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Bigwave Marketing’s Best Practices for Facebook & Instagram Story Ads

Hi, I’m Gemma from Bigwave Marketing’s Paid Media Team. Today, I’ll be exploring how to create and run Facebook and Instagram Story Ads for best results. I hope these creative and strategic decisions will provide you with inspiration for your next stories campaign.

The Popularity of Social Stories

To kick this off, it’s important to understand why people have embraced the story format. Stories have evolved to match consumer behaviour. They’re quick, playful, attention-grabbing, authentic and disappear after 24 hours so there’s no pressure to be perfect.

With these consumer behaviours in mind, consider how stories have changed and how brands come to life through their mobile creativity. The key to success here is for marketers to recognise the importance of building video for mobile. For example, take Tiffany and Co. The jewellery brand’s campaign comes alive in different ways on mobile, whether it’s in feed or in stories, capturing people’s attention in both environments, but in different ways. This was based on crafting messages around people’s consumption habits.

This requires an understanding of unique creative opportunities. As we know, there’s no single formula for building successful creative just as there isn’t a single recipe for writing a best-selling book. These considerations are launching points for building creativity that works for your brand.

Bigwave’s Top Three Considerations for Stories

At Bigwave, we’re looking at the creative opportunity on stories through three different categories. These include look and feel, brand and product, in format and execution. Look and feel are creative strategies and elements unique to driving creative effectiveness on stories. Brand and product include how both most effectively show up through mobile creative, and format for the different creative formats.

We use these three categories to come up with our creative ads.

1. Look & Feel

Our creative considerations for the look and feel include grabbing and keeping attention whilst maintaining brand authenticity. We consider:


When it comes to stories, speed is key to capturing people’s attention. Stories are a fast environment where people consume content quicker than any other format on mobile. Our recommendation is to create ads that leverage speed as a creative element to keep people’s attention.


Our next consideration is enhancing your story with sound. In a recent study, we ran with Facebook advertising partners, 80% of campaigns that had some type of sound outperformed campaigns with no sound. Sound can be used as a creative tool to enhance the value proposition of your ads. This includes adding voiceovers when you want to add more information about your brand or enriching your ad with music when it has sufficient information.


Consumers’ native elements on stories provide additional creative tools which enhance the way we tell stories. But how should businesses use these native tools most effectively? We tested to see if adding stickers to creative drives upper and lower funnel conversion metrics. We observed from this test that for static creative, 87% of creative without stickers deliver better conversions than those with stickers. For video, 80% of videos using stickers to express key messages about the brand perform better for conversion objectives. So, you should use stickers in purposeful and meaningful ways that help enhance the story.

A good example of this is IKEA Korea. Their video creative includes stickers and perform significantly better than without stickers. The heart stickers were used thoroughly throughout the video in a creative manner.

Copy is also a strong consideration, especially with text overlays. Leveraging copy is a creative tactic we’ve seen work wonders in mobile feed videos.

From our studies, we’re seeing mixed results for advertising using text overlays depending on the situation and ways in which text is used. Our recommendation for text overlays is to test what methods work best for your creativity and use the right amount of text while maintaining a clear focal point. Also, you should consider whether you actually need to provide additional context for the ad/highlight key benefits of the brand-new text. On the left side, we have an example of text overlays not performing well. This is from a Fitbit creative that overlaid text on their hard tracking watch device. This is because their text overlays distract from the product and provide information for a very short time.

2. Brands & Products

Our next section is brands and products. This includes thinking about how brands and products show up the most effective play in the stories format. Our recommendations are to lead with shots of your product against vivid backgrounds that make use of contrasting colours. Secondly, your brand should be the focus of the story.

Based on studies carried out by us, there’s a 75% chance people focus on creative. While there’s a 73% chance people focus on product and possibly higher if you’re focused on brand objectives for lower funnel conversion.

Bigwave’s content marketing team and PPC team are experts in making ads work for you. To find out more, get in touch today.

3. Format & Execution

Now, we explore format and execution. Our format and execution category dives deeper into the different formats, for example – video static.

Through our research, we’ve noticed that having multiple scenes increases effect while quick multiple chapters have led to more effective campaigns. Furthermore, in a steady top-performing ad there were shorter scenes on average with each scene being 2.8 seconds. Because of this, we recommend creating a strong narrative arc of your creative and allowing as many chapters as possible within the same creative.

We recommend advertisers do their own testing within their respective verticals. Most importantly, to bring brands to life, experiment with new strategies through story formats your audiences will appreciate.

If you’re looking to create a story ad that drives business and grabs the attention of your potential customers, get in touch with our PPC agency today.

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