Your ad design can make or break your campaign, especially on Instagram where people are expecting high-quality visuals.

That exactly why in this chapter of the Instagram Advertising Guide, we’ll be focusing on the hacks and tips for creating successful Instagram ad design and writing good ad copy.

After reading this guide, you’ll know the answer to the following questions:

  • What are the latest Instagram ad and video specs?
  • How to create a winning Instagram ad design?
  • How to write good Instagram ad copy?
  • What are some of the best Instagram ad examples?
  • How to set up your Instagram ad copy?

Ready to nail your first Instagram ad design? In this case, keep reading!

A Quick Overview of Instagram Ad Specs

Like any other advertising platform, Instagram has a set of requirements for its ad creatives. If you want to find even more specific information, see the complete Instagram Ad Specs and Size Guide.

Instagram ad image specs:

  • Image ratio: 1:1
  • Image size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Caption: Text only, 125 characters recommended
  • Image ratio: Landscape (1.91:1), Square (1:1), Vertical (4:5)
  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 315 pixels (1.91:1 landscape) / 600 x 600 pixels (1:1 square) / 600 x 750 pixels (4:5 vertical)
  • Maximum resolution: 1936 x 1936 pixels
  • File type: .jpg or .png
  • Maximum size: 30MB
  • Your image should include minimal text.
  • Caption: Max 2200 characters
instagram ad design

Note the difference in ad image sizes

Instagram ad video specs:

  • Instagram videos have to be created at 72px minimum resolution
  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 315 pixels (1.9:1 landscape) / 600 x 600 pixels (square)
  • Instagram videos must be between 2.5-30 seconds long
  • Video aspect ratio: 1.9:1 to 1:1
  • File type: .mp4.
  • The recommended size limit for your Instagram videos is 50MB
  • The maximum size is 4GB
  • The caption length text for video ads: text only, max 2,200 characters
  • Supported video codecs: H.264, VP8
  • Frame Rate: 30fps max
  • Supported audio codecs: AAC, Vorbis
  • The thumbnail image ratio should match the aspect ratio of your video
Instagram video ads

Instagram video sizes

Instagram stories specs:

  • Format: Full screen vertical ad (9:16)
  • Recommended Resolution: 1080 x 1920
  • Minimum Resolution: 600 x 1067
  • File Types: .mp4 or .mov (Video) or .jpg or .png (Photo)
  • Recommended Video Codecs: h.264, VP8
  • Recommended Audio Codecs: AAC, Vorbis
  • Maximum File Size: 4GB (Video) or 30MB (Photo)
  • Video Length: Maximum 15 seconds
  • Photo Content: Visible for 5 seconds
  • Captions are not currently available. Any text must be part of the video of image file
Instagram Stories ad specs

Instagram Stories ad

Up next, we’ll share with you our top Instagram design and copywriting hacks that will help you get more conversions at a lower cost.

Instagram Ad Design Tip #1: Create Colourful Ad Images

Research has discovered that people make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interaction with either people or products (or your ads). And guess what: 62%-90% of their decision-making is based on colors alone.

Creating colourful Instagram ad images helps your ads to get noticed. You’ll get bonus points for using bright energetic colours that spark positive emotions and make people more interested in your offer.

Here’s an Instagram ad example by Staples, displaying an image that includes highly colourful details.

instagram ad design

This ad is bright and colourful

Bonus tip: Learn colour psychology to find out which colours appeal to specific audiences and match with your offers.

Instagram Ad Design Tip #2: Include In-image Text

If your Instagram ad image is the first thing people notice, it makes sense to place your key message right there in the image.

However, keep in mind that Facebook doesn’t like ad images with too much copy in them and will start to limit your ads’ reach if they’re heavy on copy.

You can test whether your Instagram ads get a pass by using Facebook’s Text Overlay Tool.

Here’s a good Instagram ad example by Spring, featuring a comment from Vogue.

instagram ad design example

Example from Spring

Bonus tip: You can also use your customer testimonials as in-image ad copy to increase people’s trust in your brand.

Instagram Ad Design Tip #3: A/B Test Your Ad Visuals

Consumer Acquisition found that images are arguably the most important part of your ads — they’re responsible for 75%-90% of ad performance.

This means that changing your Instagram promotion’s image can result in a significant change in your campaign results.

Here are 10 ad A/B testing ideas to start with:

  • A/B test your Instagram ad audience target people in multiple locations, age groups, and having various interests
  • A/B test various Instagram ad types – test carousel ads and video ads in addition to regular image ads
  • A/B test ad image colours – use the colour psychology to find out which colours to use
  • A/B test a stock photo vs. an illustration – some people prefer photos whil others find animated images more eye-catching
Instagram ad design test

A/B test photos vs. animations

  • A/B test in-image text vs. no text – create ad images with some copy on it and others without any copy to see what works best
  • A/B test your call-to-actions – experiment with several CTAs to know which makes your audience act upon the ad (e.g. make a purchase)
  • A/B test your Facebook ad headline – write up to 5 different headlines to see which one is preferred by the most people
  • A/B test ad copy with emojis vs. no emojis – some people like emojis in Facebook ads while other
  • A/B test you landing pages – instead of sending all ad traffic on a single landing page, set up multiple destinations to see what works
  • A/B test your Instagram ad size You can use several image sizes in your Instagram ads

To make sure your Instagram A/B tests are a success, read this Facebook Ad Testing Guide for Beginners.

Instagram Ad Copywriting Tip #1: Use Short and Catchy Ad Text

People’s attention spam on Instagram is short and that’s why you need to deliver your offer as quickly and straightforwardly as possible.

While Instagram allows a long ad copy, we recommend that you keep your ad text under 200 characters.

Here’s an interesting example by Bloomberg Business. P.S. this is a Facebook App Install ad campaign, so as someone clicks on the ad, they’ll be taken to the App Store.

example of app install ad campaign

Example of a mobile app ad on Instagram

Bonus tip: Showcase your products in the Instagram ad image to show people exactly what they can buy.

Instagram Ad Copywriting Tip #2: Use Actionable Wording

The decision-making part of our brain also happens to be the most primitive, making it act on simple and actionable words.

That’s why, you should always aim to make your Instagram ad copy highly actionable.

Here’s a quick list of actionable verbs to get your started:

  • Try
  • Buy
  • Get
  • Start
  • Sign up
  • Learn
  • Read
  • Save

Here’s an Instagram ad example by Chambord that starts with the call-to-action “Buy a limited edition gift set to…”

instagram ad copy

Test various call-to-actions

Bonus tip: Create a sense of urgency by letting your audience know that the advertised offer’s available for a limited time only.

Try these hacks:

  • Define clear dates, e.g. “Today only” or “Offer ends in 24h”
  • Offer a significant discount, e.g. “Get 60% off today”
  • Keep your offer simple and brief

facebook ad examples ebook

Instagram Ad Copywriting Tip #3: Focus on the Benefit

To most customers, what they’re going to get out of using a product is more important than how it looks.

If your Instagram ad image’s goal is to show people how your product looks, it’s your ad copy that should communicate your product’s greatest benefit to the user.

Here’s an Instagram ad example by Livday.sf that emphasizes the app’s benefits both in the ad image and in the ad copy.

instagram ad copywriting

Example of good copywriting

How to Set Up Your Instagram Ads

You can set up your promotions’ copy and images in the Instagram campaign setup process.

Note that when setting up a Facebook ad campaign with multiple placements including the Facebook newsfeeds and Instagram, your ads’ layout will differ according to its placement.

For example, while Facebook newsfeed ads feature a headline and link description, your Instagram ads only have one ad text per ad.

You can review how your ads will look by using the Ad Previews tool.

Ad Previews tool

Use the Ad Previews tool

After you’ve set up your Instagram ad copy and added an image/video, it’s time to publish your ad campaign!

Now that you know everything about Instagram ad specs and design, it’s time to learn more about Instagram ads cost and and bidding.

Additional reading: