When it comes to video marketing, you are generally showered with a plethora of options that you could use to post advertisements for your business. With visual content consumption at an all-time high, platforms like Instagram are stepping up to cater to this audience.
There are currently more than 2 million advertisers on the platform. 60% of users say they discovered new products on Instagram, and there has been an 80% increase in time spent watching videos on Instagram.
Huge numbers right?
With the increase of usage of video content, Instagram has been constantly evolving and coming up with new updates to meet the expectations of advertisers.
And that’s what we’re going to be discussing today. In this blog, I’ll be covering:
- Why you should advertise on Instagram
- How much do Instagram ads cost
- Types of Instagram ads
- How to post video ads
- Optimizing your ad campaigns
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Table Of Content
- Why advertise on Instagram?
- How much do Instagram ads cost?
- Types of Instagram video ads
- How to post a video ad on Instagram
- How to optimize your Instagram ad campaigns
Why Advertise on Instagram?
Instagram is said to have the highest ad engagement rates compared to its rivals, with an engagement count of 1.4 billion and higher average engagement percent per post of 4% when compared to other social media platforms.
Businesses have started to react to this growing platform and if you analyze the top 100 brands in the world, 90% of them have their presence on Instagram.
That’s not it, there’s a lot more to this argument.
Massive user base and engagement rates
With over 1 billion active users per month, Instagram’s huge user base is the biggest boon that you could have. With average engagement rates per post of around 4%, it surpasses other major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which have engagement rates below 0.1%.
Advanced targeting options
After Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, it inherited advanced targeting options from Facebook, expanding its ad delivery capabilities massively.
So what do we mean by ‘Advanced Targeting Options’?
Instagram ad targeting allows you to advertise to people by interests, behavior, location, and age.
Remember I mentioned something about retargeting earlier? Let’s get into it now.
The meaning is simple, retargeting is targeting the customers who are already aware of your brand or the service offered by you. You can target audiences who have interacted with your brand before to help them move down the marketing funnel, with the help of precise targeting.
Also, you can make your awareness stage campaigns more effective by excluding audiences who have interacted with you before, thus reaching out to a completely new crowd.
Accurate sales and lead tracking to check ROI
It goes without saying that Instagram uses the same Ads Manager platform as Facebook. And they come with amazing features.
Right from leads to conversions to the number of clicks on your link, Instagram’s ad manager gives you all the necessary information on your advertisement campaign. You can also see the cost per result of your ad.
In simpler words, you can always see how many results you managed to achieve and at what cost.
Adding on to its feature, you also can condense the results you received to see from whom or where they came from (Details like Age, Gender, Device, and Geographic location).
Having this feature will precisely tell you how well your advertisement is doing on Instagram.
Have you ever thought of a possibility where you can achieve generate sales without having to drive your potential customers to an external website? Well, there is.
Interesting right? Yes, they are called shoppable posts. These posts use product tagging to link one or more items. The user can see the product and its price on the post and can also make the purchase, immediately.
Though these are reasons sufficient enough to pick Instagram for advertising, I’m sure you’re still wondering how much Instagram Ads cost.
How much does it cost to advertise on Instagram?
Instagram ad budgeting depends on multiple factors, and the costs can be optimized depending on your goals. The costs can change according to the objective that you’re trying to attain through this ad.
But hey, relax. There is a rough range of figures that might give you an idea of how much it might cost you. To give you a better idea, here is an example from a few cost models that you can use on Instagram, they can differ when you choose different objectives.
These prices change and depend on four main factors that Instagram goes by. They are:
- The amount you’re willing to bid for your ad matters. Higher bids have a greater chance than lower bids for the same keyword, but the ad placement ultimately depends on both ad bid and relevance.
- Your advertisement’s relevance score is checked by Instagram. Relevance score is assigned to your ad depending on how relevant your ad’s content is to your selected target audience.
- Instagram checks your estimated action rates. What’s that? It’s how much Instagram thinks that users will take action or how likely are people to give you conversions on seeing your ads.
- Lastly, the cost might vary according to your target audience you choose or even from different age categories you’re targeting your ad towards.
Instagram displays ads based on a combination of these factors. High relevance scores in tandem with higher action-rates offer better ROI to the advertiser, and also reduce costs.
According to Forrester’s research, Instagram has about 10x the user interaction with a brand when compared to other social media platforms. Think about it, though Instagram ads are a little costlier comparatively, the benefits that you get from them can be a great compensation.
You must be used to Instagram allowing you to post videos on all of its available platforms, the rules for advertisements are different in this game. Let’s look at the different types of Instagram ads for your video content.
Types of Instagram Video Ads
In-Feed Video Ads
In-feed video ads appear in your news feeds, they blend in with other posts from the profiles you follow and will show up as you scroll through.
People of Instagram don’t have the time to take action on every post that they scroll through. Acknowledging the fact and use video ads that require minimal effort from the audience.
So what kind of ads do we post?
Coming up with video ads for Instagram that have the capability to increase brand awareness. When incorporated with entertaining and captivating content you have a successful advertisement to specifically post in your feed.
You are allowed to pick from three formats through which you can upload your advertisement.
Square Video Ads
Initially, IG allowed it’s users to upload videos only in the square format and it witnessed instant heights. Square videos occupy the perfect amount of space on your screen giving you all the information that you need to know. By the ‘perfect amount of space’, I mean that the video and its caption will be displayed without any obstruction.
You can choose to use this format when you feel your video and caption carry the same weight and complement one another.
The Instagram video specs are:
- Aspect Ratio – 1:1
- Recommended Resolution – 1080*1080 pixels.
- Video length limit – 2 minutes.
Vertical Video Ads
Vertical videos are hot right now! They occupy a lot of space, covering the entire screen that you have to scroll down just a little to read the caption. This screen placement increases audience retention.
When do we use it? You could go ahead and use this format if you feel the visual content from the video is more important than the caption. This way, you are equipped with a bigger area to play the video.
The Instagram ad specs are:
- Recommended aspect ratio – 4:5
- Recommended resolution- 1080*1320 pixels.
- Time limit- 2 minutes.
Horizontal Video Ads
Horizontal videos are outperformed by Square and Vertical because of screen placement. They occupy much less space in your feed than the others that gives them minimal audience attention and higher chances of users getting distracted with the other posts that are displayed.
Though it’s a little less competitive, it’s not totally incompetent. If you’re making a landscape video, you obviously would have to use the horizontal format to make your video look appealing.
The Instagram ad specs are:
- Recommended aspect ratio: 16:9
- Recommended Resolution – 1080*608 pixels.
- Time limit – 2 minutes.
While making your video in-feed advertisements, make sure to keep in mind that your audience hate self-promotional content, so keep your message subtle but effective. In addition to this, make sure the first 3-5 seconds of your video is interesting enough to hook your audience.
Carousel Video Ads
Carousel Video posts appear in your news feeds, just like a normal post. While you can upload only one video through a normal post, the carousel feature allows you to post up to 10 videos in one post.
This extra creative space in your ad can be used to highlight different products, showcase specific details about one product or tell a story about a brand that develops through each card.
Make sure you upload videos in square format, it is mentioned that videos uploaded with different ratios will be cut to 1:1 as per the Instagram Ad Guidelines.
- Recommended Resolution- at least 1080*1080 pixels.
- Video length- 60 seconds for each card.
Instagram Story Ads
Unlike the in-feed posts, Instagram Story Ads vanish after 24 hours from when they were posted. Believe me, this is no curse. Remember how I told you video ads in your feed are best used to create brand awareness? Similarly, posting video ads on Instagram stories will help with promotions.
You are entitled to use CTA which says ‘Swipe Up’, your potential customers will be redirected to an external website where they can go forth and make a purchase.
Instagram offers the carousel feature for IG Stories as well and they are of two types.
Native Story Carousel
You are allowed to use up to 3 cards in this feature and can only be bought as a standalone Instagram Stories placement.
Expandable Story Carousel
It’s in the name if you didn’t notice. It displays 1, 2 or 3 cards automatically. If your audience wishes to see more, they can tap on the option ‘Keep Watching’. You can post up to 10 cards in total and the number of cards will also be displayed before prompting the viewer to keep watching.
- Recommended Resolution – 1080*1920 pixels.
- Length – 2 minutes total time with 15 seconds for each card.
Picking the right Instagram ad type and following the recommended Instagram ad dimensions will help you come up with enticing video ads.
How To Post A Video Ad On Instagram
Let’s get the posting process started now.
You can post Instagram video ads through Facebook Ads Manager or directly through Instagram. Remember that you must have a Facebook page and a business profile on Instagram to run ads on Instagram.
Facebook Ads Manager
Using Facebook Ads Manager gives you the advantage of adding your advertisement on Facebook and Instagram. You can customize your target audience and a few other features, and also track your ad’s performance.
If you’ve already got a Facebook page, you need to have a Facebook Business Manager to proceed with posting your advertisement.
- Visit business.facebook.com.
- Click on ‘Create Account’ at the top right corner.
- Give your business a name, select the primary page and enter your name and official email address.
- Move through the remaining process by entering the rest of the required fields.
- The last step is to add people to the Business Manager.
On finishing all this, you will be one step closer to creating your own Instagram advertisements.
Start off by linking your Instagram profile to your Facebook page.
- Go to your Business Manager and click on the menu at the top left.
- Click Business Settings. You’ll then be sent to a menu where you can click on Instagram Accounts.
- You’ll be able to add your Instagram account on a new page. Click +Add to do so.
- Click ‘Next’ after adding the username and password.
- To authorize one or more of your ad accounts to use the Instagram account, check the box next to each ad account and click Save Changes.
You’re done with linking your Instagram profile.
The next steps in creating your first ad will be as follows:
- To start, go to Ads Manager and click +Create.
You will be provided with options that you can set as your campaign objective. Facebook Ads Manager offers a handful of choices that you could pick from like:
- Brand Awareness
- App Installs
- Video Views
- Lead Generation
- Catalog Sales
- Store Visits
If you’re not sure about the objective you want to pick, go through how each objective supports different business goals.
- After this, you will be asked to name your campaign. Your campaign objective will appear as the default name, clear that and enter a name of your choice to avoid confusion. You can choose to A/B test your advertisement over here.
- Once you’re done with this process, click on ‘Continue’ after you’re done.
Facebook offers a precise set of targeting options that are not limited to only demographics. You can choose the audience who have:
- Visited your website
- Engaged with your content
- Follow a specific group or page
- Watched your video
- Subscribed to your newsletter
- Select the suitable age range for your ad.
- Enter the required demographics and behavior.
- Tick the box below to expand detailed targeting and reach to more people when it’s likely to improve performance.
The next step is to select your ad placement, this determines the slot where your ads will appear on Facebook and Instagram. You will be given two options for this, Automatic and Edit placements.
- Click on ‘Edit Placements’
- Under devices, choose mobile devices to run your ad on Instagram.
- Select ‘Instagram’ under platforms
- Pick from ‘Instagram Feeds’, ‘Instagram Stories’ and ‘Instagram Explore’ for your ad placement.
Remember that you can only choose mobile devices while posting an ad on Instagram.
It’s now time to decide your ad’s budget and how long you want to advertise it.
Facebook ads manager allows you to optimize your ad and comes with bid strategy options that will show you exactly how your budget will be spent. It can be customized according to your campaign goal.
As far as the budget for advertising is concerned, you can either set a daily budget or a lifetime budget. The daily budget offers a limit for daily spending and the lifetime budget gives your ad a certain time span. You can choose to run the ads continuously or on specific slots.
To set give your ad a budget:
- Choose between the two types of budgets and enter the amount.
- Pick a ‘Start’ and ‘End’ Date and Time.
- The total amount after taxes will be displayed.
- Click on ‘Continue’ to proceed.
The last step is essentially the first step in creating the advertisement.
Start by choosing the Facebook page that you want to associate your ad with. After this, you will be asked to choose a format for your ad, choose ‘video’ or any other format of your choice. The things that follow after this point are quite easy to follow.
- Enter a name for your advertisement under ‘Ad Name’.
- Under Create Ad, click on ‘Single video’.
- Click on ‘Add Video’ after these steps.
On completing this, you will be taken to a page that says ‘Media’. You can change how your ads look on different placements.
- Click on ‘Instagram Feed’ to select a placement.
- To your left of the screen, you’d have options to Change, Edit, Crop, and add Thumbnail to your ad. We recommend adding a thumbnail to make your ad look attractive in your feed.
- Below this, you will be given an option to enter a caption for your ad. Click on ‘Save’ after you’re done here.
You can go to the next section after the previous steps. Here, you can also add a destination URL and a call to action button to your ad that would take your audience to the destined URL.
- Enter a primary description for your company
- Tick ‘Add a website URL’.
- Enter your website’s link under ‘Website URL’
- Click on confirm after you’re done and you’ll be done with posting your first ad through Facebook ads manager.
Don’t worry though, posting through Instagram is not as complicated as the previous method.
You cannot post a brand new ad through Instagram, you are allowed to promote posts that are already there on your profile. For Instagram promotion, make sure your account is set up as a business profile.
To post a video ad from your feed:
- Go to your post and click ‘Promote’ under the post near the view insights button.
- You will be redirected to a new window, choose your objective, click on ‘Create Promotion’.
- It’s time to choose your placement now, select your desired action, and tap ‘Next’.
- The next step is to select your target audience, click on ‘Create your own’ to pick an audience of your choice.
Choose the desired location, interests and age group. Click on ‘Done’ once you’ve finished.
- After this, choose your advertisement budget and duration.
- Lastly, pick a payment option and click on ‘Create Promotion’.
And you’re done.
As of this moment, you must be clear about the entire posting process of video advertisements. To bring out results that are more than just mundane, optimizing your video ad is strongly recommended.
Optimizing your Instagram Video Ad Campaign
Choosing the appropriate campaign objective
The key to making a good advertisement depends entirely on how well defined your campaign’s objectives are. I mean, it shouldn’t take a genius to figure that out. You know how Instagram classifies your objectives, making it easier for you to choose from.
At this stage, you might be confused if you’ve picked the right objective. Things would be a lot easier if you’ve decided after considering your campaign’s main objective and sales funnel. We already saw the options offered by Facebook, you can scroll up to refer again.
Taking these objectives into consideration, the audience that you’re catering to can be split roughly into the cold, warm and hot audiences.
Your Cold Audience is the people who haven’t heard of your brand and are unaware of its existence. A majority of them have the capability of becoming your customers if tuned in the right way. It goes without saying that they are the majority when compared with the others.
Making an impact on your audience means you have to find a way to convey your message strong enough for them to retain. It doesn’t matter if your company offers B2B or B2C services, incorporating the themes of value, education, and entertainment in your videos will help you warm up your cold audience. Your content takes all the pressure to make the first impression on your audience, you could do a brilliant job if you remember that your objective is to increase brand awareness.
The rest is on your content if put well. By warming up your audience you would have increased the company’s credibility and equity.
One way to get around this is by making brand story videos. Regardless of your company being a B2B or B2C service, the fact that your audience loves to know the framework and reason behind your business does not change. Consider using ‘Video Views’ as your objective here as your aim is to deliver your story through a video to your audience.
You can create custom campaigns for engaging audiences, that can be optimized for the percentage of video viewed.
Warm Audience on the other side are people who have previously heard about your brand through Facebook-owned entities. It could be through Instagram or Whatsapp or maybe even Facebook itself. They are lesser in number when compared to your cold audience but more than your hot audience.
If you’re thinking of targeting your ads towards the warm audience, coming up with advertisements about your product or the service you offer. Although remember that you can’t expect them to make a purchase immediately. Building traffic for your website must be the primary objective in this case.
At this point, your users are already on your landing page. It is important for you to place a suitable CTA and run A/B testing on your page for better results.
So far, you would’ve managed to use video views as the campaign objective to warm up your cold audience. You could proceed further to heat up your warm audience and make them your Hot Audience.
Hot Audience are people who have visited the landing page or website but have not made a purchase or acted on the available call to action. It is easily understood that your objective here is Lead generation or conversions.
There is a good chance that your hot audience is not fully into making a purchase because they have no assurance that they can entirely trust your product, and they can’t be blamed for feeling that way. You could play a trump card by adding video testimonials on your website.
What do they do? Video testimonials help you develop trust among the people which gives you social trust in return. Your hot audience would be satisfied after being able to relate with an unbiased opinion given by your very own customer.
Make sure you have your CTA placed for conversions and run an A/B test on your website for better results. Sit back and watch your advertisement soar now.
Selecting the right target audience
At the end of every Instagram ad campaign, advertisers expect to see results that match their satisfaction. Keeping this in mind, it goes without saying that the success of your ad is entirely in the hands of your audience.
How do you satisfy them? Well, you can’t please every single person. Be smart and pick an audience that you know for sure will be interested in what you’re trying to say and convey it in the best possible way.
You are provided with a handsome number of targeting options that you can experiment with to pick the right audience. But make sure you don’t exhaust your budget by doing so. You obviously will have a targeting strategy that was pre-planned, go by that and use these targeting features only as a bonus.
Instagram has three main audience targeting options, just like Facebook.
It’s the most basic of targeting options that come by default for the users. It analyzes your audience according to their basic demographics ( age, gender, and location) but that’s not all.
Instagram has always been level headed with the kind of features it offers. As far as the core audience is concerned, you are offered something called ‘behavioral targeting’. Apart from targeting by interests, you can also target them by their purchase history, events they like or the devices they use.
With such smart targeting options, Instagram makes it easy for you to filter out your audience who would genuinely be interested in your brand or service.
It is built around the users who have previously interacted with your brand. It could be through website visits, Facebook followers, customer database or the users of your app.
If you’re smart enough, you would work on excluding these people instead of including them as your target audience for brand awareness campaigns. There is a reason for it, people who have previously interacted with your brand would already know your presence. Instead, you should aim to find new customers instead.
Apart from this, you can use custom ads to retarget your audience.
Your lookalike audience is people who have almost the same characteristics as your existing customers and can be found without requiring in-depth research. You could call it a cost-effective method to find new customers.
Make sure to pick the people having the best data from your custom audience (most engaged social followers, brand advocates, and customers) while forming your lookalike audience which gives them the same characteristics.
Don’t forget to include target expansion in your advertisement options. This makes the Instagram ad engine look for more users that have the potential to become your customers but still are not part of your lookalike audience.
Optimizing your Instagram ad budget
Ad budgeting is one of the key areas to give a thought before you start off with your campaign. You are all aware that the cost of posting an ad on Instagram is entirely up to your campaign’s objective. Instagram then uses the budget as efficiently as possible, based on the objective that you’ve selected.
Daily and Lifetime budgeting are two options that you could choose from for your ad.
By picking the Daily budget, you will be setting a particular amount per day that cannot be exceeded.
Lifetime Budget, on the other hand, requires you to give your campaign a life span after which your ads will stop being shown. Using a Lifetime budget seems to have an upper hand because of Instagram’s ad engine that distributes your budget fairly at crucial points of your campaign period by knowing the right times and days where your ads can be shown with better conversion possibilities.
However, there are a few factors that play a role in the cost of your advertisement.
Ad placements on Instagram follow the same auction-based method, just like Facebook. Being an advertiser who is interested in putting up your ad on Instagram, you must make sure to set a budget and a bid amount for your ad campaign.
Instagram offers two bid options that you could pick from, automatic and manual bidding.
In cases of high competition and a narrow audience, using manual bids is recommended because nobody knows the conversion rates of your company better than you for a given ad campaign objective. If you’re not sure about the value of action, pick the lowest bid available, compare the value generated to your ads cost and make necessary changes after that.
Keep in mind that your bid strategies can differ according to the audience that you’re targeting so make sure to plan out your bid strategies accordingly.
The Bid Amount that you have to set is the maximum sum you’re willing to spend for your ad to appear on a user’s news feeds. Unlike your typical auctions, the winners over here are not judged in terms of their bid’s monetary value, but in terms of the total value that the ad creates on its users.
Instagram calculates the value of your ad video by taking a few factors into consideration:
- Ad Quality and Relevancy Score – More users tend to engage with an ad that has good quality and is relevant to them. The relevancy of your ad is calculated according to the positive and negative feedback you receive for your ad and also the user’s past Instagram activities with regards to your brand. You can check the feedback on your ads by using Facebook Ads Manager.
- Estimated Action Rates – We spoke about this earlier, it is how much Instagram thinks your audience will take action after watching your ad. Instagram calculates your estimated action rates by referring to the past actions of the audience that you’re trying to reach out and the data of your ad’s performance rates.
- Bid Placed by Advertiser – It shows how much value an advertiser holds on the result their ad is optimized for. Higher bids, in conjunction with the relevance of your ad content will ensure you get the upper hand. Note that the bid placed for the ad will not be the final amount charged for the campaign. The final amount depends on your competitors’ bids as well. The ad with better relevance and bid amount will be given precedence.
- Target Audience – There are chances that multiple brands might try and reach out to the same target audience that you are channelizing your campaign towards. This is quite natural and it is obvious that the competition for the most valued Instagram Video Ad is going to be high, leading to ads that are costlier.
This honestly is something that you could see coming because of choosing a target audience that’s popular. At this point, eliminate the idea of wanting to pay a low amount for your ads. The whole point of advertising is to reach the right audience and sometimes when you feel the right audience for your objectives turn out to be a little popular and expensive, there is nothing you can do about it.
- Time of the year – Being an Advertiser, it’s important for you to know that you can expect more traffic during the holiday season (times like Christmas or New Years). This means investing at peak times has chances of driving your better results. If you’re planning to invest on Instagram during the holiday season or busy times, don’t forget that the costs will be higher.
The next step that is involved in ad budgeting is the kind of delivery that you pick. You will be given two options- Standard and Accelerated Delivery.
Standard delivery uses your budget evenly throughout the course of your campaign whereas accelerated delivery is where Instagram spends your budget as fast as possible.
It is advised to use standard delivery until you have the absolute necessity to deliver your ads at an accelerated pace. Accelerated delivery can be useful for time-bound offers.
The identity of a successful campaign is achieved when your company makes a noticeable profit out of it. Keeping this in check will keep you away from overspending while bidding for your advertisement. Instagram in fact, encourages it’s business users to only bid the true value of action and has a few features that help you run a successful campaign without having to face any loss.
- Lowest Cost – By opting for the lowest costs, you will be able to get as many placements for your budget. You can choose this if your business is looking for an optimal awareness campaign. Pick this if you are relatively new to this field.
- Bid Cap – Assigning a bid cap will make sure the budget you spend for a placement bid doesn’t exceed a certain amount that you can choose. You can use this if you exactly know what numbers you should not go beyond.
- Target Cost – If you’re not sure about the exact figures that you’re willing to spend, using target cost could prove to be handy. You are allowed to give an approximate value that will be considered as the average cost to be spent. Facebook can choose to go over or under it, depending on the placement costs at that point.
You can go ahead and choose Bid Cap or Target Cost if you’ve previously run an ad campaign on Instagram with similar target audiences and are aware of the right cost figures for positive leads.
- Cost Cap – It is a bid strategy offered by Facebook which requires you to give a maximum cost that you’re willing to spend for a specific lead. With this strategy, Facebook works on giving you the highest conversion rates possible within the specified cost.
As far as optimization is concerned, incorporating the above-mentioned points with your video will let you see results that you did not think you would.
And We’re Done!
From this point onwards, you have no need to break a sweat every time your business requires an advertisement to be made.
Think about it, you know your way around choosing the right objective, picking the right audience, posting process and also how to optimize your budget. We’ve managed to touch all the important aspects to make you a pro in no time.
If you feel what you read was worthwhile or if you think anything was missed out, feel free to get in touch with us. There’s nothing like getting honest feedback.
If you’re someone who wants to know more about Social Media Video Marketing, check out our blog post.
It’s time for you to go out there and make yourself proud now.