Instagram stories launched in August 2016 and grew in popularity with over 400 million accounts using them today. They were added to Facebook and WhatsApp last year with over 300 million people using stories every day in Facebook Stories. With that amount of engagement, it’s no surprise that Ads in Instagram Stories followed quickly in Instagram and more recently in Facebook. With that many users, Story Ads make sense to test in Stories on both channels to engage with users where they are already engaged.
If you are unfamiliar with what Stories are, they are basically SnapChat copycats. They are videos or photos that stream together to tell, well, a story. These images or videos are gone after 24 hours. Check out this post for Instagram Stories and this one for Facebook Stories to understand how users post and view Stories. Businesses can also post their own Stories. You can create Story Ads in Facebook Ads Manager, but more on that below.
Benefits of Story Ads
- This is a different placement option that can help you reach younger audiences that are more likely to create and peruse Stories.
- You are able to connect with an audience that is already engaged in viewing stories.
- You ad delivers in fullscreen, giving you more space on mobile devices. They are designed to be vertical, based on how most users naturally hold their phones.
- Stories are engaging and just downright fun.
- Unlike Organic stories, Story Ads do not disappear after 24 hours.
- Several brands have reported that they are seeing more customer actions at a lower cost.
- In a recent Ipsos survey, 62% of people indicated that they were more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a story. And that right there is the #1 reason Story Ads should be part of your sales funnel.
Objective Types Available
The following campaign objective types are available for both Facebook and Instagram:
- Brand Awareness
- Video views
- App Install
- Lead generation
How To Create Story Ads
- In Ads Manager, use Guided Creation or Quick Creation to create a campaign using one of the above objectives.
- In your ad set, Stories are selected by default in the Placements section.
- Complete your ad set targeting.
- Create your ad. The recommended ratio for Facebook Stories is 9:16 to 1.91:1 and for Instagram is 9:16 and 4:5 to 1.91:1.
Tips for Your Stories
- Remember that Stories are quick. Include your brand upfront.
- Stories are meant to have multiple chapters, so to speak. Include at least two scenes. The more you have to tell the story and keep viewers engaged, the better.
- Sound is important and will help communicate your story. Use music, dialogue and sound effects to your advantage.
- End your Story with your brand.
- Test, test and test to see what works!
Ad Creation in the Interface
If you don’t have the resources available for videos, you still have options as Facebook will create the Story for you.
Single Images Turned into Stories
Select a single image from your library or from Facebook’s inventory. You can edit the background color. And, you can use horizontal images, but look at all that wasted space!
This is preferred over the single images turned into a Story. Select “Use Templates” to get help creating your own video.
From there, you’ll be guided to choose your theme (holiday or standard) and the goal for the video:
From there, just keep going through the guided creation tool and your video will be created in no time.
Lastly, you can use the guided creation tool to create slideshows, using the same steps outlined above.
I found that the easiest way to see how Stories performed is via the Ads Reporting tool. Simply create a placements report.
Here is a sample report for one of my clients for their brand awareness campaigns. As you can see the volume is less, but the CPCs are significantly less and the CTRs are higher for their Story Ads.
If Story Ads aren’t currently part of your brand or direct marketing efforts, they are certainly worth a test. You can read more about Stories, see more statistics surrounding their success and ad examples here. You might also want to read about Tech Crunch’s take on why Stories will become Facebook’s default soon enough.
Check out this post more tips on storytelling in ads.