3 Ways to Use Instagram Stories Ads for Business
Wondering how Instagram Stories ads can help your business?
Instagram now lets businesses of all sizes deliver seamlessly integrated full-screen Stories ads to a highly targeted audience.
In this article, you’ll discover three ways to use Instagram Stories ads.
About Instagram Stories Ads
Instagram stories appear above users’ Instagram feeds and are available for viewing for 24 hours. Stories play continuously, advancing from one user’s story to the next. Instagram Stories ads appear between stories from two different users whom you follow. They’re for mobile placement only; they don’t show up on desktop.
These ads are seamlessly integrated into the platform, which is a great advantage for businesses. The ads are labeled “Sponsored,” but the text is so small that many users are likely not to even notice.
The biggest disadvantage is that the ads are truly disappearing. Unlike other ads (and stories), viewers can’t go back to watch them again. You have to make sure your content is engaging and interesting enough that it sticks with your audience long enough to make an impact.
Although you create Instagram Stories ads using Facebook’s exceptional ad system (including their phenomenal targeting), they’re unlike any other type of ad format, so you need to approach them in a different way.
Some particularly important best practices for Instagram Stories ads include:
Use clear, large branding. Because users can’t check your ad later on, you need to get your point across quickly and let people know where to find you afterward. To help your business’s name stand out, use clear text that contrasts with the image or video. This will help users know whom to look up later.
Keep the concept simple. Again, users can’t rewind or watch Instagram Stories ads again, so keep the concept of your ad simple so they can follow the idea easily.
Take advantage of the full screen. Unlike any other ad formats, your story ad will fill up the entire screen on the viewer’s phone. To make the most of this, use full-length vertical images that could otherwise be cropped in regular posts. You can use the extra room to provide brand information and calls to action (CTAs).
What types of content will perform best with Instagram Stories ads and what’s the most effective way to use them? Here are three use cases that work well with this ad format.
#1: Drive Brand and Product Awareness
Driving brand and product awareness is a great use for Instagram Stories ads, which makes sense considering Reach is the objective you use when creating your campaign. Choose an image or a quick video to capture users’ attention. Also display your brand’s name prominently enough to pique their interest so they go looking for your business after viewing the ad.
Target used the Instagram Stories ad below to display the image of a board game, its name, and the price. The ad is quick and to the point, and the image is attention-grabbing enough to create product awareness and get users to look up the item after the ad disappears.
#2: Call for UGC
User-generated content (UGC) is the most influential form of media for marketing because businesses don’t create it, users do. While you can’t create it, you can encourage your audience to get creative.
You can use Instagram Stories ads as a call for users to create UGC. Because most users like to be prompted about what types of content you’re looking for, this is a great opportunity to get a ton of engagement and UGC created just for your business.
#3: Announce Discount Sales
Everyone loves a sale, and using an Instagram Stories ad to announce a discount or sale is a surefire way to grab users’ attention quickly.
Express used this story ad to announce a 40% off (almost) everything sale, and they put the sale exceptions in small text underneath the larger announcement text to cover their bases.
Create Your Own Instagram Stories Ads
You create Instagram Stories ads with Facebook’s ad system, either through Power Editor or Ads Manager. You need to choose Reach as your objective, which is currently the only objective enabled for Instagram Stories ads.
After you choose your page and audience, set the placement. Select the Edit Placements option, and then click on the down arrow next to Instagram and select Stories.
Under the creatives, choose either a single image or a single video; you can’t use any other type of visual format for these ads. The recommended image size is 1080 x 1920 pixels, or an image ratio of smaller than or equal to 9:16.
Unlike other ad types, you won’t be adding a link to your site or CTA buttons. Include anything you want users to know as image text overlay.
Instagram Stories ads are a new ad format that most businesses haven’t had access to on any platform. While Snapchat does offer somewhat similar ads, they’re too expensive for the majority of small- and medium-sized businesses.
Now you have (or will soon have) the ability to run quick, seamlessly integrated video and image ads between other users’ stories on a platform known for its high engagement and incredible ad targeting potential. These ads are accessible to businesses of all sizes and can help improve the results of your Instagram marketing efforts.
What do you think? How will you use Instagram Stories ads for your business? Which use cases do you think will be most effective? Share your thoughts, knowledge, and experience in the comments below!
May 1, 2017 at 10:06PM