Keep It Reel with Instagram Reels Ads

Feb 15, 2024
Feb 15, 2024
8 mins
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Instagram Reels ads

Not using Instagram Reels ads yet? You could be missing a chance to connect with your audience. Read on to learn how to tap into this advertising hit.

Have you noticed how ads have become a lot more personal lately? Sometimes, I catch myself watching a reel for a few seconds before realizing it's an ad. That's modern advertising at its finest!

Keep reading, as I'll be diving deep into everything about Instagram Reel ads, breaking them down to their core.

What is Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels
Image source: iMyFone

Reels, a feature available on both Instagram and Facebook, is a dynamic platform for creating, sharing, and discovering short-form videos. Developed as a competitor to TikTok, Reels have quickly become a popular tool for users and creators.

Whether youre creating content directly within the app or importing it from other sources, Reels feature a variety of high-end editing tools. These include adjustments for controlling the pace of your videos and employing smooth transitions between shots. Check out this Meta updates blog for the latest in Instagram editing features.

Reels have an extensive library of licensed music, enabling you to add some vibes to your videos with popular tracks. This accessibility to trending music simplifies the process of selecting the perfect soundtrack for content, particularly for popular dance challenges and trending themes.

Jumping into this type of video content can feel overwhelmingwe get it. That's why we hosted this masterclass on how to make the most of this exciting trend.

What are Instagram Reels ads?

Instagram Reels ads are full-screen sponsored short-form vertical videos that appear in between organic Reels on Instagram. They can be up to 30 seconds long and are similar to ads in Stories.

Instagram Reels ads
Image source: Facebook

These ads appear in the Reels tab, Reels in Explore, and Reels in your feed. Users can interact with these ads by commenting, liking, viewing, saving, and sharing, just like they would with regular organic content.

Businesses and advertisers can create these ads through the Meta Ads Manager. Keep reading to learn how to create them

What are the Instagram Reel ads specs?

Like with everything else, there are some housekeeping rules. Let's go through the ad sizes and specs for creating Instagram Reels ads:

Design recommendations

  • Format: Full screen and vertical, similar to ads in Stories
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Length: Up to 30 secs
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Resolution: At least 500 x 888 pixels
  • File type: MP4, MOV
  • Maximum file size: 30MB
  • Video settings: H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan, and stereo AAC audio compression at 128kbps
  • Captions: Optional, but highly recommended. Your caption can be up to 2,200 characters long (including spaces and emojis)
  • Video sound: Optional, but also highly recommended

Text recommendations

  • Primary text: 72 characters

Technical requirements

  • Duration: 0 secs to 15 mins

Where are Instagram Reels ads displayed?

In between Reels:

Youll find these ads nestled in between individual Reels. So, as youre scrolling through your Reels feed, you might stumble upon these ads. This seamless integration makes the ads less intrusive and more a part of the overall Instagram experience.

Sail 'nStay Instagram Reels ad on feed

On the Explore page:

This is where users discover fresh new content.

Instagram Reels Ad in Explore

In your Feed:

Once a user taps into a Reel from their feed, they will enter the section that exclusively shows Reels and scrolls vertically. Your ads will be placed in between these organic Reels. Like other ads, Reels ads will be marked as Sponsored.'

Instagram Reels ad on feed

How much do Instagram Reels ads cost?

The Cost Per Mille (CPM) for Instagram Reels ads can vary based on several factors, such as the target audience, industry, and time of year, so these are just general benchmarks that you can compare yourself against.

Instagram Reels ads CPM, CPC, and CTR compared to Stories and Feed ads
Image source: Karooya

During Q2 2023, it was reported that the average CPM of Instagram Reels ads was 39% lower than that of Instagram Feed placements. Similarly, Instagram Stories CPM was found to be 27% less than Instagram Feed placement. This indicates that Instagram Reels ads offer the most cost-effective CPM among all Instagram placements.

Here, we see that Instagram Reel ads once again emerge as the most economical option, with a narrower 13% gap in average CPC compared to Instagram Feed ads. In contrast, the cost for Stories and Feed ads was nearly identical, differing by just 1%.

In terms of click-through rate (CTR), Instagram Reel ads are positioned 24% lower than Instagram Feed ads, with Instagram Stories sitting 4% below Instagram Reel ads. Therefore, Instagram Reel ads, compared to Instagram Story ads, are slightly more cost-effective in terms of generating clicks.

In conclusion, if youre seeking to maximize impressions and awareness in your campaigns while keeping costs in check, Instagram Reels ads appear to be the best option.

However, its important to note that while Instagram Reels ads are more cost-effective in terms of CPM and CPC, they do have a 24% lower CTR compared to Instagram Feed ads. This suggests that while they may be cheaper, they might not always deliver the highest engagement rates.

Therefore, a balanced approach that leverages the strengths of each placement type could be the most effective strategy.

How to create an Instagram Reels ad

Step 1: Go to Meta Ads Manager and click Create

Meta Ads Manager Create New Campaign

Step 2: Choose your campaign goal

Meta Ads Manager - Choosing campaign objective

Step 3: Fill out all the campaign details and set parameters

Meta Ads Manager - fill out campaign details

Step 4: Choose your ad placement

You've got a choice between Advantage+ placements (formerly known as automatic placements) or manual placements. With Advantage+ placements, Facebook decides where your ads will appear, which could include Reels but isn't guaranteed.

For more control and to ensure your ads are shown exactly where you want them, its best to opt for manual placements.

Meta Advantage+ placements options

Then, check off Instagram Reels under the Stories and Reels section.

Meta Advantage+ placements

Step 5: Check your campaign settings

Here, you can review the filters that help prevent your ads from popping up alongside content thats not appropriate for your brand.

Meta Ads Manager- review exclusions

Step 6: Make sure youre posting from the correct Instagram account

Meta Ads Manager - ad identity

Step 7: Add your Reels video creative

The Add Video tab has many options within it. You can either upload a new video or add one from your recent Instagram posts.

Meta Ads Manager - select media for your ad

Then, select your media crop according to placement. In this case, you would select the Stories and Reels, IGTV crop.

Meta Ads Manager - select media crop

Dont have a video ready? Meta can help you create one. All you need to do is upload a photo (or photos) or choose from your existing account image bank.

Meta Ads Manager - create video

Step 8: Choose your call to action.

Meta Ads Manager - select call-to-action

Step 9: Set up your Reels ad tracking

If you havent already, you will need to install the Meta Pixel on your website.

Meta Ads Manager - Tracking

Instagram Reels ads best practices

#1 Make your Reel ad blend with organic Reels posts. UGC-style Reels blend the best with user content.

#2 Use text and audio. Unlike Feed and Stories ads, Reels thrive when theyre attached to a popular track or any other engaging audio.

#3 Short is sweet. Short videos perform better, despite Meta increasing their maximum length to 15 minutes

#4 Meta does not allow to promote Reels published before 15 October 2021. Create new ones instead.

#5 Avoid using media with camera or face effects, gifs, product tags, special boxes, or file containers. It will all be flagged.

#6 Keep close tabs on your competitors.Within Madgicxs Creative Workflow lies Madgicxs Ad Library a tool that lets you easily monitor and save the cream of the crop of Meta ads for inspiration, ensuring you stay informed and competitive.

Madgicx Ad Library

Once youve gathered your favorite Instagram Reels ad references, submit a quick brief to our talented pool of designers via Sparkle. Your custom ads will be in your inbox in just 48 hours!

Theyll also automatically upload to Meta Ads Manager so you can either launch them from there or directly via Madgicx.

BONUS: Madgicx Ad Library is completely free! Start a trial to save ads to boardsthe Ad Library search will stay FREE FOREVER! Start for free ($0 trial)

Instagram Reels ads examples for inspiration

Keep scrolling for some standout video ad examples from some notable brands.

#1 Lemieux Products

Why it works:

This ad features staccato video editing techniques, characterized by quick, abrupt transitions between shots, mirroring the fast-paced rhythm of the accompanying music.

This staccato editing style contributes to the ad's dynamic and engaging nature, keeping viewers captivated and preventing monotony throughout the video.

I also especially love the hyper-focused shoe closeups and super low angles employed in the ad. These disruptive elements keep you engaged and are a great way to create a sense of dynamism and maintain intrigue.

#2 Endel


Why it works:

Endel's Instagram Reels ad takes a unique approach to capturing attention amid the hustle of a busy feed. It offers you a moment of calmness through a black and white video with prominent text prompts like "breath," "hold," and "listen" that guide you into relaxation almost subconsciously.

By integrating these instructions into the visual experience, the ad ingeniously invites you to engage with the product without them even realizing it, effectively allowing potential customers to try the calming effects of Endel naturally and organically.


Why it works:

This ad by the Argentinian accessories brand NEGRO stands out for its effective communication of the moon bag's features in a concise, visually compelling, and subtly persuasive manner.

Rather than relying on flashy visuals or elaborate storytelling, the ad prioritizes showcasing the bag's practical benefits. It gets straight to the point about what the bag can do for the consumer, which is likely to resonate well with viewers who are seeking functional accessories that meet their needs.

Despite effectively conveying the bag's features, the ad maintains a subtle and understated tone. It doesn't overwhelm the viewer with excessive information or unnecessary distractions, allowing the product to sell itself.


Instagram Reels ads present a remarkable opportunity for brands to forge deeper connections with their audience in a highly engaging manner. As demonstrated by the examples provided, when executed correctly, these ads serve as a direct pathway between you and potential customers.

Moreover, with resources like Madgicx's Creative Workflow readily available, the process of crafting captivating and conversion-driving ads has been streamlined to unprecedented levels of simplicity. What a time to be alive!

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Choo choo! Your train to better Instagram Reels ads is here

Jump on board Madgicx's Creative Workflow to consistently churn out converting Reels ads. Take a peek at competitor ads in the Madgicx Ad Library for inspiration, shoot over a quick brief, and voila! A talented designer will have your custom ads ready in just 48 hours!

Feb 15, 2024
Feb 15, 2024
Annette Nyembe

Digital copywriter with a passion for sculpting words that resonate in a digital age.

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