Instagram 101: Ad Sizes and Placements on Instagram
With the number of monthly active users reaching 928 million people, Instagram is moving forward to emerge as the modern dynamic platform for any social media marketer. And this potential reach of Instagram marketing is still growing substantially this year, having expanded by 76 million people in just the last quarter. More than 36% of B2B decision-makers have confessed to looking at Instagram when researching new products or services.
More than 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business. At the same time, it has inherited most of the extensive targeting options and tools of the parent company, Facebook, so it’s not just consumer products that benefit. Instagram advertising is an effective strategy that’s easy to implement.
What Is Instagram Advertising?
Instagram advertising is the process of promoting sponsored content on the Instagram platform through paid channels to reach a larger and more filtered, targeted audience. It is similar to Facebook ads. 60% of Instagram users say they discover new products on the platform, while 75% of Instagram users take action after being inspired by a post.
While there is a lot of speculation around how a business or individual may decide to advertise, Instagram advertising is usually associated with increased brand exposure, website traffic, generating new leads, and stimulating existing leads to move down the marketing funnel.
Instagram is a visual platform. Hence, you need an image, set of images, or video accompanied by text to reach your audience with Instagram ads, as text ads are not a thing here.
Instagram Ad Formats
As a decision-maker, you may have been confused at one point as Instagram has six ad formats to choose from. Two of those are for Instagram stories alone (the ones that appear at the top of the feed, like Snapchats), while the other four are designed for the Instagram feed. The Instagram feed is the more commonly used medium by advertisers.
Image Feed Ads
Instagram feed ads are the standard ad format and the most likely to be seen, as they appear to users scrolling through the feed. The accepted formats for image ads are jpg and png with a maximum size of 30MB and minimum image width of 600 pixels. The Image feed can have a minimum aspect ratio of 4:5 and a maximum of 16:9 with up to 2,200 characters of alphanumeric text accompanying the image and a maximum of 30 hashtags.
These ads do not feel like ads, especially when done well. They usually appear as single images native to your target audience’s feed. Alternatively, call-to-action buttons such as: Apply Now; Book Now; Call Now; Get Directions; Learn More; Get Showtimes and Download can accompany the ads.
Image Story Ads
Instagram Stories offers a ton of interactive and exciting features for users on the organic front. Advertisers can leverage the story features, such as polling stickers, which are effective in engaging audiences. Instagram Stories not only helps you to better understand your target audiences and gather intel about their preferences, but also reap some of those benefits in your social media advertising efforts.
While the recommended image aspect ratio is 9:16 with a minimum image width of 600 pixels, there are no restrictions or limitations regarding the size of the image. The supported Call-to-Action buttons here constitute only: Apply Now, Book Now, Contact Us, and Download.
Video Feed Ads
Producing a captivating Instagram video is a very compelling marketing strategy. Videos on Instagram can be uploaded directly from your phone or by transferring files onto your phone from other sources, using the recommended H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps+, anywhere from 3 to 60 seconds long.
Videos should have a maximum resolution of 1080 x 1080 pixels, and file size should be a maximum of 4GB with an aspect ratio of 4:5 minimum or 16:9 maximum. They must contain up to 2,200 characters of alphanumeric text and a maximum of 30 hashtags. Alternatively, call-to-action buttons, such as: Apply Now; Book Now; Call Now; Get Directions; Learn More; Get Showtimes and Download can accompany the ads.
Video Story Ads
Video stories are another great place to run video ads. The recommended video specs for uploading are the same as above, with a maximum video resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, a maximum file size of 4GB, and a maximum aspect ratio of 9:16 within 15 seconds. Instagram stories are where users often expect to see videos, and the advertising does not feel as forced. The supported Call-to-Action buttons here constitute only: Apply Now, Book Now, Contact Us, and Download.
Carousel Feed Ads
Carousel feed advertisement formats are among the most fun. Carousel feed ads allow you to show a series of scrollable images rather than just one single image. The carousel format allows you to choose up to 10 images within a single ad, each with its own link. The accepted formats are: either jpg or png images with a maximum size of 30MB and a minimum image width of 600 pixels; or videos with a maximum resolution of 1080 x 1080 pixels, a maximum of 4GB file size and an aspect ratio of 4:5 minimum or 16:9 maximum.
It can have up to 2,200 characters of alphanumeric text accompanying the image and a maximum of 30 hashtags. Alternatively, call-to-action buttons, such as: Apply Now; Book Now; Call Now; Get Directions; Learn More; Get Showtimes and Download can accompany the ads. Carousel feed ads provide maximum exposure to visually dependent brands, such as those in the food industry, furniture suppliers, clothing sellers, vacation destinations, car dealerships, etc.
Canvas Story Ads
Lastly, the newest addition to the ad format family: Canvas ads. Canvas story ads allow advertisers to create a 360 VR experience within their story, but are restricted to mobile devices. Although canvas story ads are extremely customizable, they do require some technical chops. With a minimum image width of 400 pixels and a minimum image height of 150 pixels, these ads work with images, videos, and carousels.
If you are closely familiar with your target audience, the medium for your advertisement shouldn’t be too hard to determine, but trial and error can also work here. Combine your social media strategy with paid advertising to reach more people and get better results.
Nanos is a great tool to create and run promotional campaigns on Instagram, as well as on other platforms. If you want to know more about Nanos and its benefits, make sure to check out our other articles and videos.