How To Build A Video Ad Campaign For Instagram

(8 min. read)instagram-video-ads-explained

We’re back with another post on Instagram Video Ads!

‘Cause why? Well… because we’re seeing some amazing results and want you to get those too.

In the previous post, we gave you a quick overview on how to get started with Instagram Video Ads! In a nutshell, we covered that you need to have:

  • a mobile optimized landing page.
  • a solid targeting plan.
  • a great video with a strong script.

Today we’re going to dive a little deeper into how to actually setup your video ad campaign all the way from opening the Power Editor to publishing it live.

If you’ve ever wondered about which settings to use for your Instagram campaigns, specifically for VIDEO ads, keep reading!

Of course, there’s a lot more to building a successful campaign than just choosing the right settings.

That’s why at the end of this post we have something very exciting for you: a 30 min. complimentary training on ALL you need to know to quickly make video ads that convert like this:


Boom! 368 leads for 73 cents per lead with a Relevance Score of 10! Want the same results? Keep reading…

Feeling impatient? Then just CLICK HERE and register for the free training instantly.

For now, let’s get into the nitty gritty of campaign building!

How To Build Your Campaign In The Power Editor

When you open up the Power Editor, you will be greeted with this beautiful screen with a gazillion options. On the left-hand side, you’ll see the main structure of the campaign you’re about to build.

We’ll start with the main objective, then we go to the Ad Set where we do our targeting and last but not least we’ll end with the creative. In this case, a video.


The campaign structure on Facebook: Campaign, Ad Set, Ad.

Today we’re going to build a video ad campaign with the goal of getting website conversions. So, you can click on “Increase conversions on your website” to move to the next step.

Obviously, there are a lot more options, but if you want people to sign up for your awesome free thing or make a purchase, you’ll want to choose this option.

Even with this objective, you will be able to create “video engagement” lists later; lists of people who watched a certain percentage of your video. This is one of the very exciting benefits of using video ads, but more on that later!


Choose “Increase conversions on your website”.

Then you can give your campaign a name and click Continue. Easy peasy.


Give your campaign a name and click Continue.

Now you will automatically go to the next part: the Ad Set.

You can start by selecting the conversion you want to optimize for. In this example, we’ve selected a custom conversion “Free Member”, which fires when people land on our thank you page after opting-in.

If you don’t see anything here, make sure that your Facebook Pixel is installed correctly and you’ve created a Custom Conversion.


Select the conversion you want to optimize for.

Below that you will be able to define your targeting settings.

You can start by selecting the countries you want to target, the age range and gender. Depending on your specific niche you may also want to enter specific languages.


Enter the location(s), age range and gender(s) you want to target.

Then we get to the Detailed Targeting settings, which is where you can define the demographics, interests or behaviors of your target audience.

This targeting section becomes more and more useful the better you know your audience. For example, you can choose to target people who:

  • like page A
  • like page A and page B
  • like page A but not page B
  • like page A and B, but not page C and who also have XYZ behaviors

In other words… you can go mad crazy with this if you want! If you know your audience inside and out, this is great news as it will help you to prevent targeting people who aren’t the right fit.

But… warning: Facebook’s algorithm tends to work better with bigger audiences, so try to end up with an initial audience of at least 500K or more (preferably around 1 million). If you have a local business or a super duper specific niche, this may not be possible, however.

In the sidebar, you can see an estimate of your potential reach, which gives you a good indication if you should add more Interests or not.

For the new option “Expand interests when it may increase conversions at a lower cost per conversion” we haven’t done enough testing yet to be able to recommend it.  Feel free to select it though if you want to try it out!


Type in your Interests

In the next section, you can click on Edit Placements. If you don’t do this Facebook will show your ad everywhere (Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network) by default.

Make sure to deselect all the options except for Instagram:


Deselect everything except for Instagram

Then you can set your daily budget. We don’t like starting too low (e.g. $2 a day) because then it will just take longer to get enough data back to draw conclusions from.

Below that there are a ton of settings that we usually don’t touch when we first start a campaign. In other words, just keep them as is, name your ad set and hit Continue!


Name your Ad Set and click Continue

Now we’re getting to the creative stuff!

In the next screen, you will be able to upload your video. For now, simply click on Single Video.


Select Single Video.

Then, you can upload your video.

Important to remember is that for Instagram your video can’t be longer than 60 seconds!


Click to Upload your Video.

Then, depending on the speed of your WIFI, you can go make yourself a coffee or just stay put while your video gets uploaded. The next option will be for you to select a thumbnail.

One of the nice things about video ads is that you can use as much text as you want INSIDE the video. However, for the thumbnail, Facebook still prefers not too much text. If the text takes up more than 20% of the thumbnail they may give you a warning that it will get fewer impressions, but it will still run.

For this template, I can just select a still from the video as the thumbnail, as the text doesn’t cover the entire screen. If you want to make a thumbnail yourself, we recommend using Canva (an awesome free tool).

Below that you can also see the option to add captions. In this case, we’re using a video with animated text, so there’s no need to do that. However, if you’re using a video with talking head footage we recommend ALWAYS adding captions.

Most videos on Facebook and Instagram are watched with the sound off, so you want to make sure that the on-screen text captures attention and that people can follow along with the entire video while it’s muted.

Yep, the visual is more important than the sound on Instagram! Background music is also not required, therefore. We run a lot of our Instagram ads without sound these days.


Choose your thumbnail.

In the next step, you can connect your Facebook Page and/or Instagram account.

If you’re not currently active on Instagram, you can simply link the ads to your Facebook Page. If you are, then you can connect your Instagram account. The latter gives you the benefit of being able to respond to comments on your ad directly from your Instagram profile.

You can also add the Website URL where people should land on. In the meantime, a preview of your ad will start to show up on the right-hand side.


Connect your account and add your Website URL.


Below that you’ll see the option to add a Headline, but you don’t have to fill this in as Instagram ads don’t have headlines. So why is it there? Please ask Mark Z. and tell us what he said 😉

Regarding the Text, you can choose to keep it short and sweet or add some more information. We usually start by repeating the first lines of the video inside the copy for the sake of consistency, and to make sure we’re grabbing the attention of our target audience.

In this case, we’re using a short video with 5 lines of text to summarize the offer and are using the ad copy to give some more explanation and context. In the preview, you can see exactly which part of the text shows by default.

Last but not least you can choose your Call To Action, for example, “Learn More”.

Then, you can move on to the Advanced Options.


Add your Text, Choose your CTA and click on Show Advanced Options.

Here you’ll find another field that you don’t have to fill in, as Instagram ads don’t show a Display URL. All you have to do in this step is make sure your pixel is selected so you can track the conversions.

Other than that, you only have to click on Place Order… and you’re done!


Make sure your pixel is selected and place your order!


Woopwoop, that’s it! Not that different from building a campaign for Facebook at the end of the day.

Once your campaign is running Facebook will automatically start to create video engagement audiences that you can then use for a follow-up campaign. For example, you can then:

  • retarget people who’ve watched 50% of your video, but haven’t converted yet
  • create a lookalike audience of people who’ve watched 50% or more of your video… and so on!

Yep, that’s the juicy thing about video ads! Video as an advertising format is pushed hard and the possibilities are endless.

The Secret Sauce

As I already mentioned in the beginning, successful campaigns have to do with a lot more than just ticking the right boxes in the Power Editor. In our previous post, we’ve already discussed how one of the key things is making sure you have an effective video!

Now you may be thinking, “ummm yes, so how do I do THAT”? And more importantly, “how do I do that without wasting hours of my time on video editing?”

Well, we hear ya! You want to do video ads, but it has to be quick and it has to convert, right?

If you want to dive deeper into how you can do exactly that, we have a brand new free training for you that you will LOVE.

In this free training you will learn:

  1. Why you should focus on video ads in 2017 if you want to grow your business.
  2. The 3 common mistakes people make with their video ads, and how you can easily avoid them.
  3. How to create highly effective video ads in less than 10 minutes (including proof of their effectiveness!)

Simply click the green button below to register NOW and get instant access.


Over To You

Do you have any questions so far about building video ad campaigns for Instagram?
Let us know in the comments and we’ll be glad to help!

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