May 5, 2021
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There’s a reason why three-quarters of marketers use Instagram — it’s a highly effective platform for netting potential customers.

However, if your Instagram ads aren’t up-to-scratch, you’ll struggle to stand out when users are scrolling through.

When creating Instagram ads, you need attractive, highly professional advertising campaigns that rise above the competition and overshadow surrounding posts. Without the right tools, you’ll find it hard to outshine the crowd.

Read on to learn which tools you need in your arsenal to create the most irresistible Instagram ads this year.

What Makes an Irresistible Instagram Ad?

Instagram is a highly visual platform that rewards captivating content that stands out in a long feed of eye-catching posts. This can make it tough to create Instagram ads that outshine the posts around them.

That said, there are a few rules you should follow that may help you get noticed.

For starters, despite the rise of video, it’s image posts that get the most engagement. Image posts get 27.55% more likes than permanent video posts.

One new image post tactic that’s become extremely popular is the carousel post. Not only are these posts a great way to engage users over a span of images, but they also give you a chance to educate your audience in a simple way, demonstrating your brand’s value.

Take this carousel post by Earlybird, for example.

On its blog, Earlybird offers complex posts that explain financial tools in-depth, like this post about UGMA vs UTMA. Not everyone has the time or inclination to read such in-depth articles.

Instead, this quick carousel post feeds the target audience with a simpler explanation.

While delivering far less information than a detailed blog post, this carousel post still gets the job done and advertises Earlybird’s value at the same time.

Be aware, though, you’ll get more engagement if the captions on your carousel posts have 10 words or less.

This Buzzsprout podcast hosting post is a great example of this.

Simple yet effective, this very short caption immediately isolates the target audience that it’s advertising to. If the answer to the question it asks is “yes,” this post is for you.

You can also try branded Instagram Stories in your advertising campaign since 67% of users have ‘swiped up’ on the links of branded Stories.

Use Instagram Stories to post videos or images of your products or services to encourage users to head straight to your website or sales page.

Check out this Instagram Story by SEMRush, for example.

SEMRush posts an image from its latest blog as a teaser that encourages readers to head to the article by clicking ‘See More.’

Remember, though, it’s not just the type of post that matters. You also need to consider your caption and hashtag strategy.

In terms of hashtags, including more than six hashtags will start to decrease your engagement. Stick to six hashtags or fewer.

For your Instagram ad captions, try using emojis as they tend to increase engagement.

Interestingly, while it’s smart to keep carousel captions short, image and video adverts with longer captions see higher levels of engagement. Right now, the ideal caption length is either  500 to 1,000 characters or 1,000 to 2,000 characters.

The 7 Best Tools for Creating Captivating Instagram Ads

If you want to engage your target audience with your Instagram ads, it’s not enough just to know how a post should look. You need to create highly professional, eye-catching posts.

Here are the best tools on the market for creating irresistible Instagram ads to capture your target audience.


Canva is top of the list, as it’s a very extensive graphic design tool that makes it super easy to create professional-looking Instagram adverts. In fact, it’s the ideal beginner-friendly tool.

With this incredible drag-and-drop editor, it’s simple to create and collaborate on a whole range of social media posts, including square Instagram image posts, Instagram videos, and Instagram Stories.

Offering a full suite of editing tools, users will have no trouble building Instagram ads from scratch or using pre-made templates for inspiration. You’ll find templates for all Instagram formats, as well as a wide choice of free customizable graphics to add to your posts.

You can overlay text, filter images, and add all kinds of shapes. You can also upload your own images to add to your posts.

One of the best things about Canva is that its free package is extremely comprehensive. You get a lot of functionality without having to pay.

You can use Canva on both desktop and as an app; however, the app is a little clunky and slow.

Bear in mind that if you want to add lots of music to your Instagram ads, you may find Canva a little limiting, as you can only add one soundtrack per project.

There’s also no option for free-hand drawing on this application.


Instories is an app designed to make it simple to create Instagram stories. When you consider that one in five Instagram users watches branded Stories more than once a week, it’s easy to see why it’s a good idea to add Instagram Stories to your advertising campaign.

This tool offers a strong suite of editing tools to create both video and image Instagram Stories. It’s ideal for beginners, thanks to the drag-and-drop editor and library of over 300 templates.

Not only can you add your own images and videos with Instories, but you can also choose from a broad range of stock photos and videos, as well as lots of different music options.

The library is very well organized, which makes it a breeze to pick a template that suits your campaign style and messaging.

One thing to note, though, is that this app isn’t free to use. You get a free three-day trial, and the app costs $9 a month after this.

Some reviews complain that it can be a little buggy, crashing if you add too much detail to your Instagram Story.

Bear in mind that there’s no desktop application — you’ll need to create Instagram Stories on your smartphone or tablet if you want to use this app.


Want to create gifs for your Instagram ads? Try Giflab.

With Giflab, it’s easy to create and share gifs made from your own videos.

Giflab is a simple-to-use tool that allows you to upload your own videos, turn them into gifs, and post them straight to Instagram.

You can edit gifs to overlay text and add effects, as well as adjust the speed.

One major issue with this app is that you need to pay to remove the watermark from your gifs. This is important, as watermarks on adverts aren’t very professional.


Looking to create text ads but want a professional feel? Wordswag is one of the best apps for creating sleek text ads for Instagram.

With a 4.8 rating, this app has been described by Lovelyish as “A perfect tool for bloggers.” Business Insider also revered the app, saying, “The design possibilities are endless.”

This service offers a generous range of modern-looking frames and layout templates. You can add your own photos as a background and tweak them with one of 22 image filters or choose from the 1.3 million free background images the app offers.

Not only can you benefit from a sizable library of fonts, but there’s also an impressive array of beautiful text effects like gold foil, stamps, and watercolor.

If you’re new to editing, this app has great demos, so it’s quick and easy to learn the best techniques for creating professional-looking Instagram ads.

You can upgrade to a premium account for more font options, but even if you do, you may have to pay extra on top of this for the best fonts.

One annoying aspect is that you can’t choose custom colors unless you have a premium account, making it a little tricky to brand posts properly.

Unfortunately, if you want to remove the watermark, you’ll also need a premium account.


Splice is one of the best video editing apps available, with a 4.5 rating over 38K+ reviews. It’s number 12 in the Apple app photo and video charts and was named ‘the best video editor for iPhone’ by Lifehacker.

This is one of the best picks if you want to create fully customized videos for Instagram that include sound. This app makes it simple to trim, cut, crop, and splice footage.

Not only is this app incredibly easy to use, but there are also lots of features and functionalities to boost the quality of your videos for Instagram.

You can choose from a wide variety of masks and filters, add text overlays and titles, and adjust the playback speed. There’s also an extensive library of transition styles so you can edit the gaps between scene changes.

Choose from a substantial collection of music and use the app to trim and mix audio tracks. You can also add your own narration over the top.

Once you’re ready to go, you can post your video ads directly to Instagram.

Before you get too deep into the editing process, beware that you can’t save a video to your camera roll unless you have a premium account.


If you’re looking for a simple photo editing tool that can create stylish Instagram Story ads in a few clicks, Clay is a great choice.

Remember, 36% of users have liked, commented, or shared branded Stories, so make sure you’re creating attractive Story ads to boost your Instagram advertising campaign.

Clay offers over 200 templates to create image posts for your Instagram Stories. The library is well-organized, which helps you pick the ideal template for the style of advert you want to create.

You can choose from lots of different trendy fonts to overlay your images and add different colors to match your branding.

There’s no account required to use this app, but if you want to access over 500 templates, you can upgrade to a premium account for only $19.99 for the whole year.

Bear in mind that some users complain that this app can be a little slow.


Looking for an Instagram ad tool that enables you to collaborate on video design with your team? Biteable may be just the tool you’re looking for.

This desktop application provides an intuitive dashboard where you can work with team members to build dynamic Instagram video ads using the broad library of templates.

For example, say you want to collaborate on a video with an Instagram influencer. Biteable would be a great tool to enable this relationship.

Take this video featuring document signing software Pandadoc, for example.

With Biteable, Pandadoc can work with the influencer to share files and create a video that suits both parties.

Beyond Biteable’s collaborative functionalities, it’s super quick to make a video using the drag-and-drop editor. You can either pick from a template or create your own designs from scratch.

Not only is it free to use, but there’s also an abundance of training resources to help improve your experience and a handy chatbot to answer any questions you have about design.

Unfortunately, there’s no smartphone app for this tool — you’ll have to use it on a desktop. 

There’s also no option to add voiceover narratives to these videos, either. 


If you want your Instagram ads to be irresistible to your target audience, you need a tool that helps you create flawless, stylish posts that catch their eye.

Try varying your post styles to see which ads work. Perhaps you want to use Giflab to create a few gif posts, Wordswag to drop some text posts, and Biteable to add some videos.

Don’t forget to add Instagram Stories to your advertising campaign and take advantage of the recent popularity of carousel posts.

If you need more help creating Instagram ads that perform, try using Iconosquare to get keen insights into your campaign performance. 

About the author
Dustin Howes

Dustin Howes

Dustin Howes owns an affiliate marketing agency that is dedicated to helping companies maximize their affiliate marketing efforts. Through group coaching and private consulting, Dustin teaches program managers how to recruit the right affiliates, optimize working hours, and how to take the growth of the program to the next level. Learn more affiliate marketing tips at

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