Understanding Instagram Video Ads

Online ads are an integral part of any digital marketing strategy. There are several types of video ads that every marketer must know about. Through this article, I’m going to convince you why Instagram video ads are worth investing into and how you can kill it on Instagram with a few good practices.

Why Instagram?

If you’re looking for a platform where you can find and interact with your target audience, Instagram is a paradise.

Instagram has more active users than Twitter

The latest Instagram statistics by CNBC show that there are currently more than 800 million monthly active users and 500 million of those are daily active users. That’s more than double the monthly active users of Twitter.

Instagram users love to interact with brands

80% of users follow a business on Instagramwith 60% hearing about a product or a service through the platform. As of March 2017, over 120 million Instagram users performed an action after knowing about a brand. They either visited a website, called a business, got directions, emailed or direct messaged a business.

Brands use hashtags to increase post engagement. With Instagram’s latest updates, it is possible to even follow hashtags, making it easier for brands to interact with users.

hashtags used by brands and businesses
Image courtesy: Sproutsocial

Why Video Ads?

While photo ads are the most common, Instagram video advertising have gained a lot of traction.

25% of Instagram Ads Are Single Videos

Brands like MTV, Ford, Lululemon and Disney use video ads to achieve various business goals. After just 1 week of launching, Lululemon’s video ads received 2x more engagement than its photos did.

Number of Ads on Instagram Are Increasing

Instagram is continuing to prove itself as an extremely valuable advertising avenue for marketers.

According to Klear, there were 171,000 Instagram ads in December 2017 vs 134,000 in July 2017. That’s a growth of 28% in just 6 months!

Also, the total amount of ads from December 2016 to 2017 increased by 85,000 (almost 2x).

Instagram Mobile Ad Revenue to Hit $7 Billion in 2018

Instagram ad revenue is expected to reach $7 billion in 2018, according to Statista. That’s almost a $5 billion jump from just 2 years ago.

instagram video ads revenue from mobile - statistia
Image credits: Statistia

The Types of Video Ads on Instagram

There are 3 types of video ads inside Instagram: Story Ads, Native Ads and Carousel Ads. All ads have a “Sponsored” label affixed to them.

1. Stories Ads

Instagram Stories is a great way for you to tap into people’s passions and inspire them to take action. In fact, of the 300 million accounts using Instagram Stories, one-third of the most viewed stories come from businesses, and one in five stories gets a direct message from its viewers.



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.

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

2. Native Ads

What are Native Ads?

Native ads, according to Outbrain, are “any paid content that is in-feed and inherently non-disruptive.” It is considered “native” because it is formatted specifically for the platform that is hosting it, making it blend in with all other content on the platform. This does not affect the user experience and ad content becomes more engaging, information-based, and highly targeted.



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.



Instagram Video Ads Best Practices to Follow

Here are some practices you can follow to make sure your Instagram video ads perform well. Do note that following these is not an absolute necessity, but since they’ve been tried and tested by many businesses, it is a good practice.

1. Stories Video 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.

Here are some points to remember (recommended by Facebook):

  • 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

These are Objectives you can set for your Stories video ad:

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

There are 12 Call to Actions available on Instagram for Stories video ads:

Apply Now Learn More Shop Now
Book Now Get Showtimes Sign Up
Contact Us Request Time Watch More
Download See Menu Listen Now

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

2. Native Video 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 same video ad, another video/image post.

Here are some points to remember (recommended by Facebook):

  • 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

These are Objectives you can set for your Native video ads:

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

There are 15 Call to Actions available on Instagram for Stories video ads:

Apply Now Learn More Shop Now
Book Now Download Sign Up
Contact Us Get Directions Watch More
Call Now Get Showtimes Listen Now
See Menu Request Time Send Message

3. Carousel Video Ads

Using Carousel Instagram video advertising, you can showcase up to 10 images or videos within a single ad, each with its own link. 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.

Here are some points to remember (recommended by Facebook):

  • 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.

These are Objectives you can set for your Carousel video ad:

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

There are 15 Call to Actions available on Instagram for Carousel video ads:

Apply Now Learn More Shop Now
Book Now Download Sign Up
Contact Us Get Directions Watch More
Call Now Get Showtimes Listen Now
See Menu Request Time Send Message

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

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

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