In August 2016 Instagram launched its Stories feature. By January 2017, it had 150 million daily users. Stories allows users to share pictures and videos that disappear after 24 hours.
It’s been something of a watershed; since the launch, brands have seen greater follower growth on Instagram than any other social channel. As of May 1 any Instagram business account can now advertise on Stories. Ads include five-second photos and 15-second videos that appear between people’s stories, optimised for reach. Though the ads can be skipped, brands are discovering that engaging video content in this format is making viewers stick. Businesses can include click-to-purchase links (only available to verified accounts) and have access to analytics on reach, impressions, replies and exits.
Stories ads are a great way to promote a sale online or in store quickly. Encouraging user-generated content is another effective use of the medium. It’s quick, to the point and calls for a specific action that users can remember after the ad disappears.
Keep this in mind though. Viewers can only watch your ad once. So ensure your brand name is large and easy to read. You’ll also want to tell fans where to go for more info or to act on your message.