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Your guide to sizing your Facebook and Instagram ads correctly

In the world of digital marketing, Facebook is, and will continue to be, your biggest asset. With over 3 billion monthly active users as of January 2023, it’s no surprise that businesses flock to the platform to advertise their products and services. However, creating effective Facebook ads goes beyond just choosing the right audience and crafting compelling copy – it also involves getting your ad’s visual elements just right. This includes sizing your ads correctly for different placements, such as the Facebook and Instagram feeds, stories, and reels.

In this guide, I will walk you through the key aspects of sizing your Facebook ads correctly for these placements, complete with graphics to illustrate each step.

If you would like more information, you can visit Facebook’s help page here.

Facebook and Instagram ad sizing

Understanding the Different Placements

Before diving into sizing specifics, it’s crucial to understand the various ad placements on Facebook:

1. Facebook Feed:

  • These are ads that appear in users’ main news feeds as they scroll through Facebook.

2. Facebook Stories:

  • Full-screen vertical ads that appear within a user’s Stories feed on Facebook.

3. Facebook In-Stream Videos:

  • Video ads that play within videos on Facebook, typically during or after the main video content.

4. Facebook Marketplace:

  • Ads that appear when users browse the Marketplace section on Facebook.

5. Facebook Right Column:

  • Ads displayed on the right side of the Facebook desktop interface. This placement is often used for retargeting and desktop-specific campaigns.

6. Facebook Instant Articles:

  • Ads that appear within articles on Facebook’s Instant Articles platform.

7. Instagram Feed:

  • Ads displayed in users’ main Instagram feeds as they scroll through the app.

8. Instagram Stories:

  • Full-screen vertical ads that appear within a user’s Stories feed on Instagram.

9. Instagram Explore:

  • Ads that are integrated into the Explore section of the Instagram app, where users discover new content.

10. Instagram Reels:

  • Short-form video ads that appear in the Reels section of Instagram.

11. Audience Network:

  • This extends your Facebook and Instagram ads to third-party apps and websites within the Audience Network, increasing your ad’s reach.

12. Messenger:

  • Ads that appear in the Messenger app, both in the inbox and within conversations.

*Please keep in mind that the availability of these ad placements and their specific requirements can change over time. It’s essential to stay updated with the latest information from the Meta Ads Manager and consult their advertising guidelines to ensure your campaigns align with their current policies and offerings.

Recommended Image and Video Sizes

Now that you understand the different placements, let’s delve into the recommended sizes for each. I am going to focus on feed placements as well as stories and reels, because they are the most important to get correct.

Facebook and Instagram feed ads:

  • Image Ads: The recommended image size for feed ads is 1.91:1 or 1:1 aspect ratio. These sizes ensures your ad looks great on both mobile and desktop.
  • Video Ads: For video ads, the recommended resolution is 1080 x 1,080 pixels with an aspect ratio of 1:1. Videos can be up to 240 minutes long, but shorter videos tend to perform better on Facebook – I would aim for below 30 seconds, using transitions and captions (always include captions in your videos, because 86% of people watch videos with the sound off!)

Facebook and Instagram story and reels ads:

  • Image and Video Ads: These full-screen vertical ads should ideally have a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels with a 9:16 aspect ratio. This format maximises the use of screen space, delivering an immersive experience – rather than looking like an ad. See what I mean below.

*Please remember that when you are uploading a 9:16 story sized creative, your viewers will not see the copy you have included when designing your Facebook and Instagram ads. Which means you need to include some extra information on your 9:16 creatives – such as discounts, sales and what the ad is for. You can see this in the example above where they have added in ‘20% off this week’ and the same goes for the examples below.

Doing this is Facebook Ads Manager

Once you have created two graphics / videos / images for your ads, one for feed placements, 1:1, and one for your story and reel placements, 9:16, you then need to head over to Ads Manager to start creating your campaign and inputting your creatives.

At the Ad Level, upload your 1:1 sized creative and then follow the steps here for uploading the correctly sized creative for your stories and reels (9:16).

Conclusion

Sizing your Facebook and Instagram ads correctly for feed placements, stories, and reels is essential for achieving optimal engagement and results. By adhering to the recommended image and video sizes and designing your creative to fit each placement’s format, you can increase the chances of your ads capturing your audience’s attention.

Remember to keep mobile optimisation in mind and don’t hesitate to A/B test your ads for the best performance. With the right approach, your Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns can yield impressive results across these diverse placements.

If you have any questions or would like to talk about growing your business with Facebook ads, please send me a message on Instagram (I love to hang out there) or book a free call with me here.

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