Guide to Get Started on Instagram Carousel Ads
instagram Carousel ads
Instagram Carousel ads

Source: Pixabay

Instagram is the new frontier of marketing on social media, thanks to its photo-centric model which has got over 500 million active daily users hooked worldwide, making it the fastest-growing social network.

The company rolled out Instagram Carousel Ads to give businesses more flexibility and visibility. These ads are similar to how private users deploy their photo galleries on the platform, and it provides several advantages over using a single photo. With more pictures at your disposal, it’s easier than ever to pass different messages across at a go.

Because we know that doing something for the first time can be stressful, we have put this guide together to guide you towards running your first Instagram Carousel Ads, but before we get into the details

What Are Instagram Carousel Ads?

Instagram Carousel ads are an advertising format which uses multiple images or videos. This format was first used by Facebook and it allows businesses to combine 2-10 images or videos to create one ad. When viewers click the ad, they have the option of viewing more than one clip or image and can also visit different pages.

Instagram Carousel ads leverage the visual power of the social media site as a marketing platform. When used in Stories, they help businesses deliver narratives with different perspectives for multiple audiences.

So whether you are gearing up for a sale, planning a charity event or introducing a new line of products, these ads allow you to reach different market segments with a single ad.

Instagram Carousel ads allow businesses and advertisers to combine different contents in one ad. It also enables them to tell more stories in their ads and leverage Instagram features such as pinning stickers and drawing tools.

This can be a great advantage for e-commerce stores including those who want to learn and earn from dropshipping in the future since eCommerce like Instagram relies heavily on images.

One great advantage of carousel ads is that it helps to circumvent Instagram’s non-chronological newsfeed algorithm. The way the algorithm works, it prevents the app from displaying separate posts in chronological order.

That poses a problem if your posts are a continuum that is trying to portray your feelings or thoughts. You beat this with the carousel format since it allows you to merge all your posts into one.

Some Interesting Instagram Statistics

Here are some interesting statistics about Instagram for 2019

  1. 75 percent of Instagrammers take action after seeing an ad. So try different ad sets and scale the successful ones.
  2. 73 percent of marketers use Instagram according to Social Media Examiner, making the photo-sharing platform second only to Facebook in marketing.
  3. Collection ads may increase conversions by up to six percent, as per data from Facebook which owns Instagram.
  4. Viewers send a DM to about 20 percent of Instagram stories. This means stories are a powerful engagement tool for businesses and advertisers on Instagram.
  5. Video ads on Instagram can increase engagement three times more than single-photo ads. If you want more success with your ads campaigns, video is the way.
  6. 72 percent of teens are on Instagram, making the social media platform the most popular among that demographic. If your target audience is teenagers, you know where to engage them.
  7. Instagram CPC receives a boost in the middle to the latter part of the year, especially during the holidays.
  8. According to Vov’s Andy Hargreaves, Instagram will account for around 30 percent of Facebook’s 2020 ads revenue.

There are many more stats and figures that suggest Instagram as one of the best places for businesses to hunt for prospects and engage current clients. The platform provides higher conversion and its visual format makes it a popular choice across different demographics.

How to Set Up and Run Your First Instagram Carousel Ads

Below, we show you how to run a successful Instagram carousel ad. Note that you have to switch your profile to an Instagram Business account to use carousel ads. Also, your Instagram must be connected to your Facebook business page.

Select your Facebook Page, then your Instagram account in the Business Manager. Also, select the Instagram Feed placement to allow your audience to view the ad in their Insta app feed.

Instagram Carousel Ads in More Detail

  1. Create a campaign

    create campaign
    create campaign

    The first step is to create a campaign or use an existing campaign.


  1. Select objective

What is your campaign objective(s)? It could range from brand awareness to awareness, all the way to driving traffic. This is broadly categorized into three vis: awareness, consideration, and conversion.

campaign objective
campaign objective

If your chosen objective is traffic, you can send people to a destination on or off Facebook, e.g website, app or Messenger conversation or WhatsApp. You can also create split tests and optimize budget across ad sets. Then click “set up ad account”

  1. Set up an ad account

Here you can use default settings or edit accordingly to reflect your account country, currency and time zone.

campaign ad account
campaign ad account


  1. Set ad set

Your ad set spans the under listed categories and is like the heart of your ad set up. So pay close attention here. Brands who know or understand their audience well will achieve better results with hyper-targeting.

set adsetup
set adsetup
ad audience
ad audience

You can also add connections like people who like your page, friends of people who like your page, etc. Click save this audience.

Choose whether you want automatic placements (recommended) or to edit placements yourself and select where your ads are shown.

  1. Budget and Schedule

Here you decide your budget plus how long you want for it to run. Size and duration affect but do not guarantee ad success, proper targeting does, backed with the right budget.

ad campaign budget & schedule
ad campaign budget & schedule

The box below displays to the right of your budget and schedule section above and gives you a bird’s eye view of your audience size and estimated daily results in real-time.

campaign traffic meter
campaign traffic meter
  1. Ad 

At this stage, you’re putting finishing touches to your ad.

campaign ad
campaign ad

Here is where you decide which kind of ad you want to create. Select carousel and upload your photos by clicking “add media”.

add media upload carousel
add media upload carousel

When you add media including multiple photos, it will tell you how many other ads are also using the same images in case you got images from free photo sites, so you can make yours unique.

You can also turn a photo into the video.

You can use up to 10 images or videos. Images must be jpg or png format and the carousel ratio must be 1:1. Make sure your text does not exceed 20 percent of the ads to avoid delays.

ad video
ad video

You can set your ad to run in multiple languages increasing your reach.

Then go to “Tracking”.

ad tracking
ad tracking

Next click on confirm. It will prompt you to fix any issues like if your image is below recommended pixels of 1, 080 x 1, 080.

  1. Payment

    ad campaign payment
    ad campaign payment

    Once you make a payment your ad is set to run like a Cheetah and will appear on Instagram by default, except you unselect.

5 Key Things to Remember When Running Instagram Carousel Ads

When you run Instagram carousel ads, these tips can boost the success of your campaigns.

  1. Take advantage of the flexibility. Carousel ads offer the opportunity to use multiple images, videos, and features that help you tell a compelling story. Make sure your ads resonate strongly with the target audience.
  2. Use carousel ads to create bigger and more captivating images. You can use the multiple-image function to deliver a larger canvas that combines to tell one big story about your products and services. But make sure not to overshoot the 20 percent text rule.
  3. Be consistent with your messaging. Don’t jump on trends to be trendy. Create a brand communication your audience can relate to.
  4. Post your ads regularly so that your followers can see them often. This will allow you to beat Instagram’s algorithm and boost conversions.
  5. Use premium pictures and videos. Remember that Instagram is a visual platform that attracts people mainly because of the huge dose of visual stimulation it provides.


Instagram carousel ads can help businesses and advertisers reach larger audiences through powerful storytelling and multimedia content. With the right market insight and demographics targeting, this format can help boost your conversion rate and revenue.


Author Bio

Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained Business and Ecommerce Copywriter featured in Huffington Post Dumb Little Man Self Growth Ecommerce Nation eCommerce Insights Understanding Ecommerce Result First Floship WeCan Grow Map Small Biz Club among others.

Twitter: @amos_onwukwe



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