June 27


Ad Creative – Facebook and Instagram Video Ads

By Kevin Davis

June 27, 2019

ad creative, carousel video ads, facebook stories ads, facebook video ad creator, facebook video ad specs, facebook video ads, instagram story ad specs, instagram story ads, ios video editor, ipad video editor, video ads

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The ad creative is one of the most important pieces of your advertising campaign.  It doesn’t matter how good your targeting or product is if your ad creative is not compelling enough.  The purpose of the ad is not always to visit your website and optin or buy your product.  Some ad creatives are for building awareness and an audience to target later.

Video Ads and Why Their So Powerful

We use Facebook Video Ads at each stage of the funnel.  One of the key benefits of video is they build retargeting audience based on how much they watch of the video.

The audiences start with 3 seconds of watch time.  So little time passes with the viewer scrolling through their newsfeed.  About half of those viewers drop on average at 10 seconds of watch time, the next audience.

After that the audiences come from percentage of watch time based on the video length.  The buckets are 25%, 50%, 75% and 90%.  Depending on how “warm” the viewer is we can increase the video length.  A warm viewer is someone who has seen previous content and has an awareness of the brand.

When targeting people that are not currently aware of the brand,  use shorter videos.  We recommend using videos about 60 seconds in length.

The benefit of the shorter video is you get more people into the deeper watch time buckets.  With a one minute video ad creative, you will have audiences at 3, 10, 15, 30, 45 and 54 seconds.

If you were to use a 4 minute video ad creative instead, the 25% bucket wouldn’t capture any viewers until 60 seconds.

The average watch time on Facebook is about 10 seconds.

For more information on promoting Facebook Live Videos check out our previous episode.

Facebook Video Ad Creative Specs

In the past, video ads were rectangular 16:9 format.  The increase in mobile consumption and Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram changed that.

For video ads today, we are creating three different dimensions for the best results.  Different Facebook ad placements have different requirements.  Sprout Social has a great resource with all the updated specs.  Within the newsfeed, video is either 16:9 landscape or square.  Facebook also has stories placement which is portrait format, 9:16.

Facebook Video Ad Guidelines

  • Recommended video dimensions is 1280 x 720 for Landscape and Square.
  • Minimum dimensions 600 x 315 (1.9:1 landscape) or 600 x 600 (square).
  • Landscape aspect ratio is 16:9.
  • Square aspect ratio is 1:1.
  • Max video file size is 4GB.
  • Recommended video formats are .MP4 and .MOV.
  • Video length max is 120 minutes.
  • Video max frames 30fps.

Character Limits

  • Maximum count: 2,200 characters.
  • Recommended: 90 characters.
  • Headline max: 25 characters.
  • Link description max: 30 characters.

Facebook Stories Ad Creative Specs

After Facebook added stories to Instagram they also expanded support to Facebook.  The guideline below are the same for paid and organic story videos.  Sprout Social has a great resource with all the updated specs.

Video Guidelines

  • Minimum dimensions 500 x 5000
  • Aspect ratios: 1.91 to 9:16, with colored gradient bars rendered above and below videos under 9:16. The text field appears under below videos smaller than this aspect ratio.
  • Max video file size is 4GB
  • Max video length is 15 seconds
  • Recommended video formats are .MP4 and .MOV.

Changes To Story Ads in 2019

Placements in the ad manager has updated to group all story placements together.  You can now design a single story ad creative to run on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.

Additionally, in the past we would run three 15 second videos in sequence to get a 45 second play time.  This is now extended to ten giving up to 150 seconds in play time to tell the story.  You can also combine video and images.

For the multiple video/image option you select the carousel option in the ad set up.

iPhone Apps for Splitting Long Video Into 15 Second Clips

For both organic and paid stories ads, you can use one of the following apps to split longer videos.

My preferred app is a paid version for $7.99 called Continual for Instagram.

It is for Organic Instagram, for ads you will need to load the clips manually in the ad manager.

Here are their features from the App Store:


+ Output videos in Highest Quality Possible

+ Upload* old videos – Your videos don’t have to be taken within 24 hours

+ Clips are arranged in correct order so you can upload to Instagram stories in correct order with no hassle.

+ Record straight from the app and Split to clips immediately

+ Jump to Instagram easily after splitting the video.

+ Pick a video from any folder in your camera roll

+ No Crop option – Make videos fit to screen if they are not portrait.

+ No Ads – (We hate ’em).

A second option is an app called CutStory for Instagram Stories.  I have not used it before, but it is a free option branded with their logo.  You can remove their logo branding for $1.99.  They have some other upgrades available as well.

CutStory features from the App Store:


– Post old videos – add videos filmed prior to the last 24 hours, and CutStory will export them so you can post them on your Instagram Stories page right now;

– Add a text or stickers;

– Divide long videos into separate clips of any length;

– Clips are exported in chronological order so you know what order to post them in;

– Video are exported without compression;

– All video formats are supported;

– You can add music to your videos;


If you only have Apple Music or other similar streaming services on your smartphone, please do not buy the Music expansion. Apple does not allow it to be used rented music for background music.

That last paragraph is important for all your video ad creatives.  Do not use any music, video or images that you do not own the rights to.

I have seen some options in the Google Play store for Android but most had very bad reviews.

Instagram Story Highlights

In the last year Instagram also introduced an option for business accounts to highlight stories on their profile.

This is a great way to take your best content or story ads, and save them on your profile.  Then any visitor can click on the highlight icon to view the curated story.

Ad Creative - Instagram Story Highlights

Editing Video On The Apple iPad

In the past I edited most of my video on the desktop.  In the interest of being more mobile, when I upgraded my iPad, I also got the Apple Pencil.  It has revolutionized how I edit video.

My preferred app for editing video on the iPad is Lumafusion.  It is a full multitrack editor with too many features to list here, but their on the website.  The master that got me hooked on Lumafusion is Henny Tha Bizness on YouTube.

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