How Do Instagram Promotions Work: Run The Best Successful Low Cost Ads 2024

Instagram Promotions are a way for your business to reach a larger audience. But how exactly do they work, are they right for your brand, and how do you create a successful Instagram ad in 2024?

Instagram has emerged as a dominant force in the world of social media, offering individuals and businesses alike the opportunity to showcase their creativity and connect with a global audience. With over one billion monthly active users, Instagram has become a powerful marketing tool that cannot be ignored. One effective way to increase your visibility and gain more followers on Instagram is through promotions. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of Instagram promotions and provide you with valuable insights on how to make the most of this marketing strategy.

How Do Instagram Promotions Work & How Do I Make My Ads Successful?

If you’re wondering how Instagram promotions work and how you can launch a successful campaign, then you’ve come to the right place.


One of the ways to advertise your business’ products or services as well as reach people who are not following you is an Instagram promotion.


According to Instagram, 400 million people use Instagram every day.


To capture the attention of this massive audience, I’ll share my content marketing strategy for creating eye-catching Instagram promotions without needing to be a professional content creator.


An Instagram promotion is just like the sponsored posts you see when scrolling through your timeline.


It helps you reach people most likely to interact with your content.


You can choose to set up your Instagram promotion using an auto audience or create your own audience by identifying specific locations, interests ages, and genders.


Instagram will put your promotional campaigns in front of people who have demonstrated an interest in your industry and people who are similar to your followers in interests and demographic information.


If your business links to a specific website, we recommend creating your own custom audience, so you can specify locations and demographic information.


You can also add the interests of the people you want to target with your campaign.


For example, hobbies and interests related to your business and similar businesses such as basketball, art, music, movies.

How Instagram Promotions Works

Understanding the Basics of Instagram Promotions

Defining Instagram Promotions: In its simplest form, Instagram promotions are paid content that allows you to reach a wider audience beyond your existing followers.


For this you must have set up your Instagram Business Profile.


Unlike regular posts, these promotions have the potential to significantly boost engagement and attract new followers to your account.


Know Your Audience and Objectives: Before diving into Instagram promotions, it is crucial to define your target audience and outline clear objectives.


By understanding who your ideal audience is and what you hope to achieve, you can tailor your promotions to resonate with your intended demographic.


Instagram Promotion Formats and Options: Instagram offers various formats and options to promote your content.


Let’s explore two primary methods:

Promote Existing Posts

If you have a particularly engaging organic post that you believe could reach a wider audience, promoting an existing post is an effective strategy.


Simply select the desired post and follow the steps to promote it.


By amplifying an already successful piece of content, you increase the chances of capturing the attention of a broader target audience.

Creating Promotional Ads from Scratch

If you want to create customized promotions tailored specifically for your marketing campaign, Instagram Ads Manager is the go-to tool.


With this feature, you can create photo, video, carousel, and story ads.


You have the flexibility to set your budget, duration, and targeting criteria, giving you complete control over your promotional efforts.

Do Instagram Promotions Work To Make My Business Grow?

instagram promotions engagement

You must have heard of the term ‘social proof’ before.


If not, it’s essentially the concept that higher engagement through reviews, testimonials, shares, and other metrics verify your credibility as a business.


This seems obvious, but it is the game that surrounds social media.


Today’s world is extremely fast-paced and high information.


If your post can get heavy engagement, it turns into a snowball effect where more people are willing to like, comment, and convert if they see other users on social platforms doing the same.


So how do Instagram promotions work to actually make my business grow?


Instagram promotions’ biggest use case is creating brand awareness.


By setting a daily budget and boosting your post, you can jumpstart the snowball effect and give your content the traction they deserve.


This helps skyrocket reach and is very effective if your primary goal is high visibility.


When your potential customer sees your content with a ton of engagement, it’s going to increase the chances of them clicking through to your website.


This will also boost the awareness of your regular, non-advertisement posts as well by driving more traffic to your page and increasing your brand’s potential to get more clicks to your website.


Instagram has found that 60% of users say they learn about new products or services on their platform.


What’s even more astonishing is that 75% will take action after seeing a post.


This includes visiting sites, purchasing products, or even sharing posts, which every business dreams of.


So by utilizing your marketing efforts to increase your post engagement, you’re not only able to generate social proof necessary to get more clicks but also you begin building your community.


If the content you’re running a paid promotion on happens to be the exact type of content your audience loves to engage on, then you’re going to grow your Instagram followers as well.


So not only will you get website clicks today, but for the users who only hit follow, you have the ability to get them as clicks to your website another day through your organic content.

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How Much Do Instagram Promotions Cost?

how much do instagram promotions cost

Costs for your Instagram promotion are based on a variety of factors, and as you may have suspected these factors are not all revealed to us by social media platforms.


The model is based on CPC (cost-per-click) and CPM’s (cost per impressions), and prices are determined according to Instagram’s ad auction.


Instagram ads costs are slightly higher than the cost of Facebook ads.


On the bright side, advertisers do have control over how their budgets are allocated.


For instance, you can choose between a daily budget to limit the amount spend per day or a lifetime budget where you would set up your ads to run for a length of time until the budget runs out.


Other ways to control your Instagram ad spend include setting your ad schedule (for instance, you can specify certain hours of the day you want your ads to run), setting your ad delivery method (there are three options: link clicks, impressions, and daily unique reach), as well as setting your bid amount (manual vs. automatic).


The cost for your Instagram ads really depends on the objective of your campaign.


Another example to take into consideration is to determine your customer lifetime value.


Maybe you’re promoting a coffee shop where the average cup of coffee is $3.50.


But let’s say your average customer lifetime value is 1 cup of coffee, 2x per week, 52x weeks per year.


Your lifetime value is going to be $182.


This means your business should be able to spend up to $40 to acquire a new customer.


Budget your ads campaign appropriately based on your objectives.

Maximizing the Effectiveness of Instagram Promotions

Crafting Compelling and Irresistible Content: In the world of Instagram, visuals are everything. To stand out from the crowd, it is paramount to create attention-grabbing images or videos that captivate your audience. Remember, high-quality and aesthetically pleasing content is more likely to garner engagement and attract new followers.


Captivating Captions and Call-to-Actions: While visuals are essential, captions shouldn’t be overlooked. Crafting engaging captions that complement your visuals can make a significant impact on audience engagement. Adding a compelling call-to-action encourages users to take action, increasing the likelihood of likes, comments, and shares.


Utilizing Targeted Audience and Demographic Insights: Instagram provides valuable insights about your audience through its Insights feature:

Setting Advanced Targeting Options

Instagram Ads Manager offers advanced targeting options that allow you to narrow your audience down to specific demographic and interest-based criteria. By tailoring your promotions to specific segments of your target audience, you can increase the effectiveness of your campaigns and maximize your return on investment.


Tracking and Optimizing Promotional Campaigns: To make the most of your Instagram promotions, it is vital to monitor their progress actively. This is achieved through:

Monitoring Promotions

Keep a close eye on your promotions’ metrics using tools like Instagram Insights and Ads Manager. Metrics such as reach, impressions, engagement rate, and conversions will provide valuable insights into the success of your campaigns. Regular monitoring allows you to identify what’s working and what’s not, enabling you to make data-driven decisions to optimize your promotions.

Making Data-Driven Adjustments

Armed with the insights from your monitoring efforts, it’s time to tweak and optimize your promotions. Adjust your targeting options, content strategy, or budget based on the data you’ve gathered. By making data-driven decisions, you can fine-tune your campaigns to achieve the best possible results and maximize your return on investment.

Should I Promote Instagram Posts Or Instagram Stories?

(Source: Buffer)

This comes back around to the marketing objective of your campaign, your target audience, and your content.


Promoting Instagram stories does give you the ability to utilize the swipe up feature which is typically only given to accounts with over 10,000 followers.


It will also allow you to reach a larger audience, as there are users on the platform who prefer to scroll through Instagram Stories as opposed to their organic timeline.


Instagram Stories are great for those who are running a quick, content-driven, and easy-to-digest ad.


Whereas sponsored Instagram Posts are perfect for those who prefer to have long-form captions in their ad campaign.


We recommend using Sponsored Instagram Posts for long-copy and action-driven ads and Instagram Stories for brand awareness, retargeting, and easy-to-digest content.


Users that have Instagram Business Profiles set up, can also check their Instagram Insights to view their audience engagement.


Do you find your audience engages more with your Instagram Stories or with your Sponsored Posts on your timeline?


Make sure to use the data that Instagram provides you as this is extremely valuable when creating content as part of your social media marketing strategy.

How To Create An Instagram Promotion?

how to create an instagram promotion

Creating your promotion is quite easy.


In fact, most of the difficult parts are done for you.


For example, you don’t need to worry about which post to promote because you’ll have insights that show which of your organic posts received the most engagement.


The first step is to select an Instagram post that you want to promote.

create an instagram ad

Look through your content to see which piece of content you’d consider a well-performing post based on your post engagement.


Once you’ve selected a post, click the “Promote Post” button under the post.


You’ll then be prompted to create an Instagram Promotion to reach new IG users.

create instagram promotion

From there you will then choose your action button or your CTA button.


This is typically determined by your campaign objective.


Are you aiming to get more purchases through Instagram shopping?


More profile visits?


Or maybe more video views on your video ads?


If you’re unsure which type of button to choose, “Learn More” is always the safe option to test out your Instagram Ads Campaign.

steps to create instagram promotion

After that, you will choose your Instagram audience interests.


This will allow you to target the exact audience that you want to see your content.


Choose the age range, geographic location, and demographic interests that your entire campaign will target.

target audience with instagram promotion

Lastly, you will choose the number of days you will run your Instagram Promotion through the duration options.


Try to spend at least $5-10 per day.

how much do instagram promotions cost



If you have a large marketing budget, increase your daily ad spend budget.


If it’s on the smaller end, decrease the duration of your campaign to maintain a $5 per day ad spend.


The success of your campaign is typically determined by ensuring you are driving traffic to quality posts.

5 Steps To A Successful Instagram Ad

create a great instagram ad

There are several steps that you should consider when using promotional posts.


Once you have defined your promotional objectives and you have defined the target audience you want to reach, you need to work on your promotion.


These are some quick guidelines that you should follow.


1. What is your Campaign Goal?


This is an important question because your campaign goal will determine the content type of the promotion.


Choosing a campaign goal based on what action you want users to take is an important factor in the success of your marketing campaign.


Make sure that you choose a campaign goal that also aligns with your audience.


If you’re selling a brand new 2021 Tesla, you can’t expect people to pull out their credit cards and pay in full through the Instagram Shopping feature.


However, you can absolutely get them to fill out credit applications, lead forms, or book test drives.


Choose a campaign goal that you think your target audience will take action on.


You can make this choice after you have decided on the design of your promotion and the copy.


2. Work On Your Copy


The copy of your promotion is important.


This includes your video captions or single image captions.


It is the medium that will make your audience react.


For example, if you are promoting a product, use a language that your audience will understand.


Don’t use the technical terms or features of the product that your audience might not know about.


Unless you’re speaking to a niche audience, you want to use very broad terms and descriptions so that anyone reading can understand the value of the product you’re showcasing.


Keep in mind that not everyone will be interested in your product.


So creating compelling captions for your sponsored post is what will make the difference in the success or failure of your campaign.


3. Remember, Instagram Is A Visual Platform


When choosing what visuals to use for your feed ads or your story ads, it’s important to remember that Instagram is a visual platform.


Your target audience is getting on Instagram to view visually appealing content.


Your Instagram Ad has to reflect the type of content that people are posting on Instagram.


That doesn’t mean to make your ad look like a newspaper clipping with prices and text all over.


Instead, try to utilize user-generated content or content that has a balance between amateur and professional.


This doesn’t mean you need to hire a professional photographer to shoot your products but it also means that you shouldn’t use a 2001 Nokia or Microsoft Paint to put together your marketing creatives.


4. The Power Of Retargeting To Win Back Lost Customers


Since the average cart abandonment rate is above 68%, retargeting through Instagram can be a great way to win back those customers who didn’t finish their checkout, application, or sign up.


Some more advanced options for your Instagram Ads Campaign will allow you to target users who didn’t complete a specific action.


Want to show a 10% cart discount to users who added a specific item to their cart but didn’t checkout?


Want to show testimonials of success stories to users who didn’t complete applications?


Utilizing a retargeting strategy within your Instagram ads campaign is where you will see the best results and lowest cost per action.


5. Campaign Call To Action


Remember when running your Instagram campaign to use a strong call to action within your copy.


Your audience often needs those reminders to help push them to take action.


Even if your post seems obvious, adding the call to action such as “tap Learn More to find out more about this offer” in your copy will go along way.


You need to direct your audience to the exact actions you want them to take.


This will help increase the actions taken on your ad, lower your cost per click, and improve the overall effectiveness in your campaign.


The above are some simple guidelines that you should work on when using Instagram Promotion.


You can also check out the services of a social media marketing agency to assist with your campaign.


Instagram promotions unlock tremendous potential for increasing your visibility, attracting new followers, and ultimately growing your brand on one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. By understanding the basics, crafting compelling content, utilizing targeted audience insights, and continuously tracking and optimizing your promotions, you can harness the power of Instagram to achieve your marketing goals successfully. You’ll become a pro at understanding how do instagram promotions work. So, get ready to ignite your Instagram presence, boost your visibility, and gain an ever-growing legion of loyal followers.


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