After rolling out stories nearly one year ago, Instagram has sparked criticism for allegedly copying their competitor, Snapchat, but above anything it has completely changed and advanced the storytelling capabilities for users and brands alike. Because most brands already have the majority of their following on Instagram it is an easier resource to tell their story because they don’t have to ask users to move to another platform.
Beyond organic Instagram Stories, Instagram has also implemented paid advertisements on stories. These stories allow advertisers to design and implement ads using Facebook Business Manager, the same platform they use to create traditional Facebook and Instagram ads.
Instagram stories are the perfect first touch for a brand to build awareness with their target audiences. It’s lighthearted, immersive and allows people to get familiar with your brand in a low pressure environment.
There are many different ways to use make your ads stand out in Instagram stories but the first step is developing thumb stopping creative:
Not A Graphic Design Wiz? Use The Resources Available To You!
Many brands have found success by using resources available to them that are already within the application. Spice up your image with Instagram stickers or emojis. One huge benefit of this is that it fits in more naturally with Instagram stories and won’t disrupt a user’s experience.
Whether it’s a static image or a quick video, adding some emojis will make it more eye catching and add more depth to your advertisement with just a couple clicks of a button.
Keep It Natural
Be sure to have a pulse on what kind of things your target audience is posting on their stories. Although you want to stand out, you don’t want to turn them off with content that doesn’t feel natural to the Instagram story experience.
Mimicking the style of a organic Instagram story will decrease the likelihood of a user clicking past your advertisement and help you gain exposure. Use handwritten text to give it a personalized touch and keep it from appearing over produced and sales oriented.
For Example, Marc Jacobs fragrances uses imagery that is similar to what they typically post in their feed but it is not an exact mirror image of it.
If your brand does influencer outreach consider using some of their imagery or videos for your stories! This way the ad creative will have human touch instead of it feeling like it just came from a brand.
Influencers have huge impact when it comes to building brand awareness and often can speak to your target audience effortlessly.
Pro tip: Make sure you have full permission to use other people’s content before implementing these ads
Make Sure It’s An Extension Of Your Organic Efforts On Instagram
Does your brand’s Instagram feed have a really specific aesthetic? Do you always use certain emojis? Make sure you maintain your brand’s identity when creating stories, so that if users click-through to your profile you have a clear representation of your personality as a brand. Having ads that don’t speak to your brand means you risk having users click-through to your profile or website with the wrong expectation of what they are going to find.
Your instagram stories shouldn’t be a mirror image of the content on your feed but it should complement it to create a more holistic view of who you are as a brand. Just because something works for one brand, doesn’t mean it will work for yours or align with your efforts so don’t buy into every trend you see.
Use The Extra Screen Space To Your Advantage
One huge difference between Instagram story ads and Instagram newsfeed ads is the extra real-estate stories take up. You have the opportunity to capture your audience’s interest with an immersive, full-screen advertisement. This extra space grows your opportunity to truly immerse them in your brand’s experience.
By creating an advertisement that sparks excitement you are able to capture your audience’s attention in a distraction free environment, even if it is only for 15-seconds or less. The format of Instagram stories may seem daunting at first but using strategic design will allow you to maximize every millimeter of space to truly tell a story.
- Direct the user’s eye using text or fun imagery
- Include a call to action to encourage users to click through to your page.
- Don’t be afraid to be direct, sometimes including arrows to what action you want users to do next is the best way to get them to click through.
Take Advantage Of All The Media Options Available To You – Including Sound!
Beyond giving you a unique canvas to create your advertisement on, Facebook claims that most users go to watch stories with the intent of being immersed in content. They recently found that nearly 60% of users turn their sound on when watching stories meaning that they have intent to be engaged when clicking on this feature.
If you choose to include sound in your video the chances are very high that users will actually be listening to what your ad has to say. So go ahead and include music, conversation or sound effects that will grab their attention.
MOST IMPORTANTLY… Don’t be afraid to PLAY! There is no secret recipe for the perfect Instagram Story advertisement just have fun and represent your brand in a positive light.