Instagram Stories Ads: The Complete Guide

instagram story ads the complete guide

Have you started running Instagram Stories ads yet? If not, then you are missing a lot. Do you know why? Instagram Stories ads are like a golden ticket for your brand to increase its awareness, get more followers and even drive sales.

And while other brands are considering about effectiveness of Instagram Stories ads, you shouldn’t miss a chance to start applying them. This will help you to get ahead of the competitors.

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Therefore, if you are not already using Instagram Stories ads in your marketing strategy because you want to be sure that they will bring you the desired results and don’t know how to use them properly, it’s not a big problem!

That’s exactly what you will learn in this article – how to use Instagram Stories ads in order to receive impressive results. In addition to this, you will discover why Instagram Stories ads are useful and how to set them up.

Ready? Let’s begin!

What are Instagram Stories ads?

Instagram Stories ads exist within Instagram Stories and appear among the content created and shared by your friends and family. However, the difference is that brands have paid to place their content there.

Stories ads are full-screen and vertical, in this case, when you view them, all you can see on your mobile screen is ad content. These ads can be displayed as a single picture, a video up to 15 seconds long or a carousel which consists of up to 3 pieces of content.

In fact, it is not so easy to separate Stories ads from the rest of the organic Stories content. Actually, aside from the “Sponsored” sign in the top-left corner of the screen, these ads look like simple Stories made by Instagram users.

What is more, Instagram Stories ads provide you with an opportunity to link within your post. However, when it comes to newsfeed posts this function is only available for Instagram accounts that are either verified or have more than 10 000 followers. 

Therefore, to access your Stories ads link, Instagram users need to swipe up on your added call-to-action (CTA) arrow.

There are 7 objectives which you can add as a CTA link in your Instagram Stories ads. Let’s review those!

  • Brand awareness. Boosts your brand recognition by finding people who are interested in it;
  • Reach. Shows your ad to as many people as possible;
  • Traffic. Sends more people to your brand’s website;
  • Video views. Get as many people as possible to watch your video;
  • Lead generation. Collects the main information about the people who click on your ad;
  • Conversions. Drive valuable actions, such as registrations, sales on your brand’s website;
  • App installs. Encourage as many people as possible to download and install your app.

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Why you should use Instagram Stories ads?

First of all, according to social media studies, Instagram stories are used by 500 million users every day. Also a third of the most viewed Stories are from brands.

Sounds convincing, isn’t it?

Actually, Instagram Stories ads are considered as a very powerful way to reach new audiences, evoke their interest and introduce your brand. These ads also help you to showcase your brand’s new products or services to people who are already actively following your brand and engaging with it.

Moreover, many researches prove that Instagram Stories’ engagement level is high because one in five Stories receives a direct message with inquiry from users.

Wondering how to get started with Instagram Stories ads and create one? Keep reading further.

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How to create Instagram Stories ads?

Now as you know why it is worth to devote your time and energy into Instagram Stories ads, it is time to discuss how to create one.

1. Review and use recommended ad dimensions

As ad dimensions for each social media platform are different, it is advised to review and remember Instagram Stories ads’ size and layout requirements. Below see the recommended Stories ad’s sizes that will ensure the best visibility.

For Instagram Stories image ads:

  • Image ratio of 9×16;
  • Image resolution up to 1080×1920 pixels, not lower than 600×1067 pixels;
  • Maximum file’s size is 30 MB;
  • JPG or PNG file’s format.

For Instagram Stories video ads:

  • Length up to 15 seconds;
  • Vertical aspect ratio of 9×16;
  • Video resolution up to 1080×1920 pixels, not lower than 600×1067 pixels;
  • Maximum  file’s size is 4 GB;
  • MP4 or MOV file’s format;
  • Recommended video codecs of H.264, VP8.
2. Link your Instagram account to your Facebook profile

In order to start advertising on Instagram, you need to have Business Account. If you have the one, then connect it to a Facebook page managed by your brand.

This two actions provide you with an opportunity to access Ads Manager where you will create your Instagram Story ad.

3. Create Instagram Story ad using Ads Manager

In fact, it is very simple to make an Instagram Story ad using Facebook Ads Manager. Here are the main steps.

Step 1.

To start creating your Instagram Story ad, go to your Facebook page and from the drop-down menu at the top-right corner of your page select the “Advertising on Facebook” option. Then click on the “Create an Ad” button.

Step 2.

After that, you will be transferred to an Ads Manager page where you need to decide on your objective. Select the one that will help you to accomplish your marketing goal. Additionally you will be suggested to name your ad campaign and select daily campaign’s budget or for the whole time.

Step 3.

Once the objective is chosen, your task is to set your target audience which you want to reach with your Instagram Story ad. The first opportunity how you can target your audience is based on age, gender, language, location, interests and behaviors.

Or you may just narrow down the targeting by choosing the “Custom Audiences” option. In this case, for example, exclude or include people who already liked your page, target your followers’ friends or choose other possibilities.

As Instagram Stories ads are shown for a short period of time, remember that you need to be very specific with your target audience.

Step 4.

The following step is to select your ad placement.

Although Facebook Ads Manager gives you the “Automatic placements” option, but it is advised to manually set placements of your ad. Why? The answer is simple. Just because your Facebook audience can be extremely similar to audience on Instagram. It can be not so wise to show the same ad on all platforms just to annoy audience.

In this case, click on “Edit placements” and mark only Instagram Stories.

Step 5.

Now it is time to choose your Instagram Story ad’s format and upload its media content. As it was mentioned earlier, you have an opportunity to select from a single image, video or carousel formats. However, while thinking what content to use for your Story ad, keep in mind that it should fulfill your chosen objective.

Step 6.

Don’t forget to add a catchy call-to-action (CTA) into your Instagram Story ad.

Remember, it needs to be short and immediately encourage your audience to take a desired action. What is more, it is advised to include words, such as get, buy, learn, see, discover and etc.

Step 7.

Preview your created ad and press the “Submit” button.

Once your ad has been approved by Facebook, it will appear in Instagram Stories. That’s it!

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5 main tips for creating powerful Instagram Stories ads

instagram stories ads the complete guide

Once you have learnt set up steps of the Stories ads, your task is understand how make your Story ad to stand out from a crowd.

With so huge variety of content on Instagram and audience’s limited attention spans, it will not be enough to know the basics and hope to receive the best results from your Instagram Stories ads.

Below are 5 tips for creating really engaging Instagram Stories ads:

1. Catch attention with Instagram Stories video ads

Have you ever heard that videos hold people’s attention 5 times longer than images?

Without a doubt, people’s attention spans nowadays are getting shorter and shorter. And when it comes to advertising on Instagram, the first few seconds are especially crucial for catching and keeping your audience’s attention.

So, integrating video into your Instagram Stories ads is considered as a powerful way to solve the problem related with audience’s attention deficit. In this case, start using Stories video ads and you will get more time on a users’ screen – 15 seconds are much better, rather than 5 seconds of a still image.

Although you have those 15 seconds, however, in order to encourage an audience not to skip your Story video ad, make the first seconds of it more attractive and unforgettable.

2. Create a sense of exclusivity

It is not a secret that people like things, which are suggested for a limited time and in high demand. This is actually human nature. People don’t take things seriously that are easily accessible, however, they pay their attention to the rare and exclusive stuff.

Therefore, while making Instagram Stories ads your task is to add content that will provide your Instagram audience with a sense of authenticity and uniqueness. Consequently, this will help your brand’s ads to stand out from the other content, immediately grab users’ attention and encourage them to swipe up, but not to leave your Story ad.

3. Maintain consistency

To have your own brand’s voice and implement it in your whole Instagram profile is an important factor in order to boost your brand’s recognition.

It is advised to apply the same look in your Instagram Stories ads as your brand has on Instagram account. In this case, it will be easier for users to memorize and identify your brand’s ads while scrolling through various Instagram Stories.

4. Create clear and brief message

Using Instagram Stories ads your visual content needs to be the key element and the text message as an addition. Why? Because your ads have a limited time. 

However, if you want to add some text in your Stories ads, ensure that your message is short, precise and with enough information to evoke audience’s interest to swipe up.  

What is more, you know that Instagram Stories ads are marked with the “Sponsored” sign. Which means that when users reveal your content is an ad, there are chances that they will not pay attention to your Story ad and skip it.

So, in order to create an Instagram Story ad which induces users to watch and most likely to take a particular action, you need to make a brief and engaging message which is easy to read.

5. Make your brand’s logo visible

Most probably including your brand’s logo into an Instagram Story ad seems like an essential task, isn’t it?

However, keep in mind that the idea of creating Instagram Stories is to reach people who are not even your followers and introduce your brand to them. Therefore, it is not reasonable if an audience sees your ad, but does not understand which brand it is.

In this way, you need to ensure that your Instagram Stories ads always include your brand’s logo. It is advised to put it on the image ad where it is easy to notice or add it in the first several seconds of your video ad. But don’t make your brand’s logo to look gigantic. Furthermore, better to place it in the center of your ad, trying to keep users’ attention away from the “Sponsored” sign.

All in all, this tactic should help you to increase your brand’s recognition and let an audience to remember your brand if they want to find its products or services on Google later.

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In conclusion, Instagram Stories ads are considered as an effective method for your brand to reach its potential customers. In fact, these ads are one of the very few formats which fully grabs your audience’s attention and helps your Instagram profile to grow. 

Get started with Instagram Stories ads by implementing these strategies and you will notice improvements.

Do you use Instagram Stories ads to promote your brand? What are the results? Share your opinion in the comments below!

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