Are Instagram Ads Working Yet?

Shouldn’t All Paid Advertising Work?

Well, that would be great wouldn’t it! But when Instagram ads first came out and the social media marketing community started testing…the results were poor. The same can be said with Pinterest ads and LinkedIn ads! There’s a chance Facebook got a bit lucky. When they first launched their ad platform it was cheap and it worked! Oh how we miss those days! You could sometimes reach over 10,000 people for under £1! But for other ad platforms things haven’t gone so smoothly, and it’s understandable. These things can take time to work and sometimes jumping on them too quickly can cost you your budget.

Instagram Ads

So how are they doing now?

Instagram as a platform has got a whole lot better for marketing since Facebook took over, and their ad platform is very similar to Facebook advertising. The main difference is the general demographic that are on Instagram and the huge focus on visuals. Your images need to be crisp and in the moment, and your videos need to be HD.

What’s currently working for us and our clients is continuing with organic marketing strategies, and adding Instagram ads on top. When they were first available we tried adding Instagram as a placement to all of our ads on Facebook. So even if a business didn’t have an Instagram page we were running our ads on there for them. But the only significant difference we saw was that it was taking away from the results we were seeing on Facebook. So although we couldn’t say they weren’t working, they certainly weren’t working with this method.

Instagram Ads

What is working?

Currently we would suggest that if you’re just starting out with Instagram ads, use them as a placement on their own. The only way to fully test any variable is to run it in it’s own ad set, the only thing that restricts this is budget. But when it comes to advertising on a separate platform it’s not worth just adding it to an existing ad set and hoping to see results on both platforms.

However with some of our campaigns, including our own SMR Social ads, we’ve managed to successfully ad the Instagram placement to our high performing ad sets with no effect to the Facebook campaign. We’re really excited about that! Our Facebook posts are still reaching the same amount of people and getting high engagement, and now our Instagram account is being seen by more people. We’re just praying they add an option to promote the posts that are already on your Instagram account, so that you don’t lose all the engagement!

Instagram Ads


We still can’t suggest shoutouts enough. We’re currently working on getting a shoutout for every one of out clients. If you find the right influencer, a shoutout can be worth it’s weight in gold!

P.S. We thought we better use more images in this blog post to make it more apt for an Instagram Discussion! Perhaps we should’ve done selfies too?


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