Why Instagram Story ads should definitely be part of your social media marketing strategy

When planning out a social media marketing strategy for your brand or business, you’ll likely have to explore the option of placing social media ads. Paid social ads boast many benefits, from increasing brand visibility to promoting specific offers. However, competing with so many brands for the dwindling ad spaces may leave you wondering if there’s a better way to advertise on social media. That’s where Instagram Story ads come in! Story ads are still relatively new and unexplored, so why not think outside the box with this underutilized advertising platform? (psst..did you know, there's a rumor going around that social media ad space is technically "sold out", except for Instagram Story ads?!)

Let’s face it, ads in your Instagram news feed have become predictable, and as audiences become more clued in on sponsored posts, brands must continue to blur the lines in order to create consumer-friendly content. Instagram Story ads is an easy way to incorporate the casual, home-spun trend for promotional content. The key to creating Instagram Story ads that don’t get skipped, is to create content that seamlessly blends right in with what the viewer is already watching. Think about your own Instagram Story viewing experience - as long as you’re viewing content shared by your actual friends, you’re likely to let the stories just roll on. But as soon as you get to an ad with graphics, or even video with a clear promotional point, you’re more likely to skip ahead. Now imagine that you came across a story of someone walking through a hotel suite and showing you their amazing view - it may take you a bit longer to even realize that you’re not looking at a friend’s story, and even longer to realize it was an ad for a hotel. By keeping the content less aggressive and under the radar, you’ll not only intrigue the viewers, but you’ll also have a better shot of earning their trust.

Brands can post a combination of up to three, fifteen-second videos and five-second photos that are inserted between stories. These full screen, vertical photos and videos can grab the viewer’s attention in a unique way unlike any other style of social media ad space. You can add links to the photos and videos, which is unlike organic posts that only allow this for verified accounts or those with 10,000 or more followers. Be sure to include a relevant call to action button to engage viewers, and maybe even save this for the second or third slide of your first few seconds of video are just too visually appealing to take away from.

Utilizing Instagram Story ads give your brand or business the unique opportunity to capitalize on valuable ad space, while also taking control of the viewer’s full screen - it’s the only social ad space that can say that at the moment! This means you won’t be competing for viewership. When designing story ads, consider how you can integrate the aesthetic of your brand with that of the other accounts your audience already follows. Incorporate Instagram’s fonts, gifs and stickers into your ads to emulate the kinds of stories viewers see from their friends and family. Keep your message concise and the visuals interesting, playing with colors, textures, and shapes. Whatever you do, remember that the first few seconds of the ad really count! A consumer-friendly ad will keep viewers engaged for a longer period of time, and boost your chances of getting that “second date” - a clickthrough to your website, or engagement via the chosen call to action!

Capitalizing on Instagram Story ads can help your brand stand out from the cluttered ad space and creatively capture the attention of your target audience. Instagram Story ads should definitely be a top contender for your ongoing social media marketing strategy.

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