The Complete Guide to Instagram Ad Types

The arena of digital advertising seems quite complex not only for beginners but also for intermediates. As another example, think about how many types of Instagram ads there are! How can you choose the right one? Which one meets the needs of your business better? This brief blog will display the different types of Instagram ads for a clear understanding of the topics you are interested in.

Instagram Ad Types
Instagram Ad Types

Table of Contents

  • Why Advertise on Instagram?
  • Main Types of Instagram Ads
  • Choosing the Right Format
  • Conclusion

Why Advertise on Instagram?

It is extremely important to comprehend fundamental reasons why your brand or business should advertise on this huge platform before we start looking at various Instagram ad types

Audacious Numbers

Featuring over one billion monthly reports and over 500 million daily Instagram Stories users, Instagram is indeed not a medium social media platform but a platform that extends to a large number of people.

Engagement Like No Other

Instagram is the social media platform that has a grade of 4.7% higher than all competitors with a relation of 10, which is much higher than Facebook and 84 times as high as Twitter. Furthermore, they obtain daily averages of 30 minutes on the cloud.

Ultimate Visual Playground

With the use of visual content and a series of creative tools, Instagram is the ultimate platform for bringing products to life and capturing brand stories.

Precise Targeting Abilities

Will the process become super fast with the help of the minuscule specs that are now set in their place on the social networks of Facebook and Instagram the way you clear the road in a wood or forest for your walk?

Main Types of Instagram Ads

To gain complete access to Instagram’s ad opportunities, one needs to spend much effort learning the types of ads that are possible.

Instagram Video Ads

It is incredible how moving pictures caught and seized attention, and the advertisement on Instagram is no exception to this. No matter whether it’s a short clip or a longer story, videos have the power to convey complex messages with depth and emotional context.

Best for

  • Companies that want to showcase product features or create a brand narrative
  • Event promotions and behind-the-scenes looks
  • Highlighting customer testimonials and reviews


  • Video length: Up to 60 seconds
  • Video caption: Up to 2,200 characters
  • Video format: MP4 or MOV

Best Practices

  • Start with a punchy hook to grab attention
  • Ensure high video quality and clear audio
  • Incorporate closed captions for viewers without sound
  • Include a strong call-to-action (CTA)

Instagram Photo Ads

A classic in the Instagram advertising arsenal, photo ads are single images that celebrate creativity without limitation.

Best for

  • Showcasing a single product or service
  • Broad brand awareness campaigns
  • Promoting engagement of users through material such as contests, posts written by users


  • Image size: 1080 x 1080 pixels (recommended)
  • Aspect ratio: 1:1 (square), 1.91:1 (landscape), 4:5 (vertical)
  • Image format: JPG or PNG

Best Practices

  • Use high-resolution, compelling visuals
  • Focus on a clear and concise message in your ad copy
  • Make use of Instagram’s native filters and other creative tools
  • Include a CTA that aligns with your objective

Instagram Carousel Ads

With carousel ads, users can swipe through a series of images or videos to experience a deeper narrative.

Best for

  • Products or services with multiple features or use cases
  • Sequential content (e.g., step-by-step tutorials)
  • Highlighting a single product in different variations


  • Single video or image specs apply to each carousel card
  • Maximum number of cards: 10

Best Practices

  • Lead with a strong visual to encourage swipes
  • Ensure a cohesive story across all cards
  • Use consistent branding and visual style
  • Place the most important information on the first and last cards

Instagram Collection Ads

For those in the e-commerce space, Collection ads are a game-changer, combining video or image with product display in a shoppable format, perfect for the ‘see now, buy now’ experience.

Best for

  • Showcasing a range of products
  • Tightly integrated brand and product storytelling
  • Encouraging click-throughs to product pages


  • Single video or image specs apply for the first card
  • Product listings for the following cards

Best Practices

  • Curate a visually cohesive and compelling collection
  • Ensure the product listings are accurate and up-to-date
  • Feature high-quality product images that adhere to e-commerce best practices
  • Set up Facebook’s pixel to retarget users effectively

Instagram Shopping Ads

If the primary goal of your Instagram campaign is sales, then Shopping ads, aka ‘tagging’ your products in your feed or stories, is a direct route to turning browsing into buying.

Best for

  • Brands with a robust online store presence
  • E-commerce sales campaigns
  • Highlighting multiple products with a cohesive theme


  • Single image or video adhering to the standard specs
  • Enabled for shopping on Instagram

Best Practices

  • Ensure tagged products are relevant to the post
  • Provide detailed product descriptions that include prices
  • Regularly update your product feed to reflect available inventory
  • Combine Shopping ads with product stickers in Stories for added visibility

Instagram Story Ads

With over 500 million active users per day, Instagram Stories have turned into a platform for advertising and there is a lot of space for full-screen ads that serve as a true game changer in the field of advertising.

Best for

  • Time-limited promotions and flash sales
  • Showcasing new products or services
  • Engaging with audiences in a more casual and interactive way


  • Format: Vertical (9:16)
  • Image size: 1080 x 1920 pixels (recommended)
  • Video length: Up to 15 seconds

Best Practices

  • Design ads specifically for the Stories format
  • Utilize interactive elements like polls, questions, and countdowns to engage users
  • Keep the message short and the CTA clear
  • Test different ad creatives to find what resonates with your audience

Instagram Explore Ads

Instagram’s Explore page is where users discover new content catered to their interests. Explore ads put your brand in this discoverable mix, placing your content in front of potentially large and targeted audiences.

Best for

  • Reaching new audiences
  • Showcasing a brand or product story between other popular content
  • Encouraging an action, such as app installs or sign-ups


  • Single image or video with standard specs
  • Promoted Explore Page placements

Best Practices

  • Create visually striking ads that stand out amongst organic content
  • Keep the ad copy short and attention-grabbing
  • Use Explore targeting to reach users based on interest
  • Opt for a clear and compelling CTA

Instagram Reels Ads

The newest kid on the block, Reels Ads, is all about short, sweet, and snappy content that can take on a life of its own beyond the ad format.

Best for

  • Trend-jumping and quickfire pop-culture references
  • Tying into current events and popular challenges
  • Showcasing innovative and entertaining video content


  • Video ads with a maximum length of 30 seconds
  • Reels exclusivity, slated for both the Instagram Feed and the Discover section

Best Practices

  • Create content that feels native to the Reels platform
  • Keep the ad brief, with a quick hook at the beginning
  • Utilize trending music and effects to increase virality potential
  • Include a straightforward CTA that complements the playful nature of Reels

Choosing the Right Format

Brand Awareness and Reach

When advertising your brand you may opt for photo and carousel ads to make more people aware of your brand. Creating a lasting impression is easy with their visual nature.


When participants interact with your marketing content, a single image would work best if you wanted an ad, user-generated content, to become viral. On the other hand, a carousel ad provides the user with more engagement opportunities since it can be presented in a story form or sequence.

Traffic and Conversions

Particularly, in the case of the Stories format, shopping ads are amazingly effective at offering people direct access to your products. Combine them with interesting discounts or unique products to magnetize clicks. Apart from that, for service-oriented businesses, a Story ad that has a clear CTA can bring traffic to your site or clickthrough people directly to your landing page.

Video Views

Suppose you aim to have your audiences watch your video content in full; then, Story and video ads should be your preferred choice. Grab the user’s attention within the first seconds and use Story ads to switch on the interactions that will take place in the ad. This way you’ll not only keep users engaged but also direct them to your website or landing page.

App Installs

When advertising your app, use Explore ads in a way that will prompt users to download your app. The ads need strong visuals as well as a clear call-to-action for you to get high visibility and instigate installs successfully.

E-commerce Sales

E-commerce businesses benefit from Collection ads as well because they enable users to browse through the different products before engaging in a purchase. For them, the ads work best when they are used in combination with the correctly set targeting since they have the potential to drive sales significantly.


With a full understanding of the different types, you are capable of making Instagram ad campaigns that are not only very impactful but also highly engaging. Examples of Instagram ads like they present an attractive and engaging visual image but they take on a narrative format and tell the story in their way. Always be guided by your brand’s identity, and remember the main vision of social media is listening and etiquette of responsive communication. By using Instagram Ad templates, share your ideas painlessly, take a photo, and try it out like a pro creative Instagram ad producer.

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