November 17, 2020 Last updated November 17th, 2020 918 Reads share

How To Boost Instagram Performance With Stories and Story Ads

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Instagram has helped many businesses gain more visibility, reach out to a broader audience, and make more profits. Your business is getting it wrong if it is not using social media in this technologically driven age.

There are several social media platforms through which brands, businesses, and entrepreneurs have been able to market their products and services efficiently, and Instagram happens to play a significant role here. 

Instagram is one of the world’s big three social media platforms with millions of users. However, beyond its widespread base, it has been a great tool that has helped businesses and brands thrive through its many features like the Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories and Story ads are extraordinary channels to obtaining high ROI, at fairly low initial costs. Through Stories, you can advertise your products and services and take your business to the next level.

Here are some data-proven tips on creating interactive and engaging Stories and Story ads, the most suitable video formats for your Stories, and the number of Stories you should post daily.

Why Use Instagram Stories?

The Stories feature is one of the most successful Instagram features. So successful in fact that other platforms started to implement their own Story options.

Its strength lies in delivering quick short-form content, with plenty of space for creativity by combining multiple Stories, while inducing the fear of missing out due to the 24-hour timeframe.

What’s more, this feature has proven to work exceptionally well when used by businesses, as Instagram data shows that over one-third of the most viewed Stories were from business-owned Instagram pages.

You can identify Instagram Stories of persons you are following at the top of the homepage of your Instagram App (when using it). Here, recently updated Stories are usually contained within a pink-colored highlighted circle around the individual’s profile thumbnail.

On clicking or tapping on the profile circle, this circle enlarges into a full-screen, enabling you to view whatever the individual has posted. This could be an image, video, ad, or a combination of all. 

The Difference Between Instagram Stories and Instagram Story Ads

As mentioned, these Stories do not have the permanent nature of other posts as they only last for a maximum of 24hours, except for when they are saved as highlights. 

On the other hand, Instagram Story ads are exceptional due to the fact that they combine the engaging nature of Stories, with product-oriented goals.

One major difference is that unlike your usual Instagram Stories, Story ads can run for as long as you want them to. 

However, they are found amidst your ordinary Instagram Story and are hard to tell apart. For this reason, it’s best to make sure your Story ads include a message that is oriented towards native content rather than the classic sale pitch.

These ads can reach your customers because they are inserted into your customer’s personal experience when they’re watching Stories from the users they follow. This makes the ads unavoidable for your customers. 

5 Tips on How to Boost Your Instagram Performance Using Stories and Story Ads

To understand how to properly optimize creating stories, you need to benchmark results against other brand stories and identify what high performing stories have in common.

These are 5 data-proven tips that resulted after an analysis of 661,565 stories and 64,571 story ads.

#1. Increase Story Retention To 70% +

The first step to boost your Instagram performance using Stories and Story ads is to increase Story retention to 70%.

First and foremost, you have to make sure to post content that is relatable, easy to consume, creative, and educational on your Stories or ads. The more memorable your brand Stories are, the more people will interact with you and follow your Stories regularly.

Another very important aspect of Story retention that you have to pay attention to is how often you publish. For better performance, it is advised that you publish up to 5 Stories per day, thus assuring that retention rate of over 70%, according to a 2020 Instagram Stories study conducted by Socialinsider and

To achieve a 70%+ retention rate, you have to be consistent with your message on Instagram. Let your audience know what to expect but not just how to expect it. This way, they hang around waiting for you to post Stories.

#2. Make the First 3 Daily Stories Count

The second step to creating high-performing Stories and Story ads is to focus most of your efforts on the first 3 daily Stories, and create messages designated for a wider audience, rather than your loyal fanbase. 

While your loyal audience is more than willing to go through all of your content, not everyone will have the time to follow through on all your Stories, especially when you publish a lot of them. In fact, most of the Story exists happen within the first three Stories, according to the same Instagram Stories research.

The more Stories you publish, the more attention is drawn to the first, second, and third Stories as that’s where people might decide to stop viewing or probably get to other things. 

While it is best to publish up to 5 Stories a day, you have to make sure your first 3 Stories count and convey the message you want to pass to both to your Instagram audience, as well as any potential new followers.

#3. Leverage Video Stories and Video Ads for High Returns

Publishing pictures, especially when they are detailed and attractive is great, but making use of video Stories turns out to be even better.

If you want to get high returns on your Stories and ads, then prioritize videos. The same Story analysis outlines that video Stories are much more effective, as they obtain lower tap-forward rates, exit rates, and drive more conversations.

Also, video Stories and video ads are better ways to get a higher click-through rate. However, in leveraging video Stories and video ads for high returns, you must take note of the following:

  • Make sure the video Story or ad is of a very high quality
  • Keep it short, detailed, interesting, and entertaining
  • The message conveyed in the video should be simple and easy to understand.
  • Ensure the video doesn’t bore your audience!

Apply this advice to Story ads, and watch your CTR go through the roof.

#4. Make Setting Objectives a Top Priority

When setting objectives for your Story ads, ask yourself what you’d like to achieve by posting it. 

Doing so helps you measure your Instagram Story or Story ad’s effectiveness and the impact it has on your existing or potential customers. It also helps your brand define its priorities. 

The objectives could range from conversions, link clicks, engagement or even views, to off-Instagram goals such as product installs or catalog sales. 

story ads objectives

However, the numbers show that the majority of brands use Story ads in order to obtain link clicks or conversions.

Step #5 – Check If Your Story or Story Ad Metrics Are In Line With Your KPIs

There can be no true progress if you cannot measure how effective your Story or Story ads are at every step of the way.

First, you should define your main metrics depending on your goals and KPI. Are you looking for conversions, brand awareness, or answers from the audience? 

Then, keep a track record of how well your ads are faring, and make changes if the numbers are low. You can do this by measuring your audience response through the percentage of lead conversions, link clicks, and then comparing these against the results of previous similar advertisements.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes, creating and running Instagram Stories and Story ads may become overwhelming. 

The various options and ad combos available can make it difficult to find the perfect recipe for high-performing Stories. However, having some average results to steer you in the right direction will make the entire process faster and easier.

Keep an open mind, try out as many options as possible, identify what has worked for other brands, and consistently keep an eye on your performance. 

But don’t forget to have some fun in the process. Your Instagram Stories are a creative way to showcase your business and entice customers and prospects.

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Teodora Lozan

Teodora Lozan

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