Market Trends

Written by The Marketing Team May 24, 2018

5 Instagram ad formats: why and how to use them

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Here at Paragone we love Instagram. What started as a simple app for photo editing, has become a powerful platform for social sharing and visual interaction. Boasting 813 million monthly active users worldwide, as of April 2018, and 2 million advertisers (as of September 2017), Instagram offers the same powerful targeting tools as Facebook.

With higher per-post engagement rates than other social platforms and a higher average order value than Facebook , it’s crucial you include Instagram in your marketing mix. Many of our clients, including M&Ms, Ikea and Disney have seen great success with Instagram ads.
Here are 5 common Instagram ad formats, as well as a few tips on how to use them in your campaigns.

Instagram Photo Ads1. Instagram Photo Ads

Photo ads are the simplest form of advertising on Instagram and appear just like a regular photo post but with a Sponsored disclaimer. From gleaming product images, to partnerships with influencers, behind-the-scenes shots and DIY tips, they are an invaluable method of promoting your summer sales offers.

2. Instagram Canvas Ads

Canvas is an interactive, full screen ad experience developed specifically by Facebook for mobile devices. The immersive format helps advertisers to achieve any objective by offering businesses a digital surface on which to paint their multimedia stories. The canvas experience is initiated with a click on a news feed ad. Canvas is available both within the Instagram News Feed and Instagram Stories.

The ad format’s release on Instagram, back in November 2017, offers businesses possibilities to reach their advertising objectives such as growing their website  traffic or increasing their brand awareness.


Instagram Carousel Ads3. Instagram Carousel Ads

Instagram Carousel ads bring another layer of depth to campaigns where people can swipe to view additional photos or videos in a single ad. This ad format can be a great way to display different colour or model options within a product catalogue, for example.

4. Instagram Video Ads

Instagram Video AdsVideo ads offer the same visually immersive quality as photo adverts but with the added power of sight, sound and motion. Video ads are also a powerful format on mobile:

  • Remember to include the hook right at the beginning to capture the viewer’s attention
  • A best practice is to use captions for audio-off viewing
  • Keep your video ads short and sweet (if your video is too long you will lose the viewer’s attention).


5. Instagram Stories Ads

More than 300 million Instagrammers use stories every day, so now is the time to test this ad format out! Ads in Instagram Stories are videos of up to 15 seconds long, that are shown between user Stories. The ad takes up the entire mobile screen, so video needs to be in vertical format. Instagram Stories are a fleeting ad format since they’re only available for 24 hours, they disappear after they’ve run and users can’t watch them again. This means they need to capture attention quickly but can also be more experimental and raw than other video ads. As such, they’re great for driving awareness.
Learn about how Disney used Instagram Stories ads to create a magical immersion experience, and promote a recent series of movies, in our success story.

Instagram Stories AdsThings to remember with Instagram Stories ads:

  • Start with the main message: it should be shown within the first 3 seconds of your ad
  • Use a simple concept and clear branding: remember an Instagram Story can only be up to 15 seconds long.
  • Add the graphics and text to your video before posting it: that way you can check that everything fits with the aesthetics of your ad
  • Consider your call-to-action: leave enough time to read the message on the screen. Make sure it is clearly tied to your overall offer
  • You can now include a link to an external site: for example a product page of dedicated landing page.

We’ve launched a new guide to help you get the best out of the summer sales period! With tips on which Instagram and Facebook ad formats to use, as well as what makes this time of year special – you don’t want to miss out on this ultimate guide! Download here or at the link below.

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