Can you run Instagram ads without being on Instagram?

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

Instagram ads integrate very nicely with the Facebook ad platform and I have shared before my thoughts on whether or not you should simply push your Facebook ad to Instagram. You can also simply create ad campaigns directly in Instagram only.

Traditionally so to speak in social media you have to create an account on the network that you were running an ad on. That would lead to discussions over whether accounts were even needed and how do we keep brand names across networks in tact.

Should we sign up for this account and what should we do on that network? As marketing expert Mark Schaefer reminds us with this busy graphic of social networks it’s virtually impossible to be on every network that you could potentially be on.

The latest of course is the discussion around if brands should be on TikTok? Bhautik Sheth, a digital marketing expert based in India, maybe has giving me the best answer to the TikTok question yet. On an episode of the Business Storytelling Podcast he mentioned that brands that want to reach that audience should simply consider running ads.

Especially at this stage there might be fewer advertisers than the over abundance of 7 million Facebook advertisers.

So it seems like the discussion on whether you need an organic social media account to the network, an organic strategy and a paid strategy – i.e. advertising – are not necessarily linked and don’t even have to be the same discussion.

That also appears to be true on Instagram. The short answer is that you can run a paid Instagram campaigns without even having an Instagram account.

Facebook ads on Instagram

When people on Instagram click on your name on the ad created in Facebook it’s not necessarily a perfect user experience but it’s also not terrible. Here’s how that looks from an example I ran across.

Instagram very transparently tells you that the advertiser is not on Instagram but that you can check out their Facebook page.

Is this a good idea?

Like anything in digital marketing it always depends on the goal and if a company doesn’t have an organic campaign goal but is running paid campaigns and especially when they are running them on Facebook they can conveniently push them to Instagram. Why not make the process easy? Especially when it’s driving results.


Personally I haven’t seen much success on Instagram campaigns, way less than I have seen on Facebook but depending on the campaign it might be worth trying and if we can do it without having to sign up for one more brand why not?

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