We started running Instagram ads about 10 days ago and so far, the numbers have looked pretty good. There is money to be made and I am loving the platform. In the coming weeks I am going to continue testing and fine tuning my campaigns. I will keep you posted on the progress, so keep an eye out for future emails and posts.

Below, I am going to give you The Lessons We Have Learned In Running Instagram Ads.

Instagram sponsored ads allow local businesses to tap into their local markets. We have been running and testing ads for small businesses like dentists, lawyers, chocolate companies, orthodontists, etc.

Here are some of the lessons we have learned along the way.

Let’s first start off with the cons of Instagram ads.

     1. Targeting is a bit off

When I set up Instagram ads, I like to keep my demographics very specific. An example would be: I only like to run ads to people who are between the ages of 30 and 55.

That is not what is happening. I get a lot of teenagers seeing and liking my ads. This is a red flag to me and has an effect on my ROI.

This doesn’t stop me from running ads though, because when you are an early adopter you have to live with the growing pains. And besides…the numbers are still looking good.

 2. Cost is rising

Within a couple of days the cost per click started to rise. I am now around 49 cents per website click. When I first started running the ads, my cost was around 17 cents per click. Either way the ROI is still there, and a rise in costs is to be expected.

   3. Fake Instagram Accounts

Instagram, like Facebook, is loaded with fake accounts. People will use fake accounts to grow their audience, which skews the numbers a bit.

Now, that we have covered the cons of Instagram ads. It’s time we talk about the pros.

1. Instagram ads are working

Yes! Instagram ads are working and I think it is going to produce a lot of business for companies, including my own.  A lot of eyeballs have navigated from Facebook to Instagram.

A great example would be my wife and all of her friends. They spend so much time scrolling down through Instagram. On a side note, many men have found that is it taking a big toll on their bedroom life.

I’m kidding.


Maybe I am not kidding.

The point is…your audience is there and the clicks will come.

2. It’s going to get better

They are fine tuning the system and over time, Instagram is going to get better at finding your buyers. Don’t wait too long to jump in.

3. Early adopters are being rewarded

Early adopters are rewarded with cheaper clicks. Like all other PPC platforms, Instagram costs are related to supply and demand. Marketers tend to ruin everything and they will eventually take over Instagram.

How to run Instagram Ads Successfully

Over the last 10 days, we have learned some tips and tricks that will help you run a successful Instagram campaign. I will give you the list first.

  1. The more targeted the better
  2. Your image is a big deal
  3. Create a call to action
  4. Offer something of value
  5. Landing pages should match your ad

The More Targeted The Better

Although you get cheaper clicks by running to a larger audience, you are not going to get as many leads. When I run an ad to business executives, advertisers, marketers, CMOs, etc, I do not get the results I am looking for. My audience is too broad.

An example title would be…”Do you need Online Marketing?”

I get traffic, but I do not get much interaction in the form of comments and website visitors.

If I run a specific ad to a targeted audience, I get a lot better results.

Here is a Instagram ad screenshot. You can’t see it but within 12 hours (it took 10 hours to get approved) I had 14 comments where people had shared this post with their dentist or orthodontist and I received 168 likes. (10 hours later it was at 289 likes and 31 comments. The comments were people sharing the post with dental practices.)

Dentist and Orthodontist Instagram Ad

Notice how this ad is targeting dentists and orthodontists. I am not just targeting CEOs or CMOs. The target is a specific occupation and I’m mentioning their occupation in my ad.

I hope that makes sense…

The Image Is A Big Deal

Your image has to be disruptive. When a user is scrolling they are usually moving pretty fast. If your image doesn’t apply to them right away, it will get skipped.

Here is an image that I tested for fun. If you know anything about Instagram, you will understand the power that Ryan Gosling has over Instagrammers.  It is kind of a big joke but at the same time it works.


This ad produced a lot of likes and people did pass it around, but it did not produce leads. All I care about are the leads.

Create A Call To Action

Tell your audience what you would like them to do. Instagram does let you choose your call to action during the ad creations phase (see below), but I would suggest putting it on your images also. The ad below is a great image but I did not add the Call To Action like I should have.

Double Your Sales Instagram Ad

Offer Something Of Value

This is pretty self explanatory. Give them a reason to click on the ad. People love FREE!

Landing Page Should Match Your Ad.

Your landing page should have a similar message to your ad. You want to keep the user experience the same. I would even go as far as the same color and images. If you are offering a 14 day trial on your ad, make sure you have that same offer on the landing page.

There you have it; those are just a few of the Lessons We Have Learned About Instagram Sponsored Ads.

Instagram Infograph


Transcript For You Readers (there are errors)

[Start of video Why you should be running Facebook and Instagram Ads]

[Beginning of recorded material] 

Jace:   Good morning everyone. This is Jace over here, at Yinc Marketing and Ydraw. I am just calling to give you guys a little bit update on Instagram ad. So, let’s jump right in.

First off, Instagram ads are working tremendously. I’ve been running all types of tests from little campaigns I’ve created, a couple of new funnels just to see what kinds of clicks… We are running more tests; for example there is some carousels that we’re going to be trying; over the next couple of weeks we’re going to be expanding into some video ads. Couple of things like that, just to see what kind of traction we can get.

So, let me show you why these Instagram ads are so important and why you should be using them. So, I’m kind of running a simple campaign to dentist and orthodontist. Obviously, that’s a big deal. I did write a blog; if you want to refer back to blog it was last week about things that you need to do to improve your conversions with you Instagram ads. That’s one of the things you need to speak specifically to a certain audience. So, whether you’re writing one for lawyers, dentists, orthodontists, doctor, small business, you just need to be very specific and it’s going to help you on your conversions’ rates. So, let me show you why Instagram ads are so good right now. As you know, whenever anything new comes out, they still have their issues. So, there are some things, there are some problems with Instagram ads. One of those problems is they still haven’t got the audience note down. So, I get a lot of clicks from people, who are not in my target audience; like I always go for 30 years and older, well I’m getting a lot of young kids clicking on my ads, seeing my ad. So, just know that there are some growing pains when you get started.

So, let’s talk specifically for dentists and orthodontists, and you guys can apply this to any other type of business. So, one of the biggest, the most powerful things with Facebook and Instagram ads is the audience. You are able to go in here; let me expand this out, just so you guys can see it. So, let’s assume that you are a dentist, and you’ve been running phonebook ads, or you’ve been running yellow pages, those Valpak ads. And you’ve been doing a lot of those things. Well, here is something that’s nice about Instagram and Facebook. Now, they run on the same platform too, just so you understand that.

So, I go in here; let’s say that you are a dentist in San Diego. Then I’m going to expand this. So, you can create an audience; and let’s go location, we’re going to go to San Diego. And this is where it gets nice. So, you’re not going to waste a lot of money on people who are not in your area. You can go smaller net; let’s say, let’s go to a 10 mile radius within your practice. You can go down to zip code, do whatever you want.

Now, what we want to do is follow, and what we don’t want to do is restrict this. Your audience may be older; your audience may be younger. I like to go 30 years and older, just that’s who buyers are; you are not going to find a lot of buyers underneath thirty years of age. So, a lot of times you’ll be running a campaign, your numbers might not look that great. If you go adjust your age up to 30, you’re going to have some better numbers. Change this. I like to go down to sixty, unless you’re targeting some type of senior citizens. If you’re doing that, then you need to go higher.

And now I’m going to go women. Obviously, I’m going to go English, because most of the times it’s the women or it’s the parents that are going to decide, if they’re going to take their kid to the dentist. A lot of guys are working, so I like to eliminate that to just women. Got it?

Interest; you can say soccer mom. Isn’t that funny? Soccer mom right here; there is 1.28 million. So, you can say soccer mom; you can be a homemaking; you can be a parent. So, here are their interests. You’ll see, right now there’s 100,000 potential people in San Diego that we can target this ad to. And you can get very specific. So, you got interest. If there is anyone that’s got an interest in like let’s say you’re building a home or real estate, you can always define those interests, and there is a lot of stuff you can do with that. Like if you go over to Amazon, you are able to find like a magazine. Let’s say parent magazine; so Natural Parent Magazine, Today’s Parent Magazine. So you can target those people that are looking for those magazines or who have interest in those magazines. Makes sense?

Behaviour; you can go in here and say okay, I want somebody who is as a company, industry, seniority, charitable donations, job roles. I didn’t show you guys this.

You can go with relationship, in a relationship, relationship status. So, let’s go with complicated; let’s go with married. Got it?

And you can go with education, you can go with finance, net worth, home; do they own a home, do they not own a home. So, let’s say home ownership, home owners, parents. Actually, you can just go moms. That’s interesting. Strict that out. Take all these out.

160,000 people. Can you see how I’m doing that? So, that’s a good audience. 160,000; if you want to get more to find, you are more than welcome to, but you can see why a dentist in San Diego would want to market to mothers, who are 30 years and older and then they can run their ad. So, once you have your target audience defined, all you do is click there, create you audience, and then you can create an ad; a very customized ad asking those mothers to come in. Now, I hope you can see the benefit over running some type of print ad or yellow page ad; is just you can be so much more targeted. And that’s where your audience is. Think of how many mothers are on Instagram in the night. My wife, all her friends, that’s what they use. They use Instagram. So, the nice thing is Facebook bought Instagram, so you can run Instagram ads through your Facebook page, or through your Facebook ad manager. Got it?

So, of you guys have any questions about this… But that is the power behind Facebook and Instagram; you are just able to target an audience and put an ad in front of them. Now, this is not near as qualified as a typical search ad. You still want to be ranked on SEO. You still want to be at the top of search engines just because when somebody’s searching for it, they are more likely to buy. But Facebook and Instagram are a little bit different due to the fact that you are just putting it out there in front of them. So, if they have a need for a dentist or orthodontist, they’re going to see that ad and be like hey, what’s going on, especially if you make some type of offer. Get them to click on your website. Once they’ve clicked on your website, you can even go further. You can run a different ad to them. You can retarget them.

There is a lot of capabilities with Facebook with custom audiences. Though if you’d like, you can come into here and say I want to create a new custom audience. Anyone who’s come to my website- You can create an audience of visitors to your website. You can also go in here to customer list and import all of your customers. So, if you have a customer list of say 5000 people that have come to your practice over the last 10 years or something, whatever, you can take your list, upload it into Facebook. It’ll track all of their accounts. Then, you can start running them ads. So, instead of sending people out a birthday letter or anything like that, you might want to try to send them some Facebook ads. And you can get real creative; you can run a specific ad to somebody to get him to come back in; a lot of things you can do. Got it?

So, that’s just a few capabilities. If you have questions let us know. You can go over to marketinghy.com or ydraw.com if you’re looking for a video. Ydraw.com Email me, call me; let me know if you have questions. We would love to help. We do have a three-day trial, or a seven-day trial period going on. If you’d like us to set up your Facebook and Instagram ads, we will do that. We’re only taken one dentist, one orthodontist per city. So if you’d like us to do that, let us know, but there you have it. Short and sweet. Talk to you guys later.