Ever since Instagram launched Stories way back in 2016, it took off like nobody’s business.
Sure, posting photos and videos on the main Instagram timeline can still give you a great window into someone’s life, but the fact that all stories disappear after 24 hours gives it more of an urgency – the feeling that you’re genuinely a fly on the wall in the life of a celebrity or influencer you admire.
In our recent article on account-based marketing, we spoke a lot about how personalization is trending. Your target audience no longer want to feel like just another target. Instead, you need to gain their trust and cater your marketing towards their actual needs and requirements. Your target audience want something more personal – and that’s the reason why ads on Instagram Stories have been all the rage ever since its introduction. Beyond the video or picture the user sees, it’s all about the connection they make with the content creator.
However, there isn’t really a tried and true formula for what content works on Instagram Stories. Luckily for you, we here at Fierce Digital are here to offer you some examples of some particularly effective Instagram Stories ads. Out of the goodness of our hearts, of course. But before that, we’re going to lay down some numbers and figures, because we know just how much you love them.
Instagram Stories Statistics
Okay, so we’ve mentioned how effective Instagram Stories can be, and how some campaigns have shown exemplary results by making use of some best practices. Here, we’re going to explore some of the Instagram statistics that can help your social media campaign.
First things first. Product promotions are the most common type of Instagram Stories companies use in their ads. Shocker, I know. However, following that you’ll find inside looks and influencer takeovers. These two combined barely take over product promotions, which are currently at 36%. Inside looks and influencer takeovers are at 22% and 14% respectively. Life events, how to’s, fan content, and contests trail after those three.
Now that you know what kinds of stories are being utilized, we’ll now explore where these stories take the viewer if they do interact with them. Because let’s face it, no matter how good your content is, it’s a moot point if it doesn’t take your audience anywhere.
Again, the most astonishing result pops up at number one with 59% of story ads taking audiences to a shoppable page. 23% actually take them to another social platform, and 10% show them a blog post. Campaign pages and apps then trail after them at 5% and 3% respectively.
Another facet of Instagram Stories which, believe it or not, does have an effect on a person’s decision on whether to interact or not are the stickers. Some would think that the ask me and poll stickers would be most important here—well, they’re definitely not the most popular.
Surprisingly (for real this time), the most popular ones are the location, digital time, and like sticker. Why? Well, these are one of the more popular ones being used by consumers themselves, so it could be a reason why they are effective.
There are 300 million users who interact with Instagram Stories every single day; 15-25% of them swipe up to follow a link. This is a huge pool of possible customers, so you should definitely do your utmost to optimize your ads for these people.
Oh, and just in case you didn’t know, people hold their smartphones vertically. 94% of them—which is actually kind of low, surprisingly. Well anyways, be sure to optimize for that as well.
Now, let’s have a look at the actual examples:
Short, But Valuable
In any marketing and social media strategy, one of the most important things to deliver in content is value. No matter how constrained you are in creating the content, make sure to put in something that will have your viewers remember you.
With Instagram Stories, you only get 15 seconds to show a video, or a photo, which is pretty short, all things considering. But as long as you put in the value, your audience will respond to it. One way to do this is to showcase your products in a kind of slide.
Show photos of what you create, and show them for one or two seconds each. Put in a short (should be around 15 to 20 words) but impactful message, and there you have it. It’s a format that shows people what you have to offer, and sometimes it’s all you really need to show.
Leverage Disappearing Nature
As mentioned before, Instagram Stories only last for 24 hours, unless made into a collection. But when it comes to ads, this is even more important. Studies have said if there is an information gap, people will be more likely to be curious. Humans are naturally curious and you can make your story ad follow this format, and it’ll attract engagements like moths to a lamp.
One company selling haute couture products had models walk around in luxurious clothes in the muddy rainforest. No, we are not kidding. Of course, normally your first reaction would be to wonder why. This is the kind of reaction the content creators wanted, and they got it.
Many people watch Instagram Stories when they’re commuting to work, or are waiting in line. Basically, they are doing this to pass the time. A lot of times, they mute the volume so as not to disturb others. You can use this to your advantage.
Make a story ad that doesn’t have any sounds. Just a photo or video with text, nothing else. This can also be effective when your ad comes after a video with sound, which will catch the viewer’s attention.
GIFs are used constantly in other social platforms, especially Tumblr and Twitter. However, Instagram doesn’t support this format for now. However, they do have their own version, which creates an interesting effect that viewers are sure to notice.
Boomerang is basically a video that is half backtracked. So the first 10 frames go as normal, and the next half is those 10 frames reversed. This format takes things as seemingly normal as grating cheese and turns them into something interesting, which what you want your audience to perceive it as.
Surprise Your Viewers
One effective way to let viewers notice your ad is to surprise them. An example of this is how a healthy lifestyle company used a video of a woman smashing a tray of eggs with a sledgehammer to grab their audience’s attention.
You can make use of all your creative juices to keep your viewers on your toes, and ensure your brand will stay on their mind.
Make Use of a Rewards System
People are likely to grab something if they think it’s in limited supply. For example, if you offered a discount for a limited period for downloading your application, a lot of viewers would be tempted to go with it.
Although it might seem like they’re only going with you for the discount, you can then use the opportunity to have them know your brand more, which can turn them into a loyal customer if you do it right.
Go Behind The Scenes
If your audience is more familiar with your brand, they’ll be more likely to go with you. Building trust is essential in a relationship between customer and business, and going behind the scenes is an effective way to build it.
Highlight someone in your company, be it the people who actually make the products, or your CEO. This humanizes your business, which will have your viewers feel closer to you, and they will be more likely to trust you.