All You Need To Know About Instagram Story Ads
Instagram Story Ads were only introduced in March 2019. This caused a lot of excitement among advertisers as the story format is very immersive. Around 50% of brands that use Instagram have made story posts. Time spent on Instagram rose to around 28 minutes when they introduced the story format.
What are Story ads?
Stories are available to Instagram users at the top of their news feed. An Instagram Story Ad will display inside Instagram stories. Usually you will see a Story Ad as you are transitioning from one story to another. It is not easy to tell a Story Ad apart from a normal story post so they tend to work very well and be accepted by the Instagram community.
As with all ads on Instagram a Story Ad will have the word “Sponsored” on it. Whether you go for an Image Story Ad or a Video Story Ad they will be full screen to the Instagram user. There are around 500 million Instagram users looking at stories every day so you have a huge marketing opportunity with this ad format.
It is best to use Story Ads if you want to promote a limited time offer. Why? Because all stories will disappear from Instagram after 24 hours. You can use a number of different call to action buttons with Story Ads and here is the complete list:
- Apply now
- Book now
- Call now
- Contact us
When you create a Story Ad you will be able to create a target audience (or use a previously saved one) and also specify how often your audience will see your Story Ad. You can enhance your Story Ad with filters, video effects and add text to make your ad really appealing.
Stories Image Ad
If you choose to go with an Instagram Stories Image Ad then you will be able to add up to 6 images and a swipe up facility that will guide your viewers to a destination URL (your website or online store). The ad will last for five seconds.
Here are the important specifications for a Instagram Stories Image Ad:
- The recommended resolution for an Instagram Stories Image Ad is 1080 X 1920 pixels
- The resolution should be a minimum of 600 X 1067 pixels
- The correct aspect ratio is 9:16
- Image format can be either PNG or JPG
- The maximum size of any one image is 30 MB
One of things that you need to be careful about with Instagram Stories Image Ads is the amount of text that you overlay on any image. If you go to far with this then Instagram will not accept your ad.
Stories Video Ad
When people are browsing through stories nothing captures their attention more than a video. One thing to bear in mind though is that when users are viewing stories they don’t usually turn on the sound. So you need to be able to deliver your advertising message with a Stories Video Ad with or without sound. The video length is 15 seconds.
- The recommended resolution for an Instagram Stories Video Ad is 1080 X 1920 pixels
- The correct aspect ratio is 9:16
- Use either the MOV or MP4 movie format
- The minimum resolution of a Stories Video Ad is 720p
- Video size must not exceed 4GB
Avoid These Instagram Ad Mistakes
Many businesses are now turning to Instagram for new leads and customers. The platform is undergoing significant growth and using Instagram Ads is a great way to reach people that other methods can’t. But a lot of people make mistakes with Instagram Ads so we want to highlight these mistakes for you so that you can avoid them.
Not Aligning with Business Goals
A lot of people that use Instagram Ads do not align their advertising with their business goals. You can create some awesome Instagram Ads but if there is no alignment with your business goals then you are wasting your time.
So think about how your Instagram Ads can align with your overall goals. Do you want to increase the amount of awareness of your brand? Do you want to increase the amount of followers on your Instagram account? Or is your main goal to drive a lot more traffic to your website so that you can generate more email marketing leads?
It is not difficult to create goals for your Instagram advertising campaigns and you must do that. Take the time out to think about what you really want to achieve from your Instagram Ads. To do this ask yourself these questions:
- What results do you want from your Instagram Ads?
- Do you want new customers or existing customers to purchase again?
- Do you want to increase the traffic to your website?
Not Targeting the Correct Audience
You can easily identify your target audience when you use Instagram Ads. But to do this properly you need to have a good idea of who your audience are and what they are looking for. A lot of Instagram advertisers don’t spend enough time on this and end up targeting the wrong audience.
To identify the right audience for your business take a look at the products and services that you offer. Then ask yourself these questions:
- What needs do your products or services fill for people?
- What problems do you solve and what pain points do you alleviate?
- What kind of person would get the most out of your products?
Another good thing to do is to take a close look at what your competitors are doing. Who are their customers?
For your own customer base you need to know the demographics. This includes:
- Age range
Getting Ad Content Wrong
Even if you really know your audience well (which you must do) it is still possible to make mistakes with the content of your ads and a lot of advertisers do this. You must provide content in your Instagram ads that will connect with your audience.
Your content must accurately reflect your products and services and your brand positioning. Also it is essential that you do not over hype your content and make it too sales orientated. The aim is to provide value and inspire Instagram users.
Your Instagram Ads need persuasive captions. When you are creating your captions be sure that it reflects the image in your ad. Be sure to use the right hashtags and provide a compelling call to action.
Ignoring the quality of Images and Videos
It’s all about the visuals. Advertisers know that Instagram is a visual platform but a lot of them do not pay enough attention to the quality of their images and videos. There is no excuse for this as there are plenty of tools around to make your visuals great.
Pay special attention to the lighting. There are apps available to adjust this. Make your videos interesting by providing different perspectives. Consider what is in the background for your images and videos.
The Benefits Of Instagram Ads
Instagram now has over one billion active users and the platform is growing very fast. It was not so long ago that they announced that they had 700 million active users and now it is over a billion. Instagram is a very popular social platform and there is no sign of this changing.
This means there is a great deal of marketing potential with Instagram. It has the highest levels of engagement of all of the major social platforms at around 4.2%. Facebook and Twitter combined can only manage around 0.1% engagement. Here are the major benefits of advertising on Instagram:
Huge User Base that is still growing
Instagram is growing at an alarming rate and now has more than a billion active users. The estimates suggest that this growth will continue in the next few years so it offers you a huge potential audience.
It is connected to Facebook
Facebook owns Instagram so you will find targeting your audience a lot easier using Facebook data and tools. You can set up everything for your Instagram Ads through Facebook including audience identification, budgeting and ad creation.
This is great news if you have used Facebook Ads before. There is no need for you to learn about Instagram advertising from scratch. You can just jump right in and create ads for both social platforms.
Non Intrusive Ads
Instagram Ads will not annoy Instagram users like ads on other social platforms do. They appear seamlessly to the user which helps with the level of engagement. This is a major benefit as your ads are less likely to be skipped.
Higher Engagement Rate
Engagement is everything with social media marketing and Instagram has the highest levels of engagement for any social platform. If you create your ads properly then you will receive comments, likes and shares like never before.
Success through Awareness
With Instagram Ad campaigns, success is measured based upon awareness. You will be able to see your follower counts and growth, the reach that your ads are getting and the level of likes and comments.
Instagram perfect for Mobile Users
These days everyone has a smartphone with a high quality camera included. Smartphone users are usually very interested in social media and Instagram is usually their number one choice. Many users will user their camera phones as an amateur photographer and post their pictures on their Instagram account.
Get the best results with Instagram Ads
Instagram Ads usually provide the best results in terms of cost and return on investment. It is a very effective marketing channel and it is quicker and easier to post compelling ads on Instagram than it is on other social media channels.
If you are not taking advantage of the marketing opportunities provided by Instagram then you need to start right now. You can set up an Instagram account for free and easily convert it to a business account so that you can place ads.
The user base is huge and will only get bigger. With the Facebook integration you can identify your target audience precisely and target them with your advertising messages. There are different types of ads that you can post depending on the needs of your business.
When you know your audience really well you will be able to provide them with exactly what they are looking for using Instagram Ads. The cost per click is cheaper than other platforms so you will get the best bang for your buck.
Instagram Ads 101
Instagram Ads are fast becoming the number one choice for businesses that want to get the word out about their brand and their products and services. There are a number of good reasons for this including the staggering growth of the social platform and its high levels of engagement.
How does an Instagram Ad look?
There are different types of Instagram Ads but the good thing is that they look a lot like regular posts. They will have the word “Sponsored” on them but apart from that they look and feel like a normal post.
With ordinary posts it is not possible to add external links to your website. You can add direct links in Instagram Ads as well as a call to action button to persuade a user to take a specific action. The different types of ad have different call to action buttons available.
How do you create an Instagram Ad?
Facebook now owns Instagram and you can use the Facebook Ad tools when setting up your Instagram Ads. This is good because you can use the advanced tools in Facebook to target your specific audience based on demographics, interests, location and more.
You can satisfy a number of business objectives with Instagram Ads. These objectives are:
If you want to increase the awareness of your brand then you need to select this option. When you do this you will maximize the number of impressions for your ad among the audience that you have specified.
If you want your ad to be seen by the largest number of people in your target audience then go with the “Reach” option.
This is the best objective to choose if your goal is to increase the number of clickthroughs to your website or online store. You achieve this by using persuasive call to action buttons.
If you have an app and want to increase the number of installs then select this objectives option.
Increasing your engagement levels is always a good thing to do on social media so choose this objectives option if you want more comments, likes and shares or you want users to show up for a specific event.
If you want to increase the number of views to your videos then this is the best objectives option. You can use videos to put out brand messages or showcase your products. Do this in an inspiring and creative way and you will get great reach and high levels of engagement.
This is the objectives option to choose if you want to increase the level of conversions on your website.
Identify your Audience
Once you have chosen your desired objective you can now identify your target audience by selecting users based on their age, gender, interests, behaviors, location and more. Once you have create an audience you can save it for use with other ad campaigns.
This is a very important step. With 80% of the users on Instagram following a business you want to make sure that you get this right and that your advertising message will resonate with your target audience.
Choose the right Ad Type
Instagram offers a number of different types of ad and these include:
- Boost or sponsored ad – you can extend the reach of an existing post
- Image Ad – use a single image for promotion
- Video Ad – use a video for promotion
- Stories Ad – base your ad on a story
- Carousel Ad – use multiple images in your ad
Getting The Best From Instagram Analytics
Do you really know what is going on with your Instagram account? We are not just talking about Instagram Ads here but your overall marketing performance with the platform. The good news is that you can learn a great deal about how things are working out for you with Instagram Analytics.
A lot of businesses that use Instagram don’t really know what is going on with their accounts. You need to know how many views your Instagram Ads are getting as well as how well your stories and conventional posts are doing.
Problems that you could have with your Instagram Account
If you are running your Instagram account blind and don’t know what is really going on then you could have all kinds of issues that you could do something about. One of the biggest issues you could face is targeting the wrong audience. You are not going to get optimum results from your Instagram Ads if you target the wrong people.
How about your posting frequency? Are you making too many posts or not enough? With your Instagram Ads are you driving the right visitors to your website? If the ad is driving the right kind of visitors from Instagram are you using this ad enough to get more good traffic?
Getting the most from your Instagram Ads and conventional posts is all about engagement. So do you know how well you are doing from an engagement point of view? You need to know the number of comments, shares and likes that your posts are receiving.
There are more things that you need to know when using an Instagram account for marketing. By taking a look at your Instagram metrics you will discover what is working and what isn’t and then you can take the appropriate action.
Important Areas To Check with Instagram Analytics
There is a vast amount of information available to you from Instagram Analytics and it can be quite overwhelming if you are new to it. So to help you we have identified the most important areas that you should focus on as a minimum.
If you don’t get your target audience right then you will never get the results that you want. You can find out a great deal of information in Instagram Analytics about your audience. Here is what we recommend you take a look at:
- Best locations – here you can see the top 5 locations where your followers live
- Age ranges – what is the age range of your followers? Within Analytics Instagram breaks age ranges down by 13 to 17, 18 to 24, 25 to 34, 35 to 44, 45 to 54, 55 to 64 and 65 and over.
- Gender – here you can see how many of your followers are male or female
- Follower hours – with this you can see the average time of day your followers are logged on
- Follower days – the days of the week your followers are active
You can see the following about your posts:
- Interactions – what did users do e.g. visit your profile, visit your website etc
- Discovery – are users finding your content using the Discovery feature?
- Follows – the number of new followers you get from a post
- Reach – unique users that the post reached
- Impressions – views to your posts
- Comments – how many comments on your posts
You can use Analytics to see how your stories are doing:
- Impressions – number of views to your stories
- Reach – unique users that viewed your stories
- Exits – number of exits from your stories
- Replies – the number of relies to an element of your stories