Create Instagram story ads that convert with Biteable

Swiping up is the new swiping right to reach a younger, but rapidly broadening, audience. Use Biteable’s online software to create Instagram story ads that drive sales.

Did you know?

Instagram stories have 500 million daily users and one-third of the most-watched content comes from businesses. — Instagram

How to create Instagram story ads

  1. Find the perfect Story ad template in the Biteable video library.
  2. Edit the Log in or make a new Biteable account – sign up here!.
  3. Use Ad Manager to upload the ad, audience type, and ad spend.
  4. Voila! Your story is now delighting potential customers.
How to make Instagram stories, plus 6 essential tips for Instagram videos.

The basics

What are Instagram stories?

Instagram stories were rolled out on the platform from 2016 and have been evolving ever since. It’s a feature that Instagram cleverly borrowed from their competitor Snapchat and the premise is highly topical, perishable content that expires in 24 hours after posting.

Instagram stories have become incredibly popular with businesses and influencers because the structure allows for more dynamic, casual content in juxtaposition with the Instagram feed that is more permanent and polished.

What is an Instagram story ad?

Instagram introduced story ads in 2017 so they’re by no means a flash in the pan. Story ads are vertical, full-screen canvas ads. They currently come in three formats – video, image, and carousel. They appear in-between a user’s regularly scheduled stories and introduce a new dynamic of swiping up to see more.

Why invest in Instagram story ads?

Stories are a booming market with unique daily users clocking in at over 500 million and story advertising is enjoying a bump from the novelty factor. Unlike stories themselves, story ads can be rerun meaning a single piece of collateral can go further.

While newsfeed ads are appropriate for more traditional advertising, story ads are allowing marketers to create snappier, shorter pieces that align with more casual organic story content.

Getting started

How to run Instagram story ads

The first few seconds are integral in capturing the user’s attention so start with a bang.

Start with a bang

As the user has to actively hold down their thumb to pause or move on from a story, it’s really easy to flick through Instagram stories. But fear not the clicky thumbs of the bored user because Biteable has an entire library of polished, exciting, optimized video templates to grab attention and keep it. Our videos are designed to delight users and reduce churn.

Use video templates to save time

Instagram story ads don’t need to be too polished. When they are, they stand out like a sore thumb from the native story feed. Don’t overthink it. Jump into it with templates and test to see what works with your audience.

Build your own custom Instagram story ad

Once you’ve experimented with templates and know what works, build a custom video with assets, animation, and footage from scratch with our stock library. Tailoring your video to your audience can be as simple as tweaking colors and messaging until you get it just right.

The interface has virtually no learning curve, the stock assets are professional, the music choices are solid, and the price point is spot-on.

Jeff, Biteable member for life

Really easy to use and high quality result elevates our marketing no end. Makes us look very professional indeed. Can't get enough!

Nick, video maker extraordinaire

Pro tips and specs

Add a poll to increase engagement

In 2019, Instagram started to introduce engagement tactics to Instagram story ads such as the two-way poll that’s already incredibly popular on organic stories. Include a poll in your story ad to increase engagement (who doesn’t love a poll that shows instant results?) and remember to leave space for it when designing your creative.

Brand your video ad to increase recall

Make sure your video is well branded. Slip in a big logo, slop on some brand colors, and slap on a link because in all the excitement the user might not even register who is behind the story.

Don’t forget the music – most Insta stories are viewed with sound

Around 60% of Instagram stories are watched with sound so make sure you nail the soundtrack. You can choose from our library or upload your own track. Just make sure you find the perfect song that’ll get your viewers nodding their heads.

Instagram story ads specs

When it comes to Instagram story ads, size matters

Instagram story ads length

You’re capped at 15 seconds for an Instagram story ad which doesn’t feel like much but it’s twice the length of a Vine video and lord knows the kids squeezed a lot into Vines back in the day. Keep it succinct and limit text but remember an interested user can easily pause your vid by holding down on it so you do have a little wiggle room.

Instagram story ads dimensions

Instagram stories are designed to be vertical. You can always trim a horizontal image or video down to fit across the screen but this creates a lot of negative space around the content and the cropping process can compromise quality. The ideal dimensions for an Insta story ad are 1080px by 1920px. This equals an aspect ratio of 9:16.

Instagram story ads file size

Instagram ads are divided between images and videos. For images, all files should be either JPG or PNG format and under 30MB. For videos, go for MP4 files under 4GB. Bear in mind, your CTA will hover at the bottom of the video so don’t cover that valuable real estate with text or distracting visuals.

But don’t worry too much. When you create with Biteable’s Instagram online templates, we optimize all the technical hoo-hah so you can do what you do best — create good content.

Further reading

Keeping up with the Instagrams

For tips, tricks, and timely updates check out Biteable’s blog where we cover the ever-changing landscape of social media marketing. Never be blindsided by an algorithm change again.