Man sitting in directors chair behind a camera reading notes from a notebook.

More and more brands are taking to Instagram to post video ads. Your brand should be, too, as video advertisements are more effective at converting new customers, improving brand awareness, and maintaining customer relationships than image or text ads.

Furthermore, social media giants like Instagram and Facebook have several billion users between them. That’s a huge target audience you can potentially start scooping through if you create excellent video content that converts.

But before you start posting videos like crazy on Instagram, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the video specs required by the platform. Each Instagram video has to adhere to certain specifications and restrictions to be posted without a problem throughout the site.

Want to make the most of your Instagram video ads? Let us break down the specs you need to keep in mind below.

Why Video Specs Matter

Every brand should try to post creative and engaging video ads on Instagram. But if you want your ads to be successful – that is, you want them to both convert and be posted correctly on this giant social media platform – you have to keep video specs in mind.

Even though Instagram is pretty flexible, it maintains very strict video specifications for each of its advertisements. This is done to ensure that different companies can post videos regularly and ensure that video content can show up on both the desktop site and the mobile app equally well.

Unfortunately, Instagram occasionally updates its video specifications and doesn’t always send out a note to companies that may need to update their existing video ads or that are about to launch a new video ad campaign.

Fortunately, we’ve broken down the up-to-date video specs for Instagram ads. Different types of ads have different specifications, as they take up different spaces on the website and app and have different requirements.

General Video Ad Specs

Standard Instagram video ads are incredibly popular, both for their flexibility and their ubiquity. People love watching video ads much more than still image ads, so many companies and marketing agencies make these types of video ads more than any other kind.

But it’s important to keep their specifications in mind to ensure that your target audience sees your video content in all of its intended glory. The specs for standard Instagram video ads are:

  • 1080 x 1080 P recommended resolution. You can go lower than this, but your ads will look shoddy by comparison to others on the platform
  • 4:5 aspect ratio. This is non-negotiable.
  • MP4 and MOV are the recommended video formats
  • 30 GB maximum video size for all formats
  • 2-minute maximum video length for all formats

These rules might seem strict on the surface, but they do provide significant flexibility regarding your storytelling options and the kinds of things you can do with your ads. If you need help figuring out how to make the most of these restrictions, consider hiring a video marketing agency like VisCap!

Instagram Stories Video Ad Specs

Instagram’s Stories feature is one of its most popular, and for good reason–it’s a great way for browsers to consume content quickly and easily and explore themed content that tells an engaging, converting story. Naturally, many advertisers also rely on Instagram Stories to convert new customers and to keep current consumers engaged with their brands.

More than half of brands on Instagram have posted at least one Story. There’s a lot of advertising power within this feature of the platform. Therefore, you’ll want to make at least several Instagram Stories ads over the course of your video marketing campaign.

Stories video ads have their own specifications, including:

  • 1080 x 1080P recommended resolution. As before, you can go lower than this resolution, but why would you?
  • 9:16 aspect ratio
  • MP4 or MOV formats only
  • Maximum video duration of two minutes
  • Maximum video size of 4 MB
  • Optional video sound and captions

It’s always a good idea to add captions to your video advertisements regardless of platform or type. Why? The fact is that most people view video ads on Instagram and other social media platforms without the sound on. Think about it; you don’t want advertisements to suddenly blare loudly while you’re browsing Instagram on public transportation!

Captions allow you to tell your video story and engage with consumers even if they have the sound turned totally off. It may also inspire them to turn the sound on if they are in a private place but have the sound turned off by default.

Furthermore, captions make your ads more inclusive for those who are hard of hearing or deaf. Bottom line: there’s no downside to adding captions to your video ads, so take advantage of this option whenever you make a new Instagram Stories ad.

Instagram Carousel Video Ad Specs

Carousel ads are another popular way to advertise on Instagram (and its parent company, Facebook). In short, carousel ads let you showcase several images or videos within a single advertisement, offering excellent bang for your buck.

However, because of their complexity, video carousel ads have some limitations to note. You can add up to 10 videos for a single carousel ad, although you’ll need to be careful when creating these ads so you don’t overwhelm your audience.

The important specifications to keep in mind include:

  • Resolution must be 600p x 600p at minimum
  • Maximum resolution is 1080p x 1080p
  • 1:1 aspect ratio
  • The only format allowed is MP4.
  • Maximum video length is 60 seconds.
  • Maximum video size is 4 GB per video or per carousel “card.”
  • Remember, Instagram allows you to post between two and 10 videos per advertisement.

Given how effective these advertisements can be, these are actually fairly reasonable restrictions, especially since you can use them to convert new target consumers regularly.

However, it’s important to note that all Instagram carousel video ads have to have a thumbnail image. This image is essentially a preview for the overall Instagram ad. It has its own specifications, including:

  • 1:1 aspect ratio
  • Thumbnail images can’t have more than 20% text taking up the image space. Instagram’s algorithms automatically detect text, and sometimes they will prevent an ad from being posted because they make a mistake. It’s best to keep text to a minimum on thumbnail images for this reason.

How to Ensure Your Ads Are Posted Correctly the First Time

In the event that you post a video that doesn’t fit within Instagram’s specifications, the platform may reject the video content entirely, or it may show up improperly on your target users’ feeds.

The best way to double-check that your video ads are running properly is to view them yourself. Post them on your Instagram business account, then try to find the ads on the same profile. Watch the ads through and make sure that they’re at the quality level you intended.

In most cases, Instagram lets you know if the video specs aren’t compatible with the platform and recommend ways to make changes. 

Of course, if you decide to partner with a top digital marketing agency like VisCap Media. In that case, you’ll have a guarantee that each of your Instagram video ads will be compatible and ready to post when they’re created. You will need to fiddle with video settings or repost your ads multiple times to make sure that your target audience sees them.

It’s just one more reason why our marketing agency has provided so much success for our past clients – we make great content and make video marketing easy for you!

Summary

Overall, Instagram’s video specs are far from impossible to manage. In fact, they may help to inspire advertising agencies and content creators to make better content than they would otherwise. For example, the recommended resolution of 1080 x 1080 P is an excellent guideline to go by; people are quite finicky in this day and age, and they may scroll past ads that aren’t this resolution at a minimum.

Not sure whether your video content can be created to fit within these restrictions, however? Not to worry; you can contact expert digital media marketers like VisCap to help you both create and post content on time and in ways that guarantee high conversions.

Just check out our portfolio to see everything we’ve done for past clients before! Instagram and Facebook are two platforms we are deeply familiar with. No matter what kind of video content you want to post, we’re sure we can help you with your marketing goals.

Contact us today, and let’s get started!

Sources

Most used social media 2021 | Statistia

Facebook Video Ad Specs for Instagram Feed, Video Views ad objective | Facebook

When People Pay Attention to Video Ads and Who | HBR

44 Instagram Statistics That Matter to Marketers in 2021 | Hootsuite Blog

Verizon Media Says 69 Percent Of Consumers Watching Video With Sound Off | Forbes

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