Instagram story ads are the “it” thing, and here’s why

Social networks have allowed us to stay connected regardless of geographical boundaries. These channels allow us to share special moments from anywhere, and one of the formats with more projection is the stories. So, let’s tell you how to make the most of Instagram story ads.

Social networks have become a means of social and informative dissemination and, of course, a great tool for companies.

With tools like Instagram stories, companies can make themselves known, generate new leads, promote products, drive traffic to the website and much more.

So, without further ado, let’s talk about everything you need to know about Instagram story ads.

Let’s get started!

What are Instagram story ads?

Did you know that 500 million people interact daily with Instagram stories?

Of all Instagram’s functions, stories are the most captivating because of their immediacy and capacity for interaction. Through them people share moments and companies can make the most of them to connect with new customers and promote their business.

Instagram story ads appear in the top section of users’ stories, but unlike organic stories, you don’t need to be followed by users to see them.

One of the big differences is the possibility of including links in Instagram story ads, facilitating the traceability of information.

 Types of Instagram story ads

There are several types of ads you can use in Instagram story ads:

        • Image: a static image that lasts five seconds on the screen or until the user swipes.

        • Video: it has twice as much interaction compared to other posts. Videos have sound and last 15 seconds. You can make videos of maximum 60 seconds, but Instagram pauses it after 15 seconds and asks users if they want to continue watching.

        • Carousel: this is one of the best formats to promote your brand. Carousels can include between 2 and 3 cards that combine image and video and are shown for a maximum time of 15 seconds. There is also the option to make a longer carousel of up to 10 cards, in this case the first three are shown automatically and then Instagram asks the user if they want to continue viewing.

        • Canvas: this type of ad is perfect for showcasing the value of your business and connecting with users. This is an interactive format that works like a micro-site where users can scroll, swipe and more.

Why are businesses using Instagram story ads?

According to Meta, as of January 2020, there are 4 million active advertisers on Instagram stories every month. People like stories because they are dynamic, authentic and quick to watch. In addition, because ads in stories flow while users are viewing the stories of the people they follow, they are more likely to reach the right customer.

Instagram also has several marketing objectives so you can set up your ad in the category that best suits your needs and helps you get the customers you want.

Marketing goals for Instagram story ads

With marketing objectives you can set up your ads based on what you want your call to action to do:

          • Brand awareness: if you want more people to know about you, this is the ideal target to reach new people who may be interested in your products.

          • Video visits: if you want people to watch your video, this goal is for you.

          • Lead generation: this goal is the ideal way to get data to increase your database.

          • App Installation: to get more people to download your application you can include a download link.

          • Conversions: get actions such as purchases or people registering on your website.

          • Traffic: drive traffic to your website.

          • Reach: with this goal you will reach as many users as possible.

Want to know more? Let´s talk via WhatsApp!

Sizes and specifications for Instagram stories ads

Now that you know all the marketing goals you can achieve with Instagram story ads, let’s talk about the sizes and specifications you need to keep in mind.


The recommended dimensions for an Instagram story are 1080 x 1920 with a 9:16 ratio. As a minimum the width should be 500 pixels. If your image or video does not meet these dimensions, Instagram will automatically adjust it and this may cause your post to lose quality.


In order for your publications not to lose quality, it is important that they have a resolution of 1080p.


For images you can upload JPEG, PNG or GIF formats, and for videos MP4, MOV or GIF that last less than 15 seconds.

In addition, Instagram has several creative tools to level up your Instagram story ads. For example: stickers, mentions, voting, GIFs and more.

Seven steps to create your Instagram stories ads

You already know the formats and specifications that your Instagram story ads must have. Now let’s see the step by step to publish them from Facebook Ads Manager:

  1. Go to the ads manager of your Facebook page and click on create.
  2. Choose the marketing goal that best suits what you want to achieve with the ad.
  3. Complete the ad details, then at Placement level choose Stories under the Instagram option.
  4. Select budget and schedule.
  5. Choose the type of ad you want to publish.
  6. Add videos or images and complete the remaining details.
  7. Complete your ad and click confirm to send ir for approval.

A few best practices for your Instagram story ads

You already have everything you need to Instagram story ads and boost your business. But since we want you to get the most out of this tool, here are 10 best practices to keep your ads out of this world.

1. Choose your audience

With Facebook Ads Manager you can choose who will see your content, so make sure you segment and send it to people who will be really interested in your products.

You can create segments based on customers you already have. Think about their features and what they buy to make a segment and reach people with similar characteristics and interests.

2. Visuals are everything, but keep it natural. 

Instagram is a mainly visual and informal social network, so your ads should have that fun and relaxed style. That said, don’t leave out good quality and appropriate sizes.

Here “a picture is worth a thousand words”, so make sure it speaks for itself, and if you need to include words or links do it strategically.

3. The first seconds are key

Videos and carousels in stories only last 15 seconds, but the user may leave sooner.

Make sure you grab the user’s attention in the first few seconds.  

Pro tip: Tell them what you are offering at the beginning so they will be interested in seeing the full ad.

4. Stickers? Yes, but not too many 

Although stickers are a very useful creative tool to attract attention and give a more natural tone to your ad, it is important that you don’t overdo it and don’t put stickers out of context.

5. Include a clear call to action 

For your Instagram story ads to be effective, you must include a CTA (call to action). It indicates in a simple and clear way the next action that users should take.

To sum up

Instagram story ads are a great tool to achieve your company’s marketing goals. The different types of ads and tools make them dynamic and attractive.

Because of this, they have become one of the key tools to create a brand presence on social networks and increase community and sales.

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