Instagram Ads VS Facebook Ads post image

Updated 08/17/2020

Social media networks aren’t just for giving your friends and family a glimpse into your life. They can also be a great way to promote a business, product, or service you offer. Facebook and Instagram are two powerful social media platforms to promote your business or brand. While organic promotion is a popular form of marketing on these networks, advertising results in more sales and conversions.

Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads are two popular options for social media advertising. Whether you need a one-time boost of sales or want to build long-term relationships with customers, know the pros and cons of each so that you can make the best decision for your business. 

It is a good idea to examine Facebook ads vs Instagram ads before starting an advertising campaign on any of these social media platforms. Let’s have a look at the benefits of Facebook vs Instagram ads, so you can determine which of these is best for your brand or business: Facebook or Instagram?

Advantages of Facebook Ads

The social media platform with the most users

One significant advantage of Facebook is the most widely used social media platform globally, with almost 3 billion users and a higher engagement rate than most other social networks! That’s higher than all other platforms, including Instagram and Twitter. As such, it is best not to isolate Facebook from your ad planning. A large portion of your target audience would likely be using Facebook.

Social networking platform with the most visitors

In fact, it’s not just that Facebook has many users, but the users of this platform are also very active on the site. More than 74% of people on Facebook tend to visit the site at least once a day, a much higher statistic than Instagram’s daily users. For businesses, this means that if you run an ad on Facebook, users are much more likely to see the ad during the advertising period. This also means your Facebook ads are much more likely to reach your audience.

People of all ages

Facebook also has the advantage in age groups. While different websites and apps cater to different kinds of age groups, Facebook users seem to be from all around. Statistics show that almost 80% of those who use Facebook are from 18 to 50 years old, and nearly 50% are above the age of 65. That’s a considerable age bracket and is almost sure to include your target audience as well. As such, you should consider running ads on Facebook.

Used by both B2B and B2C

One problem that many B2B businesses face is that most social media platforms are focused on advertising to consumers, which can be restricting. But Facebook ads are not limited to B2C companies. Suppose your audience is not an end consumer. In that case, Facebook is still a valuable platform for your business when it comes to running ads. Facebook offers many powerful marketing and ad features for all sorts of businesses.

Multiple ad features

In addition to simply offering advertising options, Facebook offers many ad features designed to make your advertisement more effective. For example, it provides features like retargeting your audience and making lookalike audiences. You can use these features to get Facebook’s algorithm to work for you and help you find your targets. The Facebook ads manager allows for ad formats of different kinds and has several metrics you can use to see how effective advertising on Facebook has been.

Optimized for desktop

While the only difference in using this social media platform on the app and web is the layout and design, the functionality works well on both. On the other hand, while it is improving in this regard, Instagram is still not as optimized on desktop as it is on mobile. This means that users face limitations when they are using Instagram through a web browser.

When it comes to advertising on Instagram, this means that most of your ad efforts have to be made through the app. Whereas Facebook ads allow you to do so on both- the app and the web browser. As such, it is a good idea to use Facebook in your ad campaign.

Advantages of Instagram Advertisements

Facebook has several advantages that you can’t ignore when thinking of your digital ad strategy. But ads on Instagram have their own benefits that running ads on Facebook cannot replicate.

A higher number of buyers

People on Instagram tend to buy more from ads they see than users of other platforms. For example, about 33% of users on this platform have made a purchase off the app. This means Instagram has a higher conversion rate because of ads than any other platform.

Besides Instagram ads, it is a good idea to grow your follower base organically. But how to get more followers on Instagram quickly and without much effort? Consider using an Instagram growth service like SimplyGram to safely and quickly get thousands of real and engaging Insta followers. 

Great organic functionality

One benefit of this platform is that it has enormous potential to help your business grow organically. While paid ads can give your business a boost, many brands have also seen significant growth through organic means without spending any money at all.

With the right focus on content and strategy, you can increase your Instagram follower count, grow loyal fans, and even get help from referrals to make your business grow. All of this will help when you put out Instagram ads to increase conversion rates.

Higher engagement rates

A large part of success on social media can be attributed to engagement. For almost every platform, higher engagement helps spread your post faster due to the algorithm, so the goal of every business should be to secure high engagement. This goes off on how Instagram has better organic functionality since engagement is what results in organic growth. It has a median engagement rate with branded posts of 3.5%, which is higher than that on Facebook or other platforms. 

Similarly, engagement with businesses on Instagram is significantly higher than that on Facebook. This could be through likes or shares, but more importantly, about comments and asking questions. Only about 32% of people on Facebook who follow any brand are likely to engage with it. On the other hand, 80% of users on Instagram follow at least one business, and 70% of those will engage with it. 

With higher engagement with customers, businesses can build better relationships and thus improve the effectiveness of running ads. This gives Instagram ads a huge advantage over advertising on Facebook.

Higher brand awareness

As mentioned before, 80% of Instagram users follow at least one brand on the app, meaning they are part of the consumer pool. Therefore, whether you achieve conversion within the first few ad runs, you can achieve higher brand awareness and engagement by boosting your ads to a wide audience. That can ultimately result in conversion because the number of people on Instagram who are willing to buy your product is higher than on Facebook.

Facebook vs Instagram: What Social Media Platform Suits Your Content?

Price is not the only factor to consider when selecting one of the two platforms to place your ads.

Given that both these platforms have some clear advantages over the other, how do you pick which one to run your ads on? What if you ran both ad campaigns at the same time? Or shall you use Facebook and not Instagram’s platform or vice versa? Well, it’s not really that easy.

Both platforms have benefits, but each is suited for different kinds of content, and you should keep this in mind while making your decision. There is a decent amount of overlap between Facebook and Instagram users. Still, the way engagement and demographics work on both of these platforms is entirely different.

Running the same ad on both platforms is possible, but it won’t get you the same results. And it will definitely be more expensive. When running an ad, you’ll have to look at multiple factors. This includes the goals of your business, your audience demographics and age groups, CPC, budget, traffic, the kind of content on your page, and more.

You’d also need to look at the ad itself. Suppose you’re trying to spread awareness about your business as your primary goal. In that case, you may not need Facebook ads and can put out a simple one on Instagram. On the other hand, if you want to control the ad in every aspect, Facebook should be your choice.

When you’re working under a strict social media budget, making these decisions can be tough. Let’s look at some features that’ll help you decide which of these two platforms works better for your business.


It is vital to take demographics into account when studying Facebook ads vs Instagram ads. The difference between ‘demographics’ and ‘audience,’ though both are often used interchangeably, is that demographics refer to the overall users of the platform while the audience is the portion of those users that your business can reach. 

Your current audience includes the people you have already gotten through to. As such, when you’re looking into improving awareness of your business or getting new followers, you’d have to keep demographics in mind. Make sure to include it in your assessment of Instagram ad campaigns vs Facebook ad campaigns. On the other hand, if you’re trying to get current users to continue purchases or retain them as customers, you’d want to look at your audience.

However, most ad campaigns will be focused on the former, so the critical aspect is demographics.

Since Instagram’s user base is mainly between the ages of 18 and 34, if your audience falls within this range, ads on Instagram will be your best bet.

On the other hand, advertising on Facebook still covers the widest age range, as mentioned earlier. So no matter what segment you’re targeting, you’re still likely to find some portion of it on Facebook as well (at a lower cost per click).

Instagram, while decent at defining an audience, is not as detailed as it is on Facebook. This makes it easier for newbies or for start-ups who want to run simpler ads, but not so great for larger brands who may have a larger ad drive.


Another major consideration is the content of your page. What kind of content do you have, and do you have the budget to create more content? Do you have posts you want to boost for publicity, or have you created content specifically for advertisements?

Instagram and Facebook are social platforms with very different types of content and different kinds of interaction on that content.

Let’s take Facebook, for example. Facebook allows multiple kinds of ads. These include carousel ads with scrollable videos and images, single media content with a video, an image or a collection of images, and existing posts, where you simply bump a piece of content and spread it around.

On the other hand, Instagram only allows you to make video or photo posts, and the links in the captions are not clickable. To lead your audience to action, you have to add call-to-action buttons that would take them to your website so they can make the purchase.

When considering content, you should also keep in mind the goal of your ad strategy. Facebook is better for sharing more text-heavy content, such as blog posts, information, news articles, etc. If your ad relies on a bit of reading, Facebook may be a better option for you to run your ads on.

Instagram is a more visual-oriented platform, so when running ads here, you’ll have to create compelling visual content first, such as images or videos that will grab attention. News articles will not work on a platform like Instagram unless you pair it with a catchy picture or video.


While we touched on goals before, it is always a good idea to take a closer look at what it means to identify your goals before you select your platform. As mentioned earlier, both of these platforms have different kinds of behavior and interactions, so when running your ads on either one, you need to know your goal for the ads.

If you don’t have any clear goals, it is recommended that you think about them before you move on. Without any clear goals, you may just end up wasting your money because none of the metrics will hold any meaning.

Let’s say you wanted to increase your follower count and ran an ad on Instagram, which got you a few hundred new followers. Knowing your goal beforehand meant that you could track your progress. Your ad was successful! If you had run the same ad without really knowing why you are doing it, you wouldn’t be able to tell if it was successful or not.

Facebook makes it easier to manage this since the ads manager has objectives you can select from the start. And since Instagram ads are also managed by Facebook, this means that you can take care of both in your ads manager.

Still, if your objective is to create business awareness, use Instagram is a better option. Whereas spreading information or aiming for clicks to your website would likely perform better on Facebook. Depending on your content types, you could choose either platform to run your ads.


Another major consideration to make is the industry you function in. Different brands fall under different industries, and each ad type will differ based on the target consumers.

Fashion, for example, would work best with visual content, whereas education would require more text. If you’re running ads already, you should look at your analytics to see what kind of content is getting the most organic interactions. You can then use the findings to decide what kind of content you want to create.

Your industry will also have an effect on prices. Expensive products will require more advertisements to push consumers from awareness to purchase, which will obviously lift your cost per click. On the flip side, if competitors within your industry do not have a strong social media presence, putting out advertisements may work to your advantage and bring overall costs down.

Most importantly, you’d have to see whether your industry’s target demographic exists on the platform at all. For example, we mentioned that Instagram is largely 18-34-year-olds. If you run a promotional ad, let’s say, a book on after-retirement adjustment, you wouldn’t be meeting a lot of people from your target audience, and your ad may fail.

It’s crucial to check your analytics frequently to see how your business is operating. It will also help you find out who your actual audience is compared to your perceived audience, what kind of ads have been successful in the past, and more.

So What Do You Pick?

Social media is not only meant to keep in touch with your friends and family. It is now an expanding virtual world to generate leads and sell to your customers. While ads are the cornerstone of leads generation and selling on Facebook and Instagram, they aren’t as simple as just putting out a post or two and opening up your wallet to boost them.

Facebook and Instagram media ads also require a lot of planning and strategizing. Also, you’ll have to analyze the current social media trends and climate to get leads and make sales. Not to mention, every platform – not just Facebook Instagram – is constantly changing. They’re adding and removing features from the app as well as adjusting their algorithm. 

You don’t just have to stay up to date with the audience you’re trying to appeal to, but you also have to stay updated on how the platform itself functions. 

All of that holds true, but many experts still believe that you should put ads on both platforms if you can afford it. Of course, you’ll have to adjust your ad for each one. And you may even have to create a whole new strategy to cater to the kind of audience for both your Instagram and Facebook ad.

Even the same user can have dramatically different kinds of behavior on each platform! Keeping that in mind, it is best to focus on a social profile on Instagram, where customers and consumers will feel more comfortable reaching out to your brand with the intent of purchase. Facebook is less personal and feels more business-like to users, so using the Instagram persona and redirecting the audience to Facebook where you can use the various tools created for advertising purposes, such as Facebook ads manager.

At the end of the day, a large part of your decision to use Facebook Instagram would depend on your analysis of FB ads vs IG ads, your audience, industry, and budget. One thing is for sure, though – keeping all of these factors in mind, you’d be able to make a more informed decision. And thus, you can run much more successful ad campaigns than you would be able to otherwise.

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