Market Trends

Written by Kat Peake November 13, 2019

How to reach and convert customers with video ads on Instagram

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Video content performs especially well on Instagram compared to other formats. Statistically, videos receive 38% more engagement than image posts and over 100 million users either watching or creating Live video every day. So leveraging video in your Instagram ads can also be a great way to get the attention of your audience.

And with one billion users, Instagram offers advertisers the possibility to reach just about any audience with their video ads. Advertising on Instagram also gives brands the ability to inspire and then drive purchases, build communities, and deeply engage prospects. It’s a highly engaged network, with 60% of users logging on daily. And that engagement extends to brands as well: 80% of Instagram users follow at least one brand account. Read on to learn how to get the most out of your Instagram video ads!

Instagram video ads

Running video ads on Instagram gives you the opportunity to showcase your products in action in a way that really makes them come alive. Since video grabs our attention better than still images, it’s a great way to engage and convert your prospects on the network. Data shows that they work: according to a study by our partner Wibbitz31% of users have made a purchase directly after watching a video ad on Instagram. For some groups that figure is even higher, with 42% of Millennials reporting that an Instagram video ad had driven a purchase.


To help you best reach your target audience, Instagram offers a few video ad formats.

In-feed video

You can use in-feed videos to build brand awareness, to establish a connection with customers, and to communicate messages quickly and effectively. Short and sweet is the key to in-feed video ads, with 15 seconds or shorter being the recommended length.


Instagram Stories ads consist of images or videos of up to 15 seconds long, that are shown between user Stories. The ad takes up the entire mobile screen, so media needs to be in vertical format. The main difference with Stories (and ads in Stories) is that they are ephemeral. Everything about Stories is temporary—and brands should take that into account. The great thing about this format, however, is that you can be more experimental and raw than simple video ads. As such, they’re great for driving awareness.interactive IG stories

Instant Experience

This interactive, fullscreen ad experience is developed specifically for mobile devices. Instant Experience enables advertisers to create fullscreen and in-line immersive videos that play automatically. Advertisers can also incorporate photo carousels and panoramic photos that users can swipe or tilt around to see more, as well as forms, images with tagged products, text, and links.

5 tips to get the most out of your Instagram video ads


1. Include the hook right at the beginning to capture the viewer’s attention and keep them watching. This is especially important for Stories ads, which are easy for users to swipe through. You should also mention your brand early on: in a study, Instagram users were 23% more likely to remember a brand that was mentioned within the first 3 seconds of a video.

2. Use captions so that even users who watch with the sound off won’t miss out on your message.

3. Think vertical. Both Stories and Instant Experience ads are in a vertical format, so your ads should be designed accordingly to make the best use of the space available.

4. Limit on-screen text. Other than your subtitles, text should take up no more than 20% of your video image. It’s best to let your visuals communicate your message, and videos that include too much text may have a limited reach.

5. Design your videos for the context. Instagram is where users go to share the best moments in their day and discover new ideas. Your video ads should blend into that context, and don’t need to necessarily look very polished to be successful. Videos that look organic in users’ feeds can drive the best results.

Learn more about advertising on Instagram in our guide

To help you get your Instagram advertising right, we’ve written an eBook covering all of the latest features for retail and e-commerce, as well as:

  • MMR_LandingPage_INSTAGRAM-2019_05Who uses Instagram and why it should be part of your online ads strategy.
  • An overview of Instagram ad formats, with our tips on making the most of each one.
  • Ad objectives, ad targeting, and budget and bid options.
  • Best practices for getting the most of your advertising investment on Instagram.
  • How to think about your ad campaigns beyond just Instagram by making them part of your cross-channel strategy.

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