How to Use Instagram Video to Promote Your Business


Video Ad Formats and How They Work

1. In-feed video ads

Those ads show up in the feed, the place where everyone lands when they open Instagram and waste two hours scrolling.

  • Aspect ratio: 4:5
  • Max size & length: 4 GB/60 seconds
  • Aspect ratio: 1:91:1
  • Max size & length: 4 GB/60 seconds
  • Aspect Ratio: 1:1
  • Max size & length: 4 GB/60 seconds


2. Instagram Stories

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Max size & length: 4 GB/ 15 seconds


3. Instagram Canva ads

  • Aspect ratio: 1:1
  • Max size & length: 4 GB/60 seconds


4. Instagram Carousel ads

  • Aspect ratio: 1:1
  • Max size & length: 4 GB/60 seconds


5. Instagram TV (IGTV)

  • Big account max size & length: 650 MB under 10 minutes or 3.6 GB up to 60 minutes
  • Small account max size & length: 15 seconds to 10 minutes


How To Create Solid Video Ads


1. Put yourself in their shoes

  • First impressions. The first few seconds of your video count much like first impressions in real life. If people don’t like the beginning of your video, they can just keep scrolling, and that’s exactly what they’ll do. Remember, if people don’t watch the beginning of your video, they won’t see the rest.
  • Brand awareness. Show your brand in the first few seconds to make people know who you are, and so they can see your logo. This will enable more people to know who you are before they keep scrolling.
  • Show them something cool. Give something to your customer that they will benefit from so that they leave the video with a positive experience and a big ass smile. This will help your brand reputation and, thus, your sales.
  • Choose why. You need to know exactly what is the purpose of that video. Is it brand awareness, to sell a product, or to gather video views to re-target? This is essential in order to create the best videos.


2. Goal orientation

  • Thumbnails. Your thumbnail is what captivates people and entices them to watch your video. Again, if they don’t stop, they won’t watch. Be careful to keep it relevant, otherwise people won’t keep watching your video.
  • Captions. A lot of people watch your videos in public places and don’t have the sound on. Having captions is a must to captivate and connect with your audience.
  • CTA. Set up a clear Call-To-Action, otherwise you’ll just have people confused about the next step. You’ll miss a lot of opportunities for building relationships with customers, and you’ll cry at home.
  • Have a sense of humor. Most people have bad days. They go on social media to lighten up. Don’t bring them more problems. Consider cracking some jokes.


3. Test until you find what works

  • Visualize it on mobile. Always remember that people view Instagram on mobile. If you want to know how your video looks, check it out on mobile, not on desktop.
  • Keep it short & simple. Even if IGTV allows long videos, Instagram was built for short videos. Lucky for me, Facebook has decided to back me up on this in research they did somewhat recently.
  • Maintain a balance between water and fire. You want to find a balance between quality and something filmed by a potato, a balance between two unicorns flying and boring powerpoint slides. Too much of anything is not enough — except for food.
  • Test multiple videos. Remember, you’ll never know what converts best unless you test it. We recommend testing new, small changes in your video and tracking the result by trusting the data to draw solid conclusions.


Here’s What Matters In the End

Remember, videos are fun to make, but they are here on this earth to convert customers. Don’t be salesy, create value, and track to see which video gives you the most of what you want for the best price.

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