Simple Steps to Start Using Instagram Story Ads

April 29, 2019

Show Notes

If you haven’t heard, Instagram is the hottest and fastest growing social network out there and it makes sense for you to be there. Most people are posting on their feed, less than half of those are using stories and an even smaller amount are using Instagram ads. We’re here to help you crush the competition by using Instagram ads.

  • Native - The first thing you need to do is make sure your images and videos are native. Using horizontal images is a bad user experience and people intuitively know that they are being advertised to.

Tip - Create your Instagram stories in the app and add GIF’s or text (not too much) and then download and run as an ad. Doing it in an authentic way and then running it as an ad is a great way to reach more people.

  • Create a strategy - The name says it all. Instagram stories are about telling a story. A one-off piece of content about how they should buy your content, etc. is likely not the route to go. They need more than 15 seconds to determine if they want do business with you or not. Create a content strategy with your ads that adds value. Tell a story, take them on a journey.

Tip - Your Instagram feed should mimic this style of value and be on brand.

  • Be intentional about where your text goes - In a story ad we see a lot where people try to move text out of the way of the person talking, but move it to the top left or bottom of the screen and this isn’t a good look. The user profile is on the top left and the call to action is at the bottom. Go check out examples of Instagram story ads so you can get a good idea of where to place text.
  • Use the carousel Instagram stories feature - If you want to create a longer message than 15 seconds, it’s possible. You can create multiple videos in a row that work just like a native Instagram story. i.e. if you followed us without an ad you would see multiple of our videos in a row. In ads you can do this too. If done well, it can also feel like you are someone they already follow and builds a deeper relationship and gives you more time to convey your message.
  • Add music - When appropriate, it’s almost always appropriate. If you are creating a video that is all imagery and not someone talking, adding music will help increase the amount of time they stay on the story. Not all people listen without sound, but those who do will thank you.


What do you think about this episode? We’d love to hear from you! Share us your suggestions, comments or questions. And we’d love to include that on our next show. Reach us on the links listed below.

Website: www.bitbranding.co

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Hope y'all enjoyed this episode! We'll see you guys next week for another episode of The Marketing Natives!


Aaron [00:00:00] If you haven't heard Instagram is the hottest and fastest growing social network out there and it makes sense for you to be there especially as the business owner. There are really good statistics on how many people actually follow businesses on Instagram. Not very many people are actually using them. So using Instagram Stories will help you. Crush your competition on reaching more people. We hope you enjoyed this episode.This is the Marketing Natives, providing actionable ways to grow, improve, and succeed in your business. And now your host Christian and Aaron.

Christian [00:00:39] All right. So let's get started. The first step or tip that we have for you for using Instagram Stories add is to go native what we mean by native is to make sure that you're using vertical videos in there.

Aaron [00:00:54] Yeah I guess whenever we're writing this there's a there's actually a lot of companies that I see as I'm just scrolling through Instagram myself that use horizontal images or horizontal videos or they they are running ads and they choose to all placements when they're using regular ads which means that it's going to go to Instagram Stories and Facebook stories but they don't have any call to action like your call to action they say like click below and they can't really click below. The point is for them to swipe out.

Christian [00:01:23] But yeah and I've seen the ads where it's literally meant to be like you said it like a Facebook like news feed ad and it has a video and a horizontal the very top and it's very tiny. And then they have like a description of the video down below or the caption that they use which it just doesn't make much sense and you automatically know oh it is an ad ominous get through it.

Aaron [00:01:46] Yeah. And it also it like some of those people right really really long text and Instagram Stories allows you to do that but then you have to like read some of the text and click another button and then it scrolls up and the text is over the image and it's just a really bad user experience. And so if you're gonna choose all placements I probably shouldn't use stories whenever you're choosing all placements because they're particularly vertical whereas everything else is like a horror. You know Facebook is fine to do horizontal even Instagram on post could be okay Do horizontally kind of really would rather have you do square but all the placements it just you don't know what it's going to look like. Now they do allow you to see what it looks like there. But I guess most people just click all placement and then just decide to run the ad and that's what we're trying to say make sure that use native and then a quick tip for that is to something that we've done before and actually done really well is just record the videos in Instagram just because it's more natural the way you're going to hold the phone if you're going to use like a talking head more natural for you to hold it and then write it and create it just as you would an Instagram story if you're going to add text to it if it makes sense to add a gif or songs or anything like that create all that and then Instagram has a button over on the right hand side you just click that button and download it and then you could just run that as your ad vs. going to go and grab another camera make sure that somebody shooting it for you and create it vertically that way right.

Christian [00:03:18] You can. Yes you can create your whole ad right there with an Instagram download. You don't have to leave it up in your stories you can just delete it right after you download it. Yeah that's a great way to get all your creative done just right away.

Aaron [00:03:33] Awesome. All right. So the second one here we have is to create a strategy. Most people whenever they're creating content like that is they just go out and say I just want to post something and I want to run an ad or I want to do this one 15 second video and I just want people to purchase it right away and it's it's not gonna happen that way. Fifteen seconds isn't nearly enough time for somebody to say oh yeah I want to I want to do business with you. So creating a strategy around that adding value to people and making sure you know what you're going to do ahead of time or like what you big play is what does this look like over the next couple of weeks or even the next couple of days. And we have a tip later that will kind of help with this but just don't go out there and say oh man I run one Instagram story ad and then this is just gonna be the end all be all and I'm just going to get a ton of business from that.

Christian [00:04:23] Yeah I think I think the story should mimic almost exactly how other stories look. On a regular feed. And that will help you sort of create a strategy. And also it should just you know follow what you're doing on your other social networks. You know if if if your style is about bringing value and about your brand then does it reflect on those that strategy and the stories that you're putting up.

Aaron [00:04:48] Yes absolutely. That is something that I think most people don't understand especially if you're in B2B as that they're not gonna buy something right away what they are going to do is go look at your profile because business owners do research on other businesses they're not just going to call you out of the blue they do most of the time they do research. So if you do some kind of ad like this is somewhat interesting they're gonna go check out your profile and if the only thing that you have on there is like three posts you never do anything there and it's like nothing related to the ads like OK this doesn't make sense to me. So they can really actually just even hurt you more than anything. So makes that you're your actual feed looks good too because people are going to be looking at that as you're creating the ads as well.

Christian [00:05:37] What's going on. So this is the part of our podcast where we talked about branding which is the agency that Aaron I run here in Allen Texas we're a full service creative marketing agency. We do everything from Web sites to social media marketing campaigns. We can help you with your Instagram Stories ads everything that we're talking about here. We've done before. And if you're struggling to get this up and going or if you just need to help strategizing you don't need us to do the whole full gamut of work then you can just hit us up. You can check out our Web site branding SEO or you can look at UPS look up at Instagram just at that branding.

Aaron [00:06:20] They would give that on us on a scale of all the ads that he had done. Maybe it's the we're recording this early in the morning or not early we're recording this in the morning versus on like a mid afternoon for on a Monday rather than on a Saturday. Just because I was traveling and now it's probably one of Christian's best things. So go and find him on on Twitter and let him know his favorite your tweet. All right. So our next one here is to be intentional about where your text goes. I was actually scrolling through Instagram the other day and got an ad for this guy. It was a really good ad but part of it I had to hold down and read because he had so much text in the top left hand corner which shows his profile and you couldn't read the most important word where it's said like a business owner or a camera that was like three words that basically were layered on top of each other. You couldn't read because he decided to move his text over on the left hand side vs. understanding where an Instagram ad is going to be placed.

Christian [00:07:20] Because if you don't pay attention to it. Instagram has obviously the profile picture on top and then it has a little lines or dots if you have a lot of stories to look through. And then at the bottom it has to see more or learn more depict real to action with the little circle button. So there's quite a lot of space in there. They had to take it into consideration when you're adding text and creating your ads.

Aaron [00:07:42] Yes. And that's again another reason why we go back to the native part is if you're creating that natively you really you see that oh this is a place that I shouldn't put something in. I think even Instagram and dumbs it down for almost everybody says like Look here's your guides like here's these blue lines if you keep pushing it outside of this it's not going to show in the story. So I don't even think like if you do it natively it will even let you put text all the way over there. So another good tip until you get used to it or just make sure that you look at that preview mode if you're an ad manager and see that oh there's text that's literally right over my profile or I want people to do something but I'm covering or I'm writing text right literally next to the call to action button.

Christian [00:08:25] Yep. Yeah. I think a good way to do this if you don't want to go full on and create your ad inside of the Instagram app you can just watch an ad an actual ad take a screenshot of that and then inside of Photoshop or your video editor you can just kind of place that on top or on the bottom and mess with the opacity so you can kind of know where to place things with within the dimensions that you have with with Instagram. I think another tip that we have here or step is to use a carousel. Instagram Stories feature which we talked about you know using the Instagram app to record multiple videos and create sort of a story. So using this will allow you to have a longer message than just the 15 seconds by creating multiple videos in a row. That work just like an Instagram story.

Aaron [00:09:17] Yeah. And if so whenever you're following someone on Instagram I guess the preferences you probably shouldn't run Instagram story ads until you've actually ran an experienced Instagram Stories yourself like created them yourself and. Watched the other people seen other ads because that gives you a better idea of what you should actually do versus sitting behind a computer and saying hey I want to run Instagram ads. This is a placement and just going and doing it. But as people consume content like if Christian was somebody I was following I don't really follow him. I'm just kidding. But if he created Instagram Stories there would be like three or four Instagram Stories maybe he's telling a story about him going to others like a nacho library or taco Libra thing this last weekend in Dallas and maybe he's talking about like going there and watching people you tacos or whatever and it was four stories. Well I'm going to watch all four of those stories because he's actually telling a story with it. Well the closing about an ad is that you can very much mimic that where you tell for sequential stories. And it seems like you're at an actual person that they're already following. So it just adds to that that native feel that they have. And it also makes it seem like you're being more real versus here 15 seconds. Make sure you swipe up it's maybe you don't even do the called action until the third or fourth one so you don't waste people who watched the second or third one and it's not quality versus getting all the way through for those ad and then saying hey if you found this valuable or if you have any questions or if you want us free whatever swipe up now you've built up forty five seconds with them and they are a lot more likely to do something with you.

Christian [00:10:54] Yeah. And I think the last thing that we have here for you is to add music or add sound. I think when appropriate and it's usually always appropriate when you have videos it's just what kind of music or sound surprisingly actually a lot of people watch Instagram Stories with sound. So that's something you want take into consideration when creating these these ads adding music could help someone just stay more engaged within your within your ad. Now I don't think there's a lot of research on this but I also find myself muting when I'm not expected to listen to sound or maybe I'm in an office setting and I'm just a cog quickly scrolling through and I don't want any sound whatsoever. And sometimes whenever there is sound I usually just try to swipe downs of return on my phone so it could be I think bad I don't know the statistics but I just did a quick little research and it looks like it sounds like a lot of people do watch stories with sound. I'm not sure the validity of this statistic though.

Aaron [00:12:04] Yeah I just know. Yeah I guess I was going to say it depends on where people are at and there's people who are always doing different things like maybe you're at lunch near your house or maybe you're at a restaurant you know two different situations if you're at a house by yourself you probably watch with sound if you're at a restaurant and you're just waiting for your food and you're probably not going to listen for sound. That being said I've definitely been in a restaurant where people are playing their Instagram Stories as loud as possible. So you know I just take that with a grain of salt and just assume that people are listening with sound but be able to tell that same exact story without sound as well. So just assume and cater to both audiences you don't want to just say that it's going to have sound or it's not going to have sound. You should be able to tell the exact message with sound or without sound. So if they listen with it then you know some music would always be really good.

Christian [00:12:55] Yeah I think when it comes to like people speaking in the video I think it's really good to have some sort of either full captions or two highlights of what they're talking about. That will definitely go go a long way.

Aaron [00:13:08] Yeah. And it's you know it allows people to again continue to watch stories over it like you know if you watch Story 1 story two story three you continue to watch them. If you know what's going on and if you don't and you just hear people talking and they don't put any captions then you're just skipping away because you like yeah I'm not following this unless it's visually appealing and you know you're looking at your face doesn't really do anything for me and it doesn't tell me what's going on right. All right. So that is the end of this episode. Simple Steps to start using Instagram story ad which you should absolutely be doing. We're recording this in April of 2019 and we've been talking about Instagram Stories. We look back. I looked back at the show notes of previous episodes and we've been talking about it for a little while now but again not very many people are using it. So please use that to your advantage and if you are listening to this for the first time please make sure to go and click that subscribe button whichever platform you are listening on and if you've been listening for a while we would truly appreciate it if you would go to your favorite platform iTunes is probably the best. And just go and leave us an honest rating and review so that we can continue to add value to you in these podcasts. Thanks guys.

Narrator [00:14:20] The Marketing Native's podcast is a production of BitBranding.

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