Just five months after its launch, Instagram stories has more than 150 million daily active users. In order to understand how important this number is, bear in mind that its direct competitor, Snapchat, took 5 years to reach a similar number.
These numbers have quickly caught the attention of brands who want to reach a wider audience. In the beginning, they published their own Instagram stories and users could choose whether to view them or not.
But last Wednesday, Instagram announced the feature of Ads within Instagram Stories, using photos and videos with a duration of up to 15 seconds. Since the launch just about 30 brands, such as Nike, Quanta or Netflix, have started testing out the new feature.
The question is: How to use Ads in Instagram Stories?
Let’s explore 5 ways of doing it:
- Showcase user experiences
In most cases, it’s easier for ys to try a new product or service if it comes recommended by a friend or a family member. This is the reason behind companies such as AirBnb creating 15 second videos of people using their app as a travel guide.
According to Eric Toda, Head of Social Media at Airbnb “ If we create and publish unique experiences, we can inspire users to book their trips through our platform“
It is indeed true that people more than ever want to explore cities without being considered the stereotypical tourist. You can see here how AirBnb’s unique experiences look like:
2. Limited promotions
One of the peculiarities of Instagram Stories is their duration: they only last 24 hours and disappear after. The effect they have on the users, is that you have to be on top, if you don’t want to miss what your friends are up to.
This loyal following of Instagram Stories, makes them an appropriate channel for limited promotions. You can add a link to your online shop. It is the perfect way to take advantage of active shopping days such as Black Friday or Christmas. Or to launch a random limited campaign with a catchy name.
- User contests
One of the features of Instagram Stories is that you can comment on them. This can generate user conversations. This way brands can use a photo or a video to ask a question or to promote the use of a certain hashtag.
If you are an airline for example, you could post a photo from an airport and ask which one it is. The first one to get it right can win a free ticket or a discount.
And when it comes to hashtags, it is a very useful resource to encourage the followers’ creativity. Ask them to create hashtags through stories and award the best one.
- A more natural way for Influencers to endorse products and services
Instagram is one of the main reasons for the rise of “influencers” , people that can be celebrities or just any regular person who has managed to amass a large quantity of followers thanks to the originality of their posts.
Instead of the oh-so-boring direct marketing with a celebrity talking about the benefits of a product, it’s better to just see how the product fits in their daily routine.
For example, if a makeup brand wants to use an influencer to promote a new lipstick line, the chosen one can post a short video from her or his own bathroom. In other words, the product should be seen in a positive light but within a spontaneous context, and not as something prepared in advance.
- Showing the “Behind the scenes”
Many times users wonder how a National Geographic documentary was shot, or how an aircraft was built. Thanks to Instagram Stories companies can be humanized by showing the day-to-day in the office or how their products are done.
For example, if a juice company shows how their juices are made, it gives more credibility and clients would feel more comfortable buying the product.
As you can see, having ads in Instagram Stories opens a new channel for brands to connect with their audience and encourages innovation and transparency. Ready to start your first campaign?