Image default

What formats and purchasing models to use in targeted ads on Instagram

marketing research book

At the stage of launching an advertising campaign, advertisers often have questions: which goals, formats and purchasing models to choose. There are so many options in targeted advertising systems that it can be difficult to decide. Using Instagram as an example, we’ll show you where to look for clues and why the most obvious purchasing formats and models don’t always bring business value.

The choice of effective purchasing models and formats for advertising purposes was made on the basis of a study of more than 130 thousand advertising campaigns conducted in 2018. Despite the sample size, the data for individual advertising campaigns may differ from the figures in the study. Before you think about the colorful creatives and copy for Instagram and Facebook ads, which are often combined due to the accessibility and ease of launching via Facebook Ads Manager, check out:

  • how correctly you have formulated the goals of the business and a separate advertising campaign;
  • how your managers are ready to process incoming calls coming through advertising channels;
  • who tracks performance metrics during promotion.

It will be a shame to lose applications with an excellent advertising campaign.

The goals are determined by the marketing strategy: bringing a new product to the market, increasing brand awareness, increasing the loyalty of the target audience, expanding the CRM base, increasing sales, etc. You should not expect a positive result if you randomly show ads to a wide audience, most of which are not interested in your product or service.

There are two key business goals in digital marketing:

Branding – advertising campaigns are aimed at building knowledge about the advertiser’s brand or product from the target audience. As KPIs of such advertising campaigns, they most often use indicators of reach, impressions volume, number of interactions, views, subscribers, clicks.


Performance – advertising campaigns are aimed at selling goods and services of companies, performing targeted actions on the advertiser’s website, collecting contact information of users interested in purchasing. The number of clicks, leads, purchases, conversions, actions, etc. is most often used as KPIs.


Top advertising goals and payment models offered by Facebook Ads Manager


When you need to maximize the number of unique users to whom the advertiser’s ad will be shown Each system has the ability to control the frequency of ad impressions. This approach is relevant for two business goals: increasing brand awareness and generating demand for a product.


The system maximizes the number of users who click on the advertiser’s ad and go to the website or mobile application. This goal is especially relevant when you need to bring the audience to the site / landing page, for example, to inform about promotions and special offers.

Video Views

Suitable for promoting video content within a social network, helping to increase brand awareness. The system maximizes the number of video views among the target audience. Typically a 2 or 15 second view is counted, depending on the settings.


All possible actions with the advertiser’s publications are counted, from views and clicks on posts to comments and community subscriptions.

Lead generation

Suitable for advertisers who need more contact information for a user interested in a product or service.


After installing the system pixel on the target tracking site and accumulating the required amount of statistics on events, the system will optimize the display of the ad to those users who are more likely to perform targeted actions on the advertiser’s site. Such a goal is available on Facebook and Instagram, and on other platforms, it is still in its infancy.

After reviewing the main advertising goals available in targeted advertising systems, let’s move on to the recommended purchasing models and formats that, according to our research, contribute to the fulfillment of each goal.

Basic formats and purchasing models on Instagram

Our experience shows that in Carousel, LInk Ad and Post Promo formats, CPM purchases with limited frequency of ad impressions are optimal for this purpose. With its help, we will increase the reach of the audience, which will bring us more conversions. 

We recommend not using CPE due to the high cost. When choosing from three CPC formats, we suggest choosing a carousel, but it requires a well-developed creative with a logical scenario.

For larger budgets, leave some room for testing when deciding between Link Ad and Post Promo. If at this stage you cannot afford such investment in promotion, then you should stop at Link Ad, since it is cheaper to purchase.

Stories stand out from other social media ad formats: the cost of coverage for CPC purchases is almost equal to CPM purchases. But Stories by CPM are more expensive than Link Ad, Post Promo and Carousel. We recommend using CPC: this way we will not only get a profitable cost of impressions and reach, but also minimize the cost of a click.

Video promotion is more interesting: use Post Promo with a CPE payment model, which allows you to achieve a lower cost of video views than VideoAd and Stories by CPV. Give this format a shot by launching a video campaign on Instagram.


Before launching ads on Instagram, you must make sure that the audience and advertising opportunities of the site correspond to your business goals and promotion budget.

For those who know how Facebook Ads Manager works and launches ads on their own, even if at minimum, we have prepared a small checklist:

  • Focus on a comprehensive promotion strategy.
  • Focus on one goal to objectively assess the result.
  • Decide on the format based on your business topic.
  • Prepare engaging content with calls to action.
  • Experiment with formats, just do it carefully.
  • Analyze the result and make corrections in a timely manner.
  • Stop advertising campaigns if they do not bring you results.

…..more info can be found here «Road to 100k Instagram Followers»!

instagram content strategy marketing book