Instagram Marketing Objectives Explained

Instagram ads only work with a selection of goals. While intuitive, some come along with a few additional configuration steps.

Brand awareness

This is the most standard goal that will try to show your ads to more potential people likely to be interested. How does Instagram determine this? It’s a secret, but this goal will likely expose some new and relevant folks to your brand.


If reach is what you’re looking for (as in maximising how many people see your ads) then you’ll just need to be sure to select your Instagram account when creating the ad itself. It’s also worth noting that if you’re looking to run an Instagram Story ad “reach” is currently the only objective you can chose. The cool thing about this goal is that you can take advantage of Facebook’s split testing feature, which allows you to split test two ads to see which one yields more installs.

NOTE: Split testing is also available for Traffic, App Installs, Video Views, Lead Generation, and Conversion goals.


If you’re looking to send more people to your website or app store to download your app, this is the appropriate goal for you. The only additional steps you’ll need to take is choosing between those two options, then enter the URL of choice.


Who doesn’t want more likes, shares, and overall engagement? If your goal is engagement, one thing to note is that you currently can only pay to play for “post engagement” on Instagram.

Facebook will allow you to pay for “page engagement” and “event responses,” but this is not currently available to Instagram.

App Installs

If your main goal is app installs, you’ve come to the right place. To configure this you’ll need to choose your app from the app store during set-up.

Video Views

Videos are often an investment of time and money, so not promoting your video on Instagram would be like buying a plane ticket to Hawaii, and leaving it in your desk. Luckily, this goal is very straightforward, and doesn’t require additional setup steps.

Lead Generation

Who doesn’t want more leads? If that is your main goal this objective is for you. Just note that lead generation ads do not provide all of the same pre-filled fields as Facebook. Instagram currently only supports email, full name, phone number, and gender.

These ads also have more of a barrier than Facebook lead generation ads, since when leads click to open the ad they’ll need to click through to fill out their information. On Facebook, leads can fill out their information without all the additional clicking. The other set-up piece is that you’ll need to create a lead form when creating your ad. If you’re interested in learning more about lead ads check out this post.


Lastly is conversions. This goal allows you to drive your leads to take action and convert on your website or within your app. The additional set-up here requires you to configure either a Facebook pixel or app event based on the website or app you’re looking to promote; this will allow you to track conversions.

Still unsure what goal to select, contact us today and we'll guide you in the right direction.