You Are Missing Out by Not Using Instagram and Facebook Story Ads
More than two years ago, Instagram launched its initial rollout of Story Ads, and about one year ago Facebook launched a version of Story Ads all its own. Both ad formats have been tremendous successes for each of these platforms, as well as all the advertisers who have made use of them. Earlier this year, Facebook announced that upwards of three million advertisers were already producing Story Ads which were running on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.
In addition, a recent report announced that nearly 20% of Instagram’s total ad spend during the second quarter of 2019 was contributed by its Story Ads feature. It should come as no surprise that Story Ads have been so successful on these platforms, given the fact that they combine two of the most successful components in advertising. Instagram recently reported that more than 500 million accounts are currently making use of Stories on the platform. One third of the most popular Stories on the platform have come from businesses, and more than 20% of these Stories trigger direct messages from people who view them.
Since there’s so much activity based on Stories, Instagram is now seriously considering an increase for the ad load in Stories. For any marketing gurus who have yet to discover the effectiveness of Story Ads, there’s no better time than the present to experiment with them. Especially since Facebook and Instagram enjoy continued growth on their platforms, now might be the perfect time to become involved, and reap some of the benefits offered by Story Ads.
Value of testing
Many advertisers have already discovered that testing is crucial to the success of any Story Ads developed by their brand. By constantly testing and re-testing, you should be able to find the very best way of communicating and engaging with whatever target audience you’re trying to reach. Even small adjustments or tweaks can have a major impact on the success of a Story Ad.
When a brand adopts this test and learn methodology, it can be easy to build in a process which includes testing video length, pacing of the video, content, user-generated content, and even color schemes. It’s also a great way to find out which ads are most appropriate for each different demographic. Many companies have already adopted the approach where they will test Story Ads for B2B audiences as well as B2C audiences, so they can see how well the ads work on each. Once that is known, it’s a simple matter to include or exclude any given Story Ad, based on its reception by various audiences.
A very successful creative
One of the most successful kinds of Story Ads is the carousel video Story Ad, which appears to be highly successful for e-commerce clients. As many as 10 carousel cards can be used to showcase and make best use of ads promoting company products and services. Generally speaking, three to five cards tend to be the most successful configuration, since they don’t impose too strongly on a viewer, and don’t require excessive engagement.
Another area which achieves high success rates are Story Ads which include polls. A company named Foxwell Digital recently experimented with inserting discount codes directly into polls, where two choices were offered to users. The specific Story Ad which was used, caused one brand to scale up from $500 in sales for a day, all the way to $15,000 per day.
Testing your creative against a number of different models will often be extremely helpful in determining what will work best for a given Story Ad. When you analyze the performance of any given creative mix by making use of various attribution models, you should gain an understanding of what’s effective and what’s not.
Instagram ads versus Facebook ads
Since Instagram Story Ads were launched a full year prior to Facebook Story Ads, it shouldn’t be surprising that Instagram had a huge head start, and has maintained a significant lead over Facebook in the area of Story Ads. Thus far, Facebook Story Ads have yet to prove themselves as reliable sources for acquiring direct response conversions. Currently, many Facebook users seem to prefer their news feed to Facebook Stories, so Stories hasn’t gotten as much attention as it has on Instagram.
In addition, it is not yet possible to insert a poll into Facebook Story Ads as it is with Instagram, so Instagram also wins out on that front. In head-to-head competition to this point, Instagram has been the clear winner with Story Ads, with the click through rates being significantly lower on Facebook. At some point, it’s possible that Facebook draws closer to the success rate now enjoyed by Instagram, but that will not happen anytime soon.
Building for your audience
It has already been discovered that Instagram Story Ads perform optimally when advertising clients are already posting Stories on Instagram, particularly when the target audience is younger. This doesn’t mean that older audiences are not suitable for Story Ads, it just means that you have to build your Stories to accommodate your audience and its demographic. For instance, when you’re dealing with an older audience, it’s worthwhile to educate them by adding a Swipe Up message which points to the call to action button. When this is embedded in your Story Ad, it can be very effective at increasing click through rates and achieving conversions.
When Instagram first launched Story Ads in 2017, there were approximately 150 million users already making use of its Stories feature. At the present time, there are more than 500 million people using Stories, so it stands to reason that the usage of Story Ads will grow right along with it. Since it is known that a huge portion of the news feed audience has already migrated over to Stories, most brands have taken their cue from this and have begun penetrating into the Stories area. Go where your audience goes, and build content for your audience, and you will more than likely achieve much greater success than you would otherwise have had.