Tips for Creating Better Ads in Instagram Stories

It’s not just you. Instagram Stories are mesmerizing. They capture your attention and keep you entertained.

In the first year of Instagram Stories (as of August 2017), the company reported that Stories helped users stay on the app longer and visit it more often. Instagram said users under 25 spend more than 32 minutes a day on Instagram, and users 25 and older spend more than 24 minutes a day on the platform. And one in five organic stories posted by businesses receive a direct message.

Advertising in Instagram Stories 

More than 300 million Instagram accounts now watch and create stories each day, so it’s an effective way for brands to engage their followers and build an active community. In addition to posting organic stories, you can also create ads to run within Instagram Stories. These ads allow up to three cards or pieces of media; photos will automatically display for five seconds and videos for up to 15 seconds.

Facebook IQ recently commissioned a study to figure out what elements made Instagram Stories ads most effective. Here’s a round-up of the study’s findings, plus some tips on how to use them in your brand’s ads.

Stay on topic.

Instagram Stories ads that performed well had a high ranking on relevance. They also fit the brand, were easy to understand and caught the attention of users.

Ask: Does this ad make sense for our brand? Is the topic relevant? Will users get it right away? Will it make them interested enough to keep watching?

Aim for short and fast-paced.

In general, top-performing ads were shorter and featured branding earlier than less successful ads. And ads with fast pacing and shorter scenes performed better than those with longer scenes.

Ask: How long is this ad? Can it be pared down more? Are we leading with the important message early on? Are we moving the narrative along quickly? What might bore a user in the first few seconds?

Show your product.

Though only about half of the ads tested displayed the advertised product in use, those that did had more successful key metrics.

Ask: Is it clear what product we’re advertising? Are we demonstrating the features or benefits of the product? Are we giving customer a compelling reason to buy the product? 

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