10 april 2019 0 comments reading time: 12 minutes

Ads on Instagram Stories: what it is and how it works

In this article, you’ll find out what advertising in Stories is and how to use it to attract potential customers on Instagram.

Since 2018, Instagram enabled running special advertisements in “Stories”. You can run them in full-screen mode which advertisers consider surprising because now you can display more information in one post. And this does not exclude regular advertising in users’ feeds.

Of course, regular feed advertising remains the same and is still effective. But we must admit that users are quite bored by regular advertising, therefore, it is no longer considered innovation.

Besides, competition between advertisers on Instagram. Advertising in “Stories” is designed to reduce fever pitch about Instagram advertising.

Instagram Stories

Advertising formats in Stories

As you may know, Stories from users are shown at the top part of the screen right above your feed. If you press on a userpic there, you will see their photos or videos in full screen. This is a large benefit that a user watching a story is not distracted by the feed content.

A publication can stop independently after a certain period of time or if a user stops it. So that a user is involved in an endless stream of pictures and videos.

Advertisements are shown in a mix with user stories. The wisdom is to organically blend your advertisements into stories of people your audience is following.

Of course, you can not confuse organic content and an advertisement because ads are marked with a specific sign. Besides, you can insert a link to the target website in an advertisement. “Organic” users can also insert links but only if your account is verified or if you have over 10 thousand followers.

To follow the advertised link, you only need to click on it. A link can direct you anywhere – to a blog, a catalog, a news article…

Formats of Ads

What advertisements in Instagram Stories are created for

Previously, you could only specify one of the four targets for your advertisements in “Stories”. Now there are seven of them:

  1. Brand awareness. With this target, you can increase awareness of potential customers about the brand.
  2. Reach increase – in this case, your ad will be shown to the maximum number of Instagram users.
  3. Video views. You can reach the maximum number of users with a video clip.
  4. Conversion rate increase. Thanks to this target, the number of conversions will increase in relation to the number of ads impressions.
  5. The application installs – this target is useful if you want to increase the number of downloads of your application.
  6. Leads generation. With this target, you can encourage users to share their contact information with you.
  7. Finally, traffic acquisition. You can simply drive the maximum audience volume to your website.

You can create ads in “Stories” in three ways: via CreativeHub, AdsManager or by Instagram tools which are now being tested.

About Stories

How to launch an advertising campaign on Instagram Stories

Regardless of what tool is chosen, you firstly need to specify one of the abovementioned targets for your ads.

Then, you need to name your advertising group, specify the payment method, select audience, set up targeting and specify a budget.

Placements are set up automatically. However, you can edit them via settings in the menu: “Edit placement” – “Instagram Story”.

Special attention is always paid to ad targeting. The success of your campaign depends on how accurate your audience settings are. But don’t go too far: if you narrow your targeting, you may not reach your audience. Then, you only need to accept all changes and launch your campaign.

Ads in Stories

Advertising placements

Advertisements in “Stories” are a unique placement. It gives advertisers new opportunities and scale for creativity. Don’t be greedy and dedicate some time to create a unique advertisement which will stand out of other stories and, which is more important, will look different from the ones of your competitors. Here are the requirements for advertisements depending on their format:

  • A picture – this should be a 16:9 image with an image resolution of 1080*1920 pixels. It is highly desirable that your image contains text which does not take over 20% of the image space.
  • A carousel – this format combines several photographs which are displayed in a sequence. Requirements here are the same as for photographs.
  • A video clip – the only requirement is on a duration (no more than 15 seconds). The aspect ratio is also 9 to 16. The size limit of a file is 4 gigabytes.

Currently, the most effective format is video. But it is only effective if the sound is on. You should also bear in mind that you can not dabble when making a quality video. This should be a full-fledged video which was carefully recorded and assembled. A user always sees botchery and this will hardly help make the campaign effective.

Formats of Stories

Using customized or look-alike audiences

To avoid skipping your advertisements in Instagram “Stories”, do not target your ads on an uninterested audience. You can set up targeting based on:

  • files with contact information;
  • website traffic – that is, ads are shown to users who visited a website;
  • activity in applications;
  • offline activities – for instance, if a customer previously made purchases in an offline store;
  • engagement – ads are shown to the audience who interacts with your content on Facebook or Instagram.

If you carefully use all instruments of “Instagram Stories”, you can get a really powerful commercial tool for promotion.


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