Strike Social Blog Header - Choosing The Right Instagram Ad Formats For Your Brand

Choosing The Right Instagram Ad Formats For Your Brand


Have you ever pondered the secrets behind Instagram ad formats that seamlessly engage audiences without feeling intrusive? With Feed ads having an average click-through rate (CTR) of 0.22% to 0.88%, standing out in Instagram has become increasingly challenging. Crafting impactful ads extends beyond compelling visuals; it involves selecting the optimal format that aligns with your marketing objectives. In the next step of our Instagram guides, we’ll explore the available Instagram ad formats, offering advertisers the expertise crucial for achieving campaign excellence.

2024 Instagram Ad Formats To Integrate Into Your Advertising Strategy

Crafting an effective Instagram ad hinges on its ability to engage audiences and align with your brand’s narrative. Should you opt for Reels, static images, or perhaps Collection or Shopping ads? Many businesses grapple with this decision, unaware of the diverse options available on Instagram.

The reality is, each ad format brings its own set of strengths to the table. While a static image ad may excel in launching a new product, a compelling video ad can better convey your brand’s story. By understanding the full spectrum of Instagram ad formats, you can tailor your message to resonate with the right audience and achieve the desired results.

How Many Types Of Ad Formats Does Instagram Offer

Instagram sets itself apart from platforms like Facebook and Twitter with its emphasis on captivating visuals that immediately grab users’ attention. From striking photos to engaging videos, visual content plays a pivotal role in connecting with audiences and conveying brand messages on Instagram. 

Given the platform’s visual-centric nature, understanding how to leverage creative visuals effectively is essential for successful advertising on Instagram. Let’s explore the various ad formats available:

Explore Ads

  • Ads that appear on the Explore page of Instagram, where users go to browse content that is tailored to their interests based on their past behavior and interactions on the platform.
  • Positioned within the “similar posts” section, Explore Ads engage users who are actively exploring relevant content.

Feed Ads

  • This ad format appears seamlessly within users’ main feed, alongside organic posts from accounts they follow.
  • These ads are designed to blend in with the organic content and can take various forms, such as image posts, carousel ads, and video ads.

Profile Feed Ads

  • Allows ads to be displayed within a user’s profile feed as they scroll through the content. These ads are specifically shown in the vertical scrolling experience activated when someone taps on a thumbnail on a user’s profile, rather than in the profile grid itself. 
  • The ads are designed to blend in with the organic content in a user’s profile feed and offer a new way for advertisers to reach audiences in a more personalized and engaging manner.

Reels Ads

  • These ads appear between organic Reels on Instagram, presenting full-screen vertical videos.
  • With a maximum length of 15 minutes, Reels ads mimic the format of Instagram Stories ads, offering businesses an opportunity to showcase their brand in short-form videos.

Shopping Ads

  • Note: As of February 6, 2023, the Instagram Shop tab is no longer available on the app shortcuts.
  • Instagram Shopping Ads allow eCommerce brands to showcase their products directly within the app.
  • Tagged with product information such as price and description, these ads simplify the purchasing process for users without redirecting them to external websites.

Stories Ads

  • Vertical, full-screen ads that appear between users’ Stories on the Instagram app.
  • Unlike organic Instagram Stories, which disappear after 24 hours, Instagram Story ads can be displayed throughout the campaign duration, reaching audiences at the frequency selected via Meta Ads Manager.

How Do These Different Ad Formats Appear On Instagram

For a better understanding of how these Instagram ad formats are integrated into the user experience, let’s embark on a visual journey. We’ll look at each ad format and how it appears within the user interface, providing insights into their placements.

Image Ads

Video Ads

Instagram ad formats preview Video Ads 1250x500px

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads

Collection Ads

Collection Ad formats on instagram ad previews 1200x480px (1)

Which Instagram Ad Formats Suit Your Brand’s Objectives

Now that you’ve explored the range of Instagram ad formats available for your advertising campaigns, it’s essential to align your choices with your brand’s specific objectives. Selecting the right ad formats depends on your advertising goals and the message you want to convey to your audience. Let’s see how each ad format can complement your brand’s objectives:

Recommended Instagram formats by campaign objective (1)
Strike Social one pager - Instagram ad formats for Partnership Ads

How can you get started on Instagram Partnership ads? Download our quick guide to discover which ad formats work best for this placement.

Questions from Instagram Media Buyers

When running campaigns with multiple ad formats across various placements, how can I analyze which formats are more effective?

  • Consider tracking key metrics such as click-through rate, conversion rate, impressions, engagement rates, and conversion rates aligned with your campaign objectives.
  • Utilize Meta Ads Manager to closely monitor these metrics and gain insights into audience resonance and desired actions.
  • Depending on your campaign objectives, focus on cost metrics like cost-per-mille (CPM) for reach-focused campaigns and cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-acquisition (CPA) for lead generation campaigns.
  • Compare and analyze these metrics to identify the top-performing ad formats and allocate your budget accordingly. For instance, if your Reels and Stories ads are driving higher leads for your campaign, consider manually removing other placements to allow your ad set to concentrate on these formats.
    • Alternatively, leveraging Advantage+ placements enables Meta’s AI to allocate your ad set’s budget across multiple placements, prioritizing those likely to yield the best results.

Are there any general trends in terms of which ad formats tend to be more expensive on Instagram?

  • Here are the average cost benchmarks for Instagram ads based on 2023 Strike Social data:
Gupta Media - Average cost by Instagram ad format
  • Generally, Stories and Reels ads, known for their immersive and engaging nature, can be more costly than Feed Ads. However, actual costs may vary depending on factors such as audience targeting and location.

Navigating Your Choices Across the Different Instagram Ad Formats

After exploring this blog, you’ve likely gained a foundational understanding of Instagram advertising, but there’s still much more to uncover. This guide serves as a crucial resource for media buyers seeking to enhance their expertise before launching campaigns. Remember, mastering Instagram ad formats requires ongoing learning and refinement. Keep this guide accessible and stay updated by subscribing to our newsletter for additional insights and resources to support your media buying journey.

Next, explore our Instagram guides to discover essential ad metrics for optimizing your campaigns.

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