How to Maximize Your Instagram Advertising Efforts Using Video

This is a guest post by Akvile DeFazio, President of AKvertise, Inc.

You already know that content creation is a great strategy for promoting your company and increasing sales, but video content specifically has risen to the top of the heap over the last few years. As attention spans get shorter and shorter, consumers are seeking video content above all else, and it receives 10-30% more views than other materials like visual graphics and written text.

According to a recent Hubspot survey, consumers are watching a ton of video at 1.5 hours each day. Those 90 minutes can pack a punch – viewers retain 95% of a promotional message when they view it in a video, compared to only 10% when they read it in text.

With this kind of data, social media platforms are responding and giving brands new ways to connect with users through video ads. Instagram is positioning itself as a leader in the movement – after introducing video as a content format five years ago, the platform has continued to add inventive ways for companies to reach the Instagram community (all one billion of them as of June 2018). No matter what industry you’re in, there’s an Instagram video ad format that’s right for you.

Before we dive in, here are a few best practices to keep in mind regardless of what ad format you choose:

  • Always upload the highest resolution available. Remember that Instagram is popular because it delivers high-quality visuals. Users are looking for beautiful content just as much as they’re looking for useful subject matter. Don’t alienate your followers with a video that’s slow, choppy or pixelated.
  • Know your goal and pick the right Call to Action. Way before you hit that record button, make sure you know exactly what you’re trying to do with your video ad. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Engagement? Drive people to your website? Knowing this will increase your chances for success. Additionally, with every ad format, Instagram lets you choose an appropriate Call to Action for your viewer to engage with. Be aware that these are very specific (i.e. “Get Showtimes” or “Download”) so pick your selection carefully to avoid confusing your audience.

1. Instagram Feed Ads

This is the most traditional video ad format on Instagram and supports both still images and video. These ads are placed in a user’s feed right alongside organic posts belonging to the people they follow. The only thing that makes them stick out is a “Sponsored” label at the top of the post. This is in an attempt to make ads blend in and appear more authentic to an increasingly aware consumer base.

One thing to know about this format: It’s built to be digestible, and creators only have a maximum length of 60 seconds to play with. With this in mind, be sure to make the first 10 seconds of your video as impactful as possible so you can draw viewers in from the get-go.

The set-up process is similar to Facebook Ads and takes place within Facebook Ads Manager (note that Facebook owns Instagram). Click here for more detailed step-by-step instructions.

2. Instagram Story Ads

Aside from the main Instagram feed, users often interact with influencers and businesses through Instagram Stories. Stories are full-screen, vertically formatted and allow experimentation with sound as well as visuals. The kicker is that these are short-lived and disappear after 24 hours, but that doesn’t mean they don’t leave an impression: 400 million accounts currently use Instagram Stories, and one-third of the most viewed stories have come from businesses.

To get started, you can find the specifications here. If you’re unsure of what to use for creative, this is a great secondary way to repurpose any content you’ve used in your Feed Ads.

3. IGTV (Instagram TV)

In June 2018, Instagram took video content to a whole new level and rolled out IGTV (Instagram TV). Calling it “the future of mobile video,” IGTV is a standalone platform that lives within the Instagram app and in it’s own app. In what most are calling a direct challenge to YouTube, IGTV was built for long form content – up to 60 minutes for verified or large accounts and 10 minutes for others.

Anyone can have a channel on IGTV, and though there’s no present way to monetize it,

it’s only a matter of time before that changes. Both creators and consumers have already shown excitement around the launch with Instagram already expected to earn $5.48 billion in US ad revenue this year.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for the inevitable notification that IGTV will become available for paid content and be ready to jump in! Play around with its current organic capabilities and experiment with different content to see what your audience enjoys.

Instagram is a great channel for advertisers looking for a platform for their video content. Hopefully, these tips are useful for your next video campaign on Instagram!

What tips do you have for video advertising on Instagram? We’d love to hear your thoughts and tips in the comments!

About the Author:

As someone who lives for connecting people, bringing together consumers and brands is what Akvile DeFazio, President of AKvertise, Inc., a social media advertising agency, does best. As a conversion driven marketer, Akvile is passionate about helping businesses expand their online visibility and reaching their goals. Her expertise lies in e-commerce, event marketing, mobile apps, and lead generation, by way of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn Ads.