Whether it is advertising a product, an event, or developing the brand message, Canva is an indispensable tool for every businesses’ digital marketing tool kit.  



If you are a small business and want to save some money on pricey graphic designers, using Canva could be the answer for you and your business’s marketing needs. 


What is Canva?

Canva is an online graphic design platform that makes it easy to create and design ads.

The free version of Canva includes thousands of free templates, over a hundred design types (social media posts, letters, presentations, and more), and hundreds of thousands of free photos and graphics. 


What is Instagram advertising?

IG advertising is when Instagram ads appear on a user’s Instagram feed. The person or brand advertising pays to post the sponsored message, which appears in the form of a still image or video.

The objective is to reach a specific group of users, known as a target audience, which you determine. 

Although advertising through Instagram is not free, it can be an excellent investment if it is within your budget. But, if you would like to keep your overhead cost low, you can also create ads with Canva and post them directly to your account. This article will show you how to advertise through Instagram.

Since Instagram’s parent company is Facebook, it uses Facebook’s advertising platform to set up and run ads. So, first, you will need to have a Facebook account to get started.

Step 1: Create Facebook, Canva, and Instagram Business Accounts


  • Create a Facebook Account

Go to facebook.com/pages/create and choose a page type. Fill out the necessary information.  


  • Set up an Instagram Business Account

After creating your Facebook page, you can switch your business’s Instagram account to a business account by going to your settings, tapping account, and tapping “Switch to Professional Account.” Finally, tap “Business” and ensure that your business account and Facebook page are linked.


  • Set up a Canva 

After you have created your Facebook page and Instagram business account, you can go to Canva and create an account using your Facebook login. 

Step 2: Set up Ad Manager Account

What is Ad Manager? 

Ad Manager is an all-in-one tool that lets you create and manage your Facebook and Instagram ads. You can set your ad objectives, target audience, and ad formats, as well as, deciding when and where your ads will run. Ad Manager is also the place where you will track the success of your ads and campaigns.

Ad Manager can be accessed from your Facebook page. Go to the Settings menu. Then, go to your Ads Manager settings, where you will find the ad account setup. Select your time zone and currency, add your business information, and finally, add your marketing aims. 

Before you design and create your ad on Canva, you will need to think about who your target audience is. That’s to say, who are you trying to reach on Instagram?

To help you define your target audience, you can consider things like demographics (age, gender, language), location (city, country, state, etc.), interests (ads engaged with, apps downloaded, accounts they follow), and behavior (what they do on social media and irk). 

Step 3: Select the Instagram Template in Canva 

Now that you are set up your accounts and identified your target audience, you are ready to get designing. Go to Canva, login, and click “Create a design,” which can be found left of your profile image. 

Here is where you will want to decide whether your ad will be a video (e.g., Reel) or a still image. In the drop-down menu, select “Instagram post” or “Instagram story.” 

Five hundred million people use Instagram stories daily. By posting Instagram stories consistently, you have a better chance of reaching viewers who browse their Instagram stories daily—and with more views, the better your ranking will be with Instagram’s new algorithm. So, there are benefits to using all features of the platform to advertise.

Reels are a relatively new feature on Instagram, which are short videos. If you plan on creating a Reel, always post it to your main IG feed and include hashtags to boost their “discoverability.” To learn more about creating a Reel with Canva, click here.

Step 4: Design your Ad

For a still image, choose a background or upload a photo for your advertisement. Please make sure not to make it too busy and crowded with a lot of text or images. Simplicity and consistency are two key factors when creating engaging social media advertisements and building an impactful brand message.

On the note of consistency, focus on building a visually appealing campaign in line with your brand’s message. The posts should have the same color palette, style, or similar design elements. Also, try to post consistently. Decide how often you want to post, and stick to it. 

Include a hashtag with your Instagram ad. It helps categorize your product, making it easier for your target audience to share information or drive others to discover your product or brand. You can also use trending hashtags to your advantage to appear on popular feeds.

Finally, enabling purchases directly from your ad can allow your followers and target audience to shop now from your Instagram ad. 


Step 5: Publish Ad and Track Performance

After you have published your ads, you will, of course, want to keep an eye on them to make sure you are getting the results you want.

To track the success of your ads and ad campaigns, go to ‘Ads Manager’ and click on the campaign name that has the ad you want to see. Then, click ‘View Charts’ where you can see your ads’ performance, demographics, and delivery data.


Advertising on social media platforms like Instagram doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. 

You do not need a fancy graphic designer or a huge marketing budget to head successful ad campaigns anymore. With free tools like Canva and platforms like Instagram, anyone can design and create professional and appealing ads to reach new markets. 

For the complete Social media branding playbook, check out this article: