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How to Make Good Instagram Video Ads: Tips for Auto Dealers

instagram video ads

You’ve set up your store’s Instagram account. You’ve created some amazing posts. Maybe you’ve even launched some successful photo-based adsNow it’s time to dip your toes into Instagram video ads.

If your dealership runs television ads, you know how much work and production go into a 30-second spot. This hard work can be especially painful when you consider the worldwide shift from television to digital.

Instagram understands this challenge, which is why the popular social platform is now letting advertisers run 60-second videos in TV aspect ratios.

That’s right. You can simply upload your pre-existing TV spot straight to Instagram. And while this offers a major convenience factor for dealerships who spend thousands on TV spots every month, we at 9 Clouds recommend a more nuanced strategy with Instagram video ads.

How can an auto dealership make a mark with video in Instagram ads? Here are some basic tips straight from Instagram:

  • Sound: All video on Instagram plays automatically without audio. It’s important to craft your videos spots as if they will play silently, and consider sound a plus.
  • Motion: As a general rule, consider having motion in the first few frames of your video to capture attention. We’ve found that your audience might overlook video if they don’t notice movement, and assume it’s a still.
  • Pacing: Even though it’s only 15-seconds long, approach the rhythm of your film deliberately. Consider how it will affect the tone, emotion, mood and story. And keep in mind that with our looping feature, your video will automatically replay.
  • Perspective: Consider camera position and its affect on an audience. When a camera is low, it can make the subject feel intimidating. Viewers may feel more in control with an elevated camera position.

Top 4 Tips for Creating Kick-Ass Instagram Video Ads

Instagram’s suggestions are helpful, but we’ve found our own four strategies for running successful video ads on Instagram.

Instagram Video Ads for Auto Dealers

1. Stop Quick Thumbs with Instagram Video Ads

As we’ve said before, try your best to be visually interesting. Seriously.

Most people aren’t expecting to see your dealership pop up in their Instagram feeds, so it’s important to make a splash. Engage people with as much information as possible right off the bat without being too shouty.

In short: get to the point both quickly and visually. While your video will auto-play for your audience (as it does on Facebook), the sound will be off until the user says otherwise.

instagram video ads

2. Frame the Crop Out of It

While Instagram will let you use your TV ads in their native aspect ratio, we at 9 Clouds recommend using the 1:1 (square) format so you can take up as much screen real estate as possible. This will help you grab the attention of people who are scrolling quickly (see tip #1).

In addition to using 1:1, we also recommend composing your videos in a way that allows you to “trim” your 16:9 videos to 1:1 and not lose any content. So, if you’re shooting a video of a large group of people, make sure that no one is standing right on the edge, or they’ll be cropped out in 1:1 mode.

One more “croppy” tip: If you’re concerned about having enough space on the edges of your video to fit in a square viewing space, try shooting them vertically with your phone, so you’ll trim off the top and bottom instead of the sides. The downside to shooting vertically, however, is that the video won’t look great outside of Instagram.

Here are some other technical considerations for Instagram Video Ads: 

  • Caption length text: Text only, max 2,200 characters
  • Video aspect ratio: 1.9:1 to 1:1
  • Length: 60 seconds max
  • Thumbnail image ratio: Should match the aspect ratio of your video. Your thumbnail image may not include more than 20% text. See how much text is on your image.
  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 315 pixels (1.9:1 landscape) / 600 x 600 pixels (square)
  • File Size: Up to 1.75GB max
  • Frames: 30fps max
  • Bitrate: No limit to bitrate file if you’re using two pass encoding, as long as your file doesn’t exceed 1 GB. Otherwise, 8 megabits per second for 1080p and 4 megabits per second for 720p.

instagram video ads for dealerships

3. Use Good Music (Legally)

In our experience, mobile videos filmed on car lots can sound somewhat like a construction zone in a hurricane. Unless you’re filming someone talking clearly in a quiet area, we recommend using a song that complements your video.

And while you might like to crank “Back in Black” to go along with your Chevy Colorado video, consider the fact that you’re using a copyrighted work for explicitly commercial reasons. Pay royalties, or find some great music tracks for your Instagram videos over at Shutterstock Music.

instagram video ads for auto dealers

4. Launch It Well

Now that you have your Instagram video ready to use in an ad, head over to Facebook Ads Manager and create a new ad. When you’re in Ads Manager, pick your audience (as if you’re creating a Facebook ad).

Once you have your targeting set, pick Instagram in the Ad Placement section. Then, you can upload your sweet new video and write the text to go along with it. Don’t forget a great call-to-action button!

For dealerships with tight budgets, you can start at just $5 a day on Instagram and still get good results. Yinc Marketing helped a dentist reach 5,378 people and bring in 46 website visitors with just $36.62. Imagine what you could do with $100 on one F-150!

Get Started with Instagram Video Ads for Your Dealership!

Now that you know how to launch a killer Instagram video ad, try it out for your dealership, and don’t forget to measure the results.

If you have any questions, please reach out to our team. You can also read up on our other blog posts about Instagram for auto dealers.

Want to get even more traction with Instagram for your dealership? Get your copy of our free eBook, Instagram for Auto Dealers.