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Market Trends

5 things to know when designing Instagram Stories creatives

Written by
22 Oct, 2017


With 250M+ daily-active users, Instagram Stories is an invaluable opportunity for brands to connect with their audience through immersive visuals.

In this blogpost our aim is to give you a mini Instagram Stories Creatives Crash Course so you can get the most out of advertising on Instagram stories.

1. Keep it simple

Ad Stories can include a single image or a video of up to 15 seconds and cannot be rewatched by the audience. This means your message has to be direct and straight to the point in order to immediately capture the attention of your audience so they don’t swipe it away.

Disney’s 15-second video ad for the promotion of its 2017 blockbuster adaptation of Beauty and the Beast is a great example of this. It immediately engages the audience with its recreation of a pinnacle scene from the original 1991 animated movie: when the Beast and Belle, in her iconic yellow gown, are romantically dancing the waltz in the ballroom. The ad concludes  with the new movie’s poster and release date, reminding the audience to catch it in the cinema.

2. Make use of Canvas

Canvas is an immersive full screen experience for mobile devices that anyone can use. You can use a Canvas to give people more information about your products or services, before asking them to make a purchase. Instagram stories allows you to makes 9:16 vertical videos on the platform and ‘skippable ads’ to appear between stories with seamless transitions. It is crucial to ensure you make use of the entire full screen (from top to bottom) to project the information you want to make known.

After Beauty and the Beast, Disney capitalised on Insta Stories again for the promotion of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The cleverly designed creative has three levels of script from top to bottom: the name of the movie, snippets of footage, and the release date.

3. Highlight the main information

For your message to be easily understood your text and branding needs to be clear. For example, when you are promoting a discount, reduction or competition you need to ensure the message is concise.

Here Northweek uses a ‘boomerang’ effect on its creative so the discount information is singled out from the rest of the visuals. Note that the second piece of information you read from the creative is the name of the brand itself.

4. Add a Call-To-Action

By adding a “Call-to-Action” at the end of your ad, you encourage a response from your audience.  This should be done immediately so your audience is entered into your conversion funnel straight away.

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Nivea used an animated video creative to create awareness around its anti-fatigue range of products. At the bottom of the creative, the brand placed the CTA “learn more” which redirected its audience to the range’s page on Nivea’s website.

Here is an example of  other CTAs pushed on Insta stories displaying the advertiser’s objectives such as “Buy” (left) and “Install” (right).

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5. Reuse your existing Creatives!

Want to benefit from the ad opportunity provided by Insta stories but don’t have a vertical video ? Make one out of your existing creatives. You can play with large branding and  layers of information or even different creatives edited together to make one vertical visual.

From a standard Pre Roll video unit, MakeMeReach’s in-house creative studio designed a multi-playing vertical video with different thumbnails. It was designed to promote Raymour & Flanigan’s ‘7 days a week’ delivery service and was hugely popular thanks to its vibrant colours and sleek messaging.

We recommend you bear these five tips in mind when designing your Instagram stories creatives. With 15 million businesses using Instagram worldwide, trying to stand out from the crowd can be challenging. Whether you choose to tell your brand’s story or want to promote your latest discount code, Instagram Stories is an invaluable tool to increase your brand’s awareness. Keep it simple, highlight the main information, be inventive with your designs and you’ll be on your way to a viral Insta Story!

Want to know how best to advertise on Instagram? Read our Ultimate Guide

About The Marketing Team No matter where we are or what we’re doing, we’re always listening to office gossip… And by that we mean blog content! Innovative features on the platform, clients’ feedback, the latest social ad tech news, we’re a sponge for knowledge. We’re constantly striving to produce unconventional content relating to our social ad tech solutions in order to educate our readers on all the latest in the social-media sphere.

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