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How to Build an Instagram Story Ad Campaign


Building Your Instagram Story Ad Campaign: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to build an Instagram Story ad campaign and find better and more effective ways to advertise on social media.

Social media is clearly one of the most powerful channels to reach audiences and build better connection with customers. Brands are aware of how effective this strategy is, which is why they continue to invest heavily in online ads on popular platforms. Among these is Instagram, which boasts 2 billion active users each month. One of its features, IG Stories, drive 50% of Instagram users to visit a site and make a purchase. So imagine if you can parlay all these statistics into boosting your business results.

How to Build an Instagram Story Ad Campaign

In this article, we discuss where Instagram Story ads can be of immense value and you how to build an Instagram Story ad campaign so you can take your business to the next level.

What is an Instagram Story ad campaign?

An Instagram Story ad campaign is a set of organized Instagram advertisements in Story format designed to meet specific objectives. For example, it can be geared towards such goals as building brand awareness, deepening engagement, or driving sales.

How to Build an Instagram Story Ad Campaign

These show up in between Instagram users’ Stories as sponsored stories. They have different technical requirements from Instagram newsfeed ads, but as part of Facebook’s ad system, you can still incorporate ad features like bidding, scheduling, and targeting. Instagram story ads can appear as photos, videos, or infographics.

Factors to consider when creating an Instagram Story ad

There are several factors to take into consideration when building your Instagram Story ad campaign to make sure it’s effective. Whatever the goal of your ad, here are key factors to look at.

1. Cohesiveness 

An Instagram Story ad campaign consists of a string of ads that point in one direction. Thus, each of your ads needs to correlate with the other for it to form part of a whole. All the ad’s design and content elements should complement each other, from the audio to the imagery. 

2. Authenticity

The effectiveness of Instagram Story ads hinges a great deal on how closely they look and “feel” like spontaneous and genuine Instagram Stories. If they seem too polished, such ads can become less relatable and, therefore, less credible to Instagram users.

3. Imagery 

Wanting to stay authentic doesn’t mean that you should come up with sloppy pics and videos. For people to want to look at them and for you to be able to deliver your message clearly, your visuals need to be of high quality. Many apps like Canva and Snapseed can help you compress and “unblur” your Instagram Stories.

4. Messaging 

Make it easy for your market to “buy” your message by making it as simple and as easy to digest as possible. Too many points can be distracting and confusing. Attention spans are shorter today, and it sure won’t help your cause if your audience has to spend extra time “deciphering” your ads. Include a clear CTA specifying the action you’d like your audience to perform.

5. Interactiveness

Enhance your engagement with your followers by making your Stories more interactive. You can add Instagram stickers, start a poll, add a tap for more prompt, spotlight customers, or go live.

How to build an Instagram story ad campaign

You’ll, of course, need to clarify your objectives to know how you will design your Instagram Story ad campaign. Once you’ve got that down pat and you have your photos or videos ready, you can get started with building your campaign with this easy step-by-step process:

How to Build an Instagram Story Ad Campaign

Step No.1 

Go to Meta Ads Manager. Choose between Guided Creation or Quick Creation to make your ad. Then, click on “Create.”

Step No.2

You’ll then see a list of objectives from brand awareness to conversion. Select one that matches or most closely resembles your goals.

Step No.3

Choose between Automatic Placements or Edit or Manual Placements at the Placements level. Note, though, that Facebook recommends the first one if you want to reach a wider audience. In either method, Instagram Stories will be chosen by default.

Step No.4

Input the additional details of your Instagram Story ad campaign, such as your Instagram ad’s budget, schedule, and design elements.

Step No.5

Then pick an ad format from the following choices: Single Image, Single Video, or Carousel (similar to a slide show).

Step No.6

Add your desired images or videos. You can use the Stories template if you choose a picture and a matching objective other than Traffic, Video Views, Conversions, Store Traffic, or Messages. This enables you to create a customized vertical Stories animation. 

Step No.7

Finally, click on “Confirm” to complete your Instagram Story ad.

Recommended Instagram Story ad size   

Now that you know how to make an Instagram Story ad, you’ll want to make sure that the size and length of your Instagram Story ad are aligned with your objectives. Here’s an updated list of suitable specs for your Instagram Story ad campaign.

1. Instagram Story image ads

  • Ideal resolution: 1080 x 1080 (in JPG or PNG format)
  • Ideal aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Maximum file size: 30MB 

2. Instagram Story video ads

  • Ideal resolution: 1080 x 1080 (in JPG or PNG format)
  • Ideal aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Maximum video size: 4MB (recommended formats are MP4 and MOV)
  • Maximum video length: 2 minutes

3. Instagram Story Carousel ads

  • Ideal resolution: 1080 x 1080 (in JPG or PNG format)
  • Ideal aspect ratio: 1:1
  • Maximum image size: 30MB per image or card
  • Number of images or cards per ad: Minimum of 2 and maximum of 10

Best examples of Instagram Story ads

To get you inspired, here are some of the top examples of a well-structured  Instagram Story ad: 

1. Spotify’s Instagram Story image ad

How to Build an Instagram Story Ad Campaign


Spotify’s Instagram Story ad is simple yet attractively designed to capture the attention of its target demographic of young and fun Instagram users. And the call-to-action or CTA is clear: Sign up to play music anytime and anywhere!

2. Nike’s Instagram Story video ad

How to Build an Instagram Story Ad Campaign


Nike’s Instagram Story video ad campaign “What are you working on?” features various athletes engaged in different sports. It uses powerful imagery and inspiring audio and engages the audience with each sportsperson’s story. This particular ad example talks about one of the world’s most popular sprinters, @dinaashersmith. Quickly, the audience learns about her early start at 16. Then they discover that even as an accomplished athlete, she also has a life outside her sport. By telling her story, Nike sends out the message that you can be more if you’ll just do it!—all while wearing Nike shoes, of course!

3. Banana Republic’s Instagram Story Carousel ad

How to Build an Instagram Story Ad Campaign


Instagram Carousel ads work particularly well for fashion brands like the Banana Republic. In the example, different photos show different ways of wearing your boyfriend’s outfits. You can see the cohesiveness in the design elements, such as the muted color scheme and the natural and relaxed backdrops. It tells you that the photos in the slideshow belong to a single campaign or that the clothes come from one beautiful collection. 

Wrap up

We all know that Instagram is a solid ground for an effective marketing strategy. Leverage the power of its features and tools like Instagram stories to build brand awareness and drive traffic and conversions for your brand. Build a well-designed Instagram Story ad campaign and get the opportunity to hit your targets and get ahead of your competition.

Read our blog and discover more Instagram marketing tips and best practices.

karina gandola

Karina Gandola was born and raised outside the city of Charleston, in the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia. Karina loves writing about the influencer marketing space and an area she is passionate about. She considers her faith and family to be most important to her. If she isn’t spending time with her friends and family, you can almost always find her around her sweet yellow Labrador retriever, Poshna.

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