Do you have an Instagram?

That’s perhaps one of the most common questions today and might be throughout the decade.

Instagram is all about getting attention. As of June 2018, this social networking service had more than one billion monthly active users worldwide.

And what’s the best way to get the attention of one-seventh of the world’s population?

Storytelling, of course! Launched in 2016, Instagram Stories started a narrative revolution and pushed digital advertising forward.

Statista reports that people created…


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The Complete Guide to Instagram Stories Ads

The Complete Guide to Instagram Stories Ads

Do you have an Instagram?

That’s perhaps one of the most common questions today and might be throughout the decade.

Instagram is all about getting attention. As of June 2018, this social networking service had more than one billion monthly active users worldwide.

And what’s the best way to get the attention of one-seventh of the world’s population?

Storytelling, of course! Launched in 2016, Instagram Stories started a narrative revolution and pushed digital advertising forward.

Instagram Stories ads — the number of users

Statista reports that people created 500 million Instagram Stories every day in January 2019, which makes Instagram Stories ads one of the most sought-after ad formats by far.

The Heyday of Instagram Stories Ads

According to Instagram Business, stories are growing like crazy:

  • Businesses publish one-third of the most-watched Instagram Stories.
  • Nearly 50% of businesses on Instagram post at least one Story a month.
  • Over 96% of marketers in the United States use Stories ads.

You should definitely join these businesses if you want to get your company noticed online.

In this tutorial, you’ll discover how to launch Instagram Stories ads step by step. We’ll highlight all the design specifications you need to know, recommend some best practices, and give you a few case studies as examples.

Read this article till the end to receive a little bonus for your Stories ads. Let’s roll!

How to Launch Stories Ads on Instagram in a Few Steps

First, let’s learn how to run Instagram Story ads:

Step 1. Go to Facebook Ads Manager to get started.

Instagram Stories ads — Facebook Ads Manager

Step 2. Click the Create button to begin a new ad campaign.

Instagram Stories ads — a new campaign

Step 3. Choose your marketing objective. Keep in mind that Stories ads support the reach, brand awareness, conversions, traffic, lead generation, video views, and app installs objectives.

Instagram Stories ads — marketing objectives

Step 4. Target your audience based on location, age, gender, demographics, interests, and other parameters, or create a Custom Audience based on people you already know.

Instagram Stories ads — audiences

Step 5. Choose your placements through one of two options: Automatic Placements or Edit Placements.

Instagram Stories ads — placements

After that, set your Instagram Story ads cost by setting your budget, create your Stories by adding media and text, activate tracking to monitor your Stories’ performance, and confirm the changes.

Instagram Story Ad Design Specifications

Here are all the Instagram Story ad specs you need to create amazing visual narratives:

Specification Video Photo
Instagram Story ad dimensions 1:91 to 4:5 1:91 to 4:5
Instagram Story ad resolution minimum 600×1067 recommended 1080×1920 minimum 600×1067 recommended 1080×1920
Instagram Story ad size up to 4 GB up to 30 MB
Instagram Story ad format MP4 or MOV JPG or PNG
Instagram Story ad length up to 120 seconds show for 5 seconds
Instagram Story ad codecs H.264, VP8 for video AAC, Vorbis for audio

Note: Be sure you know design specifications for other Instagram and Facebook ad types.

Best Practices for Instagram Story Creatives and Text

To figure out how to get the most out of storytelling on Instagram, we should ask one simple question: How do Instagram Story ads work?

The purpose of Instagram Story ads is to inspire action in order to sell.

Keep in mind that people don’t buy products and services anymore. They buy emotions. In the case of Stories, they buy inspiration. The only way to inspire conversions is to tell an absorbing story. 

Luckily, there’s a formula that will help you come up with such a story.

There are four elements of this formula:

Element 1. Keep Your Story Lightning Fast

When it comes to Stories ads, speed means everything.

Today, people spend a few hours a day (a month every year!) on their smartphones, which means they consume a lot of information at a quick pace.

To truly impress your audience, your Story ad should be rapid. Facebook recommends businesses highlight branded elements in three seconds or even less to let viewers keep the brand in mind.

Element 2. Divide Your Story into Short Scenes

Internet users love action. Add multiple concise scenes that change every few seconds. A dynamic montage in the fast-moving world is what Story ad viewers want.

Element 3. Experiment with Your Ad Copy

Though videos and images dominate text, words remain an effective means of advertising, especially in Instagram Stories.

Don’t forget that you can customize the copy of your Story ad by testing different fonts, sizes, alignments, and colors.

Well-written and good-looking text complements vivid video and images, creating a powerful effect on viewers.

Additionally, you can create Instagram Story ads that contain only text. For example, you can add lots of ad copy based on a powerful call to action to promote a sale or just to make an announcement.

Element 4. Make Your Story Sound Sweet

Have you already run ads across the Facebook family of apps and services?

Typically, people watch 85% of video content on Facebook without sound. This is true for Instagram as well because of the amount of content people scroll through.

However, you should give music and audio for users who tap on your Story to let them dive into your ad, feel your message, and take advantage of the offer you’re promoting.

How to Tell a Powerful Advertising Story on Instagram 

People are addicted to Instagram. In fact, it’s their daily routine. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 63% of Americans visit Instagram at least once a day. 

One of the reasons why Instagram users start their day with viewing Stories instead of brushing their teeth is the strong urge to see something new.

Posting diverse Stories can make people addicted to your business on Instagram.

Here are Instagram Story ad ideas to make your content different, fresh, and eye-catching.

Idea 1. Tell Why You Started All This

We bet you have a group of customers who would like to know why you started doing what you do.

Facebook claims that 31% of users say they’re more likely to use Stories to engage with brands they like. One of the best ways to encourage customers to connect with a business is to tell its story.

For example, you can create a series of Stories that include a few episodes:

  • Episode 1: Why and how you started your business
  • Episode 2: Difficulties you faced and how they inspired you to grow
  • Episode 3: Your experience, philosophy, etc.
  • ... and so on

To get people more interested in your business, you can start another series about news and updates. Doing this will not only uncover your business identity but make your Stories more personal.

Idea 2. Come As You Are

Yes, it’s all about being personal and feeling personal.

People love when they’re invited to the inner sanctum of a business.

According to Entrepreneur, the best way to do that is to have employees post Stories. Stories posted by employees achieve:

  • 561% more reach than the same messages posted by a brand’s social media channels
  • 24 times the shares compared to posts on official channels
  • 8 times more engagement than posts shared by official channels

Show some truth about your business. Be unfiltered. If you offer a product, show how you make it. If you offer a service, give some insights on how you offer it.

You’ve got the idea. The rest is up to you.

Idea 3. Let Your Customers Help You

Sharing testimonials about businesses and viewing those testimonials is part of a customer’s DNA. Nielsen claims that more than 90% of people trust recommendations from individuals over brands.

According to Vendasta, more than 93% of customers read online reviews. However, let’s be honest. People don’t like reading too much these days. So what are the alternatives? 

Testimonials and reviews work much better for converting customers when recorded as videos. Keep in mind that, in most cases, the shorter the video, the more powerful the impact on its target audience.

Here’s where short video Stories come in handy. For instance, you can record a few customer testimonials that last a few seconds, combine them in a single Story ad, and target your potential customers.

Idea 4. Show Them What You’ve Got

The best Instagram Story ads are about selling a product or service.

Here are some video marketing statistics to prove that:

  • 69% of customers say Stories posted by brands are a great way to discover new products and services.
  • 51% of customers want businesses to post Stories about their sales and discounts.
  • 44% of customers want businesses to post Stories about new products.

Highlight the features of your products and services in full-screen using the full Story ad arsenal: video, photos, images, text, stickers, hashtags, and more.

Idea 5. Bring Some Good Knowledge

Knowledge is power, especially in Instagram marketing.

Did you know that 45% of people want to see Stories that have recommendations or advice?

Go ahead and show your products or services in action. Share insights on how to use them in the best possible way. Tell your community more about your industry.

Instagram Success Stories You Should Read 

Now it’s time for some Instagram Story ad examples. And you know what?

Instead of just showing you spectacular Stories that will astonish you and inspire you to make your own spectacular Stories, we’ve decided to give you much more — data from Instagram success stories.

We highly recommend you visit this case study library to invest in yourself as a marketer. Click on any case study you like for details.


Yoga International

The Walt Disney Company France

Chantelle Lingerie

Create Instagram Stories Ads Using AI

Now you know how to create Instagram Story ads and make them work for your business. 

Have ideas for your first Stories?

Use Softcube artificial intelligence technology and achieve your marketing objectives faster. Good luck!

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