Instagram opened Stories ads up to all businesses last month, giving brands a new way to tap into the more than 200 million people who now use Stories every day.
The rapid growth of Stories has been the key element of note in Facebook’s various Snapchat cloning efforts – while Facebook (and Instagram) may have come under fire for so blatantly copying a core feature from the formerly ephemeral content app, the success of Stories somewhat justifies their process.
It also shows that while we might debate the merits of such tactics, users ultimately don’t care so much where a feature has come from – if it’s useful for them, they’ll use it, which may sound alarm bells for other challengers considering stepping into the social space.
To underline the potential value of Stories as an ad option, last week, at Facebook’s F8 conference, Instagram showcased some of the brands that are seeing success with Stories ads, providing some interesting lessons on what’s most effective and how the option can work to expand your reach.
As a reminder, Stories ads currently appear between Stories as users swipe through, so they need to grab attention fast.
Here are the three examples, and the lessons Instagram highlights from each.
First up is Fido, a wireless carrier in Canada. To launch their new ‘Fido Roam’ global roaming product, Fido used Instagram Stories ads to get their campaign in front of ‘travel-hungry Millennials’.
As you can see, the ad is attention-grabbing and resembles other Stories content – it tells a story within itself. Instagram says Fido researched the most effective creative elements of the campaign with AdParlor’s Intelligence Tags Technology, giving them more insight into the best background colors and images to use to boost performance.
The campaign had a video completion rate of 24%, exceeding expectations.
Moen is the number one faucet brand in North America. Not exactly the brand you’d immediately pick as the best fit for Instagram Stories, right?
Check this out:
While the product itself may not evoke amazing, creative images, the campaign does, showing the brand in a new light for Stories’ younger skewing audience. Instagram says Moen used Olapic’s Content in Motion tools to create the ad, made especially for Stories.
“This resulted in 45 percent more impressions and a fresh, new way for the brand to create engaging content more quickly and efficiently.”
And while not every brand will be able to afford creative campaigns of this caliber, it once again underlines the need to grab attention, and to use great images and video content to create a scene and tell a story. Users can easily swipe by and keep going, so you need to make them pause from the first moment.
3. Red Bull
As with almost any new social media tool, Red Bull are all over it.
To promote their new ‘Red Bull Flying Illusion Show’, Red Bull ran a Stories campaign which, again, uses striking visuals to grab attention.
Of course, having a highly visual show to draw from is a big benefit, but once again, you can see how the framing and color choices have played a part (all three of the above examples use elements of yellow, pastel tones).
Much like Instagram itself, Stories ads need to be well composed, bold, they need to make people stop and pay attention.
Just as you would spend time composing the perfect Instagram product shot, with surrounding context, you need to consider the same for your Stories ads.
As noted, Stories ads have only just been opened more widely, so not many brands are utilizing them as yet, but given the growth and popularity of the function, it may be worth considering. And if you are looking into Stories ads, these tips might help better frame your process to maximize your success.
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