Instagram or Facebook ads: the right choice for you

Instagram or Facebook ads, that is the question.  

Instagram or Facebook ads may seem like a relatively trivial question, but it’s important you know the best answer for your business. 

So, you’re looking into running a social media ad campaign, but you have a limited budget to work with. Do you go with Facebook, Instagram, or perhaps even both? It’s a difficult question that has left many experienced digital marketers stumped. 

The answer? Well, there isn’t just one answer. 

Which platform you choose depends on your business, your audience, your product/service, and your goals. 

While there are advantages and disadvantages to each platform, you must take the time to understand precisely why you should/shouldn’t be running ads on each. 

Let’s examine whether Instagram ads or Facebook ads are the right choice for your business. 

The difference between Instagram ads and Facebook ads

You might be thinking that because Facebook owns Instagram that the ads for each platform are the same. Well, you are half right. 

While there are certainly similarities between the ads that exist on the two platforms, the biggest difference between Instagram ads and Facebook ads is more a matter of audience. 

Considering that Facebook has the largest audience base of any social media platform globally, you can imagine that you are likely to find some of your following on the platform. Instagram, however, has a much younger user base than Facebook, meaning the ads you run and the people you target will (in most cases) need to be different across both platforms. 

Managing your ads

Managing your Instagram ads and Facebook ads is all done through your Facebook Ads Manager. Having both your Instagram and Facebook ads managed in one place makes everything that much easier, and all of your results are easily downloadable.

Content choices

While both platforms do offer similar ad formats, how users interact with these ads differs greatly. In terms of ad types, we’re going to focus on two here: single-media ads and carousel ads. 

Single-media ads allow you to post a single image or single video as an ad. Carousel ads offer the ability to post multiple images or videos that users can swipe through. Both of these ad types are available on Instagram; however, Instagram doesn’t offer quite the same feature set that Facebook does. 

One thing you might notice with Facebook ads is the ability to include links directly in the description of your ad. As we all know, Instagram doesn’t particularly like its users including links anywhere, so you’ll need to use a call-to-action button. 

Which ad should your business choose? Well, it depends on what you’re trying to achieve and what you’re trying to say. Instagram is an incredibly visual platform, and you should take advantage of that. A carousel ad (while suitable on Facebook) feels like a better fit on a platform like Instagram. 

What are the goals of your Instagram ad or Facebook ad?

It’s important to have a strategy and goal on Facebook and Instagram. 

If you don’t have defined goals for your Instagram and Facebook ads, you need to sit down and consider the purpose of your ads. Without goals, how can you expect to accurately measure the success or failure of your ads?

The great thing about Facebook’s Ads Manager is that it makes you define your goals from the very start. 

Choosing a goal in Facebook Ads Manager

When you start creating an ad, the first thing you will be prompted to do is choose a goal. Figuring out which goals work best for your business usually requires a little bit of trial and error. Why not try A/B testing a few versions of the same ad with different goals?  

Want to learn more about running successful ads on Facebook and Instagram? Check out our on-demand Facebook & Instagram Advertising webinar