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The Ultimate Guide to Creating Shopify Instagram Ads That Drive Sales

Thomas Nguyen | 12-06-2023

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Instagram marketing is a rapidly expanding industry with intense competition. Numerous companies, influencers, and business owners want millions of consumers to be able to purchase their items.

Shopify sellers benefit from having an abundance of online advertising tools at their disposal, one of which is Instagram, a visual social networking platform. Sales and leads for Shopify sellers have been closely correlated with the massive, varied, and highly engaged user base of the social media giant through Shopify Instagram ads.

In this article, we will provide a complete guide on how to create Instagram ads Shopify so as to meet your business demands in enhancing marketing efficiency and increasing sales.

Table of Contents

What are Shopify Instagram ads?

Shopify Instagram Ads

Instagram has been enhancing its collaboration with Shopify by introducing product tagging and a Shop tab directly within the Instagram interface. This integration enables a smooth customer checkout experience for users discovering products in their Instagram feed.

Instagram ads are content pieces designed to showcase a business’s offerings, whether products or services. These promotional posts can manifest in various formats, appearing in an Instagram feed, stories, or both. They typically incorporate visuals like images or videos, accompanied by text and a hyperlink directing users to the company’s preferred web page.

One key benefit of advertising on Instagram lies in its utilization of data furnished by Facebook users, facilitating the targeting of a specific and relevant audience for your ads.

Also, with a large user base, Instagram ranks as the fourth most popular social media platform. Renowned among digital marketers, it offers various business-friendly features, including Instagram Ads and Instagram Shopping.

Why is it important to run Shopify Instagram ads?

These days, very few businesses can ignore the necessity of using social media as a tool for product and service marketing.

You can quickly reach a wider audience by using Instagram to present your Shopify products in an eye-catching and imaginative way. A lot of consumers prefer using Instagram Shopping to quickly learn about new brands and goods and make purchases.

Shopify provides the online store foundation, while Instagram excels in showcasing products to a highly engaged audience. Connecting Instagram with Shopify is crucial for:

  • Expansive Reach: With 2 billion monthly users, Instagram ranks fourth globally. Integration allows targeted marketing for a broader audience reach.

  • Efficient Shopping: According to Instagram, 50% of their active users follow businesses, and 60% use the platform for product discovery. The shopping bag icon leads users to your Instagram store, streamlining the shopping process.

  • Effective Product Marketing: Instagram facilitates direct sales through your Shopify store using compelling images and videos. While results may take time, it’s an excellent platform for driving product sales.

  • Superior Shopify Ads: Marketing on Instagram via Shopify outperforms traditional ads, offering broader reach, enhanced conversion rates, increased audience engagement, trust-building, and potential sales growth.

Types of Instagram ads

Instagram provides a range of ad options, offering business owners significant flexibility in shaping their marketing strategies. Each type of advertisement possesses a unique appearance tailored to achieve various marketing objectives.

Image ads

Image Ads

Image ads involve single visuals accompanied by a call-to-action button to promote your brand, product, or service, typically appearing in the feeds of your intended audience.

When considering the use of image ads as a Shopify Instagram ads strategy, ensure the availability of captivating static visual content, like a high-quality photograph or illustration. While the option to include text exists, it’s advisable to keep it concise for both readability and visual impact.

These image ads contribute to expanding reach and enhancing brand awareness, increasing traffic to your account and store, and generating more app installations, sales, messages, or conversions.

Reel ads

In 2022, Instagram underwent a significant shift in focus by prioritizing video content through various updates to its feed. The latest update consolidated the uploading of all video content, including regular videos and IGTV, into a unified format—Reels.

Instagram Reels represent full-screen, highly customizable video content that users can effortlessly create within the app. Individuals and brands have the flexibility to set these videos to either existing songs from Instagram’s library or incorporate their own audio.

Given the widespread popularity of short-form videos, leveraging Reel ads proves to be an effective Instagram ads Shopify strategy for enhancing engagement and broadening the reach of your account. This is particularly relevant as the Instagram algorithm increasingly directs attention towards video content.

Stories ads

Stories Ads

Instagram Stories stand out as one of the most popular features on the platform, with 500 million Instagram accounts engaging with it daily by 2019.

These Stories consist of full-screen photos or video content that automatically disappears after 24 hours, a feature accessible to all Instagram accounts. Users have the capability to tap and view other users’ Stories at the top of their Instagram home page.

The immersive, full-screen nature of Instagram Stories ads makes them particularly impactful, seamlessly appearing between regular IG Stories and blending in with the overall user experience. A noteworthy statistic is that 4 million businesses integrate Stories ads into their monthly marketing efforts.

The most effective Stories ads are designed to resemble regular Stories while still possessing a unique quality that makes them stand out. Vertical photos, carousels, and videos are well-suited for this ad format. The call to action is presented as a swipe-up option, allowing viewers to navigate to a designated link. To enhance engagement, interactive elements such as stickers, gifs, filters, and text can be incorporated into Stories ads.

Explore ads

Explore Ads

Explore ads on Instagram are either photo or video advertisements that surface on the platform’s explore page, presenting users with content recommendations tailored to their interests. These Shopify Instagram ads may take the form of photos, videos, or carousels.

What distinguishes Explore ads is not their format but their placement. While they can align with other ad types discussed earlier, Explore ads are unique in that they appear when a user taps on a post within their explore page and begins scrolling.

The Instagram explore page undergoes frequent changes, providing businesses with the opportunity to showcase their ads alongside contextually relevant content. This dynamic environment enhances the effectiveness of reaching target audiences more precisely.

Shopping ads

Shopping Ads

Source: MarTech

Instagram has made substantial strides in enhancing its business-friendly features, particularly in the realm of retail. One noteworthy initiative was the introduction of Instagram Shopping in 2020, enabling users to seamlessly explore and purchase products by linking to sellers’ Shopify or WooCommerce stores.

Shopping ads represent a key facet of this initiative, enabling you to tag products from your Instagram Shopping catalog directly in a photo, video, or carousel post. These shoppable ads empower your audience to make direct purchases within the Instagram app, streamlining the customer journey and potentially boosting sales.

Collection ads

Collection Ads

Collection ads on Instagram represent a fusion of carousel and shopping ads, creating visually appealing collages within the Instagram feed of your target audience.

Similar to shopping ads, businesses have the capability to tag their products directly within each photo or video of the collection ad. This functionality empowers users to make purchases directly through the Instagram app. The carousel feature allows businesses to upload multiple images or videos, each with the option to tag various products.

This Shopify Instagram ads format is particularly well-suited for e-commerce businesses, especially those with online stores hosted on platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce. The combination of visual appeal and direct purchasing options makes collection ads an effective tool for engaging potential customers and driving sales.

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads on Instagram comprise a sequence of photos or videos that users can swipe through, resembling the carousel posts commonly shared by regular users.

This particular Instagram ad format is most effective when you integrate content featuring a series of related photos or videos, allowing you to convey a more cohesive message or even narrate a story.

Carousel ads have the flexibility to appear in users’ regular feeds or between Instagram stories. They typically include a call-to-action button or a swipe-up feature, providing a direct link to your desired landing page or website. This versatility makes carousel powerful Shopify Instagram ads for engaging audiences and driving them to specific destinations online.

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How to create Shopify Instagram ads

Step 1: Connect your business Instagram account to your Facebook page

To create an Instagram ad, start by linking your Instagram account to your Facebook page. This is a one-time setup process. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Go to the Page Settings of your Facebook Business page.

  • In the left column, locate and click on “Instagram.”

Page settings

  • Click on “Connect Account.”

  • Toggle the switch for “Allow access to Instagram messages in Inbox” to either on or off. When turned on, this feature allows you and other page managers to respond to Instagram messages directly from the Facebook inbox.

  • Click on “Continue” to proceed with the linking process.

Message settings

  • Then, enter your Instagram login information or select “Login with Facebook


It’s important to note that when connecting a personal Instagram account to a Facebook page managed in Business Manager, you’ll need to switch your Instagram account to a business or creator account. This ensures compatibility with the business-oriented features and functionalities provided through Business Manager for effective ad management.

Step 2: Launch a campaign for Shopify Instagram ads

Once you’ve successfully linked your Instagram account to your Facebook page, proceed to the Ads Manager to initiate the creation of your first campaign. If you’re already familiar with creating Facebook ads, much of this process will be recognizable.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • In the Ads Manager, navigate to the “Campaigns” tab.

  • Click on the “+ Create” button located near the top left corner of the screen to start the process of crafting your new campaign.

Create campaigns

Next, decide what your campaign’s goal is. Remember that the only goals that Instagram Stories advertising may achieve are lead generation, traffic, conversions, app installs, reach, video views, and brand awareness.

Marketing objectives

Step 3: Create your Instagram ad set

On the Ad Set page, where you set the specific parameters for your ad campaign, you can choose “Purchase” as the type of conversion you want to optimize for under the “Conversion Event” breakdown. This selection indicates that your ad campaign is optimized to drive purchases, and the advertising system will prioritize showing your ad to users most likely to complete a purchase based on the defined target audience and other settings you configure in the Ad Set.

Ad set

Start small when determining how much you want to spend on Instagram advertising. If your advertisement is doing well, you can always raise the daily or lifetime budget afterward.

Budget and schedule

Next, decide who should view your advertisements. For Instagram advertisements, the same targeting choices are available as for Facebook ads.

At this point, you may choose the Custom Audiences you want to target with your Instagram ad if you have any already made.


Choose your ad placements next. You may be able to display your advertisement in the following places, depending on its design and type:

  • Facebook feeds (desktop and mobile)

  • Facebook right-hand column

  • Instagram feed and stories

  • Audience Network

  • Instant Articles

  • In-stream Video

Advertisements are what are known as placements. In the “Placements” step of creating an ad set, you select yours. Making effective use of them will help you spend your money more wisely and help you reach a larger audience.

Generally speaking, we advise choosing “Automatic Placements,” which enables us to optimize your placements in order to provide you with the most number of results at the lowest average cost.


Click New Ad in the breakdown on the left, or Next on the bottom right of the page if this is your first campaign, when you’re done selecting what to optimize for, how much to spend, who to target, and which placements to display your ads on.

New campaign

A format selection for your Instagram ad will appear on the next screen. Once you’ve made your choice, submit your photos or videos by scrolling down.

ad setup

Once your images have been submitted, continue scrolling down to see the ability to add text and a call to action to your advertisement on the left.

CTA and preview

Finally, you will see a preview of your advertisement on Instagram to the right of the text editor. This is how a sample advertisement might appear on Stories and Feeds on Instagram.

Then, click Publish in the lower right corner once everything is good. If not, return and alter the text.

Step 4: Instagram ads analysis and optimization

Ads Manager

You may modify your Instagram ad in Ads Manager to add split testing, adjust the targeting specifications, and see ad performance metrics.

Best practices for Shopify Instagram ads

After setting your Instagram advertising budget and gathering insights from your business account, the real challenge lies in effectively allocating and optimizing your funds. The task involves determining where and how to spend to achieve optimal reach among your target audience.

The key to success is a strategic focus on campaign optimization and maintaining a healthy return on ad spend (ROAS). To consistently achieve your goals, explore the recommended best practices for Instagram ads Shopify.

Keep in mind the 70:30 rule

It’s crucial to adopt a flexible strategy when deciding how much to spend on Instagram ads. Think about applying the 70/30 guideline when allocating your digital media budget.

Thirty percent is reserved for variable expenses like Shopify Instagram ads, and the remaining seventy percent is your allotted Instagram advertising cost. The 30% can always be placed back into the main spending pot if any part of it is not needed.

Be wise in choosing the days

More than 80% of Instagram users follow at least one company, according to the platform COO. After seeing an Instagram post, 80% of users apparently decide to make a purchase. It’s critical to ascertain the ideal timing to reach this audience in order to capture them. Get the most out of your ad expenditure by carefully planning and doing research as part of your Instagram marketing strategy, as certain sectors perform better at different times.

According to Sprout Social, here are the best times to post on Instagram:

  • Mondays: 10 A.M - noon

  • Tuesdays: 9 A.M - 1 P.M (best day)

  • Wednesdays from 10 A.M - 1 P.M (best day)

  • Fridays from 9 A.M - 11 A.M

Instagram Global Engagement

However, location is another factor that can influence the ideal time to post on Instagram. Audience behaviors vary across different regions, and the overlap of time zones can significantly affect engagement patterns.

Best times to post

Be connected with your audience


A successful Instagram advertising plan depends on segmentation, which is the key to building a connection with your audience. For instance, you might provide general awareness advertisements to prospective clients and provide discounts to devoted ones.

Dynamic advertisements can then be used to further segment your audience by showing customers relevant content in carousel posts or Instagram Stories that is relevant to the products they have viewed. Because they will receive a more tailored experience, your targets will be less likely to become weary of seeing the same advertising and have a higher chance of converting.

Use it smartly

Optimizing your Shopify Instagram ads involves utilizing smart strategies, such as strategic ad placement. Currently, ads within Instagram Stories are more cost-effective than those in the main feed, making them a prudent choice if your target audience engages well with Stories.

Additionally, transforming a high-performing organic post into an ad is a quick win. Simply tap the “Promote” button below the post, follow the prompts to specify your audience, budget, and duration, and Instagram will review your ad within 60 minutes. This efficient approach helps enhance visibility and manage Instagram advertising costs.

Follow through

Even though it seems obvious, only one in ten brands reply to messages from prospective customers. Because 71% of consumers are inclined to purchase a product following a positive social media experience, be the business that pays attention to its audience by answering messages and comments.

Knowing that a company is there to aid if needed is a big lure for many clients. Your social media platforms will be more effective if you approach them with a more community-focused mindset.

Examples of Shopify Instagram ads to inspire your next campaign



An excellent method to interact with your audience and spark interest in your company or goods is to hold competitions. If you’d like to reach even more people, you can hold a simultaneous competition on Facebook and Instagram.

Pepsi is aware of this and leverages the ad type to maximize user interaction.

Why it stands out:

  • Take advantage of competition/contest to increase engagement

  • Clear call to action (CTA)



Take a cue from Pipcorn if you’re having trouble creating a sales ad that truly stands out. To demonstrate to their clients the worth of their products, they employ comparison formats. Comparative advertisements are excellent for emphasizing the differences between your product and those of your rivals.

Pipcorn was able to demonstrate to consumers how its popcorn is superior to one of the most widely consumed snacks by using concise content and images.

Why it stands out:

  • List of benefits when using their products

  • Clear CTA

Kylie Cosmetics

Kylie Cosmetics

Kylie Cosmetics is an online retailer that offers cosmetics and makeup on its website. Instagram advertisements are used by Kylie Cosmetics as a Shopify Instagram ads strategy to introduce new items, market their latest partnership, and sell cosmetic brushes.

Their new product line is featured in this Instagram story advertisement. It combines clever writing, eye-catching color schemes, and an obvious call to action.

Why it stands out:

  • Smart wording

  • Clear CTA

Triangl Swimwear

Triangl Swimwear

Triangl Swimwear’s Instagram advertisements highlight their brand of bikinis through images of stunning models in serene, blue water settings. The ads adopt a minimalist approach, emphasizing the product itself rather than the models. The simplicity of the images directs attention to the showcased bikinis.

Additionally, Triangl Swimwear employs branded hashtags as part of their marketing strategy, encouraging user engagement and creating a sense of community around their brand.

Why it stands out:

  • Outstanding aesthetics

  • Using hashtags with brand names

  • Clear CTA



Allbirds is a footwear-specialized company.

Price reduction is the main design aspect in this clever Instagram advertisement that they have used to ensure it catches the viewer’s attention. The copy is clear, concise, and devoid of any filler.

Additionally, free returns and shipping are stated along with extra information.

Why it stands out:

  • Great wording

  • Clear CTA

  • Benefits like free shipping or free returns mentioned

  • Use of consumer psychology

Wrapping up

Ensure your Shopify Instagram ads are complemented by content that resonates with your followers. Prospective clients often research your account before making a decision, so treat your profiles seriously. Incorporate relevant keywords in your bio to enhance visibility in search results within your niche.

Armed with these tips, you’re set to launch your inaugural Shopify Instagram ads! Keep in mind that success may involve some trial and error, so stay persistent. Don’t get discouraged—it might take a few attempts to get it just right.

Thomas Nguyen

As the CTO of Avada, a company specializing in Marketing Automation Platform, I have over 10 years of experience in software development. I have successfully led Avada's technical team in creating innovative products for our clients.

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