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A Guide To Instagram Stories Ads

A Guide To Instagram Stories Ads

18th February 2022
12 Minute Read

Instagram Stories ads appear to be almost identical to genuine Instagram Stories published by other users on the platform.


Written by Madeleine

18th February 2022
12 Minute Read

Instagram Stories Ads 💸

Users on Instagram can find themselves immersed in Stories ads, as the vertical format dominates the screen, except for the sponsored tag in the top corner.

Moreover, Instagram Stories ads appear to be almost identical to genuine Instagram Stories published by other users on the platform, unlike feed advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

Here at Karmoon, we believe that the best part of paid advertising on Instagram is that brands with any following can utilise a Story ad to link, driving Instagram users to their preferred web page.

Advertisers can also entice consumers to respond to their Stories, resulting in additional engagement and long-term commitment for their business.

Paid advertising on Instagram is a terrific method for companies to reach customers, as many users are already hanging out on this platform. So, Instagram Stories ads are a way for brands to reach out in a way that feels genuine and organic for online browsers.

So, to kick things off, let’s take a look at the benefits of Instagram Stories ads in today’s guide:

Audience Reach: Merchants can target shoppers who can purchase directly through the app.

Boosted Engagement: It is thought that one in five Stories will receive direct messages from viewers.

New Audiences: Retailers can utilise Instagram's targeting features to reach out to customers who haven't yet discovered or followed an account.

Brand Awareness: Merchants can appear on users' Stories feeds seamlessly.

Note: From start to finish, Shopify's powerful tools make it simple for merchants to; monitor, track and measure their Instagram Story marketing campaigns.

Creating Instagram Stories Ads 🤳

To create an ad with Instagram Stories, simply:

Navigate to the Ads Manager account.

Click “Create New Ad.”

Select the objective of your campaign (e.g. click-throughs, engagement, lead generation, or downloads).

Select your; audience, maximum budget and campaign duration.

Choose the social media platform (Instagram) and the ad placement (Stories) you'd like to create your ad with.

Upload the ad creative.

It should be noted that when creating Instagram Stories ads, merchants should sync their product catalogue to their Instagram account, as this allows users to purchase from the business without having to leave the app.

Instagram Stories Ads: Media Requirements

As the format of Instagram Stories ads is vertical, it's impossible to employ existing ad-media from other channels. Instead, we’d recommend starting from scratch and building images and media assets that accommodate Instagram's requirements.

The following list contains Instagram's media requirements:

9.16 screen ratio.

.mp4 or .mov video format.

.jpg or .png photo format.

4 GB video file size.

30 MG photo file size.

15-second video playtime.

5-second photo playtime (default).

1080 pixels x 1920 pixel resolution (minimum resolution - 600 pixels x 1067 pixels).

Many of these media requirements for Instagram Stories ads are the same as regular Instagram feed ads, except for the dimensions, which are 1080 pixels x 1080 pixels for feed advertising and up to 60 seconds of playtime for feed videos.

Instagram Stories Ads: Estimated Costs 💰

It’s almost impossible to put a number on the cost of Instagram Stories ads, simply because most research into the averages usually doesn’t specify the; industry, audience, or the goals of a brand’s campaign.

However, the billing option selected when creating Instagram ads will determine how merchants will be charged.

For instance, businesses will often pay for impressions rather than clicks for most optimisation targets, accumulating a cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM).

However, merchants will not be charged if users do not click the swipe up link if the pay per link click (swipe up) option has been selected.

As a result, merchants should expect to pay less than $2 per click on average, but according to one study, Instagram Stories ads cost between $0.70 and $1 per click, while other claims suggest that CPC rates fall somewhere between $0.40 and $0.70.

This makes paid advertising on Instagram one of the most affordable social ad types.

Instagram Stories Ads: Calculating Costs

Like most social channels, Instagram Stories ads are bought through an auction bidding system where merchants are asked to establish their budget before the campaign begins.

Then users will be asked to set their maximum bid, which is the amount they’d be ready to pay for a browser to complete an action such as; visiting their website, watching a video, or downloading an eBook.

In the auction, Instagram will then select which ad will deliver the most value to its users based on the following criteria:

The sum of the advertiser's bid.

The estimated action rates (for example, how likely someone is to complete the action for which the ad is optimised).

The quality and relevance of the ad (for instance, how likely a user is to be interested in the ad).

The cost of your store’s Instagram Stories ads is also determined by several factors. The average CPC is affected by factors such as the; brand’s industry, day of the week and the season.

For instance, merchants selling air-conditioning units will notice an increased demand during the summer months and will likely encounter more competition, which will raise the CPC.

Similarly, overall campaign rates will rise during famous shopping holidays such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Instagram Stories Ads: Top Tips 📝

N0.1: Stay on Brand

First things first, merchants should aim for their Instagram Stories ads to stand out when users are scrolling through other Stories on the platform.

To do this, we’d suggest keeping your colours consistent with your brand so that your followers and potential customers will know who the ad is from.

N0.2: 15-Second Play Time

Instagram Stories are consumed faster than any other mobile format, which means that online stores will have a limited time to capture the attention of their audience.

For the best results, keep your message short by using the first few frames to grab the user’s attention.

Note: Story advertising can last for up to 15 seconds per frame and users are more likely to view them for the entire 15 seconds, compared to an average viewing time of eight seconds for ads on the Instagram feed.

N0.3: Stickers and Polls

Instagram's features and Story add-ons enable viewers to have a more immersive and engaging user experience when stumbling across Instagram Stories ads.

Therefore, we would recommend utilising the likes of; stickers, polls and GIFs to provide your brand’s ads with a truly authentic feel that will inspire shoppers to interact with your store.

N0.4: Experiment with Content Types

According to research, ads that use motion perform better than static ads and help tell a story quicker. To see which style of content resonates with your audience the most, try to create a; video ad, GIF ad, or a series of photos in a carousel format.

It is important to note that different types of content lend themselves to various ad formats. For instance, videos can play for up to 15 seconds, whereas single photos are set to play for five seconds by default.

Both Instagram Stories ad formats can be created via Facebook's Creative Hub, Ads Manager, or by designing them personally.

Last but not least, carousel ads can include up to three pieces of content (both videos and photos) within a single ad.

This mixed media approach can help online stores to offer a diverse perspective on their product whilst including a variety of styles in the same ad such as influencer material to product photos and tutorials.

For instance, let’s say that the purpose of an ad is to introduce viewers to a current mascara line.

The retailer could incorporate; a small video tutorial, a static photo of the packaging and a boomerang of an iconic influencer using the product.

N0.5: Clear CTAs

Carefully considered CTAs, can direct consumers to the area of focus by using action words such as; Shop Now, Download, or Click here.

As a merchant, Instagram Stories ads need to incorporate a CTA that explains exactly what will happen if the browser chooses to follow the instructions.

N0.6: Products In Action

Instagram Stories ads are a great way to show off what your product is capable of and what viewers may expect if they choose to purchase it.

N0.7: Collaborate with Creators and Influencers

Instagram is the platform where influencers hang out, as it is thought that 80 per cent of consumers have purchased something based on an influencer's advice.

So, for online stores to be able to reach their target audience, micro-influencer marketing is a great way for retailers to tap into the pre-existing followers of smaller, more specialist accounts.

N0.8: Create Ads for Stories

Instagram Stories ads have a different size requirement than other ad formats. So, for online stores to make the most of the available space, we would suggest creating graphics and video content that have been designed specifically for the platform.

N0.9: Create Custom Audiences

Instagram’s extensive targeting tools make it simple for merchants to reach various sectors of the platform's audience.

However, if you’re looking to retarget existing customers or people who already know about your brand, creating custom audiences would be the ideal route to take.

Merchants can build out different audience lists based on:

Email Subscribers: Merchants will need at least 100 subscribers on their mailing list to get started.

Website Traffic: Retailers will need to install Facebook’s pixel to collect customer data regarding the shoppers who have visited the website.

App Activity: Merchants will need App Events to track what users are doing within the application.

Offline Activity: Shoppers who have visited the brand’s brick and mortar store.

Social Media Engagement: People who have engaged with the store’s content across Facebook and Instagram.

N0.10: The Incentive

It's hard to find consumers who don’t appreciate a good deal now and then. So, by providing an incentive for viewers to click through or take action on efforts with paid advertising on Instagram, online stores can encourage shoppers to revisit or discover a business for the first time.

Incentives for customers may include; discounts on their next order, a free item, or free shipping if a particular amount is spent.

Instagram Stories Ads: Stand Out

In a nutshell, paid advertising on Instagram allows online stores to showcase their products uniquely. Story advertisements have a high level of engagement and the extra CTA functionalities allow viewers to swipe up and take action every time they stumble across an ad.

However, if you truly want to make your ads stand out, be sure to create visuals that are the right dimensions and are recognisable to your brand, whilst considering the goals of your campaigns to generate results.

Ready, Set, Share 🌐

It is thought that more than 400 million individuals use Instagram Stories every day, with brands and enterprises accounting for one-third of the most-viewed Stories. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get sharing!

What are your thoughts on implementing Instagram Stories ads into your store’s social media marketing strategy? Reach out and let us know.

If you’re actively looking to work with a Shopify agency designer or developer to assist you with your business, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch to get started!

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If you're actively looking to work with a Shopify agency designer or developer to assist you with your business, we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch to get started!

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