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Facebook Ads vs Instagram Ads

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

One of my favorite ads to build are Instagram ads. Instagram is a separate platform from Facebook, but obviously, Facebook owns Instagram. If you have a Facebook page, and a Facebook ad account, you can create Instagram ads via your Facebook Ads Manager. For a deep dive into how to create a Facebook Ads Manager account and ads, join our Facebook Marketing Mastery course included in our course bundle!

Facebook Ads vs Instagram Ads – Types of Ads

From split testing I’ve done with Instagram ads, I have found WAY HIGHER engagement when targeting Instagram users, much more so than targeting Facebook users. People who follow someone on Instagram truly do follow and engage with everything the brand does. So to increase your customers and drive awareness via this large platform of Instagram, you can use all of the great Instagram ads available to you, including:

Photo Ads

Your sponsored photo ad will show up right in their feed as they scroll. Photos can be in square or landscape format.

Video Ads

I really love using video ads within Instagram because this visual / sound / motion GRABS new potential customers’ attention as they scroll their feed. You can share videos up to 120 seconds long in landscape or square format.

Carousel Ads

People can swipe through various images or videos within a single ad.

Collection Ads

Create a collection to visually help your audience browse and purchase products. Share a collection of relevant products together through video, images, or both.

Explore Ads

Ads on the Instagram search page will reach people in a discovery mindset who are looking to expand their interests beyond the accounts they follow.

Story Ads

Promote your ads on Instagram Stories (i.e. the specific PLACEMENT location on the Instagram app). We recommend using a 9:16 aspect ratio to fit the fullscreen vertical format of Instagram Stories. As you can see in this example, the Instagram story ad takes over the entire mobile device screen:

Facebook Ads vs Instagram Ads – Placement

The next important difference between Facebook Ads vs Instagram Ads is PLACEMENT. When creating your ad campaigns in your Facebook Ads Manager, you will have the option to select your ads Placement at the AD SET level:

As you can see in the screenshot above, we have selected “Manual Placements” (instead of the default “Automatic Placements”). Under “Manual Placements” you can select which DEVICES you want to target and which PLATFORMS you want to target. So for example, if we created a custom 9:16 aspect ratio image specifically for an Instagram Story ad, you will want to select “Manual Placements” at the AD SET level, then toggle MOBILE for the Devices selection, INSTAGRAM for the Platforms selection, then INSTAGRAM STORIES for the Placement selection.

Before You Can Create Instagram Ads Via Your Facebook Ads Manager

First thing’s first, you need to link your Instagram account to your Facebook Page before you can create ads for your Instagram account.

Go to your Facebook page and click the “Settings” option in the top right corner. On the Settings page (, in the left sidebar, select the “Instagram” option. It is on this page you will login to your business’s Instagram account, which will link that Instagram (e.g. @coursenvy) with your Facebook page (e.g. @coursenvy):

Now that we’ve linked our Instagram account with our Facebook page, we can start creating Instagram ads within Facebook Ads Manager. Do note, you can create Instagram ads directly from your Instagram app, but it does NOT provide the details and options you can select when building an ad campaign via your Facebook Ads Manager… so stick with building Instagram ads via your Facebook Ads Manager.

Creating an Instagram Ad in Facebook Ads Manager

Once on the AD level of your Instagram ad creation, you will first select your ads “Identity”. Depending on what you selected for PLACEMENTS at the AD SET level, you can select your Facebook Page and Instagram Account to link with your sponsored ad.

Next, you will have the option to create your own ad creative OR to use an “Existing Post” from your Instagram account.

One of my favorite Instagram ads for my clients is to create an incentive offer or lead magnet that will attract new users to CLICK your ad and CONVERT to a lead/customer. For example, a free eBook, a free mini-course on whatever subject you know, whatever incentive that people would trade an email address for in your niche!

So step #1 is to create that lead magnet product and then set up a landing page on your website for capturing those leads. It can be a Mailchimp signup form, a ConvertKit signup form, or even a self-hosted ClickFunnels lead capture page. So I’ll create an Instagram ad and promote it to people that would want my free incentive item and I will promote it via relevant, attention-grabbing image or video.

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