Social Media Marketing 6 min read
19 Aug 2022

How To Run An Instagram Campaign And Create Thumb-Stopping Stories Ads

How To Run An Instagram Campaign And Create Thumb-Stopping Stories Ads

Imagine running an Instagram story ad where people actually pause to see it clearly, read your captions, and take action.

Well... that doesn't need to be an imagination since it's within your reach.

Given that Instagram users share their meals and days through stories. That's why it's no longer a surprise that you can reach more people through Instagram story ads.  

And now Instagram Story ads have become one of the most popular ways to advertise your brand on Instagram.

So, if you're thinking of creating engaging Instagram Story ads... we got you covered!

This blog covers:

  • What are Instagram Story ads?
  • Instagram Story ads vs. In-feed ads vs. Reels ads
  • How to set up your Instagram ads
  • How to create thumb-stopping Instagram ad campaigns
  • 5 Instagram Story ad examples to inspire you

Are you ready?


What are Instagram Story ads and their benefits?

Instagram Story ads and their benefits

First, let's talk about Instagram Stories. If you're new to Instagram, this is an important detail.

If you already have an Instagram account for your business, I'm sure you already know how Instagram stories work.

So, Instagram allows users to post photos, videos, texts, or GIFs as stories for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, the stories will expire and followers who didn't see them will not have the chance to do so. Unless you put them in your Instagram highlights.

You need to tap on the right side of the screen to view the stories of people you're following.

Then after a few taps, you'll notice that there are ads... like this one.

Instagram story ads

It can be an image, text, video, or square post with CTA or call-to-action at the bottom part. But if you don't want to create an entirely new ad, you can also boost your feed post.

Let's talk about the benefits of Instagram ads.


Benefits of Instagram Ads

Benefits of Instagram Ads

Instagram ads can help you drive traffic to your website. With the CTA buttons available, your target audience can easily click on them and be redirected to your eCommerce site.

You can also boost brand awareness, especially for new customers who haven't heard about your brand yet.

And, of course, increase your followers. If your campaign goal is to get more profile visits, more people can follow your Instagram account if they like your page.

So, there are different types of Instagram ads you can use. Let's compare them.


Instagram Story ads vs. In-feed ads vs. Reel ads

I already mentioned what Instagram Story ads look like. But this is how in-feed ads look:

Instagram Story ads vs. In-feed ads vs. Reel ads

By what it's called, it's easy to understand that you can see ads as you're scrolling your feed.

And this is what Reels ads look like:

Reel ads

You can see these ads when you're scrolling on your Reels tab.

But which one is better? Instagram in-feed or story ads?

In an experiment conducted by The Social Media Lab, Instagram story ads had 44% higher reach and 78% more clicks than in-feed ads.

There are also different sizes for Instagram stories, reels, and in-feed ads.

Instagram Stories and Reels are 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels in height. It's a 9:16 aspect ratio. But you can use ads smaller than that size. But for a more engaging experience, it's better to follow the size.

In-feed ads go by 1080 x 1080 pixels or a 1:1 aspect ratio.

By knowing these details, you'll have an idea of which types of content to post for these ads.

Before creating ads, you need to know...


How to set up and create Instagram ads?

First, you need to have an Instagram professional/business account and a Facebook page. Make sure they're linked to each other.

Next, set up your payment method.

Then once you're all set, you can create an ad through Facebook Ads Manager. Here's how:

  1. Go to Ads Manager on Facebook.
  2. Select Create to create an Instagram advertising campaign.
  3. Choose the Campaign Objective.
  4. Fill in the necessary details and set your budget.
  5. Choose and define the target audience of your Instagram campaign.
  6. Choose between Manual and Automatic Placement for your ad.
  7. Select your Instagram account under Identity.
  8. Choose the ad format. Instagram ad formats can be carousel ads, video ads, or image ads.
  9. Add the image or video of your Instagram marketing campaign.
  10. Choose your CTA and preview your ad.

If Facebook Ad Manager seems like a lot of work for you, here's another way to create an ad on the Instagram app itself.

You can boost your existing Instagram post and stories. Here's how:

First, go to your Instagram profile, then choose the image you want to boost. You can also go to your Stories Archive and choose a story that you want to turn into an ad.

For Instagram stories, you can select the story and click this sign.

set up and create Instagram ads

While for Instagram posts, go to the actual post and click the blue button that says "Boost post."

After that, you'll be redirected to these options.

Select a goal

First, you need to select a goal. If you choose to have more website visits, you need to add your website URL and choose an action button.

Then you need to define your target audience.

define your target audience

Next, you need to choose your budget and the timeline of your Instagram ad. Then preview what your ad looks like on your Instagram feed, and stories, and explore.

Now, let's get to the exciting part!


How to create thumb-stopping Instagram Story ads?

How to create thumb-stopping Instagram Story ads

When we're watching Instagram stories, we have to admit that we're tapping a little bit fast to get to the next one.

But this doesn't need to happen to your Instagram campaign!


1. Target the right Instagram audience

To ensure that your Instagram campaigns will fall into the right eyes... you need to target the right audience on Instagram.

This is achievable because when you start your business, you already have a target market in mind. And if you have a social media marketing strategy, you also identify your target audience.

So, when creating Instagram campaigns, keep these things in mind when choosing an audience:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests

Knowing these will help your ads land on the right Instagram users.

The next one is...


2. Know your goals

If you know what you're trying to achieve, you can create engaging Instagram campaigns that align with your goals.

For example, if your goal is building brand awareness... you need to create an Instagram ad that talks about and introduces your brand or product.

So, don't forget to set a goal before launching an Instagram campaign. This will help you map out your plan.

Another thing you need to do is...


3. Create enticing visuals

Users consume dozens of content on social media platforms.

And to make sure they pause when they see your ads, your visuals need to pop. Also, it's best if you stick to your brand identity.

This will help you be more recognizable as a brand. So the next time they come across your Instagram ad, they can easily notice you.

You can also...


4. Be creative

Think outside the box. Don't stick with the typical image or video story ads you see.

Because to create scroll-stopping ads, you need to be unique. You can deep-dive into video marketing or content marketing to help you be more creative.

Utilize the tools, like Instagram Stories stickers, to make it more engaging. Or you can also use gifs. Do whatever you like.

Don't be afraid to try something new. It might seem like a risk, but as long as you know how to do it right, it will pay off!

And lastly...


5. Write engaging copy

For your target customers to take your desired action, write a compelling and engaging copy.

Of course, you still need to align your copy with your goals. And your copy should focus on how your products can benefit your customers. Not just promotional.

Here are some things to remember when writing your copy:

  • Use your tone of voice
  • Don't be too pushy
  • Don't put too many texts because the Instagram stories might look jammed

Ready to write an engaging copy? If yes... let's see some examples to inspire you!


3 Instagram Stories ad examples to inspire you


1. Summoner's Greed

Summoner's Greed

This is a creative way to promote a game on Instagram stories.

And we have to admit... it looks risky! It doesn't have the most enticing visual, but the text and illustration were humorous.

This kind of Instagram ad shows us a glimpse of what kind of business or company they are, which is fun and risk-takers.


2. True Classic

True Classic

True Classic is straightforward with this Instagram ad campaign.

But it looks enticing because of two things.

First, you can see their product in the background. The shirts look nice quality and you can see some colors available.

The second one is the text. They emphasized the 50% off... which is a fantastic way to stop users from viewing the next story and shop now by clicking the CTA button.

True Classic proves that straightforward and simple ads are effective.

As long as you can deliver your message properly and encourage your target customers to purchase from your eCommerce store.


3. The New Yorker

The New Yorker

Another no-fluff Instagram ad is from The New Yorker.

The illustration looks somewhat relatable to people who love reading. The text also speaks to the target audience as it says, "For people who like to read."

And at the bottom, there is also the offer... which is 12 weeks of unlimited access for only $6. Everything they need to know is there.

So, this ad proves that it's important that your ad resonates with your target audience. You also need to include the deal as much as possible.

Are you inspired by these brands?


It's your turn to create your own Instagram Story ad campaigns!

If you haven't created your own Instagram ad yet, it might feel challenging at first. But by using the information you read in this blog, making your own Instagram ad via stories is now easier.

Don't be afraid to experiment to see which type of ad works well. Then apply the things that worked on your next Instagram campaign.

To support your Instagram ads, you also need a strong social media marketing strategy. If you need help or ideas, you can read...


Social media marketing guide for eCommerce businesses in 2024!

Trisha Ballesteros

Trisha Ballesteros

Trisha Ballesteros is a content writer and digital creator who's skilled and passionate about marketing, social media, tech, and user experience.

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