8 Tips for Running Instagram Clothing Ads that Convert

Don’t you wish you could create Instagram clothing ads that actually convert?

With its image-heavy platform and extensive user base, Instagram provides a valuable opportunity to connect with potential customers and showcase your products.

But to generate the best results, you must be intentional when using Instagram clothing ads.

Here’s your guide to Instagram advertising for fashion companies, including the different ad types and tips for creating the most powerful campaign.

Yaniv Masjedi
CMO, Nextiva

Their expertise has helped Nextiva grow its brand and overall business

Amplify Fashion Visibility

The Rise of Instagram Advertising

Many companies are investing in Instagram marketing and advertising, with 98% of fashion brands on the platform. It is an active and thriving social media platform that continues to see growth and new opportunities.

In 2022, Instagram generated $43.2 billion in ad revenue, an increase from the previous year.

But why are Instagram ads so significant?

Instagram users have shared more than 50 billion photos on the app, so your ads have an incredible opportunity to be seen by a vast audience.

Many fashion companies use the visual focus of Instagram to their advantage, featuring ads with unique outfits in bold colors. Pair that with the many ad types they offer, and your followers will be dazzled by all your stylish advertising.

In addition to viewing your ads, users can engage with them. They can leave a comment on the ad itself and even DM you with questions. This helps fashion brands to extend their reach, hear valuable feedback from their audience and create connections that can help to drive higher conversions.

Instagram also offers specific features that benefit fashion companies, such as shopping ads.

Related Content:
* Understanding the Instagram Algorithm: A Marketer’s Take
* 9 Tips for Creating Instagram Video Ads that Actually Generate Sales

Why Run Instagram Clothing Ads?

Instagram offers many features to target your ideal audience. You can set demographics, such as age, location and gender. Instagram even has a detailed targeting feature, where you can enter your competitors and target their audience.

Since your Instagram followers are likely already customers, using this advertising platform is a great way to retarget these consumers.

Plus, one-third of users purchased a product after seeing an Instagram Ad.

When setting ads up through the Facebook Ad Manager, you can also choose a goal for your Instagram ads. Many of these goals will help you target your ad to people at a specific stage of the sales funnel, including:

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead generation
  • Conversions
  • Catalog sales
  • Store traffic

Ad Manager lets you view and analyze critical data like clicks, conversions, and impressions. Facebook Pixel is also on Instagram so that you can track user behavior. You’ll know if users clicked your website link or purchased products directly from the app.

But do people click on Instagram ads? The average ad CTR on Instagram is 0.58%, giving your brand serious exposure:

Instagram Advertising Performance

Related Content: Facebook Ads E-commerce Case Studies that Increased ROAS

Types of Instagram Ads

Fashion brands can use different types of Instagram ads to boost their campaign. The most successful marketing strategies will incorporate multiple ad types to reach more people on the platform.

Here are the various Instagram ad types and the purpose of each one:


Image ads are the most popular type of Instagram ad. They appear in users’ feeds like regular posts, boosting brand awareness.

Instagram offers guidelines for posting an image ad, such as image size specifications:

  • Square images: 1080px by 1080px at a 1:1 aspect ratio.
  • Landscape images: 1080px by 566px, with an aspect ratio of 1.91:1.
  • Vertical images: 1080px by 1350px with a 4:5 aspect ratio.


Story ads appear between their followers’ Instagram Stories rather than in their feeds. These can be image or video ads. They must be vertical and cover the entire phone screen.

Related Content: How to Create Instagram Stories Ads that Your Ideal Customer Will Swipe Up


Carousel ads are an advertising format that combines different images and videos into one ad. These are popular  because they increase conversions and sales. Carousel ads come with the same benefits as other ads, such as automatic placements, and Instagram may even display them as reels to reach a wider audience.


Explore is a specific area on Instagram where users can discover new posts and accounts, specifically on topics that interest them. It’s a popular marketing channel for organic and paid posts.

Investing in Explore ads ensures your posts are shown to relevant users in the Explore tab. Instagram will show your sponsored posts to users based on their interests and past behaviors.


A collection ad is what it sounds like–it’s a collection of advertisements in one format. Unlike carousel ads, collection ads are more diverse. Your collection ad starts with a cover image or video, followed by three more images. When users click on this ad, it becomes full-screen. This ad type attracts interest and engagement and is an easy way to showcase multiple products.


Reels are Instagram’s response to TikTok’s popularity. They are short and entertaining videos, around 15 seconds in length. Users have many tools to edit their videos and can even add effects and music.

In addition to creating Reels as part of your marketing strategy, brands can create ads for Reels. These look very similar to the ads that fashion businesses may use on Instagram Stories; they’re vertical and full-screen videos, though take entertaining inspiration from TikTok.

Related Content: 15 B2B Social Media Trends You Can’t Ignore


Fashion brands will experience the most benefits when using Shopping ads. Shopping is a set of Instagram marketing features the app makes available to e-commerce companies. Users can click a link on the Instagram post to purchase the products on your website or buy the item directly through the platform.

When you create Shopping ads, these posts appear in users’ feeds. Users can discover more details about the product, see additional images, and browse more products from your company when they click on the ad. They can also share Shopping ads and save products to their Collections.

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8 Tips for Creating Fashion Instagram Ads that Convert

Before clothing brands should create an Instagram advertising strategy, it’s best to know some basic tips. This way, you’ll be able to use Instagram’s advertising features more effectively and achieve the best results from your campaign.

1) Know What Your Customers Need

While this seems like general advice, it’s essential to know what your users need from your brand and how they can find that on Instagram. Fashion enthusiasts may prefer seeing certain content types, such as ads on Instagram Stories over Reels.

Some users may be interested in certain clothing items over others. For example, you may notice dresses are your best-selling item. If so, you may want to center your advertising strategy around those pieces.

Knowing your audience is especially important if you’re a niche clothing business, such as those that sell activewear like biking gear, yoga outfits, or outdoor attire. Knowing your target customers is vital when creating an advertising strategy.

Fitness clothing brand GRRRL is the perfect example. As an inclusive fitness company, they abandoned traditional sizing and size customers based on an athlete with the same body measurements. GRRRL’s customers expect inclusivity and body positivity from them, and they express this in their advertising.

2) Follow Trends

Fashion trends come and go, but you should still use them in your Instagram advertising strategy. Feature products that fit the latest trends in your image and video ads.

For example, cowboy boots are currently trending. The Skip’s Western Outfitters Instagram account takes full advantage of this, posting their high-quality cowboy boots.

skipsboots Instagram boots

3) Retarget Existing Customers

Retargeting Instagram Ads to existing customers is more effective than targeting new customers. While the average click-through rate (CTR) for general display ads is 0.07%, the CTR for a retargeted ad is 0.7%and there are plenty of good reasons:

Retargeting stats - why people click on retargeting ads

Your existing customers already know the quality and value of products, so they’re easier to target than new customers.

For example, your existing customers may see your top and a pair of jeans in an ad. They have the same top but don’t have the jeans. That can encourage existing customers to buy another product.

How do you retarget ads to existing customers? Install the Meta Pixel on your website. This will show you who has interacted with your brand previously by visiting your website or buying products. This audience data can be used to make critical marketing decisions.

You can also use demographics to know how to communicate with your followers. Some key demographics to track include:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Interests
  • Location
  • Income
  • Household (i.e., if they have kids)

Related Content: How to Easily Set Up a High-Conversion Facebook Retargeting Campaign

4) Upsell for the Best Outfits

Do more than highlight your best products–combine your different items for a super stylish outfit. This is especially helpful if your store sells accessories in addition to clothing; you can feature a chic outfit to wear on a night out, matched with the perfect purse and shoes. Mention all the different pieces as clickable links to upsell.

Upselling is an e-commerce strategy many brands use on their websites, but fashion companies can use a similar technique on Instagram ads. You can implement this strategy by placing different ads together or featuring multiple products in the same ad.

When done correctly, upselling boosts sales and is more effective at retargeting existing customers. You can create a Reel, collection, or carousel ad if you want to feature more than one outfit or different ways to wear one item.

Fashion powerhouse ASOS is great at this. In this post, their model is wearing multiple outfits from ASOS, which include two dresses, a shoulder bag, and a trench coat.

Related Content: 13 Jewelry Advertising Ideas to Increase Leads and Sales

5) Be Creative

Since Instagram is a visually centered social media platform, brands should be creative with their advertising. This is especially important for fashion companies since you’ll need to stand out from the competition.

There are no creative limits. Most brands will show outfits with crazy colors and designs or post a photoshoot with crazy editing effects. Pair these attention-grabbing images with a positive message to create stand-out ads.

For example, Levi’s made an Earth Day post by editing a jean jacket blowing in the wind. The jacket looks translucent to match the surrounding mountainscape.

Interactive ads are also an easy way to stand out from the crowd. Invite users to answer questions or fill out polls and quizzes.

No matter what creative avenues you pursue, always stay on brand and consider what your customers want when designing your ad.

Related Content: Shopify Facebook Ads Case Study: 7 Campaigns that Drove Results

6) Feature Influencers

There’s a reason why influencer marketing increases your brand reach and clothing sales:

61% of consumers trust influencer recommendations.

This is why featuring influencers in your ads can enhance your brand visibility and engage your audience. Influencer collaborations also lead to unique content, keeping your Instagram profile fresh.

You’ll want to work with those whose style fits your clothing when collaborating. For example, if you own an alternative rock clothing brand, you won’t want to collaborate with someone known for having a posh look.

You’ll also want to tailor your campaign to their unique style and branding.

NYC-based clothing brand Marcella did this with model, singer, and mom Kristina Menissov. Marcella is promoting Kristina’s capsule, a line of her five favorite items from the brand. This collaboration gives Marcella some unique content and engages Kristina’s following.

As of now, Kristina Menissov has 1.3 million followers. But don’t think you should only rely on major influencers – 77% of marketers say micro-influencers are their ideal collaborators.

A micro-influencer has anywhere between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. They are trusted by their followers but are still lesser known than celebrities. These influencers are better for long-term collaborations and more authentic content.

Related Content: Influencer Marketing Strategy: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Business with Brand Partnerships

7) Use Lifestyle Content

Fashion brands will experience more success when combining lifestyle content with clothing ads.

13.8% of influencers focus on the lifestyle category, which is the largest category on the platform. This content looks more genuine, allowing consumers to connect with lifestyle content better than fashion photo-ops.

Take street fashion as an example. As the name suggests, this trend formed from the streets of large urban areas and not from fashion runways. Street fashion is also more popular among younger people, perfect for brands targeting Gen Z.

Don’t ask your models to pose or look directly at the camera when taking lifestyle content. Have them do everyday activities, such as crossing the street. Make the picture look as candid as possible, catching different facial expressions and emotions from the model.

The brand Supreme is the master at lifestyle fashion content. The model looks away from the camera in this photo, yet he still looks stylish in his casual streetwear.

8) Promote Special Offers and Discounts

Did you know:

Approximately 93% of consumers use a discount or coupon code throughout the year.

Brands can leverage this opportunity by using special offers and discounts as an effective way to increase leads and sales.

Coupon ads are versatile, and you can use different ad types to promote your discount.  You’ll have even more success if your special offer period is limited, such as a coupon for a holiday.

Special offer ads are also a great way to increase brand awareness. If they think a family member or friend will love your products, customers may share your ad with their loved ones.

There are many ways to promote your discounts or sales without sounding gimmicky. Affordable clothing powerhouse Fashion Nova is a pro at this. This post shows a model wearing several different outfits, and the caption promotes a free one-day shipping sale.

You may also like:
* How to Create Winning Snapchat Clothing Ads
* 6 Bite-Sized Social Media Marketing Strategies for All Major Platforms
* Find the Best Instagram Marketing Agency for 2023

Last Word on Instagram Clothing Ads

Instagram clothing ads provide fashion brands a highly effective opportunity to connect with their target audience. By leveraging the platform’s visual appearance, large user base, and innovative features, brands can create successful, eye-catching campaigns that drive brand awareness and boost sales.

However, success on Instagram requires understanding your target audience and the ad platform.

You can improve your ads by viewing and analyzing tracked data and making strategic updates to your images and ad copy. Installing the Meta Pixel on your website will provide you with even more valuable information.

Hopefully you learned how to improve your Instagram Ads, but if you just want someone to do the work for you, Single Grain’s social media ads experts can help!👇

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