What Instagram Story Advertising Means for Consumer Brands

It’s no secret that Instagram has all but monopolized the attention of the young adult community. From its onset, Instagram’s “window-shopping” nature has been attractive to a culture that values instant gratification, luring Millennials and the younger Centennial generations. It’s a platform where people can get a quick snapshot and immediately decide what they love and what they don’t about a brand just by looking at a few pictures or videos.

Since being acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion, Instagram now has the backing and incredible advertising capabilities of one of the largest companies in the world, and without a doubt the largest marketing company, in the world.

All of this has made Instagram an extremely powerful platform for brands everywhere.

Instagram’s latest addition, Instagram Stories, has now taken all the best features of its closest competitor, Snapchat, and made improvements on virtually all of them. It allows people to see real-time and live content from people and brands all over the world. In an instant, consumers can see behind the scenes at a concert, to a new product release for a brand.

And now they offer in-story ads.

So picture this to set the tone: Instagram is now owned and run by the largest marketing company in the world, Facebook. Since the feature launched, Instagram Stories immediately became a rival to Snapchat in the real-time content space. Now, on top of that, brands everywhere can target their specific customers and show them ads right in the stream with the content that they love and check every day inside of Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories advertising offers local and national businesses incredible opportunities, but there is likely a limited shelf life.

So, here’s everything you need to know to figure out if it’s right for your business.

The details: what should the creative look like?

  • The creative for these ads should be a video. Consumers are used to seeing videos in their stories and when their viewing is interrupted by an ad, they are very likely to get a little tap happy. Video has proven time and time again to gain the viewers’ attention better than photos, so don’t mess with that and do what you know works. The specs for these ads should be 1080 width x 1920 height has the Aspect Ratio of 9:16

What is the duration of the ads?

  • These ads cannot be any longer than 15 seconds

What are the text requirements?

  • Facebook’s 20% rule applies to Instagram story ads as well, meaning that no more than 20% of the screen can be covered by text. This could make it a little difficult to get your message out there being that there is no feed to post your text, that being said, choose your words wisely.

What budget options do you have?

  • The budget limits for Instagram stories is the same as those on Facebook. For smaller timeframes and demos, you can get away with a smaller budget. However, keep in mind that these ads can only be optimized for reach, so you will be charged per 1,000 people reached.

What is the value for a local business like a restaurant or boutique?

  • As previously stated, these ads are only able to be optimized for reach. You should know that Facebook suggests to optimize any ad you run for reach if your intention is to generate foot traffic. You also can get away with a smaller budget since your demos will likely only be the members of certain geographic areas.

What is the value of a national brand like a food, beauty, or home product?

  • Instagram Story ads are great for brands in general because, for a moment, it is the only thing on the screen. If you can capture the consumer’s attention in the first few seconds of the ad, then you have your audience’s attention and you aren’t competing with other brands for it, which is often the case when your ad appears in someone’s feed.

Feel free to reach out if you have any additional thoughts or questions about Instagram story ads and how they could benefit your business!



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