Since they were launched in March 2017 Instagram stories have taken off! There has been an explosion of creative and innovative advertising from a variety of brands leading to the platform posing a serious threat to Snapchat. Today, there are more than 1 billion active Instagram accounts worldwide each month and over 500 million accounts are active every day. An incredible 300 million accounts use Instagram Stories every day and a third of the most viewed stories are from businesses. Seriously, it’s time to get in on this!
First off, here’s a little explainer of what an Instagram ad story is. Advertisers can post videos or images that last up to 15 seconds and appear as a full-screen story between other people’s stories as they’re being viewed on Instagram. Ads will have a sponsored label below the handle. In terms of functionality, advertising stories are very much the same as organic stories, however they do not disappear after 24 hours and run the same way as feed ads.
For any of you that haven’t taken the plunge yet, or that are still experimenting, here’s what you need to know about how to advertise with Instagram story ads:
1.There is no one way to create an Instagram story ad – the storyline and strategy of your ad should define your production approach. This means that the story and the message you are trying to convey is key – have a plan in place before you start.
2. Creativity is key – make sure you use Instagram’s arsenal of tools and features when creating your story ad. After all, they’re there for a reason. Emojis, stickers, handwriting and overlays are all at your creative disposal. Overlays can be particularly useful if you don’t want to create everything from scratch. Consider using Live video, Boomerang, superzoom, rewind, and stop-motion. You can also create visual excitement by breaking the frame up into smaller canvases.
3. Make sure your brand plays a role at the centre of your story ad – this one is particularly easy for people to miss. Make sure that you show your brand within the first 3 seconds of the story and make sure that the story enhances your brand – after all it is an advert. It’s useful to show your brand at the end too.
4. Keep things intimate – Instagrammers love relatable content, therefore seek to keep a level of intimacy in your advertising. Instagram story ads work well for product launches, behind the scenes and product inspiration. They’re also great for showcasing limited-time opportunities such as sales and exclusive experiences.
5. Use deep links and a call-to-action – by adding a link to your Instagram story advert you can drive traffic to your website through swipe-able links. We recommend that you add a call to action to encourage viewers to do so.
6. Your story doesn’t end with stories – what we’re trying to say here is that you should be using all of the creative space on Instagram to tell your story. Use several different formats and variations of time. For example, you can use still images, videos, live videos and sharing. Make sure that you include all three format types (stories, feed and organic). You should also play around with boomerang and Hyperlapse.
7. Big ideas and stories matter – be bold with your story as long as it enhances your brand through being a relative story to your target audience
8. Be playful and test your creative – there is no single recipe to create a successful Instagram story ad, so the more you play the better. Spend some time to work out what features work for your brand and don’t be shy. Test out all of the available features to see how they can work for you.
There are quite a few things to think about here, but each of these points is another exciting way for you to advertise your brand. For those of you that are a bit daunted by Instagram stories, use this blog as a way to ignite your creative spark and build your confidence in your branding techniques. The key thing to remember is that your brand must be at the centre of your story and other than this to have fun with it!
It’s also worth knowing that in order to post Instagram story ads you need to have an Instagram profile for business.