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Facebook and Instagram are two of the world’s biggest social media platforms, with 3.7 billion users across both platforms. Millions of marketers are now using the platforms to reach new audiences and achieve their business objectives.

Both channels provide a great opportunity to use a variety of ad formats, ad objectives, and targeting options to reach your target audience and drive traffic and sales for your business. Whilst these channels allow you to achieve the same thing, they’re not both exactly the same so it’s important to understand the differences between the two channels so you can choose the most effective channel for your business.

Benefits of Instagram Advertising:

  • Instagram audiences purchase from the app – one third of Instagram users have made a purchase directly from an Instagram ad. These users are in a purchasing mindset which allows for more conversions on the app.
  • Great organic functionality – Instagram provides you with the perfect opportunity to build your brand organically. You can build a following and awareness of your brand on the platform without spending anything. If you get it right, you can grow your followers, fans and word of mouth referrals which can help to increase ad conversions.
  • Better at engaging ad audiences- Instagram is a visual platform so helps to drive more engagements. If you have a lot of visual content to share, Instagram is the best platform for you.

Running ads on both platforms can be beneficial for your brand but, if you’re low on resources and need to pick one, we always advise choosing the platform that is most used by your target audience.

Here are some of the key factors to consider when choosing the right platform for your business.

Ad Management

Both channels can be managed through the Facebook Ads manager which makes it easy to place your ads on both channels and to choose the right placements for your ads.


Goals help you to determine the success of your campaigns based on the results or ROI you’re looking to achieve. Facebook’s Ad Manager makes choosing a goal for your campaign easy. It allows you to choose the right objective from the beginning and options include everything from generating brand awareness to driving website traffic or conversions.

Facebook’s Ad Manager manages ads on Facebook and Instagram but not all of the options are available on Instagram so you’ll have to consider what you want to achieve before launching your campaign to make sure Instagram can help you meet your goals.

If you advertise on Instagram through the mobile app you’re not able to choose an objective so you will need to keep this in mind when planning your campaigns.


The industry your business operates in can have a huge impact on whether Facebook or Instagram is suitable for your business. For example, businesses that sell food, fashion, and consumer products tend to perform better on Instagram.

Your industry can also affect how much you pay for your ads. If you sell more expensive products or services, you will need to run ad campaigns across the customer journey from generating awareness to consideration and purchase. In addition, if you have a lot of competition, it will cost more for you to break through the noise. However, if your industry does not already have a strong presence, you’re likely to have less competition so your advertising on Facebook and Instagram will cost less.


One of the biggest differences between Facebook and Instagram is the available audience to you. Men and women from all age groups are active on Facebook and the most active users are 25-34-year-old men. So, if you want to reach a wide range of people or people within a specific age group, Facebook provides you with access to a wide range of people.

On the other hand, Instagram has a much smaller audience. Statistics show that men and women use Instagram but neither both sexes nor all age groups are equally active. The most active age groups on Instagram are 18-24-year-olds and 25-35-year-olds.

If you’re trying to reach a younger audience (Generation Z and Millennials), Instagram is the perfect platform for your business. For other age groups, Facebook is the best channel.

Type of Ads

Facebook allows you to create a wide range of ads to target your ideal customers. These are different ways of engaging people on the channel and allowing them to interact with your brand.

The types of ads you can run on Facebook include:

  • Video ads
  • Image ads
  • Collection ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Slideshow ads
  • Facebook instant experiences/canvas ads
  • Lead generation ads
  • Offer ads
  • Post engagement ads
  • Event response ads
  • Page likes

Instagram is a much more visual channel so the adoptions are more limited. The types of ads you can run on Instagram are:

  • Photo ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Stories ads

As you can see, whether you use Facebook or Instagram to advertise your business depends on a wide range of factors including your industry, your target audience, budget, and the goals you want to achieve. Understanding each channel, as well as where your audience goes, will help you to make sure you choose the right platform for your business.

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