When advertising on Instagram, you’ll have an option to use more than one ad type.

In fact, there are currently seven different Instagram ad types, each perfect for a slightly different marketing campaign. (That’s still a lot less than Facebook ad types though.)

It is highly important that you’re aware of all the seven ad layouts and know how to use them. You do want to get the highest possible ROI out of Instagram advertising, right?

In this chapter of the Instagram Advertising Guide, we’ll touch upon the following questions:

  • What are all the different Instagram ad types?
  • How to set up each ad type?
  • What’s the right Instagram ad size?
  • What are all the Instagram ad specs?
  • What are some of the best examples of Instagram ads?
  • How and when to use particular ad types?

We’ll start with the most popular Instagram ad sizes and move on to the more specific ones used by advanced marketers.

1. Single Image Ads

The most widely used ad type for both Instagram and Facebook advertising is the Single Image Ad.

This ad type consists of an image, ad copy, and a call-to-action button. The Instagram image size can vary depending on the size of your uploaded photo.

This popular ad type can be applied to all kinds of advertising offers as you can use many different types of images and offers inside the Single Image Ad format. Moreover, as you promote a blog article or other types of content on Instagram, you’ll be using the Single Image Ad layout as well.

instagram ad size

Different Instagram ad sizes

Single Image Instagram Ad specs:

  • Caption: up to 125 characters
  • Media type: image
  • Recommended image size: 1080 x 1080 pixels or 1200 x 628 pixels (the typical Facebook ad image size)
  • Image format: .jpg or .png
  • Max. file siize: 30 MB

2. Instagram Carousel Ads

Carousel ads allow you to showcase up to 10 images or videos (named cards) inside a single ad.

You can recognize a Carousel Ad by the small dots under the image, indicating that there is more than one image to be seen.

Instagram Carousel Ads are a bit trickier to compile than Single Image Ads. But these ads provide an excellent opportunity to:

  • To create a step-by-step illustration of how to use your product
  • Tell a story about your brand in several images or videos
  • Give a good sense of the essence of your promoted offer
  • Lower your Instagram ads cost

Tip: When setting up Carousel Ads for Instagram, you don’t need to fill in the Description, See More URL and See More Display URL fields. These are only required for Facebook Carousel Ads.

instagram carousel ad example

Instagram carousel ad example

Instagram Carousel Ad specs:

  • Caption: up to 125 characters
  • Media type: image or video
  • Recommended image/video resolution: min. 600 x 600 pixels, max. 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Image format: .jpg or .png
  • Minimum number of cards: 2
  • Maximum number of cards: 10
  • Image ratio: 1:1
  • Video aspect ratio: 1:1
  • Minimum video length: 3 seconds
  • Maximum video length: 60 seconds
  • Video thumbnail image ratio: Should match the aspect ratio of your video. If not, thumbnail auto resize is available.

3. Instagram Video Ads

Video Ads let you introduce your offer with a video or GIF.

The video ads are a great way to explain how your product works or simply share a fun and engaging message about your brand.

Moreover, video ads’ moving nature helps to better catch people’s attention as they scroll their Instagram feeds.

In 2017, Facebook also added an update that allows advertisers to use GIF-format videos in their ads.

example of an Instagram video ad

Example of an Instagram video ad

Instagram Video Ad specs:

  • Caption: up to 125 characters
  • Media type: video
  • Recommended video resolution: 600 x 600 pixels (square) or 600 x 315 pixels (landscape)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1:1 (square) or 1.9:1 (landscape)
  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 600 pixels
  • Maximum resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Minimum length: 3 seconds
  • Maximum length: 60 seconds
  • Maximum size: 4GB
  • Frame rate: 30fps max
  • File type: .mp4 container
  • Video: H.264 video compression, high profile preferred, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan
  • Audio: Stereo AAC audio compression, 128kbps + preferred

4. Slideshow Ads

It’s easy to mistake the Instagram Slideshow Ads for the Carousel Ads. However, there’s a slight difference.

The Slideshow Ads let you add up to 10 images AND music to create a looping video ad.

To set up the Slideshow Ads, use the Facebook Ads Manager where you can select the images, music, video captions, and a thumbnail for your Instagram ad. You can also choose whether you’d like to images to transition or fade while changing.

If you think you may need help setting up you Instagram ads campaign, here’s Facebook’s step-by-step guide on how to set up the Slideshow Ads in the Power Editor.

Slideshow ad setup process

Slideshow ad setup process

Instagram Slideshow Ad specs:

  • Caption: up to 125 characters
  • Media type: images + soundtrack
  • Image duration: up to 50sec per image
  • Image size: min. 600 x 600 pixels, max. 1080 x 1080 pixels. If you use images of different sizes, your slideshow will be cropped to be square.
  • Music file format: WAV, MP3, M4A, FLAC and OGG. You must have all legal rights necessary to use the song!

5. Instagram Lead Ads

Instagram Lead Ads help to collect valuable information from prospects without leading them off the Instagram platform.

As someone clicks on your Lead Ad, they’ll be guided to a new page with a lead form that asks for their name and contact details (e.g. the person’s full name, email address, phone number, etc.)

 

Instagram lead ad example

Instagram lead ad after clicking

Important! When setting up Lead Ads, you’ll also need to include your company’s privacy policy (As you will be collecting user information).

Instagram Lead Ad specs:

  • Caption: up to 125 characters
  • Media type: image
  • Recommended ad image size: 1080 x 1080 pixels or 1200 x 628 pixels (the typical Facebook ad image size)
  • Image format: .jpg or .png
  • Max. file size: 30 MB
  • Other requirements: Privacy policy

6. Instagram Stories Image Ad

Since the launch of Instagram Stories in early 2017, the user base has grown considerably. Moreover, people appear to be highly engaged while watching the stories from their friends and family.

Now, brands also have a chance to appear in people’s Instagram Stories feed. You can create Image Stories Ads that contain up to six images to tell your brand’s story in a fun and engaging way.

Tip: To create Instagram Stories Ads, you’ll have to select “Stories” under the Placement section.

Instagram stories ad

Instagram stories ad takes up the entire screen

Instagram Stories Image Ad specs:

  • Caption: not currently available. Any text must be part of the image file
  • Format: Full screen vertical ad (9:16)
  • Recommended Resolution: 1080 x 1920
  • Minimum Resolution: 600 x 1067
  • File types: .jpg or .png
  • Max. image size: 30MB
  • Photo content: visible for 5 seconds

7. Instagram Stories Video Ad

If you want your brand to really shine out among all its peers advertising on Instagram, you should create Instagram Stories Video Ads.

The Instagram Stories Video Ad format allows you to upload a video of up to 15 seconds in length.

It’s an amazingly engaging way of showcasing your product, building your brand’s personality, and engaging your audiences by reminding them of your offers.

Instagram Stories Video Ad specs:

  • Caption: not currently available. Any text must be part of the image file
  • Format: Full screen vertical ad (9:16)
  • Recommended Resolution: 1080 x 1920
  • Minimum Resolution: 600 x 1067
  • File types: mp4 or .mov
  • Max. video size: 4GB
  • Max. video lengtht: 15 seconds
  • Recommended Video Codecs: h.264, VP8
  • Recommended Audio Codecs: AAC, Vorbis

Remember that you can set up your Instagram ads in the Facebook Ads Manager and the Facebook Power Editor, whichever you prefer. There is no Instagram-only tool for creating your ad campaigns.

We recommend that you test multiple ad types and sized to uncover which ones are most liked by your Instagram target audience and bring the best results.

Now, head on to the next chapter to learn about the top Instagram ad design and copywriting hacks.

Additional reading: