Instagram story ads are officially open for business

It was only a matter of time. In the wake of last week’s Stories integration into Facebook, Instagram brings news about its advertising model. In January, Instagram added ads into their newer functionality *highly* reminiscent of Snapchat, Stories, with a group of selected partners (including Capital One, Buick, Maybelline New York, Nike, Yoox, Netflix, and Qantas) and now is extending to all global businesses. Ads in stories allow for immersive, full screen 15 second appearances when you move between Stories, which makes them less intrusive in your Story flow. 

Currently they are available on a CPM basis (CPM = Cost per thousand (“M” represents the Roman numberal for 1K) a term used to denote the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on one webpage. i.e. If a website publisher charges $2.00 CPM, that means an advertiser must pay $2.00 for every 1,000 impressions of its ad.

Ad views are counted as soon as the ads appear – there’s no three second view threshold like there is with Facebook video content (this also aligns with how Snapchat counts views). Stories ads are signified by a small ‘Sponsored’ marker at the bottom center of screen (which you can also see in the example above). The ads play with sound on by default and are skippable.

With “skippability” in mind – will they work? Maybe. A recent report suggested that 69% of Snapchat users skip ads on the platform “always” or “often”, a figure that increases to 80% percent among 18 to 24-year-old users. It’s slightly apple to oranges, but 80% of people skip ads on YouTube, while the average click-through rate for a Facebook ad is reportedly around 0.98%.

Overall – it’s yet another hammer in the toolkit for those crafting a visual communications strategy to tell quick but compelling stories. If your strategy supports this tactic (and not the inverse – always a kiss of death) – below is a quick tutorial:

To create an Instagram Stories ad:

  1. Go to Facebook Ads Manager
  2. Click Create an Ad
  3. Select the Reach objective
  4. In the Ad Set section, click Placements
  5. Select the Edit Placements, then select the Instagram placement
  6. Click Stories
  7. Follow the rest of the steps to continue building your ad campaign
  8. When you’re ready, click Review Changes to publish your changes
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One Response to Instagram story ads are officially open for business

  1. sydhavely says:

    Really great post and entirely relevant. Storytelling seems to be the rage of the moment and for good reason, but who knew it would be so enveloping on so many social media platforms. I think it’s seen as a social glue, and, like DNA, has to be a part of everyone’s message.

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