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April 18, 2018

Creating Compelling Ads in Instagram Stories

BY: Instagram Business Team

San Francisco, CA

Since we launched Instagram Stories, our community of businesses has taken this immersive, full-screen experience and made it their own. In just over a year, this full-screen format has completely changed the way brands connect with their customers—with more than 50% of businesses having created a story during a typical month.1 As more than 300 million active Instagram accounts around the world watch and create stories every day,2 Instagram Stories is becoming an increasingly powerful way for brands to stand out and inspire action.

To help marketers better understand and master this emerging format, we teamed up with Facebook IQ3 to explore which creative elements best capture attention and drive results.

Crafting Effectiveness with Instagram Stories

During one of our studies conducted in the US, we learned that several of the strategies associated with high-performing, mobile-feed ads—such as delivering information quickly and showcasing the brand or product advertised throughout—can also be effective for ads in stories.4 This effectiveness was measured based on two factors: breakthrough and response. With breakthrough, advertisers can measure the likelihood of an ad to be noticed, viewed and recalled. While with response, they're able to measure the likelihood of an ad to drive a reaction and brand action.

Our Instagram Stories campaigns have proven to be some of our highest ROI campaigns to date, while also driving a significant volume of reservations. This ad format not only delivers performance, but also effectively engages our best customers with crave-worthy content.
Tom Caterina, Digital Marketing, OpenTable
Creative Considerations for Ads in Stories

To help marketers create more compelling ads in Instagram Stories, here are a few takeaways we learned from a recent Facebook-commissioned study for advertisers to consider when creating ads in Instagram Stories.5

1. Relevance matters.

On average, top-performing Instagram Stories ads ranked higher on relevance than lower-performing ads. They also grabbed attention, were easy to understand and fit the advertised brand.

2. Seconds add up.

On average, top-performing ads in stories were shorter and contained branding earlier than lower performing ads in stories.

3. Fast pacing pays off.

Among ads in stories that contained multiple scenes, on average, scenes from top-performing ads were shorter than those from lower-performing ads.6

4. Product demos boost results.

Only about half of the Instagram Stories ads we tested showed the advertised product in use, but those that did performed better on key metrics.7

5. To be effective, bespoke ads must be mobile-optimized.

Nearly half of the ads we tested were built specifically for Instagram Stories, but few performed in the top third of all Instagram Stories ads studied — perhaps because they took longer to reveal the key message and contained longer scenes.

Moving Forward

As more advertisers continue to use Instagram Stories, we'll gain an even better idea of which creative practices work best. In the meantime, we encourage advertisers to experiment with video content and the range of creative tools that stories has to offer—such as face filters, superzoom and gif stickers.

If you're looking for more ways to get the most out of Instagram Stories and create more compelling ads, then make sure to check out Facebook IQ's full article. And if you'd like to see how other brands like OpenTable (@opentable) use Instagram Stories to connect with their audiences, explore their success stories here.

BY: Instagram Business Team

San Francisco, CA