How To Create Instagram Ads

How do you put Instagram ads together? I get asked this a lot and I have to say I feel I have been very lucky. I've done some great ads, my ads are always supported by my community and thankfully I get a lot of them. 

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AD/PR → This is a brand collaboration. While I have been compensated my opinions are mine and always true to my experience. ♥ Bee

How do you put Instagram ads together? I get asked this a lot and I have to say I feel I have been very lucky. I’ve done some great ads, my ads are always supported by my community and thankfully I get a lot of them. 

Ads are actually some of the content I enjoy creating the most. I find them a challenge in a good way.  They are always a complex mix of what you want to do, what the client wants, and what works well with your followers and I think I honestly thrive on this sort of pressure. 

How Do Instagram Ads Work?

For those that don’t know how Instagram ads work it’s actually really simple. 

After agreeing on a price and deliverables you are sent a contract and a brief. Sometimes brands don’t send a brief sometimes briefs are really loose and sometimes they are really tight. 

Sometimes a brand/agency will ask you for an initial concept sometimes they won’t. You will need to deliver the ‘deliverables’ by a certain date and they will need to be approved and sometimes you will be asked to make tweaks etc: 

Now obviously there are often more complexities than this and some deals are very very different but in general, this is the most common way it works. 

I’m doing this not to show off but to give you an idea of how we come up with concepts so you can learn from them. 

How Do I Do Instagram Ads? 

In this article, I’m going to walk you through three of my recent ads and how we came up with the concept. They are all book ads however all of them were very different. 

However, for all ads here are the questions I ask myself. In fact, what I do is get a notebook and answer these questions. 

What does the brand want? 

Here I look through the brief and pick out the most important things. 

What do I need to get across about the product?

Here I’ll make a list of what’s unusual about the product, or the vibe of the product, what the product is about, what it does, etc: etc: This will change for what the product is. 

What comes to my mind when I think of this product?

Here I might write down one word or a few words that quickly come to mind. 

Do I have any concepts that immediately come to mind? 

Often as soon as I see a product a concept will come to mind, it might be a concept I’ve had on my mind for a while, a photo I’m thinking of doing that could work for this, or perhaps a photo I’ve been thinking of doing for a while that instantly springs to mind. 

What is doing well on Instagram at the moment and what are my followers loving at the moment? 

Trends change on Instagram, seasons change, and what my followers like changes. I always try and bring this in if I can. I don’t always get this right but I always take this into account. 

Creating Instagram Ads 

When I have done all this I will come up with generally about five concepts and then talk them through with my team i.e. my mum until we come up with something that is workable.

Sometimes it is really quick sometimes it takes forever. Sometimes we have to go back to the drawing board and sometimes it works out really easily. 

So let me walk you through three different Instagram ads that represent an ad that came together easily, one that was a little more difficult, and one that took ages. 

Hopefully this will give you an idea of the process I go through when it comes to Instagram ads. 


The Last Valley

The brand for this one gave me pretty much free creative control so I didn’t have to think about that so much. 

The product which was a book was set in the second world war and about a  family that had to escape.

I knew these were the elements I wanted to include in the final picture. When I thought about this book I just couldn’t get the idea of an airplane out of my head for some reason. 

We knew that rapeseed fields were in season and we wanted to do a photo in the fields. The colouring of the book worked well with the yellow and flower fields always work well on Instagram. 

When we discussed the concept we realised we could combine the escape concept with the vintage war feel in a rapeseed field.    The only problem is we didn’t know where there was a good rapeseed field. 

Interestingly enough we got lost driving one day and stumbled across the perfect field and bingo we got the picture. Add a bit of photoshop and the photo was complete. I was honestly delighted how this picture turned out. 

I think it is one of my favourite ads I have ever done. 

Waiting to Begin

Again here the brand gave me free rein so I didn’t really need to take anything into account here. 

As soon as I saw the mirror on the front of the book I knew I wanted to do something with a mirror. It’s a lovely summer read so I wanted to get that feeling in the photo too. 

Other than the thought of wanting a mirror I had no other ideas for this photo. Outdoor cottage core photos were doing well at the time so we thought about how we could incorporate that. 

But I was still stuck with a real concept for this. Then my mum went on a bit of a reccy and found the most incredible buttercup field.  We decided the next day to just grab some props and head to the fields and try and make something work. 

I’m not going to lie we have no idea what picture we wanted to take this was a matter of making it up as we go along. We were there taking pictures for about 30 minutes before I got into this position and with a bit of faffing it all worked. 

This was a real case of getting inspired by the book and the props we had at the moment. When we went into that field we had no idea what we would come out with but I think it came out really well. 


The Noise

This one we had a lot of time to think about, about a month which is very unusual. The brand just wanted to make sure we got the book and the headphones in the picture and that was it. 

The book is about an unusual noise that is affecting people and of course, the headphones are noise canceling.

I really wanted to get the feeling across of when you are reading and tune out from everything. 

The concept of this photo took ages to come up with I’m not going to lie and I did start to panic that I wouldn’t have an idea. My mum suggested taking the duvet into the forest and making a bed and then the whole bubble concept to me. 

I would have preferred this to be more of a lighter photo but there is no way I could do that and get this concept across. It’s really hard to get the thriller concept across during the summer months as Instagram seems to favor lighter photos at this time. However, the concept seemed solid so I went with it. 

We had to do it in the evening as it was a little darker and there were ants everywhere. It wasn’t the nicest picture to do for sure. 

I wasn’t sure this was going to work when I got it into editing and at first it wasn’t. However, a tweak with the bubble and it all worked. 

It was a difficult picture and a difficult edit but I’m pleased with the way it turned out.

So as you can see no two ads are the same, some are easier, some are more difficult, some are quick and some take ages. 

I try really hard with my ads to make them work for the brand, for me, and for my followers and I hope you love the ads I create. 

As always I would like to thank you for all your support and I hope this helps you a little in creating your own ads. 

And if you are curious where I get inspiration from you might like to read this.