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run-instagram-story-ads Run Instagram Story Ads For Businesses



How To Successfully Run Instagram Story Ads?

Updated on: 25/07/2022

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Short and engaging content has been the heart of the various social media platforms these days. Instagram has grown a lot in recent years and thus, we are able to see various companies taking advantage of Instagram Story Ads. Statistics revealed that more than 500 million people engage with Instagram Stories each day. This offers the brands whopping opportunities to engage with their users, generate high-quality leads as well as promote their business. 

With the aid of the organic stories that every account is eligible to create, you can only reach a limited number of people who follow you. Thus, the best way to reach a considerable lot of people even though they are not following you or even do not know you are by the use of Instagram Stories Ads. This is what we are going to cover in this article. 

In addition to this, we will also give you some insight into the story ads on Instagram that have become quite successful in branding companies. However, there are also various ways to use Instagram for branding your business. 

What Are Instagram Story Ads?

Instagram Story Ads are mostly seen as the vertical ads that you are able to run on the Stories feature of Instagram. This can be run on the Stories feature of Instagram. Instagram story is a feature that comes from the house of Instagram and offers the profile holders to showcase their photos and videos and is available for the audience for the next 24 hours. The story is a special segment and is not available on your IG feeds.

What makes the Instagram Ads pretty is the liberty to add links as well as create clickable stories with various features like polls, answer questions and more. This helps the advertisers to drive even more traffic at the end of the marketing funnel. It has been seen that the ads have also generated a high ROI or Return Of Investments. 

The Instagram Story Ads are completely and seamlessly immersed in the story-viewing experience of the users. It is often difficult to differentiate between the story ads and the regular stories unless you spot the “Sponsored” tag appearing below the username when you or any other advertiser posts an ad.

The static Instagram Story Ads that are longer than the recommendations are generally split into separate cards. These are displayed one after the other. However, if the videos are too long, Instagram usually pauses the ads and asks the users if they would like to continue watching the ad with the option “Keep Watching”.

What Are The Marketing Objectives of IG Story Ads?

Instagram reigns the social media market with a variety of call-to-actions (CTAs). Whether you would like to have a call-to-action button with a link or the “Swipe Up” action will completely define the nature and objective of your ad campaign. This will clearly state what you want to receive after a user has viewed your ad and taken an action - buy, contact or view?

Now, with the Instagram features, you are eligible to tailor your marketing goals and objectives through the CTAs. As of now, an advertiser is able to set seven marketing objectives. These include:

✅ App Installs: Let people install your app by linking directly to an app store.

✅ Brand Awareness: Raise awareness for your brand by accumulating people who are likely to be interested in your products.

✅ Conversions: Drive fruitful actions like signups or purchases on your website or app.

✅ Lead Generation: Drive sales leads as well as collect various information such as email and phone numbers through the sign-up forms.

✅ Reach: Displaying ads to the maximum number of people.

✅ Traffic: Increasing the number of people that view your website or download your app after they view Instagram stories

✅ Video Views: Encourage people to watch your videos.

In this context, take note that for choosing most of these objectives, you have to run successful ads using the Facebook Ads Manager. Currently, Instagram itself does not offer an extensively high level of customization.

The Specifications Of Instagram Story Ads

By now you already have a clear idea of what Instagram Story ads are and how they kind of work. We will talk more about how you can run these ads. But before that what is most important is the specifications that the app supports. This will help you to have fewer errors while creating an ad, have the appropriate file formats and less time wastage. That said, you must keep in mind that the specifications for the story ads are almost similar to the organic Instagram stories. 

  • Captions

It is a disadvantage that Instagram does not provide inbuilt captions or subtitles. That said, you have to include those captions and subtitles in the image or video files if you want to include them. 

  • Dimensions

The best dimension offered by Instagram for its story ads is 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels tall, ie., 1080 x 1920 having an aspect ratio of 9:16. The minimum width is necessitated to be 500 pixels. Thus, if you try and upload any content that does to abide by the above-mentioned dimensions, then Instagram would forcefully zoom in or crop the content. This would lead to poor, stretched-out content.

  • File Formats

There are various file formats for the videos and the images. However, not all of the available formats are supported by Instagram. The wide varieties of accepted file formats for images include JPEG and PNG. the videos are required to be uploaded in the formats MP4 or MOV having a duration of 15 seconds or less. The minimum time threshold for the images and videos in story ads is 3 seconds. 

  • Resolution

It must be kept in mind that Instagram compresses the images and the videos while you are trying to upload them. Thus, you need to take care of the resolution and keep it at the maximum. This will make sure that while Instagram continues to do so, the file is not grained out affecting the quality of the images and the videos. 

Summing Up The Insta Story Ads Specifications

The following is a sum-up of the Instastory Ads Specs:

Image Story Ads Specs

Video Story Ads Specs

✅ Aspect ratios: 9:16 and 4:5 to 1.91:1

✅ Maximum duration: 5 secs

✅ Maximum file size: 30 MB

✅ Supported image types: .jpg, .png

✅ Aspect ratios: 9:16 and 4:5 to 1.91:1

✅ Maximum duration: 60 secs

✅ Maximum file size: 4 GB

✅ Minimum video width: 500 px

✅ Supported video types: .mp4, .mov

✅ Video quality: H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan

✅ Audio quality: Stereo AAC audio compression at 128 kbps+

✅ Sound: Optional


The following are the creative tools that are available for the Instagram Stories Ads:

✅ Animated GIF

✅ Boomerang

✅ Camera effects

✅ Face filters

✅ Mentions

✅ Poll sticker

✅ Rewind

✅ Stickers

✅ Superzoom

✅ Text

What Are The Various Instagram Story Advertisement Formats You Can Use?

The social media platform, Instagram offers you diverse formats to put your content out to the public and advertise your brand and products. Each format has its own benefits and uses. Currently, four formats for the sponsored stories comprise the following: 

  • Single Image: A static image that just plays for 5 seconds.
  • Video: A video advertisement that plays for a maximum of 15 seconds (ideal time). The video ad can be as long as 60 seconds but the viewers will be prompted if they wish to continue seeing it further after 15 seconds.
  • Canvas: These ads permit the viewers to open them in full screen enjoying a mobile-optimized experience straight from the ad.
  • Carousel: This feature permits you to play three different pieces of content such as photos, videos or both in just one ad for up to 15 seconds.

Now let us get into a bit more detail about these various Instagram Ad templates. We will also help you to have a better understanding of the concept through some examples. 

1. Single Image Ad Format

Single image ads are the standard ad template of Instagram. This appears as full-screen vertical ads between the organic story feed of the users. This means that when the users are scrolling through their IG story feed after say one or two organic stories, an ad is displayed. These single-image story ads are visible for around five seconds or until the viewer scrolls out of the stories. Thus, it is better to keep these ads as short and crisp as possible.

Let us take a look at the subscription-based German language learning app, Babble.

Single Image Ad Format

Expert Tip: Instagram has its own recommendations that will help you to create a flawless experience for your viewers through Instagram Story Ads. it recommends you to leave around 14% which is 250 pixels at the top and bottom of the image free from texts and logos. This is because the free spaces are where your profile icon and the call to action buttons will be displayed. Thus, elements if placed in these areas would not be visible.

2. Video Ad Format

Are you aware of the fact that video posts on Instagram receive twice as much engagement as compared to the other kinds of posts? That said, Instagram video ads on stories draw all the important attention. You can also apply sounds to your video ads within the time frame of 15-60 seconds.

Here is an example from Harvard Business Review that shows all the information in just 5 seconds.

Expert Tip: The ideal videos must be 15 seconds longer. However, it can go up to 60 seconds. But the users will be prompted to continue watching the rest of the ad following 15 seconds threshold. Thus, sticking to the ideal time will ensure you the most engagement.

3. Canvas Advertisements

The canvas ads on Instagram are now available on Stories as well. They are a great way to showcase some of your branding assets, build an emotional connection having an audience and support your total branding efforts. 

Usually, the canvas advertisements are full-screen as well as interactive format that is specifically designed for both Instagram and Facebook. When the viewers click on the Canvas Ad, the window opens up into a full-screen micro-website permitting them to click, swipe, scroll and tap on the screen. This is something you are not usually able to do with the regular ads that possess only one static image or video. 

Additionally, as it is hosted on Facebook, the load times are much lesser and overcome the issue of frustrating mobile ad experiences. The best part is that this feature supports GIFs, videos and the same interactive abilities of a website. This offers you a great opportunity to show your creativity through a single ad that will attract your customers and viewers.

4. Carousel Ad Format

These Insta ads are one of the best methods to promote your brand in pretty refreshing and attractive ways. These ads include 2-3 cards in just a single advertisement and can contain an amalgamation of photos and videos. Carousel ad formats are considered to be the best format for showcasing multiple products or sequenced narratives. 

However, there are currently two kinds of carousel ad formats available within Instagram Stories:

Native Stories Carousel: This automatically displays 3 cards having full-screen creatives of up to a maximum duration of 15 seconds. 

Expandable Stories Carousel: This automatically displays 1, 2 or 3 cards. In addition, it also offers the viewers the option to tap the option “Keep Watching” in the bid to view the remaining cards to up to 10 cards. However, your ads must not be longer than 60 seconds in total. 

Let us take a look at the More Is Love brand which has successfully utilized the carousel feature to display its products. 

How To Run Instagram Story Ads Via Facebook Ads Manager?

The best and probably the only way to create ads for your Instagram stories is through the Facebook Ads Manager. However, to boost your ad, you can do it through the Instagram app itself. If you have already created Facebook Ads earlier, the process is going to be simpler for you. But if you are new to this field, here is what you have to do:

Step 1: Go to Google and type “”

Facebook Ads Manager

Step 2: Log in to your profile using your Facebook credentials. 

Facebook Ads Manager Login

Step 3: After you get into your dashboard, locate the “Create” option on the top left and click on it. 

Create Instagram Ads

Step 4: You might have to agree to the Facebook No Discrimination policy. If so, choose “I Agree”.

Facebook Ads Non-discrimination Policies

Step 5: Now, choose a marketing objective. You have to choose from the following options:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Reach
  • Video views
  • Conversions
  • App installs
  • Lead Generation
  • Traffic