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 …
1 billion people use Instagram every month and 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day.
There are 25 million businesses on Instagram.
130 million Instagram accounts tap on a shopping post to learn more about products every month.
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.
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.
‘Swipe Up’ or ‘Link in Bio’:
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.
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.
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 plenty of 1:1 video ads sorted and want to give Instagram story ads a whirl? No problem! Check out our Instagram story ad maker too.
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).
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 ad best practice
6 tips for video ad success:
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.
Be transparent - let your viewers know this is an ad (a clever one!) that seamlessly blends into their feed.
Colour pop - a splash of colour in your ad is a simple and effective way to catch more eyes.
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.
Add value - How-to tutorials are the most popular form of Instagram video content.
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 examples
Fancy some #inspo? These Instagram video ads are short, sweet & succinct!
Check out subpod's fast and effective ad style right here.
Happy Socks entertains as it advertises in this example, see it here.