Written by Angela Allan

September 23, 2021

Turn Instagram conversations into conversions!

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Have you experienced this before?

You’ve spent hours creating an Instagram video ad for your business. Filming it to ensure the light is just right, editing it so it looks professional, and writing ad copy to make it pop only to receive three likes and zero sales.

So, how do you fix this?

Craft video ads that attract the ideal client compelling them to purchase from you, all while using foolproof strategies that you may not have thought of before.

First, let’s touch on the basics: Create video ads that appear on your target audience’s timeline, or video ads that appear in their Instagram Stories.

We’ll explore tips that work with both posting formats. Keep in mind, the strategy will be the same, but you’ll need to tweak the size or length of the video to suit the format you choose.

But before you dive into this article, it’s important to understand if video ads are right for your business and how to set one up. Read our blog post: ​​What Are Instagram Video Ads and How Do I Create One?

If you’re trying out Instagram (IG) ads for the first time, take a look at The Beginner’s Guide to Instagram Ads.

And if you’ve got a firm grasp on IG ads, but you’re new to Instagram Story ads, check out Instagram Story Ads: A Complete Guide for Beginners.

Now, let’s explore six strategies for high-converting Instagram video ads.

1. Test out Instagram Reels ads using trending audio and visuals

Instagram Reels is a smart way to build your community and extend your reach. It’s a fun, creative, and engaging way to share bite-sized content with your audience.

Reels are full-screen, vertical, 30-second videos that resemble TikTok videos in their content and storytelling. They also showcase trends, including music, dances, and more.

Reels are such a popular format that NFL teams that post highlight clips via Reels generate 67% more engagement than their normal video posts.

In fact, the New England Patriots see an average of 121,800 engagements per Reel, compared to 21,600 engagements per video.

Reels ads are available in every country, and have a similar setup to an Instagram Story ad, with similar ad objectives. 

Instagram recommends that “video ad creative includes music or sound to better fit the Reels placement.”

Using Reels, your brand can piggyback on trends, such as popular audio, and create your own spin, just like Prequel — a preset and filters app — did.

how to edit reels

If you’re struggling to find these trending content ideas, spend about 15 minutes per day consuming Reels content, and save videos that use trending audio or visuals as inspiration. 

video editing for Instagram

Reels is also a great place for influencer content. Engaging an influencer to help you create how-to content is an engaging way to present your brand and cross-pollinate audiences. For example, the ad audience may not have heard of your brand, but they may have heard of the influencer, creating a halo effect for your product.

If you’re stuck on which how-to idea would work, ask your audience. Create an Instagram Story using the questions sticker, and ask your followers the number one question they have about your product or service.

2. Create a video ad primarily from user-generated content

The most efficient, low-cost way to generate content for your IG video ads is by sourcing content from your customers or clients. (This is also the perfect starting point to use backlogged video content in your ads.) 

User-generated content (UGC) doesn’t have to be fancy or “staged,” and could be as simple as a customer wearing or using your product. 

To do this, ask customers to share a photo or video of themselves with your product using a particular hashtag, or tagging your brand in their Instagram Story. (You can turn a series of UGC photos into a video using an app like InShot.)

user-generated ads
UCG ideas

If you don’t have UGC just yet, showcase your product yourself. 

Quotes by Christie and Hello Amy Louise have done just this in their Instagram Story video ads.

Ensure you have good lighting and a plain background, and film the ad yourself on your phone.

If you want to include any text on your video ads, be sure to keep it short and snappy (a maximum of three to five words) and focus on the benefits or unique selling points of your product or service.

You can also incentivize receiving user-generated content by offering customers an entry into your next big giveaway, or a coupon code for their next purchase.

3. Tell a story in your videos

Audiences remember stories. It’s important to tell a clear and compelling story that addresses a pain point for your audience.

Remember, people buy solutions based on their problems. If the problem leaves people annoyed or frustrated, then your product has to give your audience a sense of peace. 

A good story formula to think about is:

problem+solution=transformation.

For example, TheNameStamp’s video ad tells a story from its narrator, Kensie, about fighting with her twin sister about whose clothes belong to whom. 

But with TheNameStamp, she knows when her sister is “stealing” her clothes.

storytelling on instagram

Shift Swimwear also does a brilliant job of showcasing their men’s swim trunks through storytelling. We are shown the trunks and how they change colors when immersed in water, peppered with some fun cut-aways of people enjoying the shorts with pranks and fun summer activities. 

Showing smiling, happy people using your products gives prospects the perfect transformation – ie. “my life will improve with this product,” – so don’t forget about this powerful marketing trick.

IG CTAs
Authentic Instagram Videos
captions in videos

And if someone is speaking in your videos, make sure you have captions to ensure accessibility. 

4. Showcase the benefits of your product or service 

It’s widely known in marketing that you should focus on the benefits of your product, not its features. Put simply, features are what your product does; whereas the benefits are what people do with your product. 

Here are two brands we can use as inspiration.

Lashify is a patented lash system that consists of a special eyelash bond, false eyelashes, and other accessories. Their video ads focus on the benefits of this revolutionary way to wear eyelashes with text stating the product with “Up to 10-day hold,” and “no running or smudging”.

product benefits

Native Deodorant uses video and minimal text to display the benefits of their natural deodorant that has a non-greasy application and keeps you fresh all day without using aluminum. This video also appears to be shot on a phone.

video series
Instagram video product ideas
UGC ads
product ads
Instagram Tutorial Ads
Native Instagram Ad

If you’re not ready to showcase your product using video, you can also test animation. Using apps like Prequel and Mojo, you can create high-quality animation of images and text to run as video ads too.

Blossom Plant’s IG Story video ad is brought to life through animated text and images, and also focuses on the benefits of this app. Its core benefit is “Know when to water your plants” so you keep them alive. 

animated instagram video ad

5. Tailor industry-specific content to your audience 

Instagram Story content
jasmin star example
scheduling app later

Online clothing store The Iconic, Social Curators CEO Jasmine Star and Instagram scheduling app Later all use the same formula for their ads, just tailored to fit their industry.

For eCommerce businesses like The Iconic, showing off three to five wardrobe staples works well in video ads. While for service-based industries, offering five bite-sized tips that address an audience pain point in a video format is a sure-fire way to capture your audience’s attention.

Like Later, you can even create an animation ad that opens up to a blog post to read more on the topic.

6. Supercharge your conversations with Instagram DM Automation

Now, here’s the really exciting part. With your call to action (CTA), go one step further and automate the conversation.

Set up Instagram DM Automation by ManyChat for both your IG Story ad or video ad.

Add a keyword to your IG Story ad. When people direct message (DM) you to receive a freebie or offer, or if they want more information on your latest product collection, a trigger will activate your automation flow and respond directly to the potential consumer.

For example, say you have a new collection of sweaters. Encourage prospects to DM you the word “sweater” and instantly send all prospects a gallery of your new stock.

instagram conversation

For your IG Video ads, set up a video ad with the Messages objective and deliver a discount coupon. People will be able to send your Instagram account a DM to receive the coupon code.

Here’s what it looks like:

instagram messages

And best of all, customers can shop directly in the DMs using Instagram Automation.

DM automation examples

Many prospects respond well to a business’s Instagram automation flow and is a great way to capture more customers.

A short cheat sheet for better ad copy

Now that you have six strategies to improve your video content, don’t neglect your copy.

Here are the key things to remember to create attention-grabbing ad copy:

  • Start with a hook. This is a question or statement to lure your readers in and keep them reading from one line to the next. For example: “Why is Instagram the best platform businesses need to survive?”
  • Make sure your ad copy includes important information your video isn’t highlighting. This could be expanding on a product benefit or adding a short testimonial.
  • Introduce your company with something like, “See why 500+ women are raving about [company name].” This is especially important if you run your ad to a cold audience that’s never heard of you before.
  • Add authority building statements like, “As seen in Forbes, Fortune, The New York Times.”
  • End your post with a crystal-clear call to action (CTA).

When you’re writing, keep in mind that people don’t buy products, they buy better versions of themselves. People don’t buy the best products on the market, they buy the one that’s easiest to understand.

And when your ad is live, don’t forget to respond to comments!

When people comment on your Instagram video ad, make sure you respond to each one, answering any questions your audience might have. Simply responding to queries also shows prospects you care, so more people will be interested in buying your products. 

Implement any one of these tips to create compelling video ads to get the results you want and attract a slew of ideal buyers.

If you’re itching to get started with Instagram Automation, learn the basics in our free Instagram Automation video course.

Sign up for your free ManyChat account today, and start using Instagram Automation together with your video ads to get more leads and drive more sales. 

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The contents of this blog were independently prepared and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ManyChat or any other party. Individual results may vary.