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Instagram ad agency Manchester

Rise of Influenza

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Instagram advertising gives you access to 3 billion eyeballs. Assuming nearly everyone has two. You can grow your brand in a huge way by having an Instagram marketing agency put together a top strategy using amazing content and thumb stopping visuals.

Even though Instagram is owned by Meta (aka Facebook), it’s a very different social media platform – but that doesn’t mean a good Instagram ad agency worth their salt knows how to use the two together. For the best reach you should use the same Facebook ads and Instagram ads. Anyone who tells you that you need totally different ads for each platform is lying. They’re trying to keep you behind your rivals so you’ll give them more money to catch up. It’s a scam.

Don’t listen to the false prophets shouting from cardboard boxes that look like silver stages, promising the world but never delivering the goods.The real heroes are out there, working behind the scenes to make advertising on Instagram a success. Our Instagram paid advertising team is that salvation. We’re cutting through the noise and shining a light on the snakes. Our Instagram ads experts will listen to what you want to achieve and help make those goals a reality, working overtime to figure out when and what your audience wants to see. No mess, no fuss. Just straight-talking heroes and great results.

Ignore the jargon. Ditch the flash graphs. Only results matter.

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What is Instagram advertising?

As you scroll through Instagram, passing the filtered food pictures and cat videos, you’ll see paid Instagram ads pop up. Businesses use these ads to highlight their products and services, or to raise their brand awareness. Like other forms of paid advertising, there’s a cost to doing this but it’s more reliable than posting a photo and hoping it’ll be seen organically.

We know it sounds like a bribe, but it’s legit. There’s no con here – though advertising on Instagram can be a money trap if you don’t know what to do. Paid advertising on Instagram is a maze of rules and ad types, with influencers and back alley “experts” ready to pick off the unsuspecting victims who don’t have their wits about them.

There’s no smoke with us. We speak clearly so you know exactly what we do on Instagram. Join the Dark Horse revolution, beat the algorithm and make sure the right people see what you have to offer.

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How does advertising on Instagram work?

Every instagram ad you see has money behind it. A business pays the social media platform to show paid Instagram ads to the people they want to target.The whole system works on either a pay by click or pay by reach basis:

  • For the former, you will only pay when some clicks on the ad’s action button, whatever that may be. It can be seen by many more people who click, but this doesn’t cost you anything.
  • For the second option, you pay based on how many times an ad is seen – even if this is multiple times for the same people. Putting your ad front and centre is all it does, though. It doesn’t encourage people to stop and engage – you have to do that yourself, or get help from an Instagram ad agency.

Figuring out Instagram advertising is like swimming up rapids. The current is against you, and it’s not always clear what you should do or where you should go, but make it far enough upstream, and you’ll find it easier. This is how we can help, acting as a beacon in the dark and guiding you forward to find the people who are interested in your business.

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Why is Instagram good for advertising?

If your typical consumer uses Instagram – and they’ll likely use it every day – then you need to be on the platform too. You can target them with paid ads using their:

  • Demographics
  • Location
  • Interests

This is only the first level. Lookalike audience – people with similar interests and behaviours to those you target – is a way to increase your reach. Retargeting can help remind those people who found you interesting but didn’t act when they first saw you. You can use the Conversions API integration to also gather more personalised data about your audience, how they behave and their user journeys on your web platform to make more relevant and efficient ads, which then delivers a better return on ad spend.

A good Instagram advert is a way to hook your targets and reel them in on your brand. If you’re not capitalising on Instagram paid advertising, you’re letting the competition scoop up your potential customers and steal them away.

There is hope, though. Amongst the influencers and bots, real people are ready for the right brand to show up and offer what they need. If they need you, make sure your Instagram ad agency is up to the task.

We know your money is precious, and parting with it isn’t easy. You want results, and you want them fast. No dawdling, no messing around. We dive straight in and make Instagram ads do the work.

Influencers are not the be all and end all. People are wise to them getting paid and talking bollox. A solid Instagram marketing agency behind you gives you the robustness to grow and scale without that concern.

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What you need to know about Instagram paid ads

Advertising on Instagram is shrouded in fog. It feels like a mystery waiting to be solved, but there’s no need to tackle it all alone. The sheer amount of figures and data is enough to send you in a spiral, and there’s no easy way back from that. How valuable is an impression, and what does conversion rate mean?

Choosing the right objective, from awareness to clicks to sales can all determine what kind of results you’ll see – and know what people do at different stages of relationship with your brand. You’ll learn this from split A/B testing and good, quality content that resonates with the people you want to connect with.

There’s a lot involved in getting an Instagram ad live, but once you see how we operate, you can rest easy knowing that we’re on your side. The more money you make, the happier we sleep.

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Using Instagram ads manager

The Instagram ads manager, which has been combined with Facebook to create the Meta ads manager, is where all the paid Instagram ads are created and monitored. There are different types to choose from, and making the right choice for your Instagram sponsored ads will decide how effective they are. From videos to carousels and everything in between, our Instagram ad experts will triumph over and over again.

In Instagram ads manager, you can create ads as well as monitor performance. A table shows the ads, the status and results; such as current spend, impressions, clicks and end date. View Instagram ads individually or by their ad set, depending on what you are looking to optimise.

Don’t be overwhelmed by irrelevant data. It’s a distraction, a false path to make you spend more money than you have to. We rip off the guise, showing you what really matters and how it impacts your business. No more false dawns.

How to create Instagram ads

There’s no magic or illusion for creating an Instagram ad. You pick the format, the duration and it’s ready to go. Advertising on Instagram is less about the overpriced, polished productions and more about stopping the doomscroll of your audience.

Start by choosing an objective, whether that’s selling a product or growing your brand. You’ll then choose whether to be charged by impressions or clicks. This should match your goal. You can choose when your ad will appear, whether at the algorithm’s discretion or at set times.

Then comes the sorcery; finding your audience. This is the hardest part, as the wrong targeting will mean your paid Instagram ad is seen by the wrong people – and they won’t buy your products or services. People change all the time, so you can’t find an audience and rely on those factors forever – split A/B testing can help you find exactly who is relevant and what kind of content they react to.

Finally, decide where the ad should be seen – advantage+ placements allows meta to select the placements where your audience is most likely to take action.

Every “how to” guide offers a spin on the same advice for advertising on Instagram, and it won’t help you make money. They want your information, and they’ll hound you until you take the next step. Fight the urge and find an Instagram ad agency that dispels the smokescreen. We’ve got you covered.

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What’s the best Instagram ad size

Advertising on Instagram isn’t as simple as choosing a picture and making an ad from it. There are different sizes that can make a big difference to how effective a paid Instagram ad is. The wrong image size can cut off important information that your audience needs, and all depends on where your ad will be placed. Remember, this is the same ad – just seen in different ways and places, so having different image sizes can make sure nothing is cut off or blocked out. Make use of every edge and advantage you can.

The main Instagram ad sizes are:

  • Square – aspect ratio of 1:1 at 1080×1080 pixels (used for newsfeed image ads, Instagram carousel image and video ads)
  • Vertical – aspect ratio of 9:16 at 1080×1920 pixels (used for Instagram explore ads, Instagram story image and video ads)

These are the most important to be seen by users on the platform, but if possible – and budget allows – a third size can be useful; the vertical aspect ratio of 4:5 at 1080×1350 pixels (used for newsfeed video ads).

Size matters. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, and using the wrong Instagram ad size on the wrong image is an instant fail. It’s a common tactic to make you spend more money to fix the problem. It’s a tactic we detest and never use.

Paid ads on Instagram defeat many businesses, but they don’t have to. Navigate the sea of conmen and bootleggers until you find us. The beacon is lit, and we’re here to shelter you from the dark, cold night. The only way is up.

How much do Instagram ads cost

Working out the cost of Instagram ads isn’t easy, and a lot depends on what you want to see from them. The average cost per click on an Instagram add ranges from £0.80-£1.10, so it’s easy to quickly spend a lot – and this can decimate your budget without any real return if the wrong people see your ads. With more companies competing for the same people, the cost can get even higher, as to get seen above others, you have to spend more. Having a clear budget, being able to measure the return and setting limits are essential.

Not sure where to start? Our Instagram ads agency will light the torches and show you the path. We keep the focus on your bottom line, so your Instagram sponsored ads will be value for money:

  • Defined ad budgets
  • Clear admin and reporting costs
  • Agreed management costs

Forget sleepless nights trying to understand how paid instagram ads work and, instead, leave the grunt work to us. We’ve unlocked the secrets to success and we’re here to use them on your behalf.

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Best types of
Instagram Ads

Boringly it changes from client to client however the commonality starts and ends with making money – they are the best ones. Our Instagram advertising experts will select the appropriate ones to hit your commercial objectives and goals. We’ll replay the faith.


Dynamic ads are the ultimate tool for businesses to stalk and exploit potential victims. They truly are wonderful. Upload your product feeds and the machine will do the rest. The ‘rest’ being checking browsing history and personal information to tailor highly targeted and personalized ads, making it impossible for users to escape the constant assault of advertising. Dynamic ads can track users across different websites, following them everywhere they go, and bombarding them with ads for products they’ve previously shown interest in. It’s certainly not a sinister form of psychological manipulation, designed to make users feel like they can’t escape the constant reminders to buy, buy, buy. It also is certainly nota terrifying reminder of the extent to which businesses will go to control and exploit their victims for profit.

Canvas / Instagram Experience

Like Facebook, this Imax for Instagram. Full screen bone shaking bass pumping experience that will shatter your peggies. Tell a story, sell products or educate on both mobile and desktop. Can create a mini website or landing page within the app so this has some power.


A series of images or videos that the user swipes through.

Live Ads

Promote your brilliant live feed to a wider audience. They can’t live without you so don’t forget.

IGTV & Reels

Long form vertical video content. Original used with vlogging and education content in mind – can be monetised. Reels are short edited videos similar to TikTok. Branded content and sponsored partnerships.

Video & Photo

Exactly as they sound.


Ads that appear in Instagrams story feed.

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How Dark Horse can help with paid Instagram ads

The big question on everyone’s lips is, will paid Instagram ads actually make you money? If done right, then yes, it can make you a lot of money. Don’t give it to grubby fingers with false promises. Avoid paying for an influencer’s high-society lifestyle with a solid plan that’s transparent and clear right from the start.

Make your money go further with an Instagram ad agency that knows exactly what you want to achieve. Reap the benefits of paid advertising on Instagram and watch the competition fall away in despair.

Unlock Instagram Ads.

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Christmas Tree World

Christmas Tree World designs and sells artificial Christmas trees and decorations. Focusing on realistic looks, speedy delivery and a range of styles, colours and shapes for any home. Dark Horse took over Christmas Tree World from a “top-drawer” agency, where results had stagnated, and it wasn't receiving the service it expected. Christmas Tree World had a specific, highly seasonal product to sell and needed a company that could react to the market to build brand recognition and deliver fast growth in a limited time period. Dark Horse rose to the challenge.

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Increase in revenue, 95% increased ROAS during January

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The Dark Instagram Process

Obviously we are not going to share all of our secrets here. More we will share what the concepts and building blocks look like for a typical campaign.

  • 1. Audit & Goals

See what’s under the hood for your existing Facebook campaigns and have a chinwag to work out what your objectives are. We will then tell you to be realistic and go with your second stab at goals. We are all about listening. Sales or brand awareness? No one has said brand awareness yet.

  • 2. Market Research

Audience targeting. Who are they? What toothpaste do they use? Are they folders or scrunchers? Interests, behaviours, pains and opportunities. Use Facebook audience insights to plot taking their money.

  • 3. Content & Ad Creation

If it ain’t pretty then forget it. Compelling content that looks the part and resonates with target audience. Videos and images that stop the scroll and get them engaging. Control.

  • 4. Ad format selection & placement

Choose your weapon and battlefield. Facebook has an arsenal of options like that scene in the Matrix. Ads – lots of ads. Carousels, sponsored posts and .50 cal display.

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Who wants more money?
“Me Ta”
Always truth

  • 5. Budget & Scheduling

If it’s leads? (you want), we can kill it. Optimisation your budgets for maximum impact. Ad breaks during Champions League matches? The sunday morning lie in? Work out when people Netflix and chill and avoid those times. Unless the Netflix is that bad…

  • 6. Monitoring

Track performance using that infernal Pixie, conversions, engagement data and remarketing so you can do better tomorrow. And the next day. And the..

  • 7. Rinse and Repeat

Continuously get better by optimizing and nail that sweet spot when the returns flow. Tie up all lose ends for the complete customer journey. Maximise those that come through Facebook to make sure they are captured, never let go and have to leave via the gift shop.

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