Understanding Instagram Stories Ads

March 12, 2018 · 3 min read

If you’re a brand looking to connect with customers in a visually stunning way, look no further than Instagram stories ads. With over a quarter million active users, Instagram Stories is growing fast and is a great place to engage your customers directly.

What Are Instagram Stories?

Instagram stories are a form of video and image slideshows that allows users to load multiple pieces of content throughout the day. and disappears after 24 hours. The focus is on creating a montage of sorts that surrounds a theme. A day at the beach? A fun night out with friends? The possibilities for users are endless.

Sound familiar? Snapchat had a similar feature. However, Instagram has emerged as the clear story platform of choice among marketers which is all the more reason it’s time to get on board with Instagram stories ads.

What Are Instagram Stories Ads?

A feature that Instagram rolled out in 2017 was the ability to promote ads. These ads are promoted in-between stories so while a user is browsing and watching, your ad appears. For businesses, Instagram stories ads are a great way to connect with customers with quick videos that advertise a relevant product, service or event.

How Do They Work?

Stories ads are short (15 seconds) videos that play in between user’s stories. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, the full power of Facebook’s ads manager is behind your campaign. This means that you can target a specific audience, control your budget, reach, and all other components of your campaign.

With Facebook’s ad manager, you can set a goal and track your ads performance as it unfolds.

What Kind of Videos Should I Use?

Since you’re limited with Instagram stories ads, your videos should be short (they must be) and to the point. Use these ads to announce or promote specific occasions, events, or product releases. Also, a 15 seconds general ad can do the work here too.

A few ideas might include:

  • A time-sensitive promotion such as a weekend sale, holiday special, or upcoming offer.
  • A teaser video that promotes an upcoming product or service launch to help generate interest.
  • Any information you want customers to have that can be communicated in short, easy to understand clips.

It’s important to note, yet again, that your ads are only 15 seconds long. Not only that, users cannot return to them later. For this reason, it’s important to make your message clear and easy to remember. There’s no use in advertising if your target audience can’t figure out what you’re trying to tell them or won’t be able to remember it to take action afterward.

Furthermore, your video needs to stand on its own merit. You will not have the opportunity to add additional information.

How Do I Create a Video for Stories Ads?

Instagram stories ads offer two options: a still image which appears on the screen for 10 seconds; or a video that may last up to 15 seconds long. While images can be lovely, videos ads are far more engaging and offer better conversion potential.

When creating your Instagram stories it is essential that you pay attention to the dimensions (size) of the video you are publishing. Instagram story dimensions are 1080 x 1920 or an aspect ratio of 9:16. That means vertical videos, aka holding your phone upright if you’re shooting your own footage. Instagram is strict about their size requirements so if you upload something that doesn’t fit, it will automatically be cropped or zoom in. Sometimes this can look perfectly fine while with other footage it can really kill elements of your content – so be careful.

Worried about how to make this happen? Creating videos has never been easier with Promo by Slidely. Our service offers businesses and brands a gateway into the world of professional video ad content that won’t break the bank or compromise on quality.

We feature a growing gallery of over 3.5 million professional video clips, customizable templates, and high-quality, royalty-free music to enhance your ad and give it the stunning, professional look and feel it deserves. With Promo you can create your videos in square and vertical dimensions too, especially for Instagram.

Sounds complicated? It isn’t. Our system is easy to use. Most videos can be created in as little as 5 minutes. If you do get stuck, our customer support team is standing by 24 hours a day to lend a helping hand. If your business or brand is looking to get started with Instagram stories ads, make Promo by Slidely your number one choice for beautiful, professional video content.



Head of Content at Promo.com. * * * Storyteller by day. Content consumer by night. Habitually inspired.

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