16 Ways To Take Advantage Of Instagram Ads Without Spending a Dime!

If you want to get the most out of your Instagram Ads and get a lot more traffic and engagement than you probably thought was possible, I’ve got great news for you: there are several ways to do it.

As a fellow Instagram user, I always wanted to know how to market myself better on the platform. 

And since I’m still working my way through college and have very little money, I decided that it would be best if I tried out some free ways of marketing myself instead of paying for ads. 

The problem? After spending hours upon hours researching what works and doesn’t work on the platform, I had a ton of information but nothing concrete to show for it.

Since then, however, things have changed: after much trial and error (and several hundred dollars spent on failed experiments), I’ve managed to find methods that do work–and they cost virtually nothing at all! Don’t believe me? Read on…

Tips for Creating Great Instagram Ads (Guide)
1. Leverage user-generated content for authentic advertising.
2. Optimize your Instagram profile for maximum impact.
3. Utilize relevant and trending hashtags to expand reach.
4. Collaborate with micro-influencers for cost-effective promotion.
5. Host Instagram contests to engage and attract followers.
6. Craft compelling captions that tell a story or evoke emotions.
7. Engage with your audience by responding to comments and messages.
8. Create visually appealing and shareable content.
9. Utilize Instagram Stories to showcase behind-the-scenes moments.
10. Collaborate with other businesses for cross-promotion.

1. Have A Clear Goal

Before you can create your Instagram ad campaign, it’s important to define the goals of your ad. What is it that you hope to achieve? How will this impact your business and how much are you willing to spend on the campaign? 

These are all questions that need to be answered before creating any ads. Once these questions have been answered, here are some other things that should be considered:

Audience: Who is this advertisement targeting? Is it a specific group of people or do they all fall into the same age range or demographic? 

Knowing who your target audience is allows for better planning for an ad because once you know who will see it and why then you can create something specifically tailored towards them.

Message: What message does one want their customers/visitors/followers to take away from viewing your product or service directly from their feed without having clicked into social media itself first? 

What purpose does one want these individuals’ lives served by seeing this message within seconds of scrolling through Instagram’s app?

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2. Use The Right Hashtags

When it comes to hashtags, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Use relevant and popular hashtags: Don’t use a hashtag that doesn’t relate to your content or isn’t active, especially if it’s related to your industry or niche. 

For example, if you’re running an ad for a dog food company and want people who like dogs or pets in general, don’t use the hashtag #dogfancyspinner (even though this is our personal favorite). 

Instead try something like #dogsarethebestfriends (#alltheawkward), which is more likely to get engagement from people who love their dogs.

Keep an eye out for new opportunities: If you find yourself using the same old set of hashtags all the time with no luck on engagement rates or traffic being driven towards your content then take some time out.

And research trending topics that may be relevant to what you’re trying to accomplish with Instagram ads but haven’t explored yet!

3. Research What Instagram Ads Someone Has Interacted With Recently

Let’s say you are a pet owner. You have a beautiful dog that you love and want to show off to the world! The best way to do this is by posting pictures of your pooch on Instagram, right?

Wrong! The correct answer is: “you should be using Instagram Ads!” But since not everyone has money or time (or knowledge), let’s look at some other ways we can take advantage of this awesome platform without spending a dime.

First off, look at what ads someone has interacted with recently.

Look at their activity feed – Click “Add Followed Posts” then select “Liked”. This will show you all of the posts they have Liked over time, which probably means they like humor or puppies (or both). 

This could also give you an idea about which topics they’re interested in learning more about.

Look at the ads they have liked – Click “Likes” then select “Recent Likes” and search for brands within your niche that fit these parameters (humor + puppies). 

These will give you ideas about how others are marketing their products/services successfully on social media so that you can emulate those strategies yourself!

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4. Use High-Quality Images

The next step is to make sure your images are high quality. If you’re going to pay for advertising, you want it to count for something. Make sure your images are clear and easy to see no blurry pictures or pixelated text! 

This will help create a good first impression with your followers (and potential clients) so they’re more likely to click on what you have advertised.

If you can’t take your photos, use stock photos or hire a photographer! It may cost some money but the quality is worth it when it comes down to showing off your product or service in action.

5. Create Your Landing Page On Your Website

Creating your landing page on your website is another way to use Instagram ads without spending a dime. 

This is because when an Instagram user clicks on one of your ads and lands on a dedicated landing page, they are more likely to engage with the call-to-action (CTA) than if they were redirected elsewhere or simply returned to their feed.

You can create your landing page by adding links in the bio section or including them within posts; however, we recommend creating a separate website just for this purpose so that you can easily direct visitors there whenever necessary. 

You can also include CTAs within posts by using tools like Bitly which allows users to shorten links directly from Instagram so they’re easier for readers to remember and access later.

6. Use Analytics And Pixels To Track Conversions

You can use analytics to both track conversions and optimize your campaign.

Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to tracking and optimizing, so you’ll want to test different strategies to see what works best for your business. Here are some tips for using analytics:

  • Use Google Analytics or another platform like HubSpot Free, SaaS CRM (free), or Zapier for automation when it comes to tracking conversions.
  • Don’t forget about the power of Pixels! You can use them on your site, landing page, store, or app to track conversions at every stage of the buyer journey.*

7. Use Facebook Ad Manager To Create And Manage Instagram Ads

To create and manage Instagram ads, you can use Facebook’s Ad Manager. It’s a free tool that allows you to manage your ad campaigns for both Facebook and Instagram from the same place. 

You can easily import existing Facebook ads, which will automatically be converted for use on Instagram.

The software also offers many useful features including a simple ad creation wizard, access to historical data like conversion rates and costs per acquisition (CPA), and the option of setting up automated rules based on specific actions taken by users with different devices or browsers.

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8. Know The Differences Between Organic Reach And Paid Reach

You have to know the difference between organic reach and paid reach. Organic reach is when your posts show up in the feeds of people who follow you, but those who don’t follow you will never see it. 

Paid reach allows you to show your post to people who don’t follow you, but they might not see it if they’re not interested in what you’re posting.

Organic reach is free and better than paid reach because it gives more value to existing followers by showing them more of what they want to see: more content that provides value for them!

9. Try Different Kinds Of Content On Instagram For Free Exposure

There are several ways you can use different types of content to gain exposure on Instagram. Try each one and see what works best for your business.

  • When it comes to the type of content that gets the most engagement, try posting a photo with text-based captions, videos, or stories.
  • A video will get more likes than a photo but fewer comments. On the other hand, photos tend to get more comments than videos; however, they also have less visibility (since users have to click on them).

10. Run Giveaways For Free Exposure On Instagram

Giveaways are a great way to generate interest and engagement around your brand. If you’ve been on Instagram for a while, you’ve probably seen a lot of them: 

Brands put up an incentive where they give away something from their store or website in exchange for people following them and leaving a comment on the post. 

While this method can help you get more followers, it’s important to remember that giveaways should be something of value.

Giveaways should also be things that people want to win because they’re excited about what your brand has to offer. 

This will encourage them to leave comments, like the post, and share it with others which are good news because all these activities help increase the reach of your giveaway campaign!

Driving traffic to your website is a key part of successful online marketing. Discover 15 Tips for Better Attracting Visitors to Your Website and learn strategies to boost your website’s visibility and engagement.

11. Take Advantage Of Current Events To Get Exposure On Instagram For Free

The Olympics and World Cup are two examples of events that you can use to get exposure on Instagram for free. The Olympics is about to start and if you’re a fan, it would be a great time to start posting your favorite photos from past games. 

If you’re not into the Olympics at all, many other major sporting events take place each year like March Madness or the Super Bowl that would be a good fit as well.

Another way to take advantage of current events is by posting pictures and videos related to current news stories. For example, if an earthquake recently hit an area near where you live (or even somewhere else), post images related to this event!

12. Use A Contest App Like Wishpond Or Gleam To Run Contests On Instagram

The best part about using a contest app is that you can run a contest without spending any money. All you need to do is create an account on Wishpond or Gleam and then add in the details of your giveaway (including how many people will win). 

Once your contest has been set up, it’s time to start sharing it with all of the people who follow you on Instagram!

When someone enters the giveaway, they’ll be prompted to share it with their friends so that they can enter as well. This helps get more people involved in your giveaway and increases exposure for both yourself and the prize(s).

13. Show Off Your Creative Skills In As Many Ways As You Can On Instagram For Free Exposure And Engagement

If you’re a creative person, this is the section you want to pay attention to. Use Instagram as your portfolio and showcase all of your works in progress. 

You can share them individually or create an account that showcases all of your work. It’s a great way to show off your skills and get noticed by potential employers and clients.

If you don’t know where to start, here are some ideas:

  • Take photos of food so people know what they should order at restaurants or make at home (it helps if it has something blue or purple in it)
  • Take photos of fashion items that could be worn together for an outfit (helpful if one is black/white)
  • Take photos with interesting backdrops like nature (mountains are especially popular)

You can also take advantage of other social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn by sharing links back to these Instagram accounts so followers will be able to see more examples of what else is out there!

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14. Set Up A Landing Page To Check Out If You’re Selling Something Through Instagram Ads, Or Use An E-Commerce Platform Like Shopify

The next step is to set up a landing page. A landing page is a website that’s dedicated to a single action, like converting fans into customers or getting people to sign up for your newsletter.

There are lots of ways you can structure your landing page, but the best ones have three elements:

  • Clear instructions on how to get what you want from the visitor (in this case, it could be email addresses)
  • A clear call-to-action (“give me your email address”)
  • An explanation of why they should give you their information

15. Repost Other People’s Popular Content To Get More Exposure For Yourself Without Spending Money On Instagram Ads

This is a great way to get more exposure for yourself without spending any money on Instagram ads.

To do this, you need to find popular content in your niche or audience and then ask permission from the person who created the content if it’s okay with them that you repost it on your account. 

This will help build an audience for your account over time and help you become more well-known in your industry.

16. Partner With Someone Else Who Has A Similar Audience So You Can Both Benefit From Sharing Each Other’s Content Without Spending Any Money On Instagram Ads!

If you have a blog, then you have to be careful not to let it become an echo chamber where all the content is coming from inside your head. If you want people to read what you write, other people need to be writing too.

The same thing goes for Instagram: While there are plenty of opportunities for brands and businesses who want to advertise on Instagram, there are also opportunities for those who don’t want or can’t afford advertising dollars. 

One great way that these two groups can work together is by sharing each others’ content on their respective channels without having to spend any money on ads (and even if they do, it won’t cost as much).


If you didn’t know that there are so many ways to take advantage of Instagram ads, then hopefully this blog post has shed some light on a few that you didn’t know about. 

Do you have any ideas or tips we missed? What are your favorite Instagram ads styles or techniques? Share with us in the comments below!

Further Reading

Promote Your Instagram Account for Free: Learn effective strategies to promote your Instagram account without spending money on ads.

Marketing Without Paid Ads: Discover how to achieve marketing success using strategies that don’t rely on paid advertisements.

Instagram Ads Guide: Dive into this comprehensive guide to mastering Instagram ads and getting the most out of your advertising efforts.

And here’s the “FAQs” section based on the semantic of the titles:


How can I promote my Instagram account without spending money?

You can promote your Instagram account without paid ads by using organic growth strategies like engaging with your audience, creating compelling content, and leveraging hashtags effectively.

What are some effective ways to market without using paid ads?

Marketing without paid ads involves tactics such as content marketing, social media engagement, influencer partnerships, and optimizing your online presence for search engines.

How can Instagram ads benefit my marketing efforts?

Instagram ads can help you reach a larger and targeted audience, increase brand visibility, drive traffic to your website, and ultimately boost conversions.

What are the key elements of a successful Instagram ads strategy?

A successful Instagram ads strategy involves defining your target audience, creating visually appealing content, using relevant hashtags, and monitoring and optimizing your ad performance.

How can I maximize the impact of my marketing efforts on Instagram?

To maximize your marketing impact on Instagram, focus on creating valuable content, building genuine connections with your audience, and staying consistent with your posting and engagement activities.