Video Advertising On Instagram & The Ways You Can Do It

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Video is now the most widely viewed medium of communication. The explosion of video can be easily attributed to technological advances in smartphones, better bandwidth, and easy dissemination via social media. Similarly, video advertising beats any other form of digital or print advertising, primarily because videos are more engaging, have the highest recall factor, and can portray stories like no other medium. And let’s face it, everybody loves stories!

Why Instagram?

Let us take a closer look at the video advertising platforms available on social media. While YouTube was the pioneer in video advertising, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter have quickly caught on.

Instagram first launched its video platform in 2013, and an astounding 5 million videos were uploaded in the first 24 hours. Today, with an active user base of over 1 billion accounts, no one can afford to miss out on the vast advertising opportunity it offers. By Bloomberg estimates, Instagram generated close to $20 Billion in advertising revenues, beating the $15.1 Billion ad sales from YouTube in 2019.


To gauge the reach of Instagram’s advertising power, lets glance at some of the statistics listed below:

  • Total Number of Monthly Active Instagram Users: 1 Billion+
  • Total Number of Daily Active Instagram Users: 500 Million+
  • Number of Businesses on Instagram: 25 million+
  • 200 million+ Instagrammers visit at least one business profile daily
  • 4% of Influencers use Instagram Stories for Sponsored campaigns
  • Instagram’s potential advertising reach is 849.3 million users


Types of Advertising Options on Instagram

Instagram offers several types of options for advertising. These include Photo Ads, Sponsored Ads, Story Ads, Video Ads, Guided Ads, Carousel Ads, and IGTV Ads. Each of these ad formats serves a different purpose for advertisers. The two most popular options are Story Ads and Video Ads. In case you were wondering how much does advertising on Instagram cost, yes, it is slightly higher than Facebook or YouTube.

It is important to remember that 65% of the people on Instagram are less than 34 years of age. To get the most out of your Instagram video advertisements, it is important to keep the following guidelines in mind:

  1. Share experiences, not product details: Today’s target generation loves to know about experiences. Product details bore them, and they tune out easily. Show them something exciting, something to liven up their day, and they will be fans of your company. Let them leave your video with a positive experience and a smile on their face.
  2. Give Brand Recall an Early Boost: Promote your brand in the first few seconds because this is the only time when your video advert will be seen by everyone. Let them see your logo as soon as the video starts so that viewers know who you are.
  3. Add text or captions to your advertisement: Placement of a limited amount of text or captions is important because many times, users are viewing the video in public places with the sound turned off. Captions help to connect with and captivate your audience, even if the video is muted.
  4. Solve a problem: People are always beset with problems and are always looking for solutions. A video ad with a humorous or sensitive narrative will go a long way in your brand recall. The chances of your video being shared also increase exponentially.
  5. Try to keep the ad under 15 seconds: With dwindling attention spans the norm these days, making short, catchy videos is the best way to engage with your target audience.
  6. Focus on a single goal: Due to short attention spans, you should focus on a single product or service in any given advertisement. Avoid confusing your viewers with multiple messages. Understand upfront what you are trying to achieve with your video: gathering video views, increasing brand awareness, or new product introduction – just keep it simple.
  7. Shoot in the right dimensions: Story Ads run in a full-screen vertical format, and the recommended aspect ratio is 9:16. Ensure that you stick to the Instagram story template size from the beginning, rather than having to convert the size and dimensions later.
  8. Think about thumbnails early on: Thumbnails help to captivate the viewers before they even see the video. Thumbnails can be created from a screenshot from within the video itself. So, it is better to choose an attractive thumbnail to generate interest in your video.
  9. Add a clear CTA: Understand people’s mindset when they are watching videos on their mobile phones. It is a big ask to make them stop watching and click on something. They usually don’t engage or click while watching the video, so make sure that you have a clear and strong call-to-action to redirect them where you want them to go.
  10. Test and Test Again: A/B testing is a highly underrated activity associated with videos. A/B testing needs to be done for both the creative, as well as for the audience. Ensuring that there are no errors or gaffes in your video, will ensure that the video is liked for the right reasons. Keep on testing, until you find which video converts best for you.
  11. Optimize landing pages for mobile: Since a majority of viewers access Instagram via their mobiles, it is imperative that the landing page (from the CTA) is optimized for mobile viewership.
  12. Bring in a Video-for-Mobile Mindset: Instagram was made for the smartphone. So, keep in mind that the videos you create should also be built with a mobile-first mindset. Ensure that the video length is short and sweet. Try to make your videos as catchy as possible, while sticking to the essentials.

The video creation life-cycle is a great time, right from conceptualization to the final edits. But one should not get carried away, because the real use of these videos is to convert customers. Even if you love the video you have created, use the available analytics and tracking mechanisms available on Instagram to ensure that even your customers love it! By creating value for the viewer instead of being sales, you can ensure the biggest bang for your buck. Happy shooting!

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