Best Practices of Instagram Ads to Increase App Downloads

Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have become most popular and effective ways of increasing app downloads. They provide different kinds of ad campaigns in their own platforms. Today I’ll give insight into Instagram’s Mobile App Installs ad model. First of all, let’s start with the stats that prove that it is an amazing way to increase your app downloads.

  • According to Instagram’s data, Posmark, a fashion marketplace, increased its app downloads by 37% at a 28% cost reduction in ad cost.
  • Cartwheel also increased downloads with nearly 43% savings per install.
  • Snail Games drew a 339% lift in installs and 1.5x higher rate of in-app purchases thanks to Instagram
  • According to a Salesforce report, Instagram ads are receiving 2x more clicks than Facebook ads.

It is obvious that Instagram can help you to get more downloads if you create ad campaigns according to best practices. Before listing these best practices, let’s see which ad types Instagram offers for mobile app installs.

Instagram Ad Formats

  • Photo Ads: This is a simple photo sharing format where you can choose the best visual that converts.

Photo Ads

  • Video Ads: This is the type you can use for your app preview video or something different in order to get attention.

Video Ads

  • Carousel Ads: Here you can create a gallery that a user can see by swiping.

Carousel Ads

Types of Ad Objectives

If you consider objectives other than app installs, like app website traffic, Instagram offers you different kinds of ad objectives as follows.

  • Clicks to Website: You may want to increase your website’s blog traffic to provide useful content to your audience. Alternatively, you may just want to increase brand awareness before launching. You can use photo, video, and carousel ad formats to do so.
  • Video Views: If your app preview video is ready, you can use video view to tell your app’s story to your audience.
  • Mass Awareness: If your aim is to be at the top of Instagram’s feed, mass awareness ads can help you.

If you need detailed information about Instagram ad objectives and ad formats, you can visit Instagram’s Ad page.

Best Practices to Create an Instagram Ad Campaign

  • One of the best ways to make people feel curious about your app is by using an amazing screenshot about how it is used. As you can see below, Marvel Champions did a good job in choosing their screenshot. By the way, be careful about the quality of the image you pick.



  • In a visual, Facebook only allows 20% of text for the whole image. If you don’t obey this rule, Instagram won’t approve your ad to start.
  • Using photos from the real world can be influential on your audience. If you have a chance to get photos from your users, it’ll create a bandwagon effect on your audience. If not, you can take real photos while your app is open.

new york times

  • As it is on the app stores, visuals with small amounts of text can increase conversion. You can work on smart slogans to write on visuals that you’ll use in Instagram.
  • Carousel Ads is an amazing way to show the most you can. Try to use your screenshots in Instagram ads to give more information. However, don’t forget to resize them for Instagram.
  • Targeting will be one of your most powerful weapons to reach the best-suited mass you need. In order to do that, get benefit from the detailed targeting options of Instagram like devices, age, gender and location. Instagram also provides a Custom Audiences option that you can upload your own subscriber list to show your ads.
  • If you want to use Video Ads, don’t forget that Instagram only allows 30-second videos. Optimize and make your video adhere to this rule and try to show the best features of your app in this video. You can also use your app preview video if it is less than 30 seconds in length.
  • Don’t forget to measure the results of your Instagram ads to test the effectiveness of your visuals.
  • When you decide to start a new campaign on Instagram, remember your old campaigns. You can use your previous visuals by editing them for the new campaign’s aim. Reusing may make your job easier than starting from the beginning again.
  • If you plan to design a vector instead of using a real photo, try to use contrast colors to make it clearer.
  • Hashtags are very important for Instagram, so you should use them in your ads. It increases the visibility of your sponsored content.
  • Captions are the text used in sharing content. You have 300 characters, but Instagram recommends a 125 character-length for captions.

If you have the opportunity to allocate budget for ad campaigns of social platforms, Instagram is a good option to both reach the masses and to do the best with a low budget. You can create a test ad campaign to see the potential of your app.

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