Instagram is a social media platform that has grown rapidly in recent years, made apparent by its 1.074 billion users worldwide.
Instagram provides the perfect opportunity for businesses to run ads to entice their target audience to engage with their product (whatever it may be). The tricky part is knowing when to run these ads for maximum impact and success.
This article will detail all the best days of the week and times within those days for running ads on Instagram. We’ll also dive into why these are the best times, how Instagram’s algorithms play a role in your ad running success.
Finally, we’ll list some of our top tips for effectively running ads on this platform so they benefit any business.
Best Times To Run Ads On Instagram
1. Wednesdays For Reliability
Knowing the best time(s) and day(s) to run an ad is paramount to its success on Instagram. Ideally, you’ll want to run them when user engagement is highest.
But sometimes, it can be difficult to predict these peak times consistently, so you’ll want to opt for a day that is nearly always reliable.
Wednesdays are the best days of the week to run ads on Instagram for their overall regular engagement rates. Although there are some days where peak engagement can be higher, Wednesday has some of the best rates throughout the entire day.
Generally, 11 AM to 1 PM has the highest levels of engagement on a Wednesday, as people try to overcome the mid-week work and school struggles with a lunchtime break on social media.
However, businesses running ads on consumer goods or retailing will want to post around 3 PM. In contrast, others will want to post earlier in the day.
2. Fridays At 5 PM For Payday Revenue
It’s payday, and you know what that means! Time to run some business-related ads on your Instagram account.
People are generally in a much better mood and ready to let some cash loose when payday comes around. So, of course, this might be precisely what you’re looking for if your ad is tailored towards enticing consumers to purchase a product.
The best times to run Instagram ads on a Friday are from 4 PM-5p m, as this is when most adults are leaving their full-time jobs ready to unwind with social media, make some weekend plans, and maybe indulge their week of hard work with a purchase or two.
Although most sources state that 5 PM is the optimal time to run ads on Instagram on Fridays, there are other times during this day where engagement peaks.
If you don’t mind being an early bird, you can run ads at 5 AM when people are rising early for their jobs and checking their social media as they sip their morning coffee. Alternatively, 9 AM is another excellent choice, as those without early jobs are more likely to start their morning by this time.
Tip! – Check out How Long Do Facebook Ads Take To See Results?
3. Weekdays For Steady Engagement
Contrary to belief, it is straightforward for anyone to turn their Instagram post into an ad; you don’t have to be a large company with a hefty budget to do so.
Therefore, if you’re a single creator or influencer who wants to run ads from time to time without getting bogged down by the specific time stamps of every day, here’s what we recommend.
The best days in the week for steady engagement on Instagram ads are any weekday (Monday through Friday). Timewise, you’ll want to run your ad anywhere from 11 AM to 5 PM on these weekdays to reach optimal target audience members.
There’s no doubt that weekdays are when people are on social media most, particularly Instagram. However, if you want to narrow it down even further, the best weekdays for you to run ads are usually Tuesday through Thursday from 10 AM to 3 PM.
Of course, some days will peak a little earlier or later than this timeframe, but in terms of consistency across all days, these are the times you’ll want to stick to.
4. Saturdays At 10 Am For High Engagement On Weekends
The weekend is here and full of Instagram engagement, right? – Wrong!
There is a very small window of high engagement on the weekends, and that is on Saturday.
The highest engagement point on Saturdays is between 10 AM and noon, with 11 AM typically the time most experts recommend running ads for optimal results.
The engagement level during these times is high for weekend standards but low for weekday standards. Therefore, you’ll want to prioritize other time slots and days of the week if you’re striving to impact as many target audience members as possible.
It would be best if you didn’t toss your weekends by the wayside. There is still a lot of value in running ads on Saturday; just be conscious the engagement isn’t as high as other times, so this isn’t the day to prioritize but instead buffer your ad running and marketing.
Tip! – Check out How Much Do Native Ads Cost? – Super Fast Guide
5. Off Work Hours In All Cases
Some might see this as a no-brainer, but if you aren’t aware of the dominating demographic on Instagram, it tells you all you need to know about the optimal times to run Instagram ads.
It is always best to run Instagram ads during off-work hours. Typically before 9 AM when the classic “9-5” starts, between 10 AM and 1 PM when most employees take their lunch breaks, and after4 PMm, for those 9-5ers who get out early.
Statistically, 32% of Instagram users worldwide are between 25 and 34 years of age, as of September 2021. This means that most audiences are well outside their high school years and have most likely graduated from college (unless they are in graduate programs).
Therefore, it stands to reason that these individuals are working full-time jobs where they won’t have time to be scrolling on their Instagram accounts until the time slots mentioned above.
While a substantial 23% of users are between 18 to 24 years old, they don’t make up the majority, which most businesses strive to reach when running Instagram ads.
Of course, if they are the audience you are targeting, it would be wise to run your ads according to their typical schedules instead, which might include later peak hours than full-time working adults.
The Worst Times To Run Ads On Instagram
So, you know the overall best times to run ads on Instagram regardless of business size and type. After reading everything above, you might be assuming that any time or date that doesn’t align with those previously listed are terrible times to run ads.
However, that’s not necessarily true.
While there are various times within a day and days within a week where it isn’t as beneficial to run ads on Instagram, a few, in particular, are consistently the worst with the lowest engagement rates; these include weekends, early morning, late afternoon, and holidays.
Some of these might make perfect sense at a glance, while others might seem a bit counterintuitive. Therefore, we’d like to discuss each in a little more detail so you know precisely why running Instagram ads at these times aren’t beneficial.
You would think that peak social media engagement would fall on the weekends when people aren’t at their full-time jobs or school all day, but surprisingly, the statistics don’t support this hypothesis. Instead, the weekends have some of the lowest engagement rates of the entire week by far.
As we mentioned previously, there is a tiny blip in engagement levels around the early afternoon (10 AM to 12 noon) on Saturdays, but these hardly compare to the peak levels you see during the week.
Engagement is so much higher during the week because people use social media to help them escape from the monotony of their jobs and other responsibilities.
It’s a quick way to distract them from daily stress and release some dopamine in the brief 30-minute lunch break they have before delving back into their work.
Comparatively, on the weekends, they’re more focused on relaxing at home, catching up on some television shows, socializing with friends and family, or traveling.
As a result, they don’t rely on their social media to unwind or distract them. Instead, the extent of their use is usually to post a picture of their weekend plans quickly before returning to whatever they were doing.
Tip! – Check out 14 Things That Drive Engagement On Social Media
Before 7 AM & After 7PM
While weekends aren’t the optimal choice regarding what day(s) of the week to run an Instagram ad, the worst times of day consistently are before 7 AM and after 7 PM.
There are some exceptions to this rule, mainly if your target audience is most active early in the morning, maybe around 5 AM, or later at night around 8 PM.
However, as a general rule, engagement is very low before and past these time marks, especially when you get to the 11 PM to 3 AM threshold.
So, while being proactive and getting a head start on things can undoubtedly pay off in some areas of life, this isn’t one of them.
Running an ad at 4 AM because you’re sure your competition isn’t doing the same won’t benefit you in the slightest since it is unlikely your target audience is on the website or app.
Holidays can be extremely beneficial to marketing tactics, sales, and overall productivity. They’re a great time to have sales and promotions to entice more of your target audience to engage with your brand.
However, all of this should be done before the holiday, not on the day itself.
Although modern-day society is increasingly reliant on technology, most will set aside their electronic gadgets to spend quality time with loved ones when the holidays come around.
It is also far more socially acceptable during these events for someone to pass the time snacking on appetizers than scrolling on Instagram.
Therefore, as much as you might want to reflect the holiday spirit in your ad and get that last holiday business boost, you’re better off saving the ads for the day before or the day after.
The abysmally low engagement rates during these events will quickly show any business that running an ad just won’t be worth the time and money.
Tips For Successfully Running Ads On Instagram
Overcoming the ever-changing Instagram algorithms and navigating social trends can make running business ads on this platform successfully feel nearly impossible.
Luckily, there are several tips and tricks that many avid Instagram users will utilize to promote a thriving business.
When running ads on Instagram, it is advisable that users:
- Tailor their content and schedule to their target audience
- Run ads consistently
- Focus design and strategy on the platform’s mobile app
- Have a clear goal for every ad
- Focus on quality over quantity
Let’s talk about why these tips work for individuals and businesses worldwide and how you can benefit from implementing them in your Instagram advertisement strategies.
Tailoring Instagram Ad Content And Schedules To The Target Audience
Before this point, we’ve spent a lot of time describing the best days and times for you to run your ads on Instagram based on general user engagement statistics.
While this information is still relevant, it shouldn’t be the driving force behind running your ads.
In reality, a brand that wants to have the most impact and interaction with its ads should run them when its target audience is most active. These are the people who will purchase or use your products, services, or whatever else you might be advertising.
Therefore, it is in your best interests to tailor your ad running schedule to when they have the highest Instagram engagement, rather than simply choosing days and times that work in a broader sense.
Many demographics won’t follow the same rules mentioned previously. For instance, teens are far more likely to stay up late on Instagram than a 35-year-old adult.
You’ll also want to be conscious of the time zones your target audiences live in. For example, if it’s 11 AM and peak engagement time where your target audience lives, you should run an ad, even if it’s only 7 AM in your time zone.
The best way to achieve this is to use an analytics program to help you see when your target audience is most active, who makes up your target audience demographically, and when they seem to interact with your ad content most.
This information will be invaluable when it comes to creating an ad schedule for the next tip.
Running Ads Consistently According To A Set Schedule
Once you know when your target audience is most active on Instagram, it’s time to create a consistent ad schedule according to their activity levels.
If you’ve ever taken a course on how to run a successful business, you’ll recall that one of the first and most important values the brand should have is consistency, and this value shouldn’t stop at ads.
Running your Instagram ads consistently will have two overarching benefits for your business:
- Ensures you have a steady presence on the platform
- Gives your brand a reputation for being reliable
Having a steady presence on Instagram will better ensure your target audience is exposed to your brand content, and you are potentially enticing other users to explore what you’re offering.
This is benefitted by your brand having a positive reputation for being reliable as it will increase your target audience’s trust in the company. As a result, they’ll be more willing to invest in what your ad content is offering.
While it might seem like a lot of work to run ads simultaneously every day or at specific times every week, Instagram makes the process almost effortless.
There are options on Instagram that allow users to set an electronic schedule that will automatically post for them and run ads according to their assigned specifications.
As long as you have all the details in place and the ad content ready, the platform will do the rest, and you can reap the benefits of consistency.
Focusing Instagram Ad Designs, Content, And Strategy On Mobile
Most brands will keep their target audience in mind when creating ad content and a consistent schedule. However, a detail many will skip is considering how the user’s device can affect their success.
Unlike Facebook or other popular social media platforms, Instagram does not allow users to post content via a desktop device. This means that everything has to be created and published using the platform’s mobile app.
Add that to the fact that most social media users default to the platform’s mobile application over the desktop, and you’ll quickly learn which device you should be tailoring your content on.
When running an ad on Instagram’s mobile app, you should make sure the content is brief, fits the size and responsive specifications of these device’s screens, and is designed to have a maximum impact despite the app’s limitations.
This will better ensure your ad’s success than making them the same for every device and platform.
Ensuring All Ad Content Helps The Business Work Towards A Clear Goal
As much as having a consistent schedule can help your ads, they won’t benefit your brand if they don’t have some degree of purpose.
Being in the public eye just for the sake of exposure will only result in your spending time and resources on these advertisements that yield little to no returns.
Before you even consider making an ad for your Instagram account, make sure your brand has a clear goal regarding this ad’s purpose.
Think about what kind of response you’re hoping to achieve, such as subscription increases, product sales, event attendance, etc.
Once you have a goal, flesh it out with clear numerical benchmarks, such as selling 1,000 of your new products within the first month or experiencing a 10% increase in revenue.
This will not only drive the content of your ad, but it will also help your brand learn which advertisement strategies were helpful and which their target audience didn’t seem to respond to much.
You can then use this information to create more effective advertisements in the future.
Tip! – Check out 7 Ways To Generate Leads Without Social Media
Prioritize Instagram Ad Quality Over Quantity
Another tip you should follow, even before some of the others listed above, is that quality always trumps quantity.
While it is beneficial for a company to run ads on Instagram daily (if they can achieve it), the results will be ineffective, or worse, detrimental to your brand’s success and reputation if the quality is sub-par.
Running ads that depict product photos shot in extremely poor or average quality or minimally edited video footage will only make your brand appear inexperienced, uncaring, or untrustworthy.
If you run an ad on Instagram, it needs to be a concise presentation of your company at its absolute best and why what you have to offer is unique.
Social media users are only getting more intelligent, and they can see a low-grade brand from a mile away. So if you want them to interact with your ad, trust your brand, and become loyal patrons, you’ll need to provide high-quality marketing and services.
Releasing low-quality ads will only remind your target audience every time they see the ad exactly why they don’t want to invest in your brand.
Focus on quality first, and then slowly work up the quantity scale.
Instagram is consistently amongst the top five most popular social media platforms, which means it has an exceptional amount of marketing potential for brands who want to run ads here.
However, before you start running ad after ad, make sure you choose the proper times and days, such as non-work hours during the week, for maximum ad success.
Remember that every ad should be tailored to your target audience’s engagement and device and be of the highest quality possible to benefit your brand’s productivity and reputation.