Instagram Stories Ads have quickly become a popular format for social advertisers. 96% of US marketers surveyed plan to continue using Stories Ads in the next six months and 50% of businesses on Instagram worldwide create at least one story during a typical month.
Stories are an ephemeral, visual experience within Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp. They offer an immersive, full-screen experience optimized for mobile viewing. Because stories disappear after 24 hours, users are motivated to share candid moments throughout their day.
Very soon after Stories were launched on Facebook and Instagram, Stories Ads become available for marketers. And now, according to Facebook, one-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses.
In the recent article for TotalRetail.com, Marketers See the Full-Funnel Potential of Instagram Stories Ads, Skai’s SVP of Marketing, Margo Kahnrose, says that she has seen a lot of marketer interest in this new ad format based on their versatility in terms of how they can for different goals of the media plan.
“Anecdotally, what I keep hearing from our social brand and advertising agency clients about Instagram Stories ads is that they’re a good format for both branding and direct response,” writes Kahnrose. “They lend themselves well to branded storytelling and discovery. For many prospective customers, Stories represent their first exposure to a new brand.”
In just a few short years in existence, Instagram Stories Ads are now clearly on the minds of ad buyers as validated by eMarketer, which reported that “Instagram Stories ranked third on a list of social media marketing features and strategies that were used most by social media marketers (at 47 percent) in North America,” and “ … that 64 percent of U.S. senior ad buyers it surveyed advertised or planned to advertise in Instagram Stories in H2 2018, up from 60 percent in H1 2018 and 48 percent in 2017.”
Instagram Stories Ads are full-funnel
Over the last five years, social advertising has moved beyond an engagement channel and has begun to get closer to the point-of-sale at the bottom of the funnel. Social commerce is now an extremely viable option with many retailers who might have once seen social as just a top-fo-funnel awareness driver.
Thus, Instagram Stories Ads seem to be hitting their stride at just the right time.
Writes Kahnrose “…as an ad format, Stories ads seem to serve multiple purposes at different points in the funnel — branding, direct response, and cross-channel influence. This makes them an incredibly valuable and useful addition to any marketing portfolio to drive shoppers to buy, especially now.”
Best practices for Instagram Stories Ads
Facebook shares the following best practices for maximizing success using the ad format:
Use speed as a creative tool. Things move fast in stories. Try to land your message and showcase your brand quickly. Experiment with creating succinct narratives.
Two (or more) scenes are better than one. Any single story can contain several quick chapters, scenes or moments. Offering faster cuts from one moment to the next can help keep people engaged with your story.
Don’t forget the sound. Sound-on for Stories Ads is more common than feed ads. Enhance your story with elements like music, dialogue or sound effects.
Bookend your brand. Land your product, brand or message at the beginning of your story and then use the end card to reinforce before viewers move on.
Play more. Stories are still an emerging format. Experiment and iterate to learn what works for you and your audience.
For more information, read the Skai best practices ebook
As advertisers follow consumers to their preferred content, Stories Ads are quickly becoming an important new ad format for marketers to master. In a Skai eBook, you can learn creative best practices for developing compelling Stories Ads that drive marketing performance.
Also check out the Skai webinar, What’s Your Story, for more information on this topic.