Life after the Instagram algorithm has created a significant shift within the social marketing space, in a way that has left a lot of us frustrated and somewhat defeated in the past three years. The truth of the matter is that's what we have to live with now. If you think you can continue growing your social channels organically the way you could in 2014, then you're in for a surprise. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it's challenging to see substantial growth without utilizing sponsored posts within your content strategy. To grow your social channels with the algorithm in consideration, you should start investing not just effort, but money into sponsored content. That will help to amplify your presence with your target audience and ensure they see what your brand has to offer. Amplify your presence with Instagram Stories by creating a set of ads for your target audience. Doing this will result in growing your channels, creating more leads, generating sales, and meeting the goals you set for your brand. In last month's webinar, we dove into how to create captivating Stories that generate engagement and don't make your audience skip your story. Below are some key takeaways to follow along while watching the webinar!
"Life after the Instagram algorithm has created a significant shift within the social marketing space."
Why Spend Money on Sponsored Stories?
If you genuinely want your business to grow on social in 2019 and beyond, it's critical to invest in your brand's visibility. Gone are the days where you can grow organically. While you can grow with strategic partnerships, it's important to diversify your marketing strategy by allocating budget for Stories ads to guarantee the visibility you need.
Why It's Critical to Invest in Paid Content
- According to Instagram, 58% of Story viewers become more interested in a brand after watching them featured in a Story
- People typically have to be exposed to a brand at least seven times before they consider investing in the brand and making a purchase
- Using Stories is another medium that allows you to get exposed to your audience so they can continue getting familiarized and educated about your brand
What Does It Take to Create a Captivating Story?
When creating sponsored Stories, it's important to note that just because your content is an ad, it shouldn't have to come off as an ad or be too salesy. People hate being sold to, so approach your content creation from an organic standpoint to showcase your brand in a way that resonates with your target audience. A few other keys to think of when you're creating a captivating story:
- From a consumer standpoint, ask yourself what makes you tap to learn more about an ad?
- What makes you swipe to the next story and not want to see it anymore?
- How are you integrating actual storytelling within your Stories?
- Is the message, brand, product, and CTA clear? Don't waste money on content that doesn't send a clear message.
Let Your Goals Guide Your Message and Creative Direction
What exactly is your ad intended to do, and are you translating what you want your audience to do within the call to action, message, and creative direction?
- Are you driving news/awareness?
- Are you driving interest?
- Are you driving consideration?
- Are you driving conversions?
- Are you driving for follows?
- Are you driving sales?
Make sure you're clear on your goal. The more precise you are with your message, the more you'll be able to track the results.
Basics to Creating Sponsored Stories 101
Whether you're a content creator sharing a set of sponsored Stories or a brand creating your first set of Stories ads via Facebook Ad Manager, there are some guidelines to follow.
If you're an influencer, you must disclose that your post is sponsored native content with #ad or #sponsored (be it on your feed or Stories). This goes for whether you have 1k followers or 100K followers. For more details on how to abide by FTC rules and regulations, read more here.
To get started creating Instagram ads, brands must have a business account set first before they begin boosting their own content. From there, creating a Stories ad is fairly simple, and Instagram and Facebook have laid it out pretty simple for you to follow. Head to this link from Instagram to see a step by step view of how to create your own Stories ad or carousel ads!
A few basic requirements you need as a brand:
- For one ad, it can be either a still image or video (15 sec.)
- Ad carousels allow you to share 2-3 Stories in one ad set
- StoriesEdit templates already have Stories dimensions, so your content is ready to upload directly to Instagram
- Must have a call to action set
Key to Creating Visually Captivating Stories
It's important to note that it's not merely creating an ad with StoriesEdit, and then uploading it to the Facebook Ad Manager to let it run. Make sure you craft your graphic and message with an organic mindset that is aimed to reach your goals while visually captivating your audience.A few basics to follow when using StoriesEdit to create visually stunning Stories:
- Get creative! We created StoriesEdit templates to be fully customizable. Make sure your colors and branding are always in line with the visual guidelines you established for your brand. Also, make good use of our text, shapes, and color tools within the app - the templates are your blank canvas!
- Make good use of photos and videos to make your Stories much more dynamic, rather than just one still image that people will have to look at.
- Imagery is vital - so make sure that your images can translate the lifestyle of your brand rather than having imagery that is so "salesy" or boring. Identify what's the lifestyle and story that you want your brand to emulate, and let that translate into the imagery you shoot to use within your social content.
- Let your content be disruptive in the sense that it stands out against the noise, but doesn't disrupt your audience's social content consumption. You want to make sure you're leaving a good impression that actually makes them engage with your content, rather than having something completely off-brand.
With these tips, you'll be on your way to creating better sponsored Stories and Stories ads that will generate more engagement from your audience and drive results! Also, if you haven't downloaded our newest tool StoriesEdit, it will help maximize your content creation without having to hire a graphic designer.
Update 11/14: The FTC recently released a disclosure statement for working with social media influencers. You can review the full document here.