setup of an instagram video ad

How to Create Instagram Video Ads

May 20, 2019

Instagram video marketing is incredibly important in 2019 because it’s the best, most engaging tool you have to make your brand stand out. Instagram is constantly at the top end of the most used social media, and video performs much better on the platform. If you know how to create Instagram video ads well, you can take your brand to the next level in 2019.

Of course, there’s truly no 1 correct way to do Instagram video marketing. Video is a very dynamic medium, and there are several ways to express your brand’s message using it. Knowing how to deliver that message effectively on the Instagram platform is the key to knowing how to create Instagram video ads.

To do Instagram video marketing well, you need to understand it’s overarching purpose and how it should fit into your marketing plan. Instagram is more useful as a primarily branding platform rather than as a direct sales platform, and it’s important that you use it that way. If you want to create more sales through Instagram, you need to put the time into making an emotional connection with your audience.

If you want to learn more about how to build a brand on Instagram, check out YouTube channel where I give even more free advice for digital marketers. I have a ton of videos covering Instagram because it’s so important to marketing in 2019, and they’re all worth a watch.

Why Instagram Video Marketing

There’s one main reason that you need to be doing Instagram video marketing: video sees a 21% better engagement overall on the platform than other types of content. Instagram already has better engagement rates than other social media platforms, so that 21% boost is huge. If your content is good and it fits your brand, video will certainly do well for you.

A myth about Instagram is that only certain types of brand can do well on the platform. This assumption comes in because people see the sort of “mainstream” Instagram marketing – a lot of makeup, fashion, and other lifestyle brands. Instagram’s design certainly lends itself towards more visual brands like makeup, but you don’t need to sell eyeshadow to succeed.

You just need to find a way to translate visually. If your brand already has a strong visual, or if you’re selling a physical product, this should be easy – just keep pulling from that. However, there are plenty of ways to create visuals for non-visual brands. We’ll talk about some more complex samples later, but the default idea is to use text.

Good copy with strong graphics performs every time, and a few animations can take a brand tagline and make it an Instagram story. Instagram video marketing doesn’t need to require an entire film crew. Clean, simple creative performs on the platform as long as you can make it stand out.

As I’ve discussed before though, making content stand out is easy when you have a good visual style. This is especially true when you know how to create Instagram video ads and use them to your advantage. It’s important when posting videos on Instagram that aren’t ads that you use relevant hashtags in your captions, as well as geolocation features.

Geolocation features are especially important on stories, where you might get a bit of a signal boost with it. Similarly, tag relevant people, products and other pages in your videos to make sure it’s getting seen by all the right people.

How to Create Instagram Video Ads

One of the key steps in successful Instagram video marketing is knowing how to create Instagram video ads. This always starts with the content – good, brand-relevant content is key. In the next part of this article, we’ll go over a few examples of what you should be doing with your creative.

How Long Should an Instagram Video Be

On the more technical side of the creative aspect, you need to make sure that your Instagram video is the right length. Instagram stories can be up to 15 seconds long, newsfeed posts can be up to a minute, and IGTV videos can be up to 10 minutes. Some accounts can post IGTV videos up to an hour, but you’ll know if you’re one of them.

It’s recommended to use as much time as you have. If you can deliver your message in less than that, great – but you need to follow up after the hook to make your Instagram video marketing work.

Additionally, you should know what aspect ratios work where. 9:16 – vertical – videos are best for stories, while 16:9 – horizontal – videos are best for newsfeed posts.

How to Create Instagram Video Ads

How to Run Instagram Video Ads

The first step to running Instagram video ads – of course – is to go to Ads Manager and hit the “+ Create” button. This will take you to the objectives page, where you need to decide what’s right for your ad. Most will support Instagram video ads, but double check that the one that you did supports that placement. Set your budget, and click continue.

From there, fill out the details of your ad on the next page. This is where you’ll input all of the creative, so have that at the ready. You’ll need your video and the copy, and to set up your call to action button.

Then select your placements. Choose the Instagram feed or Instagram stories – you can choose both, but that’s generally a bad idea. Do not select automatic placements, as it will also put your ad on other Facebook services like Facebook and Messenger.

With your placement selected, click confirm and your ad will start running.


Instagram Video Ads Examples

There are six main types of Instagram video ads you should consider:

Product Feature

The product feature ad does exactly what it sounds like it does: it shows off the product. This ad from Stitch Fix took them likely little time to get together, as they added a graphic to product features, made it a slideshow, and posted it. It does a wonderful job of showing what’s available to the consumer, and what benefits it provides.

Product In Action

Similar to the product feature, the product in action ad shows the product doing its job. This is more visual, as it takes the text away and replaces it with a visual. GoPro did this well in this ad which shows but doesn’t tell that their product does its job.

Sneak Previews

The sneak preview ad is very similar to a movie trailer. It implies something is coming, and that something is exciting, and leaves a cliffhanger as to why. This ad from Tieks does this very well, as they begin to show off an upcoming fabric launch. They show the product as something exciting and hint at why, but don’t completely answer the question.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes ads show the day to day operations of a company, helping to humanize them a bit. These can be more professionally done but often work better in more of a vlog style. This ad from Ostellari Dressmakers shows this idea played out in a way that’s very impactful.


Tutorial ads are similar to product in action ads in that they show a product doing its job, but they also help to get past the consumer’s fear of now knowing how to use the product. These are very common in makeup, and this ad from Color Pop Cosmetics is a good example of that.


A series ad is a retargeting ad that starts as one of the above types but builds with further installments. These can be done with lookalike and retargeting audiences, and help get you seen the 7 times you need to make sure your brand resonates.


Know you know what you need to get started with Instagram video marketing, and to knock another thing of your personal branding checklist. You need to know how to create Instagram video ads to get ahead in 2019, so it’s time to get out and get practicing. Experiment with your brand’s visual style to resonate, then you know what knobs to tweak in Ads Manager to grow your brand.

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