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Achieving Social Media Advertising Success: Instagram Story Ads

November 12, 2021
May 1, 2023

Achieving Social Media Advertising Success: Instagram Story Ads

Matt Mitchell

When it comes to social media advertising, there are many channels in which you can focus on to reach your target audience. One of the biggest, and arguably the most successful channels to advertise on, is Instagram. The biggest complaint I hear from businesses utilizing Instagram ads, specifically with the story placement, is that they are not seeing an ROI, and to that I say, you’re probably doing it wrong. Don’t fret though, I’m here to tell you how you can improve your interaction and ROI all while using Instagram Story Ads!

Before I get started, for those non-millennials out there, Instagram Stories are a feature within the Instagram app that allows you to share snippets of your day in a slideshow format that only stays on your profile for 24 hours. You can view the stories your friends have posted by launching the app and selecting from the, what seems to be a never-ending, list of users at the top of your home page. Instagram is always adding new features to make the story experience more enjoyable for all. When Instagram Stories first launched, there were no ads allowed, however as time has passed and the use of these stories has only increased, Instagram has now allowed you to purchase inventory in the Stories space. That’s enough background information, for now. Let’s take a deep dive into how you can be successful with Instagram Stories Ads!

Separate Ad Sets are Key

When you are running a story placement on an already made Instagram campaign, chances are you aren’t seeing much interaction as this placement is going up against every other placement you have selected. What I recommend doing is to set up an adset within your business manager that only uses Story Placement. Running the Story Placement as its own entity gives you the opportunity to create custom content specifically for story ad purposes.

Creating Story Worthy Content

My next piece of advice is simple. Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, use your normal ad creative for Instagram Story placements. Have a separate vertical creative that looks organic, as if a user was looking at something posted from their friends. That means no overproduced gimmicky commercials that work on television as these will not get you any engagement on Stories. Instead, have someone at your company take a selfie-esque video explaining a new product or the deals you have going on in-store. Users will think it is someone they know and in turn, they will receive your message instead of tapping through because it is an ad.

Use the Tools Provided

You don’t have to be a video editing genius to capitalize on Instagram Story Ads. In fact, Instagram and Facebook have incorporated many tools into their business manager platform to help you better create ads that convert.

Customize Video Tool

One of the first tools that are provided for you to edit your content is the video customization tool. Without any specialized knowledge needed, you can do a variety of things such as trim and crop your video. You can even pick the thumbnail if you are utilizing other placements (in a separate ad group of course).

Story Templates

One of the other new tools added are Story Templates! These are fun and imaginative ways you can turn even just an image ad into a magnificent video with some cool after effects and animation that can make you stand out amongst your competition. Hootsuite also has a variety of Free Instagram Story Templates to help you get started.

Instagram Story Templates | Red Shark Digital

Last But Not Least, Polls

Everyone loves thinking that their opinion matters, even when it doesn’t. This is why I always recommend enabling polls on your story ads. For example, if you are a beauty brand you can ask something simple such as Maybelline or NYX and increase engagement on an ad promoting your product. One thing to note about the polls is that there aren’t very editable and the text is a blue/green gradient and an orange/pink gradient so be sure to design your background image appropriately. Visit this blog by Later to see more creative ways to use Instagram Polls as seen in the image below!

Instagram Polls | Red Shark Digital

Go Tell Your Story

Now that you have these tips the time has come for you to tell your brand’s story! Capture the moments that make your brand who you are and have fun with it! That’s one of the biggest things I want you to take away from this. Stories are supposed to be fun and creative so let your creative juices flow when creating story ads. If you have any additional tips, be sure to let us know and for all other social media advertising news be sure to keep an eye out for future blogs from the RSD team! But hey, before you go check out 10 things you didn’t know about Instagram!

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