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The Ultimate Guide for Facebook and Instagram Advertising

Facebook and Instagram ads are one of the key tools to include in your social media advertising strategy, with a potential audience of more than 928 million people on Instagram and 2.7 billion on Facebook, these tools can get great results for your business. In order for Facebook Instagram ads to be effective, you need to take into account a few factors:

  • Ensuring effective audience targeting,
  • The best type of ad for your audience
  • The costs associated with the ad

In this ultimate guide, we will be unpacking the answers to these questions and cover everything you need to know about Facebook and Instagram advertising.

What is Facebook Advertising & Instagram Advertising?

Facebook and Instagram advertising has helped businesses big and small to reach their customers wherever they may be around the world. Brands have become aware of the power of social media advertising and seen the need to have an integrated digital marketing strategy that has a focus on social media advertising.

Facebook and Instagram advertising is a method of paying to post sponsored content on the Facebook or Instagram platforms to reach a larger and more targeted audience. While there are many reasons a business or an individual may decide to advertise, advertising on these platforms is often utilized to grow brand exposure, website traffic, generate new leads, and move current leads down the funnel (and hopefully towards converting).

According to Instagram, 60% of people say they discover new products on the platform, and 75% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post. With a potential advertising reach of 849.4M users, not taking advantage of this platform is a missed investment opportunity.

Let’s have a look at some identifiers in these two powerful platforms below.

Facebook and Instagram advertising guide

Facebook & Instagram Userbases

Facebook to date has 2.7 billion users, while Instagram has about 855 million users worldwide.

Common marketing objectives between Facebook & Instagram

As Instagram is owned by Facebook, the marketing objectives normally overlap when setting up the ads for these platforms. When we talk about objectives we’re referring to terms such as brand awareness, conversions, lead generation, page likes/ followers etc.

Ads management for Facebook & Instagram

Both Instagram and Facebook ads can be managed through Facebook business ads manager, making it easy for you to manage your campaigns and pull reports from one platform. However, there is also the option to set up the ads natively within each platform, especially if you are not particularly comfortable with the Facebook Business Manager interface.

Targeting demographics using Facebook & Instagram

The demographics of these platforms differ in a few manners. Facebook’s demographic is very broad, giving you the likelihood of finding various segments of your target audience on the platform, whereas Instagram’s demographic leans more towards the younger profiles and can be limiting if your audience is of an older demographic.

Demographics on Instagram and Facebook

Types of Facebook and Instagram advertisements

Facebook and Instagram offer a variety of advertising options, all of which have specified advertising objectives for brands to choose from. Whether you are trying to increase your brand awareness, increase website traffic, or generate leads, there is a Facebook or Instagram ad to meet your desired objective.

In this chapter, we will be discussing the types of Facebook and Instagram ads available to advertisers today. Some of these ads are the same for both platforms and some differ. We will go through Facebook ads first and highlight those that may differ from Instagram ads, and then we will list the types of Instagram ads shortly after.

Let’s jump straight into it.

Types of Facebook Ads

Facebook offers various ad formats to choose from in order for brands to deliver their message effectively. Whether you want to grow your page followers or showcase the type of work you do, or get your audience to make a purchase, with Facebook ads, there is an ad format to suit your business needs. Let’s explore them below.

Photo Ads

Photo ads are probably the most common ad format on Facebook, simply because they are easy to put together and they work for pretty much any business objective a brand might have. Photo ads give you a clean simple format to use with inspiring imagery and engaging copy. Photo ads can be a very effective tool if you are trying to drive people to your site, drive awareness of a particular product, or if you want to create an ad in minutes because it’s that easy to set up!

photo ad example facebook advertise on radio in chicago

Video Ads

Facebook video ads are made up of video content that can be created with photos you already have, and an existing or new video that you shot, or even free stock images. When creating your video ad, ensure that you use captivating imagery or footage accompanied with great sound, to grab the attention of the viewer and entice them to watch the entire ad without scrolling past it. Video ads can be placed in the Facebook Feed, Facebook In-stream, and Facebook Stories.

facebook video ad example - empire radio advertising in chicago

Dynamic Product Ads

Used to automatically promote your products to people who have expressed interest by clicking and visiting your website. In terms of visual display, dynamic ads look exactly like image ads, but they differ in that images that are shown to the viewer are based on actions that they took while they were on your website also known as retargeting.

Ever notice how you might visit a website looking for a particular product and then a few hours later you are scrolling through your social media feed and suddenly you see ads about similar products as the one you were just looking for? If you’ve never taken note of this, keep an on it next time you’re surfing the net.

dynamic product ad on facebook about designer shoes

Lead Form Ads

Lead form ads are used to identify and capture information of potential customers for your business. This information can then later be used to communicate your products and services, understand the customer’s needs and behaviours via online surveys, get people to enrol in your programs, get users to subscribe to newsletters and so on.

Lead ads appear in Facebook News Feed, Facebook Stories, Instant Articles, In-Stream Videos, Marketplace, Instagram Feed, and Instagram Stories.

lead ad example to enquire with EMPIRE about radio advertising in chicago

Slideshow Ads

Unlike video ads, Slideshow ads are quicker to create and they are used to tell a story that develops overtime. Slideshow ads can be created using stock imagery which is available to choose in the ad creation process, or existing video that you may already have. Slideshow ads use five times less data than videos, which is great for brands who may have a lower income target audience that might not necessarily have ample data to watch rich media content on their cellphones.

Slideshow ads are great for businesses that might have products that require a demonstration of how to use said product, or for businesses that have more than one benefit, slideshow ads allow you to highlight those benefits.

slideshow facebook ad example - empire radio advertising in chicago

Types of Instagram Ads

Unlike video ads, Slideshow ads are quicker to create and they are used to tell a story that develops overtime. Slideshow ads can be created using stock imagery which is available to choose in the ad creation process, or existing video that you may already have. Slideshow ads use five times less data than videos, which is great for brands who may have a lower income target audience that might not necessarily have ample data to watch rich media content on their cellphones.  

Slideshow ads are great for businesses that might have products that require a demonstration of how to use said product, or for businesses that have more than one benefit, slideshow ads allow you to highlight those benefits.

Achieving objectives using Instagram Ads

When creating an Instagram or Facebook ads, you need to set certain objectives for the ad campaign, based on your advertising strategy and the outcomes you would like to see coming from the campaign. By placing ads on Instagram, you can meet an array of objectives such as these listed below:

App installs

  • Brand awareness
  • Catalogue sales
  • Conversions
  • Engagement
  • Website and store traffic
  • Lead generation
  • Messages (via Facebook Messenger, Instagram
  • Direct Messages or Whatsapp)
  • Reach
  • Store traffic
  • Conversion
  • Video views
  • Product catalogue sales

Instagram Stories Ad

These are full-screen ads that appear between users’ Stories. With 500 million Instagram users viewing Stories every day, you have the potential to reach a massive audience with Instagram Story ads. Stories ads are particularly effective at helping you reach new people who don’t already follow you. Stories Ads are full screen, vertical, and display up to 15 seconds for videos and up to 5 seconds for single images each time they’re served.

The objectives that you set for stories ads are supported by the various call to action buttons available which present themselves in the form of a swipe-up feature at the bottom of the Story. Unlike the organic Instagram Stories that only last for 24 hours, these ads are not limited in life span; so based on your budget you can run the same ad for a day, or a week or even a month.

advertise on radio in chicago - Instagram story

Photo ads

Photo ads live on your brand’s Instagram feed and allow brands to showcase products and services through compelling images in either landscape or square format. Photo ads allow you to use one image in the ad with a caption which may include up to 300 characters but note that characters after the third line will be truncated into an ellipsis (“…”). Facebook recommends using 125 characters.

The size for photo ads on Instagram and Facebook can be unique, but to optimize ad media that works consistently across both platforms you should stick to a 1:1 aspect ratio and a size of 1080 x 1080 pixels.

The call-to-action (CTA) button of a photo ad is unlike that of a story ad.

In a photo ad, the CTA is a clickable button at the bottom of the image. As an advertiser, you can choose from an array of CTA buttons such as “Shop now, Send Message, Learn More, Install, Listen Now, Call now” and many more.

instagram photo ads example advertise on radio in chicago

Video ads

Video ads bring life to your Instagram feed, and they capture the attention of a viewer if shot really well and have great music accompanying it. Instagram video ads can be up to one minute long, so they give you a chance to give users a closer look at your brand, your business, or your products.

The CTA buttons are just as extensive as those of a photo ad, allowing you the freedom to send your viewers wherever you want them to go; whether that is to your website or your Instagram page or the app store.

instagram video ad example - empire's advertise on radio in chicago

Carousel ads

Carousel ads are where the magic of “swipe left for more” began. Carousel ads allow you to showcase more images or videos in one ad, so you can tell a better story than the single image ad.

This ad type is great for very visual brands, like those in the food industry, furniture sellers, fashion brands, vacation destinations, car dealerships, designers, artists, and more. The carousel format allows you to choose from up to 10 images within a single ad, each with its own link.

instagram carousel ad example - advertise on radio in chicago with empire

Collection ads

Instagram Collection ads offer a compelling e-commerce feature: Users have the option to purchase products directly from the ad. When users click on the ad, they’re directed to an Instagram Instant Experience Storefront. You can use collection ads to visually inspire and help your audience discover, browse, and purchase products. Tell an integrated story with a product or lifestyle focus, through video, images, or both.

instagram collection ad

Explore ads

Reach people in a ‘discovery mindset’, by extending your feed ads to audiences who are looking to expand their interests beyond the accounts they follow.

‘Explore’ is a section that exists on Instagram and Facebook where users discover new content and interact with new accounts.

More than half of Instagram users access Explore every month. These ads are served when someone clicks on a photo or video from the explore feed.

advertise on radio in chicago - Instagram story

Instagram Shopping ads

Businesses can reach audiences at scale by boosting existing shopping posts in Ads Manager, driving to an owned website. If you have an Instagram shopping account you can run shoppable posts as Instagram ads.


Instagram Reels

Reels are a brand new feature to Instagram and very similar to the popular TikTok where users record 15 second video clips set to music on Instagram. These reelz can be shared on the users stories, explore feeds, and the new reelz tab found on a users profile.


Is Facebook and Instagram advertising effective?

Besides being one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, there are other great reasons as to why you should take advantage of this great tool for your advertising objectives.

At EMPIRE we’ve found that crafting the right campaign to market your product, services or brand, can yield great results. You can find out more and get assistance right now by visiting our social media advertising page. 

In our findings, Instagram ads proved to have one of the highest spending averages from users; Instagram users spend the avg. of $65 per referred sale. In comparison, Facebook users only spend $55, and Twitter users $46.26.

average order value for users targeted by social media ads

Instagram ads can result in a great ROI for your businesses depending on the ad media, the campaign objectives, and the target audience. Let us have a look at some metrics to keep in mind when analysing your social media campaigns.

How to measure the effectiveness of Facebook and Instagram ads:

With any advertising campaign that you run, you need to set Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to be able to analyse the effectiveness of the campaign. By setting these KPI’s you are able to revisit your strategy and readjust the campaign to meet any objectives that are not being fulfilled. This list of KPIs can be very extensive depending on what your business and campaign objectives are. Let us take a look at a few which we believe are important to track when analysing the effectiveness of your campaign.

1. Engagement

The total number of actions that people take involving your ads which indicates that your ads are relevant to your target audience, which helps your ads perform better.

2. Reach

This is an estimated metric which looks at the number of people who saw your ads at least once. Reach is different from impressions, which may include multiple views of your ads by the same people.

3. Impressions

Impressions measure how often your ads were served on a screen for your target audience.

4. Click-through rate (CTR)

CTR indicates how many link clicks you’ve received on your ad compared to how many impressions your ad received. It is a common metric used by online advertisers to understand how ads drive traffic to websites and other destinations. The metric is calculated as link clicks divided by impressions.

5. Cost per click

CPC has now been changed to only account for what Facebook calls “link clicks” — i.e., the clicks related to certain ad objectives:

  • Clicks to visit another website
  • Call-to-action clicks that go to another website (i.e., “Shop Now”)
  • Clicks to install an app
  • Clicks to Facebook canvas apps
  • Clicks to view a video on another website

6. Cost per message

The metric is calculated as the total amount spent, divided by messaging replies. The metric includes all messaging replies people sent to your business from messaging apps and services, attributed to your ads.

Facebook ads have been proven to be very effective for many brands around the world. Most businesses prioritize setting up a Facebook page and website when starting up, purely because Facebook is the most widely used social media platform and has a broad user base which almost guarantees that you will find your target audience on the network too.

Its advanced yet user-friendly advertising platform makes it easy for brands to take charge of their advertising budget and to get more involved in the particular business aspect.

is advertising effective graphs on tablet

Benefits of Instagram & Facebook advertising

Social media advertising can have its various benefits and limitations and as a business, you need to be aware of both these factors before you decide on whether a particular social media platform is right for your business, especially if you will be spending money on it. Let us go through some of the benefits and limitations of Instagram and Facebook advertising.

fun infographic about social media sharing and communication

Extensive Targeting

With access to Facebook’s extensive targeting options and tools, placing adverts on Facebook and Instagram can form part of a marketing strategy that’s effective and easy to implement.

Unique Ad Formats

Social media advertising isn’t just photos in a timeline anymore. Brands looking to maximize their visual content can take full advantage of Instagram and Facebook ad formats which include photos, videos, stories, and carousels. Instagram video ads also result in a higher engagement which is great for brands that thrive on showcasing their products or services through this medium.

Eye Catching

Instagram is one of the most visual social media platforms people spend their time on. If you’re producing photo and video content, Instagram advertising is a great path to get higher reach on that content.

The majority of Instagram content uploaded by users is recorded and shot on their phone, meaning brands don’t need high creative budgets or super technical content to relate with their consumers.

Varied Gender mixes for Facebook and Instagram

Gender distribution between Facebook and Instagram varies, which allows you to target your desired audience based on the platform that they are on the most.

For Facebook users, you can expect a mix of 56% male users and 44% female users and Instagram users tend to be comprised of 51% female and 49% male audience.

Instagram offers a better-balanced mix of genders to allow you to target effectively and create content that will appeal to a wider target audience if this is your desire, however as mentioned previously the age bracket of Instagram is more skewed to the younger audience, so keep this in mind when setting up your campaigns, it would be worthwhile to use a combination of both platforms and set your targeting to the different age groups on the platforms.

Great Reach

Instagram’s potential advertising reach is 849.3 million users.
That’s 14% of adults aged 13 and over. This represents a 5.9% quarter-on-quarter increase in advertising reach in Q3 2019.

With Facebook having such a huge user base, with a mixture of users, the potential for organic reach may be limited as more and more content is being generated on Facebook, and that means it may be harder to get your content in front of the people you care about most. This is where advertising can help your business greatly, by putting money behind your content you can target and reach those people successfully, and more the buck the better the reach.

Assist your SEO efforts (in the short term)

Facebook and Instagram ads can be used to drive traffic to your website, which can assist your SEO in the short term.

Provides social signals, increases shares, awareness and drives audiences to learn more about your brand/products.

Organic SEO efforts will still need to continue to ensure your website’s longevity and competitive edge within your market space.


Limitations of Instagram & Facebook Advertising

Irrelevant ads

Some ads that are shown are not targeted at all and can leave your audience frustrated with the perceived intrusion. It’s difficult to catch people’s attention because most of the time people are so busy on Facebook that they often don’t pay any attention to the ads.

Instagram has a Limited audience

Yes, Instagram has nearly 1 billion users, but those users may not be your target audience. According to Business Insider:

Over 90% of the 150 million people on Instagram are under the age of 35, which makes it an attractive platform for many apparels, entertainment, and media brands focused on the 18- to 34-year-old age bracket. Now that Instagram has begun testing ads, it’s a good time to dig deeper into its audience.


How to choose the right content & ad

When choosing the right content and ad format, you need to ensure that you answer one big question:

What is my goal?
Have a look at your social media marketing strategy and the main objectives that were identified in the strategy. Then have a look at the different ad types that meet those objectives, as well as the type of content that will help support your ad format in achieving your goals.

What are “content types”?

Lifestyle posts

People want to know the person behind the brand. Write out a client persona to help determine what your ideal client’s hobbies and interests are. If you share similar interests, talk about how you personally fit these into your daily schedule and give your audience a chance to know you on a personal level.

Promotional posts

This type of content is two-fold; you can directly promote your brand by giving your audience a particular call to action, and you can promote your brand by showing your expertise in the particular space you are in, thus creating the trust factor that will result in action from your audience.

Viral content

Online content that achieves a high level of awareness due to shares and exposure on social media networks, news websites, aggregators, email newsletters and search engines.

Video content

Video can be fun and engaging, not to mention that the use of videos on your feed helps increase your account’s visibility. You have one whole minute to reel in your audience with your video, so make every second count.

Feature posts

Tagging other users in your content not only increases your overall account visibility, especially if the tagged account reshares your post, but your possibility of gaining a new follower is also increased.


Testimonials add to brand credibility. If you’ve already begun working with clients or selling your products, ask for testimonials and share them on Instagram.

Behind the scenes

People like to see how the magic all comes together. Showing some behind the scenes clips can increase your account visibility, and making use of industry hashtags increases the reach of your content.

Open-ended questions

To increase your level of engagement, add an open-ended question into your caption. Sometimes your audience truly wants to engage with your posts, but they can’t find a simple way to respond to it.


A sure way to get people to pay attention! Everybody likes getting things for free, Giveaways are a great way to increase engagement and grow your audience, but you have to be smart about what you offer.

Brand story

People are more likely to buy into a brand that they feel like they can identify with, or that they feel connected to. By telling your brand story, where you started, what your goals are, your values, and why you decided to go into a particular industry, gives the audience an idea of what you are all about.

When drawing up your monthly Instagram content calendar, you may find that you end up using most, if not all of these content types. However, when it comes to choosing the right type of content to advertise, you will have to make sure that it lines up with the objective of the ad itself.

For example, you wouldn’t necessarily promote a “behind-the-scenes” post when your objective is to get people to comment or tag a couple of friends to stand a chance of winning a prize, instead, you would create an enticing giveaway post featuring the prize and its worth.


How to create Facebook and Instagram ads

Now that you have all the background information around Facebook and Instagram advertising, it’s time to dive into the fun part and explore your creative side and set up your very first ad in Facebook ads manager.

1. Set up a Facebook business account. Before getting started with Facebook ads manager, you need to have a Facebook Business Account set up.

2. Once you have created your business account, your Facebook ads manager will automatically be created. Log into Facebook Ads Manager, and select the campaigns tab, then click create to start setting up your ad.

Going to campaigns facebook ads

3. Set the marketing objective
This involves choosing your campaign goal. The goals are set out as either awareness, considerations, and conversion. Within these headings, you can target brand awareness, brand reach, traffic, engagement, app installs, video views, and lead generation, to mention a few. Let’s use the example of Brand Awareness for this post.Once you have selected your objective, you will be prompted to name your campaign.

Setting a market objective facebook ads

4. Configure your target audience
With the objective set, the right audience needs to be sought and targeted. You can layer your targeting options such that you have a precise audience. This is based on location, age, gender, language demographics, interests, behaviours, connections, custom audience, lookalike audience.

Naming your facebook ad campaign

5. Choosing placements
This allows you to choose whether you want to have your ads placed on Instagram only or both Instagram and Facebook. You can also choose if you would like the ad to appear in the feed or stories or messenger etc.

Choosing placements

6. Setting a budget, and schedule
Depending on how much you would like to spend and how often you would like the ad to run, you have the option of finding a balance between the two. You then are able to not overspend on the ads and you can also maximally have time with your audience via the running ad.You can choose between a daily or lifetime budget. You could also run an ad schedule that focuses on certain times of the week or day when your audience is most active. This definitely helps you maximize your budget.

setting a budget and schedule facebook ads
setting a budget and schedule facebook ads

7. Finally creating the ad
This part of the step may look different depending on the campaign objective, but you have a few ad format options to choose from:- image feed ads, image story ads, video feed ads, video story ads, carousel feed ads, and canvas story ads.

7.1 Select your preferred Ad Format

Selecting preferred ad format facebook ads

7.2 Select your Media, this can be a photo, video or slideshow

Selecting media facebook ads

7.3 Set up your text and links. Your primary text will be what is commonly known as status or caption. You will see a preview of what your ad will look like on all the placements that you selected on the right.

Setting up text and links

7.4 Finally set up your languages and tracking, review your ad and once you are happy with it click confirm. Your ad will then go for review by Facebook and you will be notified once it is approved.

Facebook ads manager ad delivery status

The Cost of Instagram & Facebook Advertising

As with any advert, there are costs involved. The same applies to Instagram ads, and with each social media ad type, there are various factors to keep in mind when setting up an ad budget.

It is also important to note that there are many elements determining your Instagram ads’ cost. For example, there’s a difference in Instagram Cost Per Click (CPC) prices for various age groups.

The highest CPC age groups are 18-24, 25-34, and 35-44-year-olds – the most valuable age groups when it comes to Instagram marketing.

Let’s go through the factors that will impact your advertising budget:

  1. Your ad campaign’s bid size and strategy
    As the saying goes, “the more you put in, the more you get out”. This is particularly true for Instagram ads and Facebook ads. The more money you spend the more people your ad will reach, over a longer period of time if you so choose to run the ad over a longer period of time.Bid strategy types that you can take advantage of are:

    • Lowest cost (auto bid)
      This particular strategy lets Facebook manage the bidding for you. The benefit of this approach is that you reach all lowest cost opportunities while spending your budget.
    • Bid cap
      This strategy is great for when you want to set a maximum bid across auctions to control cost and reach as many users as possible at that bid.
    • Cost cap (50% availability)
      Used when you want to maximise cost-efficiency and when you need to keep cost within a specific threshold.
    • Target cost
      When you want to maintain a consistent cost and get the most conversions possible at the target cost.
    • Highest value
      Great for when you want to get the highest return on ad spend (ROAS), and want to spend the full budget but you’re unsure of minimum ROAS/bid amount.
  2. The relevance score
    Facebook shows people ads that are most relevant to them, and they determine this relevancy by means of scoring. Taking relevance into account ensures that people see ads that matter to them and result in a better experience for both the brand and consumer.Relevance score is calculated based on the positive and negative feedback Facebook expects an ad to receive from its target audience. The more positive interactions the ad is expected to receive, the higher the ad’s relevance score will be. You always want to make sure your score is high.
  3. Estimated action rates
    This is an estimate of the probability that showing an ad to a person leads to that desired outcome of the advertiser.Certain objectives cost more than others; CPM is generally the cheapest which is for brand awareness measured in terms of how times your ad was seen, while CPC shows how much, on average, each link click costs you. CPL refers to the number of lead events tracked by the pixel on your website and attributed to your ads and these tend to be on a more pricier side of the scale.

With that said, any advertising venture that you decide to delve into needs careful consideration of your affordability. So make sure you take the time to think about the best ways to achieve your advertising objectives and the costs that will come with that.

Black friday ad instagram to website

Your International Advertising Partner

If you are looking to explore the world of Instagram advertising, our team at Empire is ready to walk you through the process to ensure that you have successful advertising campaigns on this very trendy social media platform.

At EMPIRE we help you amplify your brand’s reputation by conceptualising ad campaigns from start to finish on various media platforms such as radio, television, outdoor, print and digital.

With years of industry experience, you can rest assured that your business will get the reach it deserves, increases your click-through rates, and see increased leads to your website and ultimately, a great ROI.

Find out more about the types of digital marketing options we offer and get in touch with us to help you grow your presence online!

Navigating social media on tablet