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Connecting with your audience through Instagram Stories

Stories are full-screen vertical images or videos appear at the top of your followers Instagram pages. Photo stories are visible for 5 seconds or until the user swipes out of the story.

Image ratios: 9:16 and 16:9 to 4:5

Consider leaving roughly 14% (250 pixels) of the top and bottom of the image free from text and logos to avoid covering these key elements with the profile icon or call-to-action. This means, if your image is 1080×1920, ensure key elements appear within a 1080×1420 title-safe area.

Stories is an immersive creative format that enables people on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger to view and share everyday moments through photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.

Stories appear on top of your followers’ feeds and can help you increase engagement on your Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts through frequent, authentic and casual communication. People can react to Pages’ stories with emojis, reply within the Page’s story itself and share stories with their friends.

Here is some more information about stories:

Length, timing and lifespan

Photos play for five seconds each, and videos up to 20 seconds are supported. Each individual story disappears after exactly 24 hours.

Comments and reactions

Only the poster sees comments on and reactions to a story.

Going live

When you go Live, the video is available in your story only for as long as you’re broadcasting.

Audio

Stories don’t use captions, so consider the text and visual overlays to add context.

Privacy

You can change the privacy settings on your stories just like you would for posts.

You can also enhance your stories and make them more playful with creative tools like stickers, emojis, GIFs, and built-in camera effects like Boomerang.

Find out more creative tips for covid-19 lockdown here

Stories have captured people’s imaginations and attention— each of Facebook Inc’s Stories experiences have half a billion people using them daily. This immersive, full-screen and ephemeral medium has not only connected people to those closest to them, but also to the brands and products they love, with 4 million monthly active advertisers on Stories as of January 2020. Stories are a great way to visually share real moments. We’re seeing that Stories from businesses really resonate and drive results. People love Stories because they’re a playful and authentic peek behind the curtain into your business.

We’ve also seen that several of the strategies associated with high-performing mobile-feed ads, such as delivering information quickly and showcasing the brand or product advertised throughout, can be effective for Stories ads.

We recommend the following best practices based on the results of several research studies. While these tips have shown success for a certain business, always test to understand if they will work with your creative and your audiences.

Approach

Keep attention with speed: People consume Stories content much faster than other mediums. We recommend you create stories that capture the audience’s attention from the first frame and use speed to keep their attention.

Create for Stories-first: You can choose from a range of creative approaches when designing your Story. We recommend a fullscreen vertical design made specifically for the Stories medium, but you can also repurpose an asset from another placement. If you choose to repurpose an existing asset, make sure not to remove important information through cropping or zooming. You can also choose between automatic default or customizable Stories templates.

Use multiple scenes: Ads that have short, concise scenes perform better than long slow scenes. Use fast-paced narratives that are quick to get to the point and easier for viewers to consume.

Enhance with motion: Ads that use motion perform better. Consider adding motion to your static images.

Test mobile shots depending on your objective: Both organic videos shot by a mobile phone or professional studio shots work for Stories. Mobile shots outperform studio shots for ad recall and intent, while studio shots tend to drive higher brand awareness.

Mix and match video and static: Campaigns with multiple ad sets tend to perform better. Try using mixed medium assets, such as static images and motion videos, in your Stories.

Brand

Begin with your brand: We’ve noticed that ads with the best performance tend to put their key messages at the beginning of the ad. Put your logos or brand elements at the start of your creative.

Design with your objective in mind: Your ad will perform better if you design your creative around your objective. If you use a brand objective, focus your ad on people. If you use a conversion objective, focus on products.

Limit price inclusion: Ads that don’t include specific prices perform better for purchases and brand awareness.

Format and Execution

Pair text with focal point: Ads that include centrally located text, such as “add to cart,” at a specific focal point are helpful in driving conversion metrics.

Enhance with sound: We find that the majority of Stories with voice-over or music drive better results compared to ads without any sound. Use audio to enhance your message.

Avoid unnecessary stickers: Stickers can be a great way to draw attention to your product and let your ad feel natural. However, stickers can also draw attention away from the product and feel inconsistent. Don’t use unnecessary stickers that look unnatural or clutter your creative.

Call your audience to action strategically: Your call-to-action (CTA) drives viewers to take actions on your ad. Emphasize the action you want your audience to take, such as “swipe up” or “shop here.”

Land takeaways with text overlay: When using text overlays in Stories, consider carefully what method works best with your creative. Use text to emphasize key messages, but keep your focus on one point.