Video Marketing

How to Make Video Ads for Instagram 

Posted June 7, 2020
Written by Rachel Surgeoner
Clipchamp is a free online video editorTry for free
Share this post
How to make video ads for Instagram

The ‘Gram, Insta, IG - whatever you fondly call Instagram, you know one thing for sure: those little squares have serious pull and they're all essentially video ads and commercial videos.

So, what makes people’s thumbs pause mid-scroll? Or in Instagram Stories case, mid-swipe? Video. 

There’s even a prediction that Instagram is set to outperform YouTube in terms of sales-driving video consumption.


So you’re well aware Instagram is popular but did you know …

The platform has made video marketing super hands-on for small businesses, thanks to Instagram video posts, Instagram Stories, IGTV and even Instagram Live. It's also crucially important as a channel to get your message in front of your audience, as 90% of IG accounts follow businesses.

In this how-to guide, we’ll cover the highlights to creating eye-catching Instagram video ads - including the nitty-gritty on Instagram video length, Instagram video size and more. 

Let’s break it down for the uninitiated.

Instagram video posts

The OG. Instagram videos have progressed a fair bit since they were first introduced in 2013. 

Originally limited to 15 seconds, these days businesses can create long-form videos up to two minutes, which equals a ton of engagement! These videos appear in people’s Instagram Feed. If it’s a video ad, it will have a subtle ‘sponsored’ headline under your brand’s @ handle - this lets the viewer know it's a paid ad and will have a ‘learn more’ banner prompting the user to further engage with your brand or product.

Instagram video posts

Instagram Stories

Options for creating video ads in Instagram Stories are endless and are the perfect way to showcase your brand to an already engaged audience. In fact, according to Instagram, 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website or making a purchase, after looking at Instagram ads.

Fun fact: The average number of feed posts published by influencers has declined every year since Stories entered the scene.

If you have over 10,000 followers on Instagram, you’ve unlocked the all-powerful ‘Swipe-Up’ function allowing direct links for your Stories - for example, to a product or promotional page. While this is an effective tactic, accounts with under 10,000 can still get click-through, inviting viewers to hit up your link in bio instead.

Our tip: Use Facebook Ads Manager to create Instagram ads that appear in Instagram Stories. Or, test the waters first by ‘promoting’ an existing organic Instagram Stories post into an ad.

Instagram stories


Kind of like YouTube, but on Instagram - anyone on Instagram can create their own IGTV channel and share long-form videos of up to 10mins on most accounts. 

Fun fact: By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic. The evidence is in the play button - if you’re looking to build awareness for a marketing campaign, promote a product or educate your audience, videos have more story-telling power than photos do.

Instagram story ad maker

How to make an Instagram video ad

Want to make a video ad but not sure where to start? If you want a professional video ad without the price tag, it’s easy to make your own with Clipchamp's ad makers. Start off with our Instagram ad maker (square) to create video ads to upload straight to Instagram with the right ratio and resolution. You can customise the message, footage and audio, all in a few clicks!

Got a video ad idea ready to go, and just need an Instagram video ad template to frame it up? Head to our video templates and browse our library.

Once you’ve made your ad, you upload it in Facebook Ads Manager, selecting Instagram as your placement. You must have a Facebook Page, but you don’t even need an Instagram account to run ads on the platform (but, then again, it is 2020 - you should probably get on that). 

How to make an Instagram video ad

Instagram video ad specs

  • Video format: MP4.

  • Video length: 3 seconds to 60 seconds.

  • Video size: under 30MB. 

  • Orientation: square, portrait, and landscape.

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16, or between 4:5 and 1.91:1.

  • Video thumbnail: minimum width: 500 pixels.

  • Text: two rows of description text will display under your video.

Instagram video specs

Instagram video ad best practice

6 tips for video ad success:

  1. Get to the action - your video needs to be eye-catching within the first three seconds for viewers to notice you, and continue to watch.

  2. Be transparent - let your viewers know this is an ad (a clever one!) that seamlessly blends into their feed. 

  3. Colour pop - a splash of colour in your ad is a simple and effective way to catch more eyes.  

  4. Add text - Instagram audio is muted by default, so be sure to lead with visuals and/or text - but don’t overdo it on the text either.

  5. Add value - How-to tutorials are the most popular form of Instagram video content.

  6. Nail it - think of your Instagram video thumbnail ahead of time - other platforms let you customise thumbnails, Instagram doesn’t, meaning you’ll need to pick a thumbnail from your video ad. 

Want to level up and find out even more about IG video? Head to our Ultimate Guide to Instagram videos blog post. 

Instagram video ad best practices

Instagram video ad examples

Fancy some #inspo? These Instagram video ads are short, sweet & succinct!


Check out subpod's fast and effective ad style right here.

Subpod Instagram video ad example

Happy Socks

Happy Socks entertains as it advertises in this example, see it here.

Happy Socks Instagram video ad example

More from the Clipchamp blog

9 Lunar New Year video ideas

January 12, 2023
Create thoughtful videos for family and friends this Lunar New Year whether you’re…

5 Ways to tell your company story through videos

July 25, 2022
Bite-sized video content is an essential tool for telling your brand’s story. Not…

The ultimate guide to YouTube's Clip button

July 7, 2022
Do you want to drive new viewers to your existing YouTube videos and live streams?…

Start creating free videos with Clipchamp