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Instagram Video Ads: What you need to know before advertising on Instagram

Online advertising is an integral part of any digital marketing strategy, and videos reside at the heart of it. There are several types of video ads that every marketer must know about. In this guide, I’ll share with you some stats which will prove to you why Instagram video ads are worth investing in, best practices for Instagram advertising, and Instagram ads specs.

Instagram statistics for 2019

Here are a few statistics to show you why you need to consider Instagram for your digital marketing efforts:

1. Instagram is the third-most-popular social media network

Instagram has more than 1 billion monthly active users (MAU), and over 500 million daily active users (DAU). This makes Instagram the third-most-popular social media network in the world, after Facebook and YouTube.

2. Instagram’s primary user base is teenagers and young adults

The user base of any social media platform plays a huge role in deciding whether you, as an advertiser, will get positive results from your campaigns.

Though Instagram has a very diverse user base, it is most popular among teenagers and young adults.

  • 72% of teens between the ages of 13-17 have an Instagram profile
  • 64% of young adults in the age group of 18-29 are on Instagram
  • Only 40% of adults aged between 30-49 have Instagram profiles

Another interesting fact about Instagram’s user base is that 53% of the users are males.

42% of individuals who earn more than $75k have an Instagram profile and over 36% of college graduates frequently visit Instagram.

If your primary audience is Gen Z and Millennials, Instagram is the perfect platform to promote your brand.

3. Instagram users love to interact with brands

80% of Instagram users follow at least one brand on Instagram, with 60% hearing about a product or a service through the platform!

Not only that, more than 200 million Instagrammers actively visit business profiles every day. So, if you are wondering if social media marketing actually works, I think this statistic will answer your question.

The release of Instagram Stories has created more ways for brands to tell their story. 1 out of 3 of the most viewed Instagram Stories are posted by brands and businesses. Instagram also allows you to ‘highlight’ a Story by letting you put it up on your profile permanently.

As a Brand, you need to start using hashtags to increase the visibility and engagement of your posts. With Instagram’s latest updates, it is possible to even follow hashtags, making it easier for brands to interact with users.

To determine which hashtags to use in your posts, it is recommended to include extremely popular hashtags that are relevant to your brand and industry.

hashtags used by brands and businesses for instagram video ads
Image courtesy: Sproutsocial

Instagram Advertising Statistics for 2019

While image ads are very common, Instagram video advertising has gained a lot of traction amongst brands.

1.  There are 2 million monthly advertisers on Instagram

Over 2 million advertisers promote videos and images through Sponsored posts and Instagram Stories Ads in the user feed and ‘Explore’ option.

2. Instagram Video Ads perform better than Image Ads

As a marketer yourself, I’m sure you agree with me when I tell you that Instagram post engagement (likes, comments, and shares) is a very important metric of social media success.

Video ads receive about 38% more engagement than image posts and get more than 2X comments.

This is also probably why 25% of Instagram Ads are Video Ad. Brands like MTV, Ford, Lululemon, and Disney use video ads to achieve various business goals.

3. More and more brands are advertising on Instagram

By the end of 2019, Instagram will account for 25% of Facebook’s Ad Revenue. In fact, Vox predicted in a recent report of theirs that this number will go up to 30% by the end of 2020.

It is very likely that your competitor is already advertising on Instagram, and if you haven’t started promoting your brand on Instagram, you’re already two steps behind.

A reason behind this trend is the increase in the number of users who interact with advertisements by brands. According to Hootsuite, about 75% of Instagram users take action on an ad. This includes visiting the website, purchasing a product, or completing your desired action.

Another reason behind is the fact that 83% of Instagram users have said that they have discovered new products and services on Instagram. This means that Instagram is not just a discovery engine anymore, it is bridging the gap between buyers and sellers.

How much does Instagram Advertising cost?

Instagram advertising is very much similar to Facebook Advertising. The two pricing models are CPC (cost per click), and CPM (cost per thousand impressions).

CPC ads on Instagram cost between 20 cents and $2 and CPM ads cost around $5. Note all pricing is in USD.

Advertising on Instagram is more expensive than Facebook, but the fact that engagement on Instagram Ads is close to 10X than Facebook Ads, Instagram promotion is worth it!

Three factors that determine Instagram Ad costs

The best part about ad spends on Instagram is that the cost is not affected by your bid alone. Here are the three factors that determine your ad cost:

  1. The budget for your ad campaign bids. Note that bids change based on the target audience you’ve selected.
  2. Your Ad Relevance Score. This is how relevant Instagram considers your ads to your target audience.
  3. Estimated Action Rates. This is how likely your target audience will take action on your ads.

You can reduce your advertising costs by creating quality ads that people will value, and focusing your ads on the most suitable people.

Different types of Instagram Ads and best practices for each

There are 3 types of ads inside Instagram: Story Ads, Native Ads, and Carousel Ads. Note that all ads will have a ‘Sponsored’ label attached to them.

1. Story Ads

Instagram Stories is a great way for you to tap into people’s passions and inspire them to take action. In fact, one-third of the most-viewed stories come from businesses, and one in five stories gets a direct message from its viewers. Remember, story ads are all about clever targeting and placement.

Story ads are typically placed between the stories of two different accounts. This means a user will see your Story Ad when they switch from one Story to the next.

The primary action on these ads is the ‘swipe up’ option. Though you can redirect the user to your own Instagram profile, it is recommended you take them to your website instead because this is a great way to redirect users to your page and content.

You can see how your Instagram Stories ads perform in the insights section of your business profile on the app. You can also view more metrics within Ads Manager and Power Editor including reach, impressions, and video metrics just like you would for other ads.

Video Ads perform the best on Instagram Stories

Check out these 4 video editing tips for engaging social media content by our friends over at Instasize!

Best practices for Story Ads

Stories ads run in a full screen, vertical format. This means all your Stories video ads format must be set to Portrait (9:16 aspect ratio).

With 60% of stories viewed with sound-on, be sure to share content that sounds as good as it looks. This means selecting the perfect music track for your video is very important.

Making text-based video ads is also a good idea. Videos with text overlays work very well compared to non-text videos when it comes to building brand awareness or driving action through purchases and installs.

Points to remember:

  • Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • File Size: 4GB Max
  • Instagram Video Ads Duration: 1 to 15 seconds
  • Maximum Video Ad Ratio : 9:16
  • Sound: Optional
  • Video thumbnail images that consist of more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery

Objectives you can set for Instagram Story Ads:

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • App Installs
  • Lead Generation
  • Video Views
  • Brand Awareness

Call to actions (CTAs) available for Story Ads:

Apply NowLearn MoreShop Now
Book NowGet ShowtimesSign Up
Contact UsRequest TimeWatch More
DownloadSee MenuListen Now

You can select the CTA which fits best with your video ad.

2. Native Ads

What are Native Ads?

When you promote your content, it is shown as a Native Ad on the user’s feed. It is called a Native Ad, because this ad resembles any other post on Instagram, except for the fact that it has a ‘Sponsored’ label attached to it.

Since it resembles other posts on Instagram, it blends in with all other content and increases the engagement.

Note that you can have both images and videos as Native Ads.

Since Instagram typically allows 30-60 second videos to be posted, it is recommended you make video teasers or snippets to attract your viewers, and then redirect them to your website where the full video is uploaded.

Best practices for Native Ads

You can post Instagram video ads in either the landscape or the square format. However, square video ads have an edge over landscape video ads.

Square videos consume more space on the user’s screen. This means your video ad viewer is not distracted by other posts and the metrics of your own video ad (views, likes, comments, etc). The only thing a user sees in the video and the CTA associated with it.

It is very easy for a user to get distracted by Landscape video ads. There are several reasons for the distraction–caption, hashtags, comments on the same video ad, another video/image post.

Points to remember:

  • Resolution: at least 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • File Size: 4GB Max
  • Instagram Video Ads Duration: 1 to 60 seconds
  • Minimum Video Ad Dimensions : 4:5
  • Maximum Video Ad Dimensions : 1.91:1
  • Text: Two rows of text will display
  • Video thumbnail images that consist of more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery

Objectives you can set for Native Ads:

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • App Installs
  • Lead Generation
  • Video Views
  • Brand Awareness
  • Store Visits
  • Engagement

Call to actions (CTAs) available for Instagram Native ads:

Apply NowLearn MoreShop Now
Book NowDownloadSign Up
Contact UsGet DirectionsWatch More
Call NowGet ShowtimesListen Now
See MenuRequest TimeSend Message

3. Carousel Ads

You can bring another layer of depth to your ad campaigns, where people can swipe to view additional photos or videos in a single ad.

If you have multiple products in your store, or when you want to advertise your service by showcasing multiple features and testimonials, go for Carousel ads.

These Instagram ads allow users to interact with and swipe through 3-4 images promoting the same ad but keeping them on the same post longer.

Carousel ads can also be sponsored ads if a multiple photo post is promoted. Instagram also allows you to add different text for each post in the carousel.

Best practices for Carousel Ads

With more creative space within an ad, you can highlight different products, showcase specific details about a single product, service or promotion, or tell a story about your brand that develops across each carousel card.

Points to remember:

  • Minimum number of cards: 2
  • Maximum number of cards: 10
  • Instagram Video Ads Duration: up to 60 seconds
  • Carousel ratio: 1:1
  • Text: Two rows of text will display
  • Images that consist of more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery.

Objectives you can set for Carousel Ads:

  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • App Installs
  • Lead Generation
  • Brand Awareness
  • Store Visits
  • Catalog Sales

Call to actions (CTAs) available on for Instagram Carousel Ads:

Apply NowLearn MoreShop Now
Book NowDownloadSign Up
Contact UsGet DirectionsWatch More
Call NowGet ShowtimesListen Now
See MenuRequest TimeSend Message

Conclusion and next steps

Instagram is the third-most-popular social media network in the world and the majority of the user base is made up of teenagers and young adults.

If you’re an e-commerce player, or if you sell products online, Instagram is a good choice to start with. Furthermore, if your audience is Gen Z and Millennials, Instagram will give you really positive results.

There are several types of Instagram ads, and though they cost slightly more than Facebook, Instagram ads are known to get much better engagement than Facebook.

If you’re looking to make Instagram video ads, be sure to checkout Rocketium. You can make videos in every format – landscape, square, portrait, and can also conduct A/B tests for videos!

Pulkit Jain

Pulkit Jain

Engineer • Marketer • Tech Geek • Movie & Comic book nerd • Avid reader • Gaming Addict • Football fanatic #GGMU
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