What are the Differences Between Facebook and Instagram Ads?

April 6, 2024

What are the Differences Between Facebook and Instagram Ads? | AIA Book in a free 30 minute strategy session

Social media, while it may evolve in scope and user experience, is here to stay. More people than ever before are utilising social media, and companies are taking notice with comprehensive advertising campaigns.

Facebook remains one of the largest social media platforms to date, with over one billion monthly active users. In 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram, a platform with an emphasis on visual content. While Instagram has remained largely separate, Instagram ads can be created via the Facebook dashboard.

Instagram is now the one of the fastest growing social media platforms, with over 500 million active daily users. Businesses are starting to take note of this unique and relatively young social media company as an advertising platform. But what are the differences between Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising, and which advertising platform is best to pursue for your business?

First, the scope and demographic users of Instagram and Facebook differ slightly.

Facebook is an older platform, and it has a much higher number of users than Instagram. 68% of adults use Facebook on a regular basis as opposed to 35% of adults on Instagram.

In 2016, 28% of adults used Instagram. Now, that number has grown to 35%. Instagram is the only social media platform besides Facebook to see consistent, year-over-year growth.

There are notable differences between the age of Facebook and Instagram users. Facebook’s age demographics are spread out evenly among all groups, while Instagram’s users are overwhelmingly a part of the 18-24 age group.

It is important to keep in mind the demographics of your targeted audience when considering an advertising strategy on either platform

Next, the engagement between the two platforms varies.

Facebook engagement with organic posts has gone down since the newsfeeds have become saturated. In response, Facebook has changed their algorithms, and the rules for organic vs. non-organic post engagement have changed substantially.

Fortunately, though, Facebook offers detailed, complex data and metrics to marketers. The targeting options for Facebook ads are optimal and offer the best chance for a positive ROI.

Instagram does not offer these advanced and detailed user demographic metrics.

Instagram engagement has increased dramatically since 2016. Now, more than 70% of businesses are on Instagram, compared to only 48% in 2016.

Savvy businesses are taking note of Instagram’s increasing reach and are capitalising accordingly. Last year, over 120 million Instagram users engaged with businesses through visiting websites or direct messaging the business.

The types of ads on Facebook and Instagram also differ.

Facebook offers the following advertising formats:

  • Photo ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads, which show multiple videos or photos displayed within a single ad
  • Slideshow ads
  • Collection ads, which show a story with multiple products
  • Messenger ads

Instagram ads come in the following formats:

  • Photo ads
  • Multiple photo carousel ads
  • Thirty second video ads
  • Instagram Marquee

The objective of an Instagram Marquee ad is to drive mass awareness in a short amount of time. It is optimal for special events like product launches and movie premieres.

Where the ads will display on either platform is another thing to consider. Facebook gives marketers and businesses an advantage here.

Facebook advertisements can show on either a user’s newsfeed on a desktop, and also on a mobile device.

Instagram ads will only display to those using the app on iOS devices or Android. They are not able to display on a desktop.

Be aware when targeting ads and choosing a platform where your audience spends their time. If they are more likely to browse on a desktop, Facebook ads will have a better reach.

Ease of use is another thing to consider when choosing to run a Facebook or Instagram ad.

Facebook requires an account to run ads, whereas Instagram does not. Instagram advertising capabilities are already offered on the Facebook dashboard. However, Instagram’s apparent ease to running ads comes with a major downside though.

Other than published studies that expose Instagram user demographics and habits, marketers do not have specific Instagram user data at their disposal. Facebook, however, does give marketers this edge when considering how to create and target advertisements.

Not only does Facebook offer marketers the ability to figure out their target audiences core demographic, Facebook also logs what users do on and offline. Facebook also takes into consideration when mining data what other businesses a user has liked or followed. Instagram does not have such sophisticated data tracking.

Cost also differentiates between the two platforms. Facebook advertisements tend to have a lower CPC rate than Instagram.

On average, a Facebook ad will cost .35 per click, and an Instagram ad will cost about .80 per click. Keep in mind though, that Facebook advertising costs fluctuate more frequently than Instagram. The time of year and even time of day can affect CPC rates on Facebook.

It is vital to recognise user demographics, targeting options, and the types of ads to use when considering an advertising campaign. While Instagram may be an easier platform to use when it comes to advertising, Facebook gives businesses much more detailed information on social media users and offers more campaign objectives and insights. Accuracy leads to a positive ROI with targeted marketing campaigns.

Australian Internet Advertising is staffed with knowledgeable and dedicated marketing experts who understand the nuances of Facebook advertising. With Australian Internet Advertising, you’ll get a positive ROI on your marketing campaigns, increase your leads and your bottom line. Contact us today to learn more about how Facebook advertising can elevate your business and set you apart from your competitors.

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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