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Everything You Need to Know About the New Instagram Reels Ads  

Everything You Need to Know About the New Instagram Reels Ads  

Instagram Reels are an exciting new Instagram ad placement and format coming to the Facebook marketing suite. 

As you may know, Reels is Instagram’s answer to the massively popular TikTok, a platform for sharing short-form looping video content with other users. 

Until now ad placements within Reels has been limited, but Facebook has finally decided to allow businesses of any size to advertise using Reels. 

We think this is a great new opportunity for many businesses to explore, especially considering the explosion of competition across all the traditional Facebook and Instagram ad formats. 

That’s why we’re going to go over everything you need to know about Instagram Reels Ads – from what they are to who should be considering them. 

What Are Instagram Reels? 

Instagram Reels are Facebook’s TikTok competitor, built right into the Instagram app itself. 

Just like TikTok, it’s based around sharing short-form looping videos – anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds long. 

The main selling point of Reels is that it’s integrated right into the TikTok app itself. It’s another “feed” you can access via the app with a different stream of content for you to enjoy. 

This means that if you have an up-to-date version of the Instagram app, you already have Reels installed. 

What Are Instagram Reels Ads?

Instagram Reels Ads are a new ad format and placement option that Facebook will soon roll out across the Instagram Reels platform. 

The format they’ve trialled so far is 30 second long videos, played on loop, which appear between Reels on the Instagram Reels feed. 

Users can choose to skip the ads at any time – so hooking their attention immediately is vital, much like when running YouTube video ads. 

We expect they’ll also soon include the ability to integrate Reels Ads with the Instagram Shop – for example being able to showcase a product in Reels and take users directly to your Instagram Shop page for the same product. 

These features were launched in concert, so it only makes sense they planned for them to go together from the start. 

How to Run Instagram Reels Ads 

Like all other advertising services in the Facebook marketing suite, Instagram Reels Ads will be run through the Facebook Ads Manager. 

To get started running Reels Ads, you’ll need:

  • A Facebook Business Manager account set up for your business, and a business Instagram account that is connected to it. 
  • Some compelling short-form video content, either produced specifically for Reels Ads or repurposed from other platforms like YouTube. 

Once you have that, these are the steps to follow to start running your Instagram Reels Ads: 

  1. Go to Facebook Ads Manager
  2. Select “Create”
  3. Choose an objective that supports Instagram as an ad placement
    1. Make sure the objective also supports video as an ad format. If this is the same as current supported IGTV objectives – it should be Brand Awareness, Reach and Video Views
  4. Select “Continue”
  5. Fill in the details for your ad set 
  6. Under placements, make sure to select “Manual placements” and then select Instagram, beneath which you’ll be able to select “Instagram Reels”. If you don’t select this – Facebook will automatically run your ads across their platforms according to their algorithm
  7. Select “Continue” 
  8. Fill in all the details of your ad and upload your video – make sure to include any relevant links you want to follow 
  9. Once you’re satisfied with your campaign, click “Publish” 
  10. You’re all set! Instagram will review your ad and, assuming its approved, it’ll start running on Instagram Reels

Who Should Run Instagram Reels Ads? 

Since it was created to closely compete with TikTok, a lot of the same advice from our TikTok Marketing Guide also applies here. 

As with any digital platform, you want to consider “audience alignment”, i.e. how close is the audience of the platform to your ideal audience of customers? 

The better the alignment, the higher your conversion rates will be. 

Looking at Instagram’s current audience, you’re able to reach an enormous variety of people, mostly amongst younger demographics.
They are typically very engaged with the platform but are looking for quick engagements – not long-form content.
You should also be conscious about how well your business aligns with the platform itself. Trying to sell a product or service on an incompatible platform will almost never work out – so consider why people are going there.
On Instagram, they’re looking for immediate gratification. Short-form content. So don’t try to hard-sell people – focus on showcasing your product in a visual and engaging way, and try to create desire that way. 

Also consider the best practices for YouTube ads, because a lot of that will apply here too. You want to focus on catching their attention, and directing it where you want them to go, as quickly as possible. 

Who Should Stay Away from Instagram Reels Ads? 

As we explored above, brands whose product or messaging doesn’t align with the platform’s ostensible use should stay away from Reels too. 

If your product or service needs a lot of exploring to get to the value, it’s probably not the platform for you. 

The brands that will perform best on Reels are those whose value proposition can be visually showcased – quickly demonstrating why users need your product or service. 

Visually appealing industries like fashion, cosmetics or travel brands will therefore always do better than abstract or visually boring industries like accounting, life cover or stationary. 


We hope this helped you understand the new Instagram Reels format – and if your business should be looking at running them. 

As with most digital marketing strategies – the key is to be flexible. Don’t just prepare one video, prepare multiples with different flows, call-to-actions or messages, and see which performs best. 

Be flexible with who you target within the Instagram Reels format – your customer is not always who you think. 

Keep all that in mind and you should have a solid head-start on running Instagram Reels Ads ahead of all your competitors. 


If you enjoyed this article or found it helpful, check out more e-commerce marketing content on the inSyte blog or listen to the inSyte Podcast.

This article was brought to you by Syte.

We’re a specialist e-commerce digital marketing agency dedicated to driving up your bottom line.

We don’t produce video ads, but we’re more than happy to help you optimise your Instagram campaigns to run more effectively, using our years of proven industry experience. Feel free to reach out with the form below or check out our case studies page to see what we’ve been able to do for our clients. 

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