Ah, Instagram Stories – the one-stop shop for finding short, engaging content from high school friends, celebrities, and big brands.
With more than 500 million active users every dayInstagram Stories is an undeniable opportunity to reach new audiences.
And if you're not using Instagram Stories as a marketing tool, you should be. In fact, Instagram reports that of the 500 million accounts using Instagram Stories, a third of the most watched stories come from companies.
I can personally testify to the power of Instagram Stories to inspire purchase decisions. For example, the other day I thoughtlessly flipped through stories when I came across an ad for Crest 3D Whitestrips with a $ 50 voucher. I swiped to buy without leaving the app myself.
Learn what Instagram Story Ads are and how to run Instagram Story Ads for your own business. It also examines Instagram story ad examples and best practices to ensure your ads are performing as well as possible.
What are Instagram Story Ads?
Instagram Story Ads are vertical ads that you can run using Instagram's Stories feature. (To recap: Instagram stories are photos and videos that are visible to the audience of an Instagram account for 24 hours and are published separately from the content on your Instagram profile.)
Instagram lets you target your ads based on reach, video views, traffic, conversions, app installs, and brand awareness. Unlike an organic Instagram story, an Instagram story ad does not go away after 24 hours. Instead, you can choose the length of the campaign and the frequency of the ads on the Facebook ad platform just like any other ad created for Instagram or Facebook.
An Instagram story ad integrates seamlessly with the display of stories. Additionally, a user doesn't have to follow your account to see an ad of your brand. For example, I don't follow Crest on Instagram, but I was shown a Crest ad anyway.
You have several options for ad formatting, including video, photo, or carousel. A video ad plays for up to 15 seconds, an image ad plays for five seconds, and a carousel ad allows brands to play three separate pieces of content (videos, photos, or both) within an ad.
If you're not yet running ads on Instagram Stories, here are some facts to consider:
If you believe that Instagram ads could be a good platform for you, next let's look at how you can run your own Instagram story ads.
How to turn off Instagram Story Ads
1. Go to your Ad Manager and click "Create" to go to "Quick Build". If you want you can switch to Guided Creation instead.
2. Next, choose a marketing goal. Your options for Instagram Stories include Brand Awareness, Reach, Video Views, Conversions, App Installs, Lead Generation, or Traffic.
3. In the Placements section you want to select "Automatic Placements" with Instagram Stories selected by default. However, if you choose Manual Placements, then check the box for Stories under Instagram.
4. Next, set your ad's budget and schedule.
5. Next, you will want to select "Single Image Or Video" or "Carousel" as the format for your ad.
6. Add video or pictures to your ad and complete all other details including a heading and description. If you want, you can use story templates that will automatically convert your picture into an ad and add motion to grab the viewer's attention.
7. When you are satisfied with your ad, select "Confirm" to complete the process.
Instagram Story Ads: cost, spec, and length
There are three separate areas where you can post an ad on Instagram: Stories, Feed, and Explore.
In this post, we'll focus on the cost, specs, and length of an Instagram Stories ad.
First, all feed photo and video dimensions in stories are supported (between 1:91 and 4: 5). However, it is recommended to adjust the ratio 9:16 to the vertical full screen format of stories.
We also recommend .mp4 or .mov for video ads and .jpg or .png for photo ads.
If you are creating a video ad, the recommended file size is 4 GB. A file size of 30MB is recommended for a photo.
If you're creating a video ad, the length cannot exceed 120 seconds. When viewing a photo, the default time is five seconds to view the image.
Finally, the recommended resolution is 1080 x 1920 with a minimum size of 600 x 1067.
Instagram ads, including Instagram story ads, cost between Average of $ 0.70 to $ 1.00 per click – Although the cost will vary based on industry, days of the week, time of year, target age and gender, ad placement, and many other factors. In some cases, Instagram ads more than $ 5.00 per click.
Fortunately, you have a lot of control over how much your ads cost by setting a predetermined budget. You can choose your budget based on how much your company wants to spend on a daily basis, or what the total cost you want to spend over the life cycle of a campaign.
Instagram story ads examples
Below, I've rounded up some impressive examples that I found on my own Instagram story feed. While most of these examples are bigger brand names, there are plenty of small and medium-sized businesses that are using Instagram
Aveeno's Instagram ads are clear and simple. Neutral colors – apart from the brand's signature green – draw attention to the brand's daily moisturizer. The ad includes a short clip of a hand pointing at a shopping cart with a swipe up "Shop Now" link. The ad focuses on the brand's product and does not distract from people. This will allow anyone in the mood to top up their moisturizer.
2. Miller Lite
This is an example of an ad that felt tailored for me, a 27 year old woman in the Boston area. First, the ad contains a reference to the Boston Celtics that immediately caught my attention. Once intrigued, the ad shows a picture of their lite drink with the text "Great taste, only 96 calories, 3.2g of carbohydrates". In this example, the ad does a good job of drawing my attention to the things that matter most to me: low-calorie alternatives to beer (and Celtics).
3. Trunk Club
This engaging, fast moving ad shows a few different outfit options on the screen with the text "Keep what you love, send back the rest". The ad shows off a few different outfits, from dresses and cardigans to pants and heels, to attract the attention of a larger number of people than would be possible with just one style. With the plain white background and easy-to-read black text, it's easy, clean, and hard to miss.
I mean come on … who doesn't love a puppy? This fun, clever Febreze ad features an adorable puppy on a couch with the text "update wherever you go" with their Febreze product at the bottom of the screen. While most of the other ads on this list featured muted, monochromatic ads, Febreze goes for bright blues, greens, and purples and invites a sense of playfulness and fun into the user's feed.
5. Tractor Beverage Co.
What I love most about the Tractor Beverage Co. Instagram video is the ending, which has a different call to action than most of the others on this list. Instead of "Shop now", this display reads "Now available at Chipotle" with the swipe-up function "More information". As a lesser known brand, Tractor Beverage Co. wants to use their advertising space wisely to increase brand awareness. The next time you're around at your favorite chipotle, this is a drink for you.
6. Coat of arms
If you have the funds, it makes a lot of sense to include a coupon or discount on your Instagram Story ad like Crest does in his 3D Whitestrips ad. The $ 50 discount encourages viewers to buy now so they don't miss out, and the fun, bright colors are effective in grabbing viewers' attention. Given the limited amount of time allotted on an Instagram story, it makes sense for these brands to get straight to the point.
Kayak, a travel search engine, created this stunning, engaging Instagram Story video ad to demonstrate how easy it is for Kayak users to filter flights by airline, price, cabin seating and destination. Kayak served the ads to a peer audience and viewed based on the characteristics of its current website customers 5-fold increase in salesas well as a Increase in total ROI by 50%with combined ad placements on Instagram Stories, the newsfeed from Instagram and the newsfeed from Facebook.
Instagram story ads best practices
Now that we've examined some impressive examples, let's dive into some best practices to keep in mind while creating your own Instagram Story ad. With four million active advertisers on Stories As of January 2020, it will take a lot to make sure you get noticed and get results. Let's dive in.
1. Pay attention to the speed.
Facebook reports that Instagram Stories are consumed faster "do any other mobile format". People's attention is severely limited when reading stories, especially since the content has a 24 hour period before it disappears forever.
Because of this, you should make sure you get straight to the point and grab a viewer's attention from the very first picture. Unlike other types of content, the tension here isn't usually effective, especially since images can't exceed five seconds and videos have a maximum length of 120 seconds. You want the viewer to jump right into the message you want to deliver.
2. Add movement to your ad.
Facebook reports that "Ads the Use exercise to perform better"Movement catches the viewer's attention and can help you tell a story faster than a static image. Even if you're using animation, consider how you can add motion to create more engaging content.
3. Make sure you are using sound in your ad.
60% of the stories are viewed with the sound switched onHence, you should make sure that you are using sound in your ad to provide optimal value to your audience. Think about how you can use music, sound effects or voice over to grab the audience's attention in new ways. If you're not sure which types of sound will work best in your ad, try A / B testing to see what your audience prefers.
4. Instead of trying to use an existing ad for a different industry, create your ad for stories first.
It can be tempting to just copy and paste the ad you've already created for Facebook or Instagram news feeds. However, this can result in a less than ideal experience for those viewing your ad on Instagram Stories. For one thing, your ad may not follow Instagram Story sizing best practices, which will result in important parts of your ad being cut out. Additionally, you should play around with exclusive story features to make sure your ad is as effective as possible.
5. Use your call to action wisely.
Ultimately, your Instagram Stories ad will not be effective unless it includes a clear call to action for viewers to follow. You can use language such as "Learn More," "Shop Now," or "Swipe Up" to encourage viewers to take action based on your goal. For example, if your goal is brand awareness, "Learn More" simply tells viewers they want to let viewers know about your brand's offers, which is a very different CTA from "Shop Now".
Check out the examples above for more CTA inspiration.
6. Add text to highlight the key message.
Pasting text is a best practice for accessibility in general as it helps hard of hearing viewers decipher the message of your ad. In addition, text can help highlight your key points. For example, Aveeno's text "Get Healthy Looking Skin Every Day" illustrated the main point and convinced me to buy it.
7. Test mobile recordings.
Facebook reports, "Mobile recording outperforms studio recording in terms of ad recall and intent, while studio recording tends to increase brand awareness." For this reason, you should avoid fancy studio equipment for video recordings that are edited and edited directly from a mobile phone.
The majority of users use Instagram's content from their own smartphones. So, you can also try creating content on the same device. And when in doubt, don't be afraid to test this theory on your own brand as well.
For more advertising best practices in general, see the ultimate guide to mastering the basics of effective social media advertising.
And there you have it! You're all ready to create your own inspirational Instagram Story ad. Remember – you know your brand and audience better than anyone. Use these best practices and examples as inspiration. However, you can also take an A / B test to find out what works best for your unique business goals and social media goals. Good luck!