Creating Effective Instagram Stories Ads

Facebook Weighs-In On How To Create Instagram Stories Ads

We're talking Instagram stories, how to, how not-to, and what you should keep in mind when designing your next Instagram stories ad.

You know we’re talking Instagram once again because it is SO powerful. Instagram has over 350 MILLION active daily users, and that number only continues to grow on the reg. Instagram stories, as we talked about here - are among some of the most powerful Instagram digital tools in 2018. As we said, stories are becoming alarmingly more and more common. Some even say they are beginning to deem post feeds on their way to obsolescence. (I disagree with that, but adding it for dramatic effect.) I do see them taking the forefront as far as popularity though.

As expected, as story usage rises, so are advertisers interest in the ability to ‘be where the consumer is looking.’ Facebook has said that more than half of businesses on Instagram now create at least one story monthly. Doesn’t sound like much, but in the grand scheme of things, shows you where this is going. The challenge that we see now is that you can’t just take your everyday advertising approach and try to replicate that on a story, it just isn’t as impactful.

If you’re experimenting with video and/or animation, you likely have an advantage, but even then, the full-screen, vertical presentation format of Stories does require dedicated focus and attention.

          -Social Media Today

And now, Facebook’s conducted research to determine, what users best respond to in Stories ads.

As explained by Facebook:

“To help marketers understand and master this new format, Facebook IQ commissioned a survey with implicit and conscious measures to explore how people in Brazil, Indonesia, the UK and the US perceive Instagram content in stories. We also commissioned a meta-analysis of US Instagram Stories ads to determine which creative elements help capture attention and drive real business results.”

Facebook’s broken their key findings down into five key considerations, as highlighted below:


Graphic via Social Media Today

As you can tell, the lessons here are similar to common video recommendations. Relevance is obvious (people don’t want their Stories experience interrupted with something super random), but there’s also a desire for short, up-front ads, with the main message and/or branding appearing earlier in the flow.

Facebook itself has noted similar in video content – in a report published last year, Facebook recommended to video advertisers that:

The earlier you can place your brand in the video and the clearer you can make the message, the better.

Bottom Line?

Try to experiment. Play around with Instagram Stories ads that seem to fit the ticket with what consumers do. Be concise, straight to the point, and sharp.  You must look at your story ads in the same way that you would video. You’ll have all of about 3 seconds (more like .000000000003) to catch the attention of consumers, so make it count.

Happy ‘Gramin!