2023 Instagram Stories Ads Success: Insider’s Guide (1/2)

With 500M+ daily users, Instagram Stories presents an incredible opportunity to connect with fresh audiences. If you’re not leveraging Stories for marketing, you’re missing out. Instagram reports that one-third of the most viewed stories belong to businesses. Personally, I’ve experienced the persuasive force of Instagram Stories. Recently, I stumbled upon an ad for Crest 3D Whitestrips while mindlessly scrolling. It included a $50 coupon, and I swiftly made the purchase without leaving the app. Let’s delve into Instagram Stories ads, how to run them for your business, and discover effective examples.

What exactly are Instagram Story ads?

Instagram Story ads are vertical ads specifically designed for Instagram’s Stories feature. Unlike regular Instagram Stories that disappear after 24 hours, Story ads offer extended visibility. These immersive ads seamlessly blend into a user’s Stories viewing experience, regardless of whether they follow your account.

You have various ad formatting options, including video, photo, or carousel ads. Video ads can be up to 15 seconds long, image ads play for five seconds, and carousel ads showcase three separate pieces of content in one ad.

Targeting options on Instagram allow you to optimize your ad campaigns for reach, video views, traffic, conversions, app installs, and brand awareness. Plus, you can choose the campaign length and ad frequency on Facebook’s ad platform.

Here’s why you should consider Instagram Story ads:

  • Instagram users have high disposable income, with 42% of U.S. users earning over $75k annually.
  • Instagram delivers the second-highest ROI among social channels for marketers.
  • Videos on Instagram generate 21.2% more interactions than images and 18.6% more interactions than carousels.
  • Instagram surpassed Twitter in business users in 2017, with 71% of U.S. businesses utilizing the platform.
  • Over 500 million Instagram users engage with the app daily.

Instagram Story Ads: Price, Specifications, and Length

For Stories ads, you can use the same photo and video dimensions as those used in the Feed (ranging from 1:91 to 4:5). However, it’s best to stick with the 9:16 ratio to ensure a perfect fit for the full-screen, vertical format of Stories.

When it comes to file types, .mp4 or .mov is recommended for video ads. While .jpg or .png is suggested for photo ads.

For video ads, aim for a maximum file size of 4GB, while photo ads should be around 30MB.

The duration of a video ad cannot exceed 120 seconds, while photo ads are typically shown for five seconds by default.

To achieve optimal quality, the recommended resolution is 1080 x 1920, with a minimum dimension of 600 x 1067.

Keep these specifications in mind to create compelling and visually appealing Instagram Stories ads!

On average, the cost per click for Instagram ads, including Instagram Story ads, falls within the range of $0.70 to $1.00. However, it’s important to note that the actual cost can vary significantly depending on various factors such as industry, days of the week, time of year, targeted demographics (ages and sexes), ad placement, and other relevant factors. In certain instances, the cost per click for Instagram ads can even surpass $5.00.

The good news is that you have substantial control over the cost of your ads by establishing a predetermined budget. You can select a budget based on your company’s daily spending capacity or the overall expenditure you are willing to allocate for a specific campaign’s duration.

Woman designing and posting Stories Ads for her business.

Best Practices for Instagram Story Ads

1. Keep an eye on the speed

According to Facebook, Instagram Stories are consumed at a faster rate compared to any other mobile format. Given the time constraint of 24 hours, before the content vanishes, people’s attention is significantly limited when browsing through Stories.

To make the most of this limited attention span, it is crucial to immediately engage viewers from the first frame and get straight to the point. Unlike other types of content, suspenseful approaches are generally ineffective in this context. This is mainly because images are restricted to a maximum duration of five seconds. While videos are limited to 120 seconds. Therefore, it is important to quickly convey your intended message and capture the viewer’s attention right away.

2. Include motion in your advertisement

According to Facebook, “ads that use motion perform better.” Motion captures the attention of the audience and allows you to tell a story faster than you could with a static image. Even if you’re using animation, think about how you can incorporate motion to create more engaging content.

3. Make sure your advertisement includes sound

Sound is enabled for approximately 60% of Instagram Stories views, making it essential to leverage sound in your ads to provide maximum value to your audience. To captivate viewers in a unique manner, consider incorporating music, sound effects, or voice-overs. Exploring these options can help you discover effective ways to grab viewers’ attention.

If you’re uncertain about which types of sound will work best for your ad, conducting A/B testing can be highly beneficial. This approach allows you to compare different variations of your ad, enabling you to determine the sound elements that resonate most with your audience. By experimenting and analyzing the results, you can gain insights into the sound preferences of your target audience.

4. Rather than attempting to repurpose an existing ad created for another vertical, create your ad for Stories first

While it may be tempting to directly copy and paste an ad created for the Facebook or Instagram news feed, doing so may lead to a suboptimal experience for viewers of your ad in Instagram Stories. Several factors contribute to this, including the possibility that your ad does not adhere to the recommended Instagram Story sizing guidelines, causing important elements to be cropped out. Furthermore, to maximize effectiveness, it is crucial to explore and utilize features unique to Stories.

To avoid these issues, it is important to optimize your ad specifically for Instagram Stories. Adhering to the appropriate sizing guidelines will ensure that your ad is fully visible and engaging. Additionally, take advantage of the exclusive features available in Stories to enhance the impact of your ad and create a compelling experience for the viewers. Simply transferring an ad from the news feed may overlook the opportunities and functionalities that Stories offer.

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