Instagram Launches Story Ads

by Brendan McInerney

July 6, 2017 at 11:16 am

Instagram recently announced the ability to place ads within its stories. These ads are now available across most ad managers, giving advertisers a shiny new toy to play with.

For those unfamiliar with Instagram stories, it’s a feature similar to Snapchat. According to the Pew Research Center, 55 percent of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18-29, and 28 percent are between the ages of 30-49. What we can glean from this data is that products targeting users within this demographic will find more success with Instagram Story ads than those that target users outside of it.

So, why should an advertiser use Instagram stories? One reason is because it’s new — meaning not everyone has it. Advertising is an area in which you should always try to be the early adopter. The novelty of Instagram Story ads means lower costs and more exposure than that of platforms currently oversaturated with ads (looking at you, Facebook). Instagram, like other ad placements, only has so much inventory. As more competition comes into the space, the more ad costs rise and brand retention tends to fall. In ad buying, it’s important to note that competition isn’t necessarily exclusive to those within your industry, but rather everyone else that might be targeting similar interests and demographics.

Instagram Story ads give advertisers the opportunity to run 15-second video and standard images within the Story. The ads, much like other social ads, can target specific interests, demographics and locations. The ads also feature clickable links, making them about more than just brand awareness in that they can drive traffic to a site to complete an action.

When it comes to creating these ads, we suggest making them stand out from content that you might already deliver within your newsfeed. The problem with delivering the same content across multiple feeds is that the user can glance over the content — it no longer grabs their attention because they’ve already seen the message. We recommend promoting content that’s engaging and eye-catching. Making the ad entertaining as opposed to only instructional can create more stopping power.

When advertising placements announce new inventory, it’s the time to spring into action and quickly adapt. Early adopters have the lowest cost and the best opportunity for brand exposure. As the space gets more crowded, ad space decreases and cost increases.

If you’re going to be creating Instagram Story ads, we recommend the following:

  • Make the ad different from any previous ads
  • Ensure it drives the user to engage with the content
  • Make the ad animated (e.g., an aquarium might show a shark trying to break through the screen)
  • Include a click through in the ad to complete your desired action

Will you be using Instagram Story ads?

July 6, 2017 at 11:16 am

Brendan McInerney

Brendan is a media planner with a drive for generating engaging content to influence users to complete an action. Generally, you can find Brendan digging through layers and layers of reporting trying to recognize trends that will make an impact on future performance. If you’re fond of IPA’s, he’s definitely a guy you want to be friends with because when he isn’t geeking out with data, he’s probably hanging out in his garage brewing beer.