Since TikTok’s recent explosion into the mainstream, other social media sites have been trying to replicate its magic. YouTube, for example, has a new feature called “shorts”. With the growing trends, you might’ve seen people asking, “How can we promote reels on Instagram?”

Instagram has done something similar to TikTok and YouTube, releasing an intuitive system by the name of “Instagram Reels.” This has become increasingly popular over the past year. As new features and updates enter our social media platforms, so do new forms of advertisement. Anyone with an interest in video marketing should consider the possibilities of Instagram Reels Ads. Here is every important detail to get you started.

What Are Instagram Reels?

person holding a phone in front of New York skyscrapers.

instagram reels advertisement

Instagram Reels were introduced in August of 2020. It is a short-form video feature in which content creators can easily upload 15, 30, or 60-second clips. Users are able to scroll through various vertical videos, tailored to their detected interests and to who they’re following. 

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? TikTok’s video format has proven to be a massive success among young audiences. Like all social media platforms, Instagram strives to stay in touch with the current generation. Because Instagram is used by both the young and the old, this new feature will also attract older generations who are not interested in TikTok. 

As an advertiser, Instagram Reels give access to a wider demographic while still using a very current format.

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What Are Instagram Reels Ads?

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instagram reels ads

Reels can be used as a new ad placement on Instagram. They somewhat resemble the advertisements from Instagram Stories. Both have full-screen, vertical formats. The Instagram reels advertisement, however, is an actual video that plays on a loop. They also encourage lots of engagement by allowing users to comment, like, and share.

Instagram Reels Ads can be displayed in three different fashions;

  • In between regular, unsponsored reels, as the users are scrolling away at their screens.
  • On the explore tab, while users search for specific content
  • On people’s regular Instagram feed.

All three of these placements can be used to seamlessly and creatively incorporate video ads throughout the site. All you must do, as a marketer, is discover quick ways to capture an audience.

How To Set Up Instagram Reels Ads

Instagram logo

instagram reels advertisement

You may be wondering; how do the ads we see on Instagram get there in the first place? The answer may seem like a distant, technical minefield. In reality, the process is pretty straightforward.

The first thing you’ll want to do is create the ad itself. While there is a good general process in creating a high-quality commercial, Instagram Reels introduces some new things to keep in mind;

  • Your video should be filmed vertically and made to fit within a phone screen. 
  • Your ads on this platform will be very, very short. Make sure to create content that is highly engaging and entertaining.
  • Pair your ad with popular music in order to give it an extra boost
  • For short videos- a high-quality camera is an absolute must.

After creating your video advertisement, you will need an Instagram Business account. Once you’re all logged in, navigate to the Ads Manager. Click Create. 

You must select an advertising goal. Instagram has made it easy to select exactly how you want to tailor your ads. For reels, you can select the following options;

  • Brand Awareness
  • Traffic
  • App Installs
  • Video Views
  • Conversion

These options are very important, as they help Instagram target your ads more efficiently. The more specific your objectives are, the more return you’ll get for your money. Having a clear goal in mind will also set the tone of your entire ad campaign.

At this point, you will be prompted to choose a name for your campaign, ad set, and individual ad. Choose a name that is descriptive, and works to keep everything organized. 

On the next few screens, you will fill out the details for your ad campaign. Here, you can choose your budget, schedule, and target audience.

Placing Your Ad

A hand holding a smartphone. The phone displays someone's Instgram profile.

instagram reels ads

To place the ad, select Manual Placements. Then navigate towards the dropdown menu next to “Stories.” Choose Instagram Reels.

Every Instagram Reels ad has a call to action listed on the bottom of the screen. You can choose which one you want it to be;

  • “Shop Now”
  • “Read More”
  • “Sign Up”
  • “Click Here”

After following each of these steps, you should have an ad that’s ready to be viewed by millions. It’s a relatively simple process once you get the hang of things.

Using Instagram Reels For Promotion

A woman smiling while sitting at a desk. She holds a book in her hands while being filmed with a smartphone.

instagram reels advertisement

Now, let’s say you’ve already established a name for your brand on Instagram. Perhaps you’ve already created quite a few ads for the site, and you’d like to step up your game a bit. The fantastic thing about Instagram is that you can use regular reels to promote your business.

Whether you’re a small brand or a big-time creator, you may just want to create simple promotional content. Because of their short nature, Instagram Reels are a perfect way to get your name out there.

The goal of any establishment’s Reel should be to let viewers know that your product or service exists. One way you could do this is by simply talking to a camera for 15 seconds. While it may seem a bit boring, customers take very kindly to a promotion that feels sociable. A person talking directly to their followers can create an interpersonal connection.

You can also use an action to showcase your product and its benefits. For example, a person who owns a nail salon may post a reel of themselves creating an intricate design on someone’s feet. An aspiring musician can gain traction by posting a short snippet of themselves singing or playing an instrument. 

It is always a good idea to use reels as a cross between other platforms. For instance, a YouTuber who uses Instagram can post a short reel detailing a new video they’ve released. Instagram reels, as a format, allow creators to seamlessly direct their followers to other websites and pages. 


Since its inception in 2010, Instagram has strived to constantly update itself and accommodate the growing online community. Its new feature has offered a great way to bring together multiple sections of the internet. Although this is a simple beginner’s guide to Instagram Reels Advertisements, it is a fantastic starting point for those who are interested in new advertising platforms.