How to Create Effective Instagram Stories Ads (1/2)

Last Updated on June 10th, 2020 at 4:30 pm

Instagram Stories Ads

Instagram Stories Ads are an awesome marketing tool, providing access to over 500 million users daily. One-third of the most viewed Stories come from businesses and60% of users discover new products through the platform.

With numbers like that, it might be tempting to throw up a random Stories Ad and wait for the clicks to come flying in. But, converting ad views into sales can be a challenge for brands, especially given all the ad content already on the app.

Never fear. We’ve compiled a guide on how to create engaging Instagram Stories Ads so your brand stands out from the crowd.

What are Instagram Stories ads?

Instagram Stories Ads exist within Instagram Stories and are shown as a commercial break between your friends’ and family’s video content. The only difference is that a brand has paid to place them there.

Stories ads are full-screen and vertical, same as Instagram Stories, and sit on the top of your Instagram News Feed. Like Instagram Stories, they may be still images or 15-second videos.

Instagram has seven objectives for Instagram Stories Ads, that you can choose when you build your ad:

  • Reach: Show your ad to as many audiences as possible
  • Video Views: Encourage as many people to view your video as possible
  • Traffic: Send the most amount of traffic to your website or page
  • Conversions: Drive conversion metrics like email signups or sales
  • Mobile App Installs: Get users to download and install your app
  • Lead generation: Open up a lead gen form that automatically fills out the users’ information

When you create an Instagram Stories Ad, you have to choose one of the seven marketing objectives to shape the tone and style of the ad.

Why use Instagram Stories ads?

Instagram Stories Ads look like regular Instagram Stories, blending in organically as users tap from video to video. This makes Instagram users generally more open to advertising compared to other platforms, especially if the ad is engaging and well-crafted.

Another benefit to Stories ads is the high number of users who could potentially engage with your brand. How does an advertising reach of849.3 million daily users sound? Probably like a solid return on investment (because it is).

And sure, you could post regular organic Instagram Stories from your brand’s business account any time (and you should have a strategy for that channel, too). But, Stories ads are particularly effective at helping you reach new people who don’t already follow you.

How to create Instagram Stories ads

Now that you know why it’s worth investing some time and energy into Instagram Stories Ads. Let’s find out how to create one from scratch.

1. Review the ad requirements

We will start by reviewing the Instagram Stories Ads requirements for size and layout. Following the guidelines will ensure your ad loads properly on the app.

An Instagram Stories image ad is required:

  • Image ratio of 9×16
  • Image resolution up to 1080 x 1920 pixels and no lower than 600 x 1067 pixels
  • Maximum file size of 30MB

Instagram Stories video ads requirements:

  • 4:5 vertical aspect ratio
  • Length of up to 15 seconds
  • File size of 4GB max
  • File type of .mp4 or .mov
  • Supported codecs of H.264, VP8

2. Link your Instagram account to your Facebook account

To start to advertise on Instagram with any kinds of Instagram ads, start by converting your existing Instagram account to a professional account, if you haven’t already. Then, connect your professional Instagram account to a Facebook page managed by your brand or business.

These two steps will give you access to Ads Manager, where you will build Instagram Stories ads.

To switch to a professional account:

  1. Open your profile and tap the hamburger menu in the upper right corner.
  2. Open Settings and then Account.
  3. Select Switch to Professional Account and choose Business.

Note: You can only connect one Facebook page to your professional Instagram account.

A professional Instagram account is a must if you want to build an audience for your business on social media. It allows you to access to business-specific tools like Instagram Stories Ads and Instagram Insights.

3. Create Instagram Stories Ads in Ads Manager

Ads Manager is an easy-to-use tool that is accessible through Facebook.

To create an Instagram Stories ad:

  1. Open Ads Manager on your Facebook page. Note: you will need to accept Facebook’s anti-discrimination policy to proceed to the page. Facebook ads manager dashboard open to Campaigns tab. Green "Create" button is in top left corner.
  2. Select Create. You can select between the Guided Campaign option and the Quick Creation option. We’re going to use the Guided Campaign option to show you how to create an ad from scratch. Dialog in Instagram ad manager that shows 2 options "Create complete campaigns" or "Create campaign shells"
  3. Pick the Facebook advertising objective that aligns with your marketing goal and select Continue. Instagram ads marketing objectives shown split into 3 categories: Awareness, Consideration, Conversion
  4. Set your ad’s budget and schedule.
    Campaign Budget Optimization tab with Daily budget set to $100 and Campaign Bid Strategy set to "Lowest cost"
  5. Select the Conversion for the ad. This is where you determine where the ad takes users: a website, or one of Facebook’s features like Messenger or WhatsApp. Conversion tab in Instagram ads creation process. Destination is set as "app", Optimization for Ad Delivery is set as "App Events"
  6. Choose the Audience for the ad. You can create a new audience or use a saved audience setting from other advertising you have done on Facebook or Instagram.
    Audience tab on Instagram ads creation process showing options for "Create New Audience" or "Use Saved Audience"
  7. In the Placements section, select Edit Placements and choose Instagram. Placements tab in Instagram Stories ads creation process, scrolled to the bottom. Instagram Stories is selected, along with "In-Stream", "In-Article", and "Apps and Sites"
  8. Optional: You can also select Automatic Placements, which will run your Stories ad across several Facebook Placements, including Instagram. This option will give you the most value, featuring your ad on Instagram and Facebook based on Facebook’s marketing algorithm.
  9. Select Single ImageSingle Video, or Carousel for the ad format. Instagram Stories ads choosing "Single Image or Video"
  10. Complete your ad by adding information about your ad’s identity, format, and any related links. Instagram Stories ads: selecting media for your ad
  11. Preview your ad again then submit it to Instagram for review.

Once your ad has been approved, confirm it will be shown in Instagram Stories. Your ad must comply with Facebook’s advertising policies to be approved and run on Instagram.



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