t appear in that section. Instead, they only display after a user opens an image or video from Explore. 


The best thing about Explore ads is that you can run them alongside post ads by choosing Explore as an additional ad placement (I’ll talk more about ad placements later in the article).

Collection ads

Instagram collection ads enable audiences to view and purchase your products.

When users click on an item within a collection, the platform redirects them to Instant Experience, a type of an ecommerce storefront within Instagram.


These creative Instagram ads typically include a collection of product images or videos.

Shopping ads

Instagram also lets you promote shoppable posts as ads. 

Users who tap on these ads are redirected to a product description page within Instagram. They can then buy the featured item from your mobile shop.

If you have an Instagram Shop for your business, you can create these ads on the fly. (To set one up, check out our post: The Ultimate Guide to Setting Up an Instagram Shop). 

Benefits of Instagram Ads

At its most basic level, running Instagram ads is an effective way to get your products in front of a vast audience. 

In fact, around 500 million people log into Instagram daily, so you have a large consumer base to target. 

Also, Instagram’s engagement is on the rise, meaning you can get a better response rate on Instagram compared to other social media platforms. Businesses using Instagram can generate 4x more interactions on the platform compared to Facebook.

What’s more, 80 percent of Instagrammers report making a buying decision based on something they discovered while using the app. 

This means you have an opportunity to drive sales by putting your business front and center of people’s feeds – courtesy of Instagram ads.

That’s not all.

On Instagram, you’re able to set up advertising using Facebook’s Ads Manager. If you’re already running Facebook ads for your business, the steps to create Instagram paid ads should come easy. As an icing on the cake, Facebook’s superior targeting and budgeting options are available to you. 

How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost?

Honestly, there’s no real answer to the question of how much Instagram ads cost. I, however, know from experience that costs tend to vary between target locations, days of the week, chosen demographics, ad placements, and other factors.

For example, it costs more to deliver Instagram ads to millennials than to adults, as 25 to 34 years old users are one of the most coveted audience groups on social networks. 

Likewise, Instagram ads price increases on weekdays since the platform gets higher levels of engagement during this time.

When it comes to ad placements, running Instagram feed ads costs more than other options. That said, AdEspresso reported that the average CPC for more ad placements is $1.20.

So how much budget should you set aside for Instagram advertising? Think how much a conversion is worth to you and spend $20-$50 at first. Then test everything and double down on the campaigns that work best. Use Instagram Insights to measure your performance and dedicate some extra money to ads that help boost your engagement and sales.

How to Create Instagram Ads

Instagram doesn’t have an ad creation tool of its own, but there are two ways to place ads on Instagram:

  • Promote an existing post within the app
  • Create ads via Facebook Ads Manager

Let’s begin with the easiest way.

How to run Instagram ads within the app

The simplest way to start advertising on Instagram is to promote a post that you’ve already created. 

Choose one that has generated the most engagement and tap “promote” in the lower right corner to run it as an ad. 

You’ll need to set up an Instagram business profile before you’re able to see the promote option. If you’re currently using a personal profile, here’s how to convert it into a professional one.

Previously, Instagram also required that you connect a Facebook Business Page to your Instagram account. 

But a few weeks ago, the company announced that it would allow new advertisers in some countries to create ads without having to link to a Facebook Page. 

So if you’re promoting an Instagram post for the first time, you’ll be able to track and manage campaigns right inside Instagram.

How to create Instagram ads using Facebook Ads Manager

Since Instagram and Facebook are tightly integrated, you can also use Facebook Ads Manager to create ads for Instagram.  

For those unfamiliar with it, Facebook Ads Manager is an incredibly powerful tool that lets you customize and pinpoint audiences. And you can also use it to define a campaign objective and track the performance of your ads.

To access Facebook Ads Manager, you’ll need a Facebook account with access to a Facebook Business Page. 

Plus, you’ll need to link your Instagram account to your Facebook Business Page. Here are the steps:

1) Open your Facebook Business Page.

2) Go to Page Settings > Instagram.

3) Click the blue “Connect Account” button.

4) Add details of your Instagram account.

5) Click “Save”.

Once done, Facebook will let you create and run Instagram ads using Facebook Ads Manager.

Assuming you’re a complete beginner who’s never run Facebook or Instagram ads, here are the steps to create your first Instagram ad campaign.

1. Pick an objective

To start, open your Facebook Ads Manager and click the green “+ Create” button in the Campaigns tab.

Choose between Guided Creation and Quick Creation. If you want step-by-step instructions on how to set up an Instagram ads campaign, choose Guided Creation.

Facebook Ads Manager will then present you with list of objectives across three categories:

Before you choose an objective, give some thought to what you want to achieve with Instagram advertising. Do you want sales? Customer data? Increased brand awareness? Think about your goal and then pick an objective that best matches your desired outcome.

Picking the right objective is crucial, as Facebook uses your selection to determine which ad objectives, bidding types, and ad placements will be suitable for you. 

If you’re running an online store, you will most likely be looking to increase sales. In this case, “Conversions” would be the most suitable objective for your Instagram campaign.

But using Instagram ads for conversions requires you to take an extra step: you have to create and install a Facebook pixel. This is a tiny code that you can place on your website to track conversions and sales. 

If your online store’s site is hosted on Shopify, you just have to copy the pixel code from your Facebook Ads Manager and paste it in the Pixel ID field in Shopify Preferences.

To learn more about the Facebook Pixel and its benefits, read our post: The Facebook Pixel, Explained.

Facebook Ads Manager also lets you decide where you want to send the people who click on your ads.

You can send them to your store’s website, an app, Messenger, or WhatsApp. 

2. Name your campaign 

After choosing your objective, Facebook Ads Manager will let you give a name to your campaign.

While you can use a generic name like “Campaign 1”, it’s best to include certain elements in your campaign name – for example, target location, creative type, etc.

Doing so makes it easy to identify different campaigns as well as measure their performance.

Next, decide whether you want to test campaigns against each other to determine which strategies work best. 

Through an A/B test, Instagram will test different campaign variations and allot the biggest budget to the one that performs best.

3. Set your budget and schedule

This part lets you define how much you want to spend on your ad campaign and for how long.

Here, you can choose between Campaign Budget Optimization and manual set up.

Campaign Budget Optimization is a new feature that identifies the ads that perform better and then allocates your budget to those. It does that while aligning with your spend limits and bid caps for each ad. 

If you’re new to Instagram advertising, I highly recommend using Campaign Budget Optimization as it helps ensure you pay the lowest amount per conversion.

Facebook Ads Manager also lets you choose between a daily and lifetime budget. Here’s what you get with each option:

  • A daily budget makes your ads run continuously throughout the day while spending up to your allotted budget each day. 
  • A lifetime budget allows your ads to run for a specified period while pacing your budget over that timeframe.

If you set a lifetime budget, you can also define a specific schedule for your campaign. 

For example, you can configure your Instagram ads to run only on weekends or when your audience is the most active. 

To get an idea of what days and time are best to advertise on Instagram, check out our infographic: The Best Time to Post on Social Media in 2021.

4. Choose your target audience

Here’s where the fun begins. 

Through audience targeting, you can set up your Instagram Ads to reach certain demographics, interests, and behaviors.

For example, you might be selling a gadget and interested in targeting millennials in Australia. In audience targeting, you can enter “Australia” as the location and enter “gadget” and “technology” as interests under Detailed Targeting.

You also get the option to target Custom Audiences. These typically include people who have visited your website but can also refer to past customers whose information is saved in your contact list. 

With that covered, let’s move onto placements (aka. where you want your ads to display).

5. Select your ad placements

Facebook Ads Manager gives you two options for ad placements:

  • Automatic placements: This feature displays your ads across multiple properties based on where they’re likely to work best.
  • Manual placements: Selecting this option allows you to handpick the properties where you want your ads to appear.

For Instagram ads, choose manual placements and then check the boxes for Instagram-only properties.

6. Create your first Instagram ad

The last step is where you pick a specific ad format, upload a creative and write your ad copy.

The following ad formats are available:

Choose a format that makes the most sense for your Instagram ads campaign. 

Next, upload a relevant creative for your ad and write a text description to go along with it.

On a side note, make sure to pick the right Instagram ad size because the Ads Manager rejects inappropriate sizes for creatives. If you’re looking to run ads on Stories, this is a good time to check out our Instagram Stories dimensions guide. 

Pro tip: Instagram offers a range of apps you can use to enhance your ad creatives. Layout is one good option for combining multiple images into a single photo. For Instagram video ads, check out Hyperlapse for creating time lapse videos while in motion. 

If you choose “Conversions” as the campaign objective, you’ll also get the opportunity to pick from a variety of call-to-action texts. Select the one that’s relevant to your campaign and target audience.

Once you’re satisfied with everything, hit the green “Publish” button to start running Instagram ads for your business.


Okay, that’s all about Instagram ads.

Now you know what Instagram ads are, the benefits they bring, how much they cost, and how to set them up for your business.

Before signing off, I encourage you to do one thing after you create your ads: measure their performance.

No matter how well-structured your campaign, evaluate the ads to check where you could improve and save money.

You might find that one ad creative is driving five times more conversions. Or one specific ad placement is resulting in lower costs. 

The easiest way to measure your ads performance is to use the built-in analytics inside Facebook Ads Manager. 

By tracking and learning from the reports this tool provides, you’ll be able to find the best ad sets to run for a given campaign.

Are you using Instagram ads for your business? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Want to Learn More?

  • What is Self Employment: Everything You Need to Know
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  • 15 Best Instagram Analytics Tools for 2021

A step-by-step guide to launching ads on Instagram for beginners

Meta Platforms Inc. , which owns the social networks Facebook and Instagram, was recognized as an extremist organization by a court decision dated March 21, 2022, and its activities in Russia are prohibited.

Instagram is one of the most popular social networks. As of April 2020, Mediascope estimates its monthly audience in Russia at 61 million people, 28 million of which check the feed daily. This is the fourth most popular social network, users spend an average of 30 minutes a day on it.

72% of users have an average or higher income level, 10.5% work in managerial positions. Instagram ads are the right tool to tell these people about your products and services.

WEB-Index Mediascope about the audience of Instagram

Instagram belongs to Facebook, so you can run ads here in two ways: through the Facebook advertising account and through the Instagram application itself. If you run ads through the Facebook advertising account, then you will have access to all the features of this tool: retargeting pixel, dynamic creatives, detailed statistics. When launched through the application, there are fewer opportunities, but the interface is simpler and it will be faster to launch ads. In this guide, we'll take a look at both tools.


How advertising works on Instagram
Recording Account
We Connect the Business Profile
We execute the Account

We run the advertising through the Instagram
Weem, we post the history
Moving the history of
Creating a campaign and choosing a goal
Setting up an ad group
Making an ad

Subtleties of advertising on Instagram

We will summarize

Read also:

Promotion on Instagram independently

Full guide on how promotion works on Instagram

9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 How advertising on Instagram works

Advertising on Instagram is targeted. This means that you describe the target audience - its interests, geography of residence, demographic characteristics - and the social network looks for such and users and shows ads to them, and not to everyone in a row.

We have a step-by-step guide to working with Instagram for business. Let's recap the key steps you need to take to get your account ready to run ads.

Registering an account

If you plan to launch advertising through your Facebook account, then you may not need an Instagram account - a company page on Facebook is enough. But if you want to communicate with users directly on Instagram and show them more information about the company and products, then register an account for this.

You can create an account through an application on a smartphone or in a browser on a laptop or computer. To do this, you need mail, phone or Facebook account.

Registering an account in the app

If you don’t have the Instagram app on your smartphone yet, download it from the store:

Instagram on Google Play

Instagram on the App Store

to which you want to link your account. Enter the verification code, create a password, and enter your date of birth.

Registering an account in the browser

Open the registration page in the browser. You can log in to the social network with your Facebook account or create a new one. To do this, enter your phone number or email address, create a username and password. On the next screen, enter your date of birth, then the confirmation code that you will receive by mail or SMS.

The easiest way to use Instagram is from a mobile device, so we recommend downloading the app anyway.

Connecting business profile

A business profile is a commercial Instagram account linked to a company's Facebook page. It differs from the usual one in a set of additional features:

  • You can view statistics of publications and stories, detailed information on account subscribers: their geography and demographics, the number of subscriptions and unsubscriptions for the last week.
  • You can add information about the company: opening hours, address, phone number.
  • You can add a button for communication: when you click on it, the user will see your mail or be able to call immediately.

Compare how a regular profile and a business profile look from the side of the account owner:

Regular profile

Business profile

To connect a business profile, go to the profile through the mobile application, this is the right icon in the bottom row → click on burger menu in the upper right corner → "Settings" → "Account" → "Switch to professional account".

Instagram will clarify which category you belong to: "Author" or "Business". The first option is suitable if you are a blogger and develop a personal brand. If you have a company or a store, use the second one.

Specify which category your goods and services belong to, specify contact information. Then link your Facebook account and specify the business page that your Instagram profile will be linked to. If there is none, you can create it here.

Filling the business page will not affect the operation of the advertisement. It is worth paying attention to two points:

  • When creating a page on Facebook, indicate the correct category of your business, Instagram will use it for the business profile.
  • If you run ads through your Facebook account without an Instagram account, the system will use the cover and title of this business page in the feed, so it's better to choose a good avatar and name.

Creating and filling an account

Account name, avatar, name and description

Advertising can also be launched from an empty profile, but if the user becomes interested in the ad and opens a page with nothing on it, he may lose interest and leave. Therefore, we recommend filling in information about yourself - adding an avatar, name and profile description.

Pay attention to the avatar and title - this is what the user will immediately see in the feed of publications and stories. We recommend choosing those that will reflect the essence of your business, while being quite simple. For example:

Choose a suitable name - it will be displayed in the search under the account name. The name can contain up to 30 characters. It is worth adding keywords here: occupation, niche, geography and other characteristics that do not duplicate the account name. For example, “Land Law Lawyer” or “Fast Flower Delivery in St. Petersburg”.

Add a description for the account, it can be up to 150 characters long. Tell us what you do, add information about promotions and special offers, if necessary, indicate the hours of operation or the exact address.

A good description will help develop both the business account and the individual author. The account of the Keep Looking network is displayed one of the first on the request "Beauty salon". And the founder of the Generation Z online school develops a personal brand and tells why it is worth subscribing to.

First publications

If you have a new account, before launching an advertising campaign, place posts on a couple of scrolls with detailed information about goods or services, delivery terms, prices, and benefits. Show the product from different angles, share customer reviews.

These publications are needed to convince the user who went to your profile from advertising to buy your product, sign up for a service or order a service. So pay attention to the images, videos, and text you will be using.

In addition to posts, you can also post several stories at once and add them to Highlights, a feed of saved stories. Stories can be divided into groups, for example: product information, delivery information, reviews. Or a separate group for each category of goods or services.

For most products and services, it's worth keeping in mind that the easier it is for a user to get additional information about your offer, the better the ad is likely to work. The design of the profile in this regard works like a good landing page design - it does not convince by itself, but helps the visitor make a decision in your favor.

If you have a physical product, like Dodo Pizza or Boca furniture studio, tell us about it in the feed. If you have services, share cases, work principles or stories of employees like the Huge agency:

Dodo Pizza posts feed

Boca furniture studio posts feed

Huge agency posts feed

As a result, you have an account with a suitable name, name and description, contacts are filled in, there are first publications and saved stories - it is easy for potential customers to understand what you offer and whether they are interested in it. Great, you are ready to start advertising.

Running ads through the Instagram app

If you have connected a business profile, you can run ads directly from the app on your smartphone. It’s convenient — it’s just a few clicks before the ad starts. On the other hand, there are fewer options available than when working with the Facebook account.

You can only promote posts and stories through the app that you already have in your account. So first post all the content you plan to promote. Please note that you can't promote IGTV posts right now.

Promoting the publication


Open the publication that we will use in advertising and click "Promote". If you are running ads for the first time, the application will tell you more about where you can send traffic: to your profile, to a website, or directly to direct. The first option is suitable if you want to attract new subscribers. The second is if you are promoting the site. The third is if you want to immediately engage the audience in communication, for example, so that they request a catalog.

Ivan's is an online course for students and recent graduates. On his Instagram account, he publishes useful materials on the subject of the course: potential students sign up, get acquainted with free materials, gain confidence and then pay for the course. The account has both native posts with tips and life hacks and commercial posts promoting products.

Ivan connected a business profile and filled in the feed:

On the one hand, advertising on Instagram for Ivan is an account development tool. So when promoting native publications, he specifies the profile as the destination: users see useful content and subscribe to the account. On the other hand, it is a source of traffic to the site. So in commercial publications, he sends customers to a landing page: users see an interesting offer and go to the site.

If you select a website as a destination, the application will pull up the address specified in the profile settings. Here you can also edit the call to action if you are sending traffic to the site. By default, it is "Details", you can choose another one, to do this, click on the small "Edit" link in the "Your site" item.

Select the appropriate text on the button and click Finish. Then - "Next" in the upper right corner on the screen for choosing a destination.


Let's move on to setting up the audience that will see your ad. You can trust the algorithms and select the "Automatic" option, then the social network will look for users who are similar to the account's current subscribers. This is a convenient option if you have an organic and active base that is interested in your products and services - in this case, Instagram understands which users to look for.

If you don't have many followers yet, or if they follow you because of contests and not for your content, it's better to set up the audience yourself. To do this, select "Create your audience". Here you can specify the geography, interests, and demographics of your audience.

Specify the geography of potential customers in the "Locations" section. In the "Regional" tab, you can specify all the cities or countries that you plan to cover. In the "Local" tab, you can specify a specific address and the radius around it, from 1 to 30 kilometers. Convenient if you are looking for clients for a local business, such as a coffee shop or a beauty salon. Or if you have a limited delivery radius.

In the "Interests" section, in free form, enter the interests for which you want to reach users. For example, "travelling", "cars", "raising children". Select the appropriate item, and the system will suggest similar interests.

Specify the age range and gender of the audience. For example, ads can be shown to women between 18 and 35 or men over 30.

Sometimes Ivan publishes entries that are aimed at readers from Moscow, and sometimes at those who live in the regions. When promoting different posts, it uses different geography settings. But interests usually do not change, its subscribers are actively interested in self-development, career, business.

"Places" is a mandatory section, "Interests" is an optional section. The application will tell you how many people match this set of descriptions. If the potential audience is small - usually less than 2500 users - the system will tell you that the potential reach is too narrow. Advertising in this case may be ineffective - few people will see it. To fix this, you can expand the geography and age range, or add additional interests.

Add a name and click "Finish" - the audience will be saved and you can use it for future campaigns.

Budget & Duration

Specify the daily budget for the campaign - from $80 to $20,000 - and the duration in days - from 1 to 30 days. low budget and short duration.

Ivan promotes each post from three to six days. He thinks so: less than three days is too short, the algorithm may not find the right audience. More than six days is a long time, the same people can come across the same post several times. And in the range from three to six, it is optimal: even if the algorithm shows campaigns to the same people, they will constantly see different content.

There are exceptions: if Ivan publishes a very important and viral post, or he announces a new product or event, then he runs the ad longer, up to 14 days. In this case, reach is important to him, and he does not worry about repeat impressions.

The campaign is ready to run. You can click "Promotion Preview" and see how users will see your ad in the feed, in stories, and in the "Interesting" section.

Add a PayPal card or account from which you will pay for advertising. Click "Payment", select a country and enter payment details. If you run ads from Russia, then keep in mind that the system will additionally charge VAT - 20% of advertising costs. That is, if the total campaign budget is 10,000 rubles, then in fact you will pay 12,000 rubles.

Click Create Promotion. The ad will go for moderation.

Promoting a story

Promoting a story works according to the same principle — select one of the published stories, indicate the platform to which we want to lead customers, describe the audience, set the budget and send it for moderation.

You can promote a story that you have posted within the last 24 hours, that is saved in your Instagram Highlights or is archived. Open the story, click on the three dots in the bottom right corner and click Promote.

There are several restrictions when promoting a story:

  • You cannot promote stories with clickable elements: hashtags, polls, user marks.
  • Stories that may violate the rights of others, such as gifs or masks from the Instagram collection, cannot be promoted.
  • You can't promote stories that were published too long ago, the statute of limitations is about two years.

Tracking performance

You can track the results of your ads in the "Promotions" section of your profile page. For each promotion, the application will show the number of impressions, audience parameters, budget expenditure.

We launch advertising through the Facebook account

To launch advertising through the Facebook account, you need to set up a campaign, an ad group and the ad itself. At the same time, in the placement settings of the ad group, you need to specify only Instagram, then ads will not be shown on other sites. Let's go in order.

Read also:

A guide to launching Facebook ads for beginners

Understanding the intricacies of advertising through Facebook


If you haven't run ads on Facebook yet, first create an account. On any social network page, click on the arrow in the top bar and go to the "Facebook Ads" section. On the new page, click "Create an ad" in the top menu and accept the non-discrimination policy. After that, the "Manage ads" item in which your account is located will become available in your menu.

Click "Create" in your advertising account. During the launch of the first advertising campaign, the social network will ask you to specify additional parameters: your country of residence and time zone, the currency in which you will pay for advertising, and details of your PayPal card or account, QIWI wallet, Yandex. The money from which you will pay.

Creating a campaign and choosing a goal

The first step to launch an ad is choosing a goal. There are three categories to choose from: Awareness, Considerations, and Conversions.

Awareness is fine if you just want to talk about a new product. For example, Coca-Cola can announce a new flavor of soda in this way: they don’t so much need the user to go to the site, but so that he remembers the new label and remembers about it in the store.

"Consideration" is suitable if you want the user to become interested in the product and somehow interact with the advertisement: watch the video, go to the site, like it, install the application that you are promoting.

"Conversions" is suitable if you want users to perform a specific action on the site: register for an event, put an item in a cart, leave a request. For ads to work effectively, you will need to set up the transmission of events from your site to your ad account.

The logic of the algorithm depends on the goal you choose — which user it will show ads to. For example, if you select the "Traffic" objective, then the algorithm will show the ad to those users who are more likely to click on a button or link. It works like this: the system will show ads to the first group of users and mark those who take the desired action. And then, according to various parameters, it will look for others who are similar to them in profile and behavior and will also follow the link with a high probability.

Alexey has an online flower shop with a pickup point on Taganskaya. Instagram for him is a way to attract customers to the site, talk about products. Alex uses the "Traffic" objective to get as many clicks to the site as possible. Let's see what other settings he uses for promotion.

Add the name of the campaign. For campaigns, ad groups, and ads, it's best to use names that you can refer to in the future. If all campaigns are called "Advertising", then to find the right one and fix something in it, you will have to make a lot of clicks. Use a clear description in the title, such as "Outreach campaign in Moscow, August" or "Traffic to the site by interests / Regions".

Check whether you will conduct an A/B test as part of the campaign. If yes, then you will be prompted to create different ad groups that may differ in design, placements, and audiences.

Specify how you plan to manage the budget: at the level of the entire campaign or each individual ad group in this campaign. That is, set a general limit for all groups at once, or a separate limit for each group. If you choose to optimize the budget of the entire campaign, then specify the daily or total campaign budget and the bidding strategy you want to use.

If this is your first time setting up ads, click the "Set up ad account" button. Facebook will ask you to enter your country, currency, and time zone. If you have already created advertising campaigns, click "Continue".

Set up the ad group

The next step is to set up the ad group. Ads in the same group will have the same audience and placements. If you want to create ads for a different audience segment, you can create a new ad set within the same campaign. For example, one ad group for school supplies might be for students and another for their parents.

Enter a name for the ad group. Choose where you plan to send traffic: to a website, to an app page, or to a conversation in Messenger or WhatsApp.

You can check "Dynamic creatives" if you have multiple options for images and accompanying text. The advertising system will show users different options and determine the most effective ones.

Specify the parameters of the audience to which you want to show ads: their geo-, demographic characteristics. Click "Edit" next to "Detailed targeting" to specify additional parameters: interests, education level, marital status, devices used, and others. In the block on the right, the system will show what audience size you can potentially reach.

Aleksey knows that his main clients are women from Moscow who are already thinking about home comfort and are interested in gardening and interior design. Alex uses this information to set up audience settings.

In the "Placements" section, select the "Manually select placements" item. In the block that opens, uncheck the "Facebook", "Audience Network" and "Messenger" platforms. You can then choose where on Instagram you want your ads to appear: in the main feed, Explore feed, or Stories.

If you didn't select budget optimization at the campaign level in the previous step, in the Budget & Schedule section, specify a daily or total budget and bid strategy. For some purposes, for example, "Traffic", you can specify a control price - this is your expectation of a price per action: click, install, button click. The final cost may vary, but the system will take into account your expectations when selecting places to display your ad.

Click Continue.

Making an announcement

Enter the name of the announcement. In the "Company identification" block, select on behalf of which page you place ads. If an Instagram account is linked to this page, you can select it in the "Instagram Account" section. If not, then you can promote ads from a Facebook page.

If you have specified an Instagram account, you can select one of the existing publications in it or create a new one. If you create a new post, it will not be reflected in your account - this is convenient if you do not want to show sponsored posts in your profile feed.

You can use the "Carousel" format, which consists of several objects and captions, or "Single image or video".

Upload media objects: pictures and videos. Click "Add Media" and choose from already uploaded media or add new ones. If you plan to advertise in Stories, upload a separate image with an aspect ratio of 9:16 for this purpose.

Add ad text, provide a link, select a call to action to be displayed in the ad. If you chose the Carousel format, then add them for each card.

Please note: if there are two or three cards in the gallery, the user will see all of them when advancing in stories. And if there are more cards, then the user will see the first three, and the "Open story" button will appear in the interface. A person will see the rest of the cards only if he clicks on it. The link is invisible, so some users may not see other creatives.

Aleksey uses a gallery for advertising: this way you can show more plants and some of them will surely interest a potential client. He adds a short description to each image: what kind of plant it is, who will like it, what interior it will suit. For example: “Unpretentious, but spectacular: suitable for owners who are not ready to spend a lot of time on care, but want to please the eye every day. It will fit perfectly into a bright, spacious interior.

If you have an online store on Tilda and a product catalog is connected, you can automatically generate a gallery from it.

Select whether you want to collect information about users who see and interact with ads using the Facebook pixel.

Click Confirm. The ad will be sent for moderation.

Promotion with the help of the Facebook advertising account provides flexible opportunities for experimenting with advertising. We talked about them in a detailed guide to advertising on Facebook, pay attention to:

Pixel. It will help to save information about users who have already seen your ad and interacted with it or performed a certain action on the site.

Catalog. It will be useful if you have an online store and want to promote your products.

Dynamic creatives. The tool will be useful if you have a lot of ideas for advertising design, but you don't know which ones will work best.

The subtleties of advertising on Instagram

Advertising on Instagram must comply with the same rules as on other Facebook sites. Here are a few more recommendations that the social network gives for setting up ads.

Use a separate image format for Stories ads

Don't use the same media for feed and story ads. Prepare a separate version of the creative with a 9:16 aspect ratio and use it for ads in stories. And for the ribbon, leave the standard rectangular or square image. Please note that if you promote the gallery through the Facebook interface, then the images in the feed can only be square.

Do not overuse text on creatives

Facebook has a negative attitude towards images, more than 20% of which are text. This can lead to the fact that ads will scroll more slowly and fewer users will see them. It is better to put the text in the description, and leave the image clean.

Consider the interface

If the image has text at the very bottom or top of the screen, the interface elements will overlap it: the profile icon on the top, the call to action on the bottom. To prevent this from happening, place them at a distance of 14-15% of the height from the top and bottom edges. If you are using an image that is 1600 pixels tall, back off 220-250 pixels.

Don't forget that the user can turn off the sound

If you decide to promote the video, don't forget that the user can view it without sound. If you plan to convey important thoughts with your voice, then duplicate them with subtitles so as not to lose such users.

Check your account statistics

See which of your posts get the most engagement: likes, comments, bookmarks. It is probably worth using such recordings for advertising - they resonate most with your audience.

Promote new products, services, and offers

Instagram promotion is a way to promote an upcoming sale, new product launch, or special offer. Advertising will help convey information about the new product to an audience that may be interested in it.

Don't delay when using video in Stories

A story is only 15 seconds long - don't put off showcasing your product or brand. If you use a long introduction, then some users may simply go to the next publications and not even figure out what you offer them.

Show, don't tell

Show users the product in action: how other people use it, what are the non-standard uses for it, tell how you work on it. Tell a story, not just describe the benefits of a product.

Let's summarize

Advertising on Instagram can be launched in two ways: through the Facebook advertising account and directly in the Instagram application.

Prepare your account for launching ads: add an avatar, description, website link, contacts. Post several posts that will help users get to know your offer better.

Switch your account to a business profile. To do this, you need to link your Instagram profile to a Facebook page. It will take just a few clicks, but additional features will open up: you can view statistics, add information about the company, and run ads through the application.

Only posts and stories that have already been published can be promoted through the app. Choose where you want to send potential customers, describe the audience, set budget settings.

When launching ads through your Facebook account, you will have more options: flexible budget settings, pixel, catalog, dynamic creatives. But the launch will be more difficult.

Author: Slava Ufimtsev

Illustrations, design and layout: Julia Zass

Thank you!

See also:

A complete step-by-step guide to launching Facebook ads for beginners

A complete step-by-step guide to launching ads on VKontakte for beginners

Self-promotion on Instagram

20 online courses on web marketing

Increasing ad conversion: how to increase conversion from advertising traffic

Creating an email newsletter: how to make an email newsletter yourself

How to make an online store yourself from scratch

Instagram business: how to increase sales with your website

How to run Instagram ads: a step-by-step guide

Instagram is not only one of the most popular social networks, but also an effective platform for advertising.

How to get started with targeted ads on Instagram
  1. If you don't have a Facebook page for your business, create one.
  2. If you don't have an official Instagram account, you need to create one and link it to Facebook.
  3. Prepare images or videos to use in your ad.

Sign in to Ads Manager and click Create.

How to properly set up Instagram ads through Facebook

1. Choose a promotion objective

Not all Facebook ad objectives are suitable for promoting on Instagram. Among the proposed options, we recommend the “Conversions” goal. In this case, you will be able to optimize ads for a certain cost per conversion.

2. Set up ads

Go to the "Ad group" tab. Choose where you want the ad to go - it's a website, app, Messenger, or WhatsApp. In the case of messengers, the user will go from the advertisement to the correspondence with your account.

Next, set up the audience.

For users who were on the site

If you already have a Facebook pixel installed on your site and it has collected enough data about visitors, you can use this information to target ads to an existing audience. To do this, press "Create" - "Custom Audience" . You can read more about remarketing on Facebook in the article on Other targetings can be skipped - they will only reduce the already existing "warm" base.

But this audience can be expanded thanks to a smart Facebook algorithm that selects users with similar behavior. To do this, click Lookalike Audience .

For new users

Geotargeting . You can select people who live in the selected location, recently visited it, or travelers:

Find the area itself through the search (regions, settlements) or set using a marker. The range is also configurable. Several places can be marked.

Gender, age, languages ​​ . Everything is clear here. To set up targeting, proceed from your knowledge of the target audience of your business.

Demographics and interests . This group of targetings is called "detailed targeting" on Facebook.

Start entering the estimated interest of your target audience in the field. Facebook will immediately offer hints, and also inform you about the hypothetical size of the audience when hovering over:

If you click on the "Recommendations" button , Facebook will suggest a few related interests that it thinks you can add to your targetings:

If you want to target more precisely, there are two more settings:

  1. “Narrow Audience” - this will add a strict condition (users have all the specified interests at the same time).
  2. "Exclude people" - this is how you remove people with a particular interest from the audience.

    In menu "Connections" you can add people who interacted with your Facebook page, application or invitation to an event:

    Specify placements and budget . Facebook has a large number of placements for placing your ads. In this case, we are interested in Instagram.

    In his case, he will also have to make a choice: show your ads in the social network feed, Stories, on the "Interesting" tab on Instagram, or in several places at once. Stories ads are primarily a visual impact tool. If you need to use a lot of text, opt for the Ribbon.

Below you can select the type of mobile devices on which ads will be shown. As a rule, this is useful for mobile app sellers on Android or iOS.

Set the budget (daily or for the entire duration of the campaign), as well as the start and end of the campaign, if relevant.

We recommend starting with a small budget, after the test, evaluate the results and make changes.

3. Create ads
  • Go to the "Advertising" section on the left.
  • Specify identification data - how your company will be presented in advertising.
  • Select a format.

Please note that only Single Image or Video and Carousel options are available for Stories (images are displayed one after the other).

Learn more