Facebook Stories Ads officially launched to global advertisers in September 2018, offering a new way for marketers to engage users and boost conversions. To date, over 300 million people use Facebook Stories, making it one of the highest engaged social platforms and a great opportunity for marketers to reach targeted users.
What are Facebook Stories Ads?
Facebook Stories were introduced for users to share and discover content, interact and engage on a vertical screen. Facebook Stories Ads are vertical, visual advertisements placed in the Stories feed on mobile devices. Image ads in this format can appear up to 6 seconds, while a video ad can run up to 15 seconds. To visit an external page (e.g. landing page like the App Store), users need to swipe up on a call-to-action. They look similar to Instagram Stories, creating an immersive full-screen experience.
Why are Facebook Stories Ads Important?
Facebook Stories Ads provide businesses with another weapon in the battle for user attention. Chris Cox, chief product officer at Facebook, expects stories to be shared more than news feed content in the future, while Mark Zuckerberg notes that one of Facebook’s objectives is ensuring that ads are as good in stories as they are in the news feed. Currently, Facebook Stories Ads present lower CPM rates due to lower competition. With Facebook has turned their attention to Stories Ads, this placement offers an opportunity for advertisers hoping to boost leads, conversions, traffic, or brand awareness. Additionally, Facebook Stories Ads also give advertisers the potential to repurpose creatives for both Instagram and Facebook platforms, saving time and money on creating extra content, and enabling A|B testing over both platforms.
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The best Facebook Stories Ads all have certain elements in common. To make yours perform their best, consider the following best practices:
1- Use Clear Visuals
Displaying an ad in this format means you can’t compromise on visuals. With users currently able to swipe off a story, an ad must be compelling, engaging and motivate the user to click on the call-to-action. Minimal text should be used—Facebook suggests no more than 20 percent.
2- Create Time-Sensitive Content
One of the things that make Facebook Stories so compelling is the fact that they’re short-lived. The stories only exist for a maximum of 24 hours. At the same time, users engage on Facebook to stay up-to-date with new trends and happenings. Creating time-sensitive content ensures that users will be interested to take action quickly. Use Facebook Stories Ads to announce important updates or offers for a limited-time, host competitions and giveaways, or reward engaged users for sales or discounts.
3- Keep it Short and Fast
On average, top-performing ads in stories were shorter and contained branding earlier than lower-performing ads in stories. Facebook’s research found that, in video stories ads with multiple scenes, top performing ads had shorter scenes and were under 10 seconds
4- Use an Obvious Call-to-Action
Using a clear call-to-action in your ad encourages a user to take action, and Facebook Stories Ads provides advertisers a variety of options. Use the call-to-action that relates to your overall campaign goal. For example, with a mobile game or app, the “download now” will help drive users to download your offering in the app stores.
5- Optimize for Mobile
Since people consume content faster on mobile, it’s important to deliver your brand message in the first few seconds of your ad to boost engagement and click-throughs. Use vertical ratios to ensure your ad is optimized for full-screen viewing, and don’t rely on sound to deliver your message, as some mobile users may opt for silent viewing.