How to Create Facebook Ads for Instagram Stories

Facebook advertisers now have the ability to create ads that reach users within Instagram Stories. Here’s what you need to know…

Instagram, as you know, is owned by Facebook. Instagram Stories are collections of images and videos that users create, similar to SnapChat Stories. If you are old (hey, settle down — I’m old, too), just know that this is all the rage and something the kids are doing these days. Facebook not only copied it for Instagram Stories but started doing the same for Messenger Day.

So… You want to create Facebook ads for Instagram Stories, eh? Let’s get to it…

Facebook Ads for Instagram Stories: Background

Facebook advertisers can now select Instagram Stories as a placement when running ads within Power Editor, Ads Manager or tools utilizing the Facebook ads API. Advertisers can place an ad image or video (up to 15 seconds) between Instagram Stories.

Of course, you won’t be able to choose which Instagram Stories feature your ad, just as you can’t choose which video, app or website it appears in or on.

Connect Your Instagram Account

If you haven’t yet connected an Instagram account to your Facebook ads account, you’ll need to do this first. Go to your Business Manager settings…

Facebook Ads Instagram Stories

Select “Instagram Accounts” under “People and Assets” on the left.

Facebook Ads Instagram Stories

Click to “Claim New Instagram Account.”

Facebook Ads Instagram Stories

Enter your Instagram login credentials…

Facebook Ads Instagram Stories

Select the ad account(s) that you want to access this Instagram account…

Facebook Ads Instagram Stories

Now you should be good to go!

How to Create Facebook Ads for Instagram Stories

Within either Power Editor or Ads Manager, create a campaign using the Reach objective.

Facebook Ads Reach Objective

On the ad set level under placement, you may now see a message about creating ads for Instagram Stories…

Facebook Ads Instagram Stories

You’ll want to edit placement to include only “Stories” under “Instagram.”

Facebook Ads Instagram Stories

Once you make that selection, other placement options will uncheck (you can’t use other placements in addition to Instagram Stories).

At the ad level, you’ll have the option of including a single image or a single video…

Facebook Ads Instagram Stories

If using a single image, Facebook recommends 1080 x 1920 pixels (9:16 aspect ratio) with little or no text.

Facebook Ads Instagram Stories

If using a single video, it can’t be more than 15 seconds long with a file size of 2.3 GB. It also needs to be a 9:16 aspect ratio and at least 720p quality.

Facebook Ads Instagram Stories

You’ll then need to either select an Instagram account or have the ad come from your Facebook page.

Facebook Ads Instagram Stories

Enter tags or tracking if you want, but otherwise you’re all set to launch a Facebook ad within Instagram Stories.

Disadvantages of Facebook Ads in Instagram Stories

In the final step above, you may have spotted the potential disadvantages of running ads within Instagram Stories: You can’t promote a link or add text.

You are limited to a single image or a single 15-second video only. Your message is going to come from that creative, and nowhere else. You will have no opportunity to send people to your website.

Ways to Use Facebook Ads in Instagram Stories

Since there isn’t (currently) an opportunity to send traffic with your Facebook ads in Instagram Stories, this is purely an awareness play. And given that the only objective you can (currently) select is Reach, this shouldn’t be a major surprise.

Your image or video needs to make a memorable statement. And since Facebook doesn’t like images with text, that may prove challenging without the use of a video.

In most cases, I’d recommend utilizing the video format. You have 15 seconds to tell your story and make an impression.

This wouldn’t be an ad unit to lean heavily on for sales and traffic, obviously. But it could be a first step in a product launch to get the attention of a potential audience.

My assumption is that you could create an Engagement Custom Audience of those who have watched the video. That would then allow you to create a second ad that targets those who watched it featuring a link to your product (or website).

Your Turn

Do you have the ability to create ads within Instagram Stories yet? How might you use it?

Let me know in the comments below!