Video Advertising on Instagram: 9 Best Practices for 2019

Video Advertising on Instagram: 9 Best Practices for 2019

If you haven’t heard – 2018 has been the year of Instagram. With Facebook’s decline in public favor, and as other platforms scramble to police themselves, Instagram seems to be the only platform free from controversy (so far), despite having been bought by Facebook in 2012. Here, users are free to express themselves in a safe environment, helping bring in billions in advertising dollars from companies big and small.

There’s a lot of good reasons advertisers are flocking to Instagram. For starters, the integration with Facebook’s ad platform doesn’t hurt – nor does advertising on a platform free from all of Facebook’s negative stigma. Plus, Instagram’s user-base is growing exponentially, easily surpassing a billion monthly active users in June. It’s become the gold standard for positive user experience, borrowing the best parts from other platforms and merging them all in one place, like Instagram Stories, which feature Snapchat-style daily disappearing video, or the newly launched Instagram TV, which functions like YouTube for content creators.

All in all, Instagram is worth your time and advertising dollars. If you’re not convinced, keep reading – we’re sharing everything you need to know about Instagram video ads, including vital best practices you’ll need for 2019!

How does video advertising on Instagram work?

Video advertising on Instagram is divided into two categories: standard in-stream video ads and Story ads. Even though they’re different, you’ll still need a Facebook page and Business Profile to create and run them.

In-Stream Video Ads

Instagram video ads look almost identical to a traditional in-stream post from any Instagrammer, with the exception that these posts have a promoted button directing the intended audience to “Learn More” (or a similar CTA). According to Instagram, they can now be created in either landscape or square format and be up to 60 seconds long.

Story Ads

Story ads are short-form, full-screen, vertical format ads that show up in the Stories section of Instagram, where Instagram users view Snapchat-style disappearing content that only lasts for twenty-four hours. These ads show up like a commercial break between your friends’ content, and aims to mimic the style and feel of other content being viewed so as to not be too abrasive or disruptive.

Source: Adweek


Similar to Facebook, Instagram also offers a Carousel-style advertising format for video and photo ads. Carousel video ads show multiple videos in a slideshow presentation, anywhere from two to 10 slides, alongside a call-to-action button underneath.

You can buy, run, and track Instagram ads in a handful of ways, either through a promoted post directly using the ads manager, or working with one of Instagram’s provided partners (a third party). Since Instagram ads are run through Facebook’s advertising manager, it’s really simple to set up and run your own. Just set your objective, audience targeting, and format within the ads manager, determine your budget, then publish. You can try it out yourself here.

Why use Instagram video ads instead of Facebook, YouTube, or LinkedIn?

First and foremost, Instagram boasts a billion monthly active users. That’s easy access to A LOT of people. To put it in perspective, YouTube only recently reached this milestone after being in business for nearly twice as long as Instagram. And Facebook, the top contender in sheer monthly-user volume, is arguably on the decline after this year’s many controversies, and will likely be capped out at a ceiling of two billion for a while. Instagram only has room to grow.

More importantly, though, is Instagram’s integration with Facebook’s backend ad manager. Their integration allows you to run video ads on both Instagram and Facebook at the same time, which is very simple to do and an effective way to optimize your reach and spend. Their advanced data analytics also give you tons of actionable information. Is your video ad reaching more eyeballs on Instagram or Facebook? Which platform is driving more link click-throughs? Which is driving more conversions? You can prioritize this automatically and shift spend to whichever platform is the highest performing, so you get the most out of your money.

Not only that, but Instagram feels more friendly and trustworthy to users in their interactions with businesses. For example, Instagram reports that 80 percent of users end up following at least one business on the platform. As recently as March 2017, over 120 million users either direct messaged a business, visited a website, called a number, or emailed an address through the platform, and at least 30 percent have purchased a product they first saw on Instagram.

Bonus Tip: According to a Pew Research study, Instagram is most popular among adults 18-29, with 55 percent of all people in this age group (millennials) using the platform. The study also showed 31 percent of women and 24 percent of men use Instagram, so the platform (similar to Facebook) skews younger and slightly more toward women.

What video types work best for Instagram video ads?

Before deciding what type of Instagram video ad to create, decide what goal you’re trying to achieve with your video advertising. Here are the four main goals you can set for your video campaign, and what types of video work best for them.

Goal: Attract New Audiences

You’re going to want to optimize your campaign for brand awareness in order to attract as many users as possible, and familiarize them with your brand.

In-Stream Ads: Try a 15-second commercial or promo to promote your brand, or use a before and after time-lapse video to capture new audiences’ attention.

Story Ads: Try a three-part industry or educational video via the Stories carousel feature, and tell a mini-story about your brand’s impact on your industry or on the lives of your customers.

Goal: Engage More Visitors

If you want to engage with viewers on Instagram, the goal is to get the right type of people to take an action. You’ll want to optimize your campaign for traffic to drive them to your page, and video views to make sure the right audiences are seeing it.

In-Stream Ads: Try a testimonial or brand video to inspire your intended audience to learn more about you. If you’re a food company, create a visual DIY recipe video. If you’re in the beauty industry, try a DIY makeup tutorial.

Story Ads: Try a day in the life video that looks and feels like the type of content your followers’ and audiences’ friends are creating. Make it compelling enough, and they’ll be motivated to take action.

Goal: Nurture Leads into Customers

If you’re trying to turn leads into customers, optimize your campaign for conversions, which helps you get the lowest cost per action. Use video to promote a specific sale, service, or product directly.

In-Stream Ads: Try an FAQ video about your promoted product or sale, answering any questions your leads might have in the consideration phase of their buyer’s journey. You can also promote a 60-second clip of a longer product review video to transparently represent your product or service.

Story Ads: Create a customer spotlight video that highlights your customers’ success in tandem with your own. Or try creating an event video using footage from a recent event.

9 Best Practices for Instagram Video Advertising

Quick Specs to Keep in Mind

In-Stream Video Ads

Landscape Resolution: 600×315
Landscape Aspect Ratio: 1:9
Square Resolution: 600×600
Square Aspect Ratio: 1:1
Vertical Resolution: 600×750
Vertical Aspect Ratio: 4:5
Max File Size: 4 GB
Max Length: 60 seconds
Max FPS: 30 FPS
Recommended formats: .MP4 and .MOV
In-Stream Caption Character Recommendation: 125 characters

Story Video Ads

Max Resolution: 1080×1920
Min Resolution: 600×1067
Aspect Ratio: 9:16
Max File Size: 4 GB
Max Length: 15 seconds
Recommended Formats: .MP4 and .MOV

Are Instagram Video Ads for you?

If you have the budget for video advertising and you’re already spending ad dollars on Facebook, you should absolutely be testing and comparing your results by running a dual campaign on Instagram. By running an Instagram video ad and Facebook video ad simultaneously, you get double the reach, double the exposure, and access to billions more viewers. If you’re already running on Instagram and Facebook, all you need is a video strategy for YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and you’ve pretty much conquered the entire social video advertising universe!

11 Facebook Updates You Need To Know for 2019

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11 Facebook Updates You Need To Know for 2019

The one constant in social media marketing is that things are always changing, and this is especially true on the world’s largest social network, Facebook.

Even more interesting these days is that when Facebook makes a change, there’s a trickle-down effect to Instagram, which is especially true in regards to advertising.

The fine folks at Facebook have released some great updates we should look forward to in the coming months – updates we should keep in mind when planning our 2019 strategies. To help keep you up to date, here are eleven new Facebook updates that you need to know about for 2019.

Facebook Ad Solutions and Features Updates

1. Shopping in Instagram Stories

Create more interactive and engaging shopping experiences by adding product stickers to your Instagram Stories.

An example of shopping tags in Instagram Stories

Users viewing your story will be able to get product details and other information, and they’ll also have the ability to click through to your mobile site to make a purchase.

2. Augmented Reality Ads

With Augmented Reality Ads, brands will be able to build deeper connection with users by helping them interact with, and visualize, different products and experiences within the Facebook platform.

Facebook AR ads

As you can see, the ads will enable users to quickly access the Facebook camera to test your offerings via a ‘Tap to try on’ CTA.

3. Facebook Stories Ads

Facebook Stories Ads will also enable brands to create new experiences for via the platform’s Stories option.

Facebook Stories hasn’t taken off the way Instagram Stories has, but this type of full-screen creative is very popular right now, and Facebook Stories ads will provide more options to reach people across both platforms.

4. Playable Ads

Facebook also recently added Playable Ads for game apps, which enable users to “try before they buy” – which should lead to higher intent installs from users who’ve had the opportunity to experience the app before installing it.

Facebook Updates for Pages

5. Facebook Page Recommendations

You may have already seen this, but Facebook Page Reviews have been updated to Recommendations.

Facebook Page recommendations

The update aims to provide Page visitors with a better understanding of what they can expect, based on previous customers’ experiences, which adds an extra level of transparency to the feedback.

6. Redesigned Pages on Mobile

Another update you’re likely already aware of is that Facebook business Pages have been redesigned on mobile, making them easier to navigate, which should drive more action, according to Facebook.

Facebook Measurement Updates

7. Video Metrics Updates

Facebook also recently updated its video ad metrics in order to help advertisers get a better handle on true video engagement, and optimize video creative based on those behaviors.

8. Self-Serve Brand Lift in Test and Learn

Facebook has also implemented new self-serve options to test and understand how your Facebook Ad campaigns impact the perception of your brand. This is a tool we can’t wait to get more familiar with.

An example of Facebook video metrics

Updates to Creative Tools

9. Video Creation Kit

No video? No problem – Facebook recently launched a new Video Creation Kit which enables you to turn your existing photo assets into mobile-optimized videos. These easy-to-use templates include text options also.

Facebook's Video Creation Kit

Facebook Campaign Management Updates

10. Value-Based Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike Audiences are great, but how much better would they be if you could identify and target people similar to your customers based on online and offline behaviors?

Facebook’s security is so bad it’s surprising Zuckerberg hasn’t deleted his account

Facebook’s security is so bad it’s surprising Zuckerberg hasn’t deleted his account

Less than a year after the Cambridge Analytica scandal launched a privacy reckoning, Facebook is back in the news over yet another data breach, this one a security breach affecting almost 50 million accounts, leaving many wondering, again, how safe their personal info really is.

The blunder – in which a security flaw in the code for the “View As” feature was exploited by hackers to steal access tokens, allowing them to log in to people’s accounts without a password – is wholly Facebook’s fault. As much as Facebook has emphasized the sophistication of the three-part hack, the vulnerabilities were created by Facebook, when developers updated a birthday video feature in July 2017, and were left wide open by Facebook, for more than a year. Sophisticated hackers executed the breach, but it was a lack of sophistication by Facebook that allowed it.

In many ways, it’s more disturbing than the Cambridge Analytica scandal, even though the number of users affected is smaller and the effects of the breach less cataclysmic (so far, it hasn’t been blamed for electing any despots). While the March scandal gave researchers – and the various campaigns they sold it to – complex psychographic profiles of users based on their posts, this breach gave hackers access to take over people’s Facebook accounts. And while in the earlier scandal, people had to grapple with the fact that they (or their friends) were at least at some fault, for being stupid enough to give the “This is Your Digital Life” app permission to harvest their data, the users compromised this time did nothing wrong.

This latest blunder also builds on our picture of Facebook as unreliable and undependable, but this time it’s because they can’t protect us, not because they won’t. The Cambridge Analytica story was shocking but unsurprising: it revealed that Facebook didn’t care about our data, except insofar as it could sell it off, packaging it up for the consumption and use of the highest bidder. While it was scandalous that data-hungry, advertiser-friendly Facebook had even allowed such a feature as the one that allowed people to click away their friends’ data, it was in line with their data-hungry, advertiser-friendly MO. The truth about the social network, only vaguely obscured, became clear –Facebook was happy for advertisers to leach our data, to look the other way, as long as it kept advertisers’ happy – but we kept on using it, taking more personal care. Being on Facebook, for those of us who remained, hasn’t felt the same since.

But in this case, it’s not just Facebook’s callousness and carelessness that’s been revealed: it’s their incompetence. Facebook missed serious holes in their security system. People didn’t (or no longer) expect Facebook to look out for them, but they thought Facebook was smarter than this. The company stood to profit from giving researchers access to our data, but stood to gain nothing from letting hackers access our accounts, other than a PR disaster. While Cambridge Analytica taught us that we can’t trust Facebook to take care with our data, this scandal shows that’s we can’t trust them to take care of our data.

Our data, especially in Facebook profile form, will always be an appealing target to hackers, marketers and cartoonishly evil research firms. This case – so far nameless and perpetrator-less – illustrates that we just can’t rely on Facebook to protect it. We can’t rely on Facebook’s care or their competence to shield us.

Zuckerberg likes to describe security battles as an “arms race”, and did so again during a press call on Friday, as Slate’s Will Oremus recounted. But it’s an arms race Facebook is losing. The social network is in over its head.

Mark Zuckerberg’s personal data was compromised in the Cambridge Analytica leak, and his page was apparently breached this time too. (What luck. Honestly, if he weren’t the CEO, he’d surely have deactivated his Facebook by now.) It’s pretty obvious at this point to anyone paying attention that the young Facebook founder can’t protect any of us – not even himself.

Teens get social on YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat… not Facebook

Teens get social on YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat… not Facebook

Facebook may have a large number of active users which make it the largest social network in the world, but that doesn’t mean everybody gets their social fix from Facebook first.

A new Pew study spells trouble for Facebook, as it reveals teens don’t really do Facebook anymore. Not as they used to. Instead, they go to YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.


Back in 2015, Facebook was the undisputed king of the charts, with 71% teenagers aged 13 to 17 said they use it. Instagram, also a Facebook property, was second with 52% and Snapchat came in third with 41%. YouTube wasn’t even in that top, and one could easily argue that YouTube isn’t really a social network, albeit it does bring a social element to the table.

Three years later, US teens say they use YouTube (85%), Instagram (72%), and Snapchat (69%) the most. Facebook dropped on fourth place with 51%.

When asked what platform they use more often, 32% said YouTube, while 35% said Snapchat. Instagram and Facebook scored 15% and 10%, respectively.

The study does not include apps like WhatsApp, iMessage, and Facebook Messenger, which all count as social apps.

However, the conclusion is pretty clear, teens do not like Facebook as much as they used to, and this can’t be good news to Facebook. The more time they spend on other services, including Facebook’s own properties and services Facebook is desperately trying to clone, the more they get used to not using Mark Zuckerberg’s social network.



Social media platforms are forever changing the image sizes and formats, so to keep you all updated I have re-created the 2016 social media image sizes cheat sheet and updated it to 2017.

The need for strong social media presence has soared in 2016 and will only increase in prominence in 2017. This is why you really need to keep up to speed with your business / brand / personal profiles, and to optimize them with the right images to represent you!

“The 2017 Social Media Image Sizes Guide” below explains to you what the best image sizes are for each social network and the image types to use. Every major social media platform is listed on here so you’re up-to-date with social media platform optimization.

I’ve also added in Ello social media image sizes as well, as I know a few of you guys are starting to use that platform more and more.

Also this graphic displays specific dimensions and we have also added some very quick tips and insights to help you make your mind up on what photo to use on what social media platform.

I hope you find this graphic as useful as the last few I did in 2015 & 2016.

Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet




With the ever growing need to have a strong social media presence for your business / brand / personal profiles, it’s so important to optimize them with the right images to represent you.

To help you get the most out of your social media profiles, we’ve produced an infographic “The 2017 Social Media Image Sizes Guide” that tells you the best image sizes for each social network and image types; and to make certain that you’re up-to-date with social media platform optimization. This graphic will be constantly updated, so if the networks change their formats, we will be the first to show it in this graphic.

Not only do we list the specific dimensions, we’ve have also added some very quick tips and insights to help you decide what photo to use in what platform.

Along with the mobile revolution, the demand for social networking has probably taken the world by storm!
Whether it is for a business or a brand or a personal profile, there is a growing need to stay active on social media sites.

You are probably reading this article because you are looking for ways to optimise your social media presence.
And you would agree that images have a strong bearing on the way your social media profile is perceived or remembered!

But, with so many social media platforms, how do you remember the various image size optimisation guidelines?

A cool tip is to bookmark this blog post and the related infographic to stay updated with any changes to the social media image size optimisation rules.
In this article, we lay out a 2015 brief guide to social media image sizes or dimensions for the top social media websites.



Profile Photo: 400 x 400 pixels (a maximum 100 KB file size)

It is often said that the “first impression is the last impression”!
Your Twitter profile picture is your main identification mark that will be visible to everyone. It will be visible on your home page, on the Twitter stream of your followers whenever you Tweet and so on.
Since it represents you or your brand, the image should be of the highest quality.


Header Photo: 1 500 x 500 pixels (a maximum 10 MB file size)

You can use an eye-catchy, creative image for your high-resolution header photo on your Twitter profile page. As a business, your Twitter page header photo should be in sync with your logo, tagline and brand.
In-stream Photo: 440 x 220 pixels (a maximum 5 MB file size for photos and 3 MB file size for animated gifs)

You can post up to four pictures along with your tweets on this platform. For every in-stream picture, an image link is created which takes up the Twitter character space. You simply need to maintain the 2:1 ratio of the images which can be reduced to a smaller version to effectively fit your follower’s stream.



Cover Photo: 828 x 315 pixels (a preferred maximum file size of 100 KB)
You can edit and add creative images as your cover photo that represents you or your business in the correct sense. Try to maintain a minimum size of about 399 x 150 pixels.

Profile Picture: 180 x 180 pixels
Unlike the cover photo, which only appears on your Facebook page, your Facebook profile picture will be seen on your page, on posts where you comment, on the timelines of others where you post messages, in search results of Facebook’s Open Graph and so on.
In short, it represents you at most places on the largest social networking platform.

Shared Image: 1 200 x 630 pixels
You can engage your friends or business followers in meaningful conversations by sharing useful images on your Facebook timeline. These will appear in the news feeds of your friends and followers. Check this post for more information on image sizes for Facebook




Profile Image: 250 x 250 pixels
Again, this picture will be your identity across the Google+ network. Even though the dimensions are for a square image, your Google+ profile picture appears as a circle. So, you need to take special care of how your image looks without the important parts being cut out.
Cover Picture: 1 080 x 608 pixels
You can use a large picture representing your brand, logo and business tagline as your Google+ cover image.
Shared Image: 497 x 373 pixels
You can share images on your Google+ posts and indicate the specific “circles” with whom you want to share the image and for whom it may be more relevant. Remember, such images (along with the associated text) are likely to turn up in the Google search engine for search queries related to your posts or business.



Profile Picture: 110 x 110 pixels
Photo Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
Photo Thumbnails: 161 x 161 pixels
For all types of Instagram images, you need to maintain an aspect ratio of 1:1. So, all your images will appear in square dimensions. You need to take special care with the image quality because limited text content is shared on this platform. It is more about the pictures and visuals!



Profile Picture: 165 x 165 pixels
A Pinterest profile picture may not be as important as that of Facebook or Twitter profile pictures. However, you still need to use a nice one. After all, anyone who arrives at your board or pins through the keyword search will probably have a look at your profile too.
Board Display Image: 222 x 150 pixels
Use eye-catchy images for posting on the relevant Pinterest boards.
Pin Sizes: a width of 238 pixels (with scaled height)
Though these are the dimensions for your Pinterest pins, expanded pins will have a minimum width of 600 pixels. You can post larger images (as only the width is fixed, while the length can be scaled further up) for better engagement and more re-pins or likes.



Profile Image: 128 x 128 pixels
You can use a good looking square profile picture that visually represents you or your business on Tumblr. It will appear on your profile page, next to the button to “follow” you when someone lands on your page and as thumbnails next to your posts in your follower’s feeds.
Image Posts: 500 x 750 pixels
You can post images with up to 10 MB file sizes (except for animated gifs which should not be more than 1 MB). You can thus upload really high-quality pictures for your Tumblr posts.




Channel Cover Picture: 2560 x 1440 pixels (for desktop), 1855 x 423 pixels (for tablets), 1546 x 423 pixels (for smartphones), and 2560 x 1440 pixels (for TV)

The sizes are optimised for the different platforms as YouTube videos are often streamed using any of the above mentioned platforms. Also, the video channel cover image should tell your viewers more about the kind of videos that they will probably be able to view on your channel.

Video Uploads: 1 280 x 760 pixels

You know that YouTube is a video sharing site and not an image sharing one. So, you need to maintain this resolution (about 16:9 aspect ratio) for the videos that you upload.



Background image: 1000 x 425
Standard Logo: 400 x 400 pixels
Profile image: 400 x 400 pixels
Career Cover Picture: 974 x 330 pixels
Banner Image: 646 x 220 pixels
Square logo: 60 x 60 pixels




Banner image: 2560 x 1440 pixels
Profile image:360 x 360 pixels

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