Instagram Stories is quickly changing the way businesses connect with and inspire their audience – creating new opportunities for them to stand out in a fresh, ephemeral way.
The number of daily active Stories users hit 250 million this summer and more than 50% of brands on Instagram have created a story in the past month (according to the platform’s internal data) – so it’s an important tool for brands who want to remain front of mind and at the top of customers’ feeds.
The amount of time people spend watching videos on their mobiles is also increasing – time spent watching videos on Instagram has risen by 80% year-on-year – and businesses and brands are beginning to realise the potential impact of vertical video.
With the help of the Creative Shop team at Instagram, we’ve put together some examples highlighting how businesses can take advantage of the various creative tools on Instagram Stories and create engaging vertical content for their audiences – whether through a creative use of emoji or a clever approach to 15-second storytelling.
Using the Progress bar
Using the Stories progress bar in adverts can result in a playful approach to vertical video. App studio Joystick created an animated advert that runs from left to right to promote a discount code for in-app purchases while plant company Lucky Shrub matched the movement of a watering can with that of the progress bar in a film that shows plants sprouting from empty pots. Jeweller Mangata Gallo made clever use of the progress bar and contrasting colours in an advert promoting its bracelets and rings:
As all video adverts in Stories play for a maximum of 15 seconds, we’re seeing businesses and brands embrace short-form video with creative that pairs well with this context. This ad from Club:Soda gives customers a few seconds to guess the origin of the product before revealing the answer in the video’s final seconds.
Highlighting the profile photo in the top left of the screen on can be a simple but effective way to encourage audiences to find out more about your business. Pretzel makers Pretzel Prince created an ad that invites people to tap on the brand’s profile photo to learn about a new flavour while Club:Soda promised a 50% discount to those who tapped on the image.
Adding text and emoji to Stories is a great way to customise native adverts and make your account stand out. Lucky Shrub and Pretzel Prince have adopted a playful approach to using emoji in video ads – Pretzel Prince’s piñata video is a fun use of the pretzel emoji and looping video while Lucky Shrub’s ad uses images of plants alongside a call to ‘Spruce up your Space’:
We’re seeing lots of businesses and brands use the pause feature to interact with people and share something fun within their adverts. Mangata Gallo, Lucky Shrub and Joystick have all created vertical videos that encourage users to press the pause button to uncover a product or promotion:
Brands are always looking for fresh ways to connect with their customers and help them learn more about a product or service. That’s why we launched links in adverts in Instagram Stories earlier this year (more info here). Both Club:Soda and Lucky Shrub have created adverts that are designed with the swipe up function in mind:
To learn more about reaching your audience with adverts in Stories, click here.
Insights is part of Inspire, a year-long partnership between Creative Review, Facebook and Instagram showcasing outstanding creative work and emerging talent on both platforms. More advice and inspiration is also available at Facebook’s Creative Hub.
Creative Hub was launched in 2016 to help the creative communities understand mobile marketing. The online tool allows creatives to experiment with content formats – from Instagram video to Facebook Canvas – and produce mock-ups to share with clients and stakeholders. It also showcases successful campaigns created for mobile. Try out the mock up tool at facebook.com/ads/creativehub and see the inspiration gallery here facebook.com/ads/creativehub/gallery