Marketers have been aching to throw advertising money at Instagram even before they rolled out their ad platform.

When it comes to mobile, getting Instagram right has become the holy grail of marketers. With 400 million users active on the platform, who can blame them?

01. Define a clear goal and structure your concept according to it

Take a step back and define what your campaign goal is. Are you trying to increase brand awareness and message association? Do you want increase conversions on your website? Are you advertising an app users should download? Try out this technique by using the customizable Canva design right here—

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02. Select the ad type fit for your concept

With a clear goal and creative direction in mind, decide which of the three Instagram ad formats you’ll be working with. Currently, Instagram offers photo ads, video ads, and carousel ads. Which will better suit your ad will depend on your concept and creative brief (not to mention, your budget).

Looking to make your own photo ads? Have a go at the templates we’ve included below.

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03. Build a visually compelling campaign in line with your brand identity

Once you’ve got a goal, a creative direction, and you’ve decided which of the three formats you’ll be working with — you’re finally ready to create your ad.

Start by getting familiar with the different guidelines you’ll need to observe. You can find information on dimensions, text limits, and everything else you need to know here. Once you are familiar with the dimensions you should be working with and other considerations to keep in mind as you build your ad, head over to Canva to create your ad.

As you design impactful Instagram ads, remember that every ad you finish should feel branded. If you have brand guidelines, be sure to adhere to them.

All your ads must reference your brand and each other by using the same color palette, photographic style, or by utilizing the same design elements. You want to establish consistency between any kind of material you put out, Instagram ads or not.

Canva makes it extremely easy for you to build ads and a whole variety of on-brand materials. Because Canva automatically stores anything you create in it, you’ll be able to tweak existing branded templates you’ve developed.

In a sense, Canva will act as a visual, interactive style guide for you brand as it lets you build your own brand kit and share it with your entire team.

Always design high quality ads. Make sure your images are properly lit and interesting, your text kerned and properly aligned. And don’t underestimate the power of a compelling caption.

High quality photos are abundant in the Canva library. Check them out in action on these designs:

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Make your own high-quality Instagram ad using any of the templates right here:

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04. Use compelling and relevant calls-to-action

Whenever possible, include a CTA. They help define clear ways in which your audience can engage with your ad. They also pave the path for actions they can take and show clear avenues they can follow. You can apply your calls-to-action to the image itself! Get started with the Canva templates below:

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05. Don’t forget your hashtag

Hashtags make it easy for you to categorize your product and collect important information revolving around it or your brand in one place. They also make it extremely easy for your audience to share information and lead others to an oasis of everything related to your product or brand.

You can also also take advantage of popular hashtags, like #fromwhereistand, to insert yourself into popular feeds and increase brand awareness. As you select them, however, be sure that the different associations around these hashtags match the ones you want associated with your brand.

Use the templates below for a design with an instant hashtag!

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Keep in mind that too many hashtags can be annoying. Use them strategically and as a general rule of thumb, aim for no more than three. When designing hashtags, make sure they are unique, easy to remember, and as simple as possible.

Over to You

Phew! That’s a whole lot of information to digest. If you feel intimidated by the process, keep our tips open in a separate tab and walk through the process while referencing our article. Feel free to use it as a guide and you’ll be producing ads as full of impact as all the others we’ve shared above. Our last tip: Don’t forget to have fun infusing the magic of visual storytelling in your marketing strat!

If you’re already acting on some of the advice we’ve shared above as you create Instagram ads in Canva, we’d love to check out what you’ve been up to! Share your ads with us in the comment section below.

Maria is a professional designer and social media devotee. After a few years of working in boutique agencies in New York and Boston, she decided to trade in her morning runs for morning dives and moved down to the warm Caribbean. She is currently working on becoming a scuba instructor in order to find a way to merge her two loves: design and the ocean.