Here we continue with tips to create effective ads for Instagram stories.
6 tips for creating highly effective Instagram stories ads
You’ve made it through the how-to-set-up-your-ad section. Now for the enjoyable part: designing a stand out ad for users!
With so many Stories ads on the app, and the limited attention spans of viewers, it’s not enough to just craft a basic ad and hope for the best.
Here are six ideas for creating Instagram Stories ads that are (relatively) tap-proof.
Get attention with video Instagram Stories ads
In terms of advertising on social media, first impressions are everything. And on social media, video holds our attention five times more than an image.
Using a video ad gives you more time to get your pitch across, fifteen seconds to be exact, versus the five seconds of an image. Those fifteen seconds are your chance to present your product, with visuals that make customers laugh, or at least go, “what am I watching?”
The Instagram Stories video ad campaign by Waterdrop, a bottled water brand, is a strong example of using video to good impact. The campaign shows a bottle of water carried by an actor through a cityscape, reflecting the surroundings in the clear, delicious looking water. It’s easy, engaging, and simple to follow.
Use the carousel option for increased engagement
With carousel ads for Stories, you may include up to three “cards” in your ad. Each card can be an image, 15-second video, or mixed media. They are best for showing a number of merchandise or sequenced narratives.
Many huge brands, such as Gap, are using carousel ads on Instagram Stories to keep users engaged and take advantage of their ad time.
Create a consistent look
Developing your brand’s ‘voice’ is its own art kind. However when you’ve discovered yours, channel it into your Stories ads. This will make it easier for users to identify and keep in mind your product as they scroll through their Stories.
MeUndies, an inclusive underwear brand, is a great example of creating a consistent, accessible look tailored for their audience. With Instagram Stories ads that promote inclusion, diversity, and fun products, they are able to connect with users successfully and stay true to their brand.
Maximize the vertical space
Instagram Stories ads have a vertical layout. Use this to your advantage by creating an ad that covers the entire ad space. Crop and adjust images or videos so they match nicely into the vertical layout.
The mattress brand Simba is a superb example of a simple aesthetic that tells users a lot about the product in fifteen seconds or less. The graphics are clean and inviting, filling up the entire frame with an eye catching video of why their mattress is a great product.
Keep the ad copy short and sweet
Channel your inside Marie Kondo and keep in mind: litter is the enemy.
No matter whether you go for an image or video ad, always make the visuals the star and the messaging supplementary. Keep text minimal, with just enough information to intrigue users to “Swipe up” or get your message across.
The messaging should be easy to glance at and understand. In most cases, your brand’s short tag line, no more than ten words, is all the messaging your ad needs.
Fashion brand Morhipo launched a photo Instagram Stories ad campaign with their logo and branding featured in the ad in a clear, however not overly flashy, style. They saw a significant bump in user engagement, partly because their message was simple, balancing out the aesthetics in the rest of the ad.
Make your logo visible
Your ad should always include your brand’s logo. Position it (along with a tagline, if there is one) in the first several seconds of the video ad or on the image ad so it’s easy to spot. Also, try placing it in the center of the ad, diverting users away from the “sponsored” tag on the top right of the ad.
However, don’t make your logo gigantic. Users tend to click away when they realize they’re an ad.
Part of why ads like Waterdrop are so effective is that, due to the clever branding, users don’t realize they’re watching an ad until they’re already hooked.
Another good example is a Stories ad by the fitness brand GymShark. It features their branding on the clothing of the model, rather than on the ad itself. This is a clever method to showcase your brand without drawing too much attention to it.
Don’t make it look too polished
Instagram users are savy and will clock an ad that screams “AD” pretty quickly.
Stories ads that appear authentic and organic, as opposed to overly polished or produced, tend to have more staying power. Adding a level of personality, with a welcoming message and style, will also help your ad stand out.
Successful Stories ads avoid looking too much like an ad and more like a regular Stories post, with a logo and branding casually thrown in.
This is especially important in case your existing branding is already more casual. Deviating away from this vibe just because you’re paying for an ad could be confusing and cause users to tap away quickly.
The food delivery service Daily Harvest created Stories Ads that showcased their products in a simple, approachable way. The ads have food shots that look appetizing however not overly polished or retouched.
Always include a call to action
A call to action (CTA) can be set for a Stories ad before you publish it on the platform. Instagram provides several CTA options, such as “swipe for more,” “learn more” or “shop now.”
The Instagram-provided CTAs are branded buttons that aren’t too distracting or flashy. They are an effective way to compel users to take action once they land on your ad.
CTAs are key engagement tools that can boost the number of clicks, and sales, generated by your ad.
Frozen pizza brand CPK uses CTAs in their ads to encourage users to learn more about the delicious pizza featured in their Stories ad.
Note: One effective CTA is to encourage users to visit your website or another external page where you do most of your business, such as a Facebook page or an online shop. A direct link to an external site makes it easy for users to find out more about your brand or buy a product featured in your Stories Ad.
Boost your ads with music and audio
A silent ad on Instagram is a missed opportunity, as users tend to scroll through the app with the sound on. Grab users’ attention by including a snippet of music or audio to the ad. Maybe your brand already has a brand theme song or audio tag line that you can include.
You may also use audio from an existing branding campaign and integrate it into the Stories ad.
MeUndies uses upbeat, engaging music in its Stories ads, which pairs well with the overall aesthetic of its branding.
Track your performance
Once your Instagram Stories ad goes live, don’t just let it sit on the platform in social media limbo. Tap into tools like Instagram Stories Analytics to track how well your ad performs, looking closely at any increases in sales, unique hits, and overall traffic numbers.
Looking for more on Instagram Stories? Take a look at our posts on using Instagram Stories like a pro and reasons your Instagram Stories might not be converting.