Introduced in 2013, Instagram stories have become an essential feature to the platform. Instagram stories offer users and businesses the ability to share a vertical, full-screen post that disappears after 24 hours. In January 2019 Instagram reported that 500 million Instagram accounts use stories every day. It’s clear that Instagram stories opportunities are for the taking!
How Instagram stories appear on mobile.
Located on the top of the screen on mobile and the right-hand side on desktop, these mini insights into people’s lives are easily accessible, and simply require a tap to progress to the next story.
How Instagram stories appear on desktop.
With multiple different ways to take photos and video and additional “stickers” to add once taken, there are several ways Instagram users can interact with one another. Users can add their location; tag a friend or business; add a hashtag; add a GIF; add the time; create a poll; be asked questions; add a countdown; add a rating slider; ask a quiz; add the temperature; take an extra photo.
When it comes to Instagram stories ads the focus is on vertically optimised content, ideally video, to capture the attention of your audience. According to internal Instagram data 1/3 of the most viewed Instagram stories are from businesses, with 50% of businesses worldwide creating at least one story in a typical month.
Taking your first Instagram story is easy! On your Instagram feed or Instagram profile page you will be able to see a small plus sign on your profile photo thumbnail. If you tap the plus sign you will be taken to the Instagram story camera and be able to take your first photo. Alternatively, when on your Instagram feed, swipe left where you will be taken to the camera. There are also a host of effects such as Boomerang, Superzoom, Focus, Text, Music and more. All unique ways to engage with your audience.
The additional ‘stickers’ available for Instagram stories
German fashion brand JOOP! partnered with influencer Toni Mahfud to create an engaging Instagram stories video campaign offering users the chance to win a signed t-shirt from the Toni Mahfud x JOOP! collection. The video focused around this campaign, displaying the range clearly, keeping both Toni and the collection in clear view. During the campaign’s duration from April 7th – May 20th 2018 campaign ad recall increased by 60% and the cost per person reached decreased by 27%.
Similarly, Dineout India created a series of Instagram stories campaign with the objective of app installs. The ads focused around the kinds of food and drink diners might experience at one of the restaurants they could book through the Dineout app, as well as including an enticing offer. This campaign ran for 5 months between July and December 2018, resulting in a 17% decrease in cost per app install and a 39% decrease in cost per purchase.
The Instagram story ad that Joop ran.
These campaigns were Instagram stories at their most basic too. 60% of businesses on Instagram use an interactive element in their organic stories every month. It’s no wonder then why Instagram has now introduced these engaging features to stories ads! Beginning with just the polling sticker, this new era of Instagram interactivity will help bring users and businesses closer together. Not only will you gain a better insight into your customer but in 9 out of 10 of the beta campaigns, the polling sticker increased three-second video views. Dunkin’ Donuts even achieved a 20% lower cost per video view with the polling sticker and Next Games’ poll drove 40% more app installs.
The Instagram story ad that Dineout_India ran.
The best part is, it’s no more difficult to add a poll to an Instagram story. Start by selecting just stories in the placements section at the ad set level.
The placement settings you need to select when creating an interactive Instagram story ad.
Then, when you come to the ad creative you will have the option to add an interactive poll. Simply tick the box and fill out the question, options, shape and position of the sticker.
The settings available when creating an Instagram Stories ad.
You can also play around with the stories background for an added level of personalisation and branding.
At their simplest, you can opt for the majority of ads to appear as an Instagram story. When ‘automatic placements’ is selected images and videos will also show on Instagram stories, with the customary ‘sponsored’ tag underneath your Instagram username. It is important to keep in mind that while they will appear on Instagram stories, they won’t be optimised to the correct dimensions.
If you have Instagram stories optimised content it is possible to use that on the same ad. When you have selected the original creative you wish to use, you will see an option allowing you to select alternative creative for a different placement.
Once you have selected the stories optimised content that will run for that ad on that placement once the ad is approved and live.
Instagram stories offers businesses the ability to be both creative and interactive when creating a new ad campaign. How will you leverage Instagram stories ads to your advantage? Perhaps you have a burning question you want to ask your audience, add a poll and find out! Maybe you’re not seeing the results you want, but notice you have better results on Instagram. Why not try an Instagram story optimised ad to tap into that particular audience?
Here at Upbeat, we’re excited to see what Instagram adds next and how this could be used in some dynamic ad campaigns!