Ah, Instagram Stories – a one-stop-shop for finding short, entertaining material from high school pals, celebrities, and big businesses alike.

Instagram Stories, with over 500 million daily active users, is an undeniably powerful platform to connect with new audiences. And if you’re not utilizing Instagram Stories as a marketing tool, you should be. In fact, according to Instagram, one-third of the most viewed stories come from businesses among the 500 million accounts using Instagram Stories.

I can personally attest to the impact of Instagram Stories on product purchases. For example, I was going through my Instagram Stories when I came across an ad – with a $50 off coupon attached. I swiped up right away to purchase without even leaving the app itself.

Let’s look at what Instagram Story advertising is and how to create Instagram Story advertisements for your business. We’ll also look at examples of Instagram Story ads as well as best practices to help you get the most out of your campaigns

What are Instagram story ads, and how do they work?

Instagram Stories are vertical advertisements that you may post on Instagram’s stories feature. (To summarize, Instagram Stories are photographs and videos available for 24 hours to an Instagram account’s audience separate from the material on your profile.)

Instagram lets you target your advertising by reach, video views, traffic, conversions, app installs, and brand awareness. An Instagram Story ad differs from an organic Instagram Story in that it does not time out after 24 hours; instead, you may pick the length of the campaign and the number of times Facebook’s ad platform will show advertisements like any other ad

An Instagram Story ad is included seamlessly into a user’s current Stories viewing experience. In addition, your brand does not need to be followed by a user in order for her to see an advertisement from you.

You have a few alternative ad formatting options, including video, photograph, and carousel. A video ad lasts up to 15 seconds, an image ad plays for 5 seconds, and a carousel ad allows companies to play three distinct bits of content (video, pictures, or both) inside one advertisement.

Consider these points if you aren’t sold on running advertising on Instagram Stories yet:

  • Users of Instagram have a lot of disposable income. In fact, 42% of US Instagram users earn more than $75,000 per year.
  • Instagram is the social media platform with the second-greatest return on investment for marketers.
  • Videos on Instagram receive 21.2% more interactions than images and 18.6 percent more interactions than carousels, according to data from Conductor.
  • Instagram is the most popular social network for small and medium-sized businesses in the United States, with 77% using it. It has surpassed Twitter in business users in 2017.
  • 500 million Instagram users use the app daily.

If you’re convinced Instagram advertisements could be a good fit for your business, let’s look at how to create your own Instagram Story ads.

How to Create Instagram Story Ads

1. Click “Create” in the Ads Manager to obtain a new quick creation. If you’d rather, you may use “Guided Creation.”

In your Ads Manager, click "Quick Creation" to run an Instagram Story ad.

2. Pick your objective. You have a few options for Instagram Stories objectives: “Brand Awareness,” “Reach,” “Video views,” “Conversions,” “App installs,” and “Lead Generation.”

Select a marketing objective in your Ad Manager tool to run an Instagram Story ad.

3. Select “Automatic Placements” in the Placements section, where Instagram Stories is selected by default. However, if you select “Manual Placements,” ensure that the box for “Stories” under Instagram is checked.

Choose whether you want to manually place your Instagram Story ads in front of audiences, or automatic placement.

4. Set your ad’s budget and schedule. 

Set a budget and schedule for your Instagram ad.

5. Choose “Single Image or Video” or “Carousel” for your ad’s format next.

Choose Single Image or Video, or Carousel, for your Instagram Story ad.

6. After you’ve finished, click the “Publish ad” button. Add any additional information, such as a headline and description, after that. You may also opt for Stories Templates to transform your picture into an ad automatically and add movement to grab the attention of viewers.

Add videos or images to your Instagram Story ad in your Media section.

7. If you’re satisfied with your ad, select “Confirm” to complete the process.

When you're ready to run your Instagram Story ad, click "Confirm".

Instagram Story Ads: Cost, Specs, & Length

There are three possible locations to post an ad on Instagram: Stories, Feed, and Explore.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll concentrate on the cost, features, and length of an Instagram Stories ad.

The size of all feeds’ photos and videos can be used in Stories (anywhere from 1:91 to 4:5). 9:16 ratio, on the other hand, is suggested to fit the full-screen, vertical format of Stories.

For video advertisements, .mp4 or.mov is preferable, and for picture advertisements, .jpg or.png are better choices.

4GB file size is recommended for a video ad, while 30MG file size is advised for a picture.

The maximum duration for a video ad is 120 seconds. For a photo ad, the default length is five seconds.

Finally, the ideal resolution is 1080 x 1920 with a minimum size of 600 x 1067.

Instagram advertisements, including Instagram Story ads, typically cost between $0.70 and $1.00 per click – although costs vary based on industry, days of the week, time of year, targeted ages and sexes, ad placement, and a variety of other variables. Instagram advertising may sometimes reach over $5 per click. Fortunately, you have a lot of control over how much your advertisements cost since you can establish a firm budget in advance.

Instagram Story Ads Best Practices

It’ll take a tremendous amount of effort to stand out and generate results when there are four million active advertisers on Stories as of January 2020.

Let’s look at some best practices for creating your own Instagram Story ad.

1. Pay attention to speed.

According to Facebook, Instagram Stories are read more quickly than any other mobile format. When people read Stories, their attention is severely limited, especially because the material has a 24-hour time limit before disappearing.

Because of this, you’ll want to make sure you get right to the point and capture a viewer’s attention from the first frame. Suspense is seldom successful in video because pictures can’t go beyond five seconds, and videos have a 120-second duration limit. You should be able to swiftly convey your message and lead your audience directly into it.

2. Include motion in your ad.

“Ads that utilize motion perform better,” according to Facebook. Motion may be used to attract the attention of your audience and help you convey a narrative more quickly than static images might. Consider how you may include movement in your content to make it more engaging if you’re using animation.

3. Ensure you’re using sound in your ad.

The majority of stories are watched with the sound on, therefore you’ll want to make sure your ad includes sound in order to deliver maximum value to your audience. Consider how you may use music, sounds effects, or voice-over to pique people’s attention in a different way. If you’re unsure which types of sound are ideal for your advertisement, experiment by comparing two versions side by side.

4. Create your ad for Stories first rather than attempting to repurpose an existing ad from a different vertical.

It’s easy to copy-and-paste your existing Facebook or Instagram news feed ad, but people browsing your ad on Instagram Stories may get a subpar experience. For one thing, you might not be following Instagram Story sizing rules correctly, causing significant pieces of your ad to be removed. You’ll also want to experiment with unique elements available only in Stories so that your advertising is as effective as possible.

5. Use your call-to-action wisely.

Ultimately, if you don’t include a clear call-to-action in your Instagram Stories ad, it won’t be effective. Depending on your objective, you might utilize words like “Learn More” or “Shop Now,” which urge visitors to act.

6. To emphasize a key message, insert text.

In general, including text is a good idea for accessibility because it aids people who are deaf or hard of hearing in comprehending your ad’s message. Text can also be used to emphasize important points.

7. Test out mobile shots.

“Mobile images outperform studio ones for ad recall and intent, while studio shots tend to result in higher brand awareness,” Facebook claims. As a result, you might as well shoot and edit your videos on your phone since that’s where most users consume Instagram content. And don’t be hesitant to A/B test this concept for your own company; in case of doubt, don’t be afraid to D/A it!

8. Time to give it a try!

That’s all there is to it! You’re now prepared to start developing your own inspiring Instagram Story ad. Just keep in mind that you are the world’s greatest expert on your brand and audience. These best practices and examples can help, but feel free to A/B test different strategies until you discover what works best for your company’s goals and social media objectives. Have fun!