How to Create Stories and Ads on Instagram

Eight Tips on how to create Stories and effective ads on Instagram

At the F8 2019 Facebook conference last May, the company reported that there are more than a billion people who use Stories every day throughout its App family (which includes Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp). Furthermore, research has shown that as many as 56% of users use Stories on three or more platforms at least once a month. And, indeed, 57% state that the Stories make the user feel part of a larger community.

This means that more and more users are using this tool in recent months. And that, consequently, brands must adapt to the habits of the public. So, if you’re looking to integrate this functionality into your marketing strategy, here are eight helpful tips to help you create effective Stories and ads.

Polish your creative elements:

  • Go fast
  • Break down your narrative arc
  • Think vertically first
  • Keep the stickers to a minimum
  • Open and close the Stories with the mark
  • Remember the Call To Action
  • Try, learn, eliminate and repeat
  • Bonus # 1: Netflix wallpapers
  • Bonus # 2: Decathlon “Frappe Le Sac”

1. Shine your creative elements

Just because the Stories have a do-it-yourself nature doesn’t mean that your brand has to follow this line. If we take into account that 56% of the increase in sales of a brand can be attributed to the quality of the creative, then the better the quality of the execution and the greater the sale. This means using high-resolution resources and montages with perfect pixel definition, as Adidas recently did in the #Future craft story.

Of course, not all brands will have tools and budgets available to work in this way, but it is still important to consider the importance of presentation and create explosive content whenever possible.

2. Go fast

Impossible to deny it: the Stories are raising their range in terms of immersion and interactivity. So for brands, one of the keys to meeting public expectations is speed. Offering quick and dynamic content is one of the most effective ways to gain public attention. A perfect example is the Levi’s campaign:

3. Break down your narrative arc

Another good solution to keep the users’ interest alive is to divide the Stories into sequences of smaller and contrasting scenes, rather than presenting them through a single shot. A perfect example of this is the story of Marshall Headphones, where different creative elements are juxtaposed, so as to build a unique corporate image.

4. Think vertically first

Do you know that 82.5% of visitors to a video-centric website tend to keep their smartphone in a vertical orientation? In other words, mobile-first now also means vertical format. A useful tip, at this time, is to prepare images in advance that are already vertically oriented, so as to avoid changes that could be problematic. Here an example:

5. Keep the stickers to a minimum

Pay attention to the use of the stickers: if they are too many, they can compromise the engagement of your stories. The advice is therefore to use them, yes, but contextually to your message. In a very simple way, for example, Gucci has included a countdown sticker in the Stories announcing the launch of the Fall-Winter 2019 collection:

6. Open and close the Stories with the mark

If you want to help users understand who has published the story and want to draw public attention to your brand, you would do well to integrate the elements of the brand in the first and last seconds of the video . This works perfectly, for example, in the Sephora profile:

7. Remember the Call To Action

The Call To Action is the almost inevitable element in Instagram Stories. As many as 60% of companies introduce an interactive element into stories to attract users’ attention, encouraging them to do what they expect from them (buying, for example). Don’t be shy then, sharpen your wits and enjoy putting the “Swipe Up” into your story.

8. Try, learn, eliminates and repeats

According to reports from Facebook, 1 person in the 2 interviewees claims to have visited a website after hearing about a brand within the Stories. As well as 31% of users who admit to having concluded a purchase for the same reason. If the results of your campaigns have not yet arrived, then you can also try new strategies to be able to understand what your audience reacts best to and correct your weaknesses. And even your strategy should go well, discovering new roads is never a bad thing, remember it.

To help you even more with your Stories, here are two campaigns that worked perfectly on Instagram.

Bonus # 1: Netflix wallpapers:

In the most salient moments of the campaign on Instagram, Netflix offered users the ability to view and download wallpapers for their mobile phone, with images from the most famous series and movies. This is a very interesting way to use a platform that only allows the visualization of images and transform it into a channel that allows distributing the brand’s resources.

Bonus # 2: Decathlon “Frappe Le Sac”

A brilliant idea to promote a product! To promote the launch of a punching bag, Decathlon invited users to participate in a game within the Stories: every touch on the screen brought users to the next story and, at the same time, destroyed the bag a bit. Touching quickly, the feeling was the same as being inside a video game.

Having clarified the fact that Instagram Stories are an important tool for your marketing campaigns, then there is nothing left to do but start using them to expand your business. You have the tools at your disposal; you just have to use them to the fullest!

Pinterest launches a suite of new video tools:

Pinterest is developing a new set of tools to help companies keep pace with the growing demand for video content.

According to Pinterest, searches for “inspirational videos ” have increased by 31% compared to last year and more and more international brands are focusing on videos as a means of communication, entertainment and advertising.

Pinterest has noticed that users within the platform are increasingly looking for videos, tutorials and stories about brands.

To help companies meet this demand, Pinterest has decided to introduce new video features that include:

An improved uploader that lets you upload videos directly to Pinterest:

A video tab  that allows brands to present all their videos in one place.

Lifetime analytics to get information on a video’s performance over time.

Pin planning  to allow companies and content creators to be able to schedule video publishing in advance.

Another very interesting idea for all companies and creators that try to capitalize on trendy video searches always comes directly from Pinterest which has highlighted what can increase popularity.

Currently updates are available for commercial accounts in all English-speaking countries but will soon be distributed to creators around the world.


How to increase engagement on Face book without paid ads:

Most marketing professionals are well aware of the pros and cons of advertising on Facebook and how useful it can be to generate leads.

However, paid ads are far from being the only way to stimulate business and improve brand awareness.

By constantly using  Facebook Insights you can monitor and analyze your users and understand exactly which content you like best and which segments of the audience are most interested.

Adapting your strategies in response to the results recorded by Insights can help us constantly improve the results and reach more targeted users.

In marketing, having a motivated customer who clicks on a paid ad and who immediately goes on to buy is an ideal scenario, but this action does not always materialize.

Developing a loyal following of users who are active on social networks not only increases the chances of conversions in the purchase phase, but also leads other users to interact, creating an ever wider circle of influence.

How to increase engagement on Facebook without paid ads:

  • Ask and answer
  • Create interactive content
  • Use videos to stimulate interest
  • Be present in groups on Facebook

If budgets are not available that can be invested in the medium and long term, we can implement a series of strategies at no cost. Here are some tips to increase engagement on Facebook without spending on ADS

People love to share what they know best. Asking questions is a great starting point, because it leads people to express their opinions, which leads to the birth of a discussion or debate and, therefore, to a further activity. Responding to users’ questions in a timely and thorough manner is also crucial.

As Page Vandiver, founder and CEO of Simply Heaven Design, explains, ” Ask your followers questions. Have you ever had a friend who only talked about himself? How long did this relationship last? Follow the same principle with your page to get the commitment. The world is not looking for a man on a platform to follow. I am looking for a common experience. People do not just want to listen, but also to contribute and be heard. Because of the fragmentation of the media and the niche public, everyone has something of value – an intuition, a connection, a resource to offer. No matter what your niche – coaching, eCom, or real estate, find ways to ask questions to your followers. Don’t pretend you know everything … As administrators or page managers, be vulnerable and ask what you need or questions to get to know your followers and fundamental. Also, remember that Facebook as a system has been designed to promote content that gets the maximum commitment … Comments are a huge part of this

Create interactive content:

Along the same lines, focusing on content that promotes further action increases the likelihood that a user will get involved in your online community. The most popular tools are:

  • Surveys
  • Quiz
  • Contests

Not only will these tools add some variety to your usual content and messages, but they will also generate involvement.

Use videos to stimulate interest:

The fastest growing segment of social media is the videos that are becoming an essential tool for any company. Marco Hernandez of Kaizen Social explains how existing content can also be used.

“Turning content into video, users spend less time reading today than before. Review all blog posts and turn them into videos. Consumers on Facebook are hungry to watch videos that educate them on topics “.

There are endless statistics that illustrate the importance of video in marketing, but one figure prevails over all: 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with other users.

For this reason, videos can increase overall engagement and increase your audience on social media. Whether it is informative, entertaining or even promotional videos, exploiting videos as part of the strategy opens up the possibility of reaching a completely new and rapidly growing demographic.

Be present in groups on Facebook:

As Jide Alufa of Sophiads tells us , “Messages and organic content are the key to stimulating greater involvement, but Facebook groups are the door … creating a group on Facebook is an easy way to drive engagement and identify the market, with an extra benefit; you can restrict the focus to the audience of the group instead of publishing the same content in 1000 places. A group on Facebook is what is good ground for a farmer, planting contained seeds and watching the public grow”.

When people join Facebook groups, it generally means that they have more than one passing interest in the focus of the group. Finding people willing to be part of an interactive group provides a “hungry” audience for any content that attracted them to be part of that group. This means that you already know what they are interested in and you have them right there in this beautiful and neat online space to use as a central element of your marketing strategy.

Having lots of followers is one thing, but having those followers actively engaged on their pages will increase engagement on Facebook without having to resort to paid listings.

Five essential tools for the social media marketing team:

Those who work in the world of social media marketing know that tools are indispensable for achieving good results. There are some tools that serve to speed up a series of operations that would be difficult (perhaps impossible) to carry out in minimum time. Others, on the other hand, make an important contribution to group work. Today I want to focus on this point.

Which are the best social media marketing tools to work in teams and simplify all the operations necessary for those who have to move in a group but in a simple and precise way?

I am not a supporter of the big lists , of endless lists that never give a definitive answer. Here are 5 really useful tools for your social media manager team.

Use Mention to manage your quotes:

  • Define the workflow with Trello
  • Share materials on Google Drive
  • Best alternative: Dropbox
  • Hootsuite: organizes flows and tasks
  • Alternatives: Tweetdeck and Postpickr.
  • Organize the social visual with Canva
  • What are the preferred tools for the team?

One of the best solutions to get the messages about your brand on the Internet under control? Mention is the answer, not only because it allows you to work with any platform and also monitors citations that are made on forums, web pages and public social networks.

With this social media marketing tool you can work in teams and assign specific messages to the right people to face the job in the best possible way.

To read: best social tools to spy on competitors

Define the workflow with Trello:

Do you know the Agile methodology? It’s a real philosophy to manage the workflow that you can exploit in different ways . Although it is particularly dear to programmers, this solution adapts to the work of the social media manager and its colleagues. Just use the right software like, for example, Trello. What is it about? To get an idea start watching the video below.

This tool allows you to create work boards divided into flows that split the tasks in progress from those carried out and everything that is still in draft . You can enrich each element with text, bulleted lists, attachments and images. So you can well imagine how much it can help you manage the various social updates in a team that has to operate on different online channels.

Share materials on Google Drive:

What is the best way to create a text file – for example a brief or an editorial calendar on Excel – that will have to read all? Again, how to share the photos you need to have to create the graphics to be published in Facebook , Twitter and Instagram updates ?

The answer for me is clear: you have to use Google Drive. There are many tools that offer cloud archives that can be reached from any device and from multiple locations. But with Google Drive you have immediate integration with Document, Gmail, Calendar and all the other Mountain View tools. So for me it remains the best way to share useful material at work on social networks.

Best alternative: Dropbox

Are you not satisfied with Google Drive or are you simply looking for something simpler that does not involve an entire office suite? You can activate the always valid Dropbox, a cloud application that offers a good amount of free gigabytes and different paid profiles that allow you to share and archive practically everything. Even endless amounts of photos.

Hootsuite: organize flows and tasks

Many know the importance of this operational suite to update different social networks. You can also monitor hashtags and keywords, then on Twitter it becomes a fundamental resource for updating and following different accounts. But not everyone knows that this social media marketing tool is perfect for sharing work among the various team members. Here is a concrete example:

With the advanced versions of Hootsuite (the free one does not offer similar solutions) you can assign specific tasks to the members of the social team, limiting the actions and giving the authorizations to intervene only to those who serve. All this to increase the efficiency and precision of work.

Alternatives: Tweetdeck and Postpickr.

The aim of these professional utilities: to reduce publication errors of responses and significantly reduce waiting times. Are there any alternatives to Hootsuite? Tweetdeck and PostPickr have similar features but different functions to evaluate for the individual case.

Organize the social visual with Canva

Powerful and reliable tool. It is now difficult to give up on Canva  because in the paid version you can create a working base for your social media team. This means, for example, that you can design a post template for Facebook with precise graphics.

Next step: share the template with your colleagues. You can do the same with almost everything: Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter posts. Without forgetting the possibility of creating Facebook and YouTube covers, the thumbnails for videos and infographics for use in posts.

With this tool for the visual of corporate and personal social networks you can collaborate in a simple and intuitive way. Saving a lot of time between sending emails, sharing graphics and working on Photoshop. Which still remains ideal for more complex operations.

What are the favorite tools for the team?

There is always a need for a good job of selecting tools for doing social media marketing. The reason is simple: so you can save time and get better results.

Advice? Evaluate these elements as a means, not an end. They are only tools: they will have negative sides or weak points, but investing your days in finding the perfect tool is not the best. Better to aim at the result, do you agree? Which tools do you choose for your team?

How to use storytelling on Instagram to get in tune with the public:

I really don’t know if we can call it an axiom, yet it is:  storytelling is an integral part of digital marketing  (and marketing in general, of course). As consumers have easy access to information, it is important that marketing experts communicate why their brand is worthy of attention. After all, this sea is full of fish. And why should a user choose you? Here then is that storytelling becomes of fundamental importance to explain to users in a simple way the message you want to convey.

And believe me, it works. Consumers are more interested in a conversion when product pages have a sort of history, and even willing to pay more than they should. At the same time, storytelling is also a way in which marketing experts can fit into the desires of the youngest about the product experience. In short, if your idea is to use Instagram as a storytelling tool , here are three useful tips for doing it better.

  • Know your values
  • Maintain harmony between image and copy
  • Use data for continuous improvement
  • Finally, remember that users want to hear a connection

Know your values:

A perfect storytelling begins with a clear understanding of the history and values ​​of your brand. The story of the development of a brand, if well reported and communicated, will give your audience the right view on why you are pursuing your values. Come back with the thought of the brand’s mission , so as to discover from which perspective to approach the stories you will tell with your marketing strategy.

In the case of Instagram, it is important not to write about all of them, but also to turn them into visual content .

In this sense, an excellent example comes from  Fenty Beauty , the cosmetics company of the singer Rihanna, who wanted to launch a make-up with as many shades as possible on the market. This is why the marketing strategy has focused everything on emphasizing diversity, which worked perfectly for the launch of the first product, a foundation in 40 different shades.

Here then it is of fundamental importance to define your style on social media . All your content, in fact, should be guided by the values ​​of the brand, so it becomes almost necessary to have a sort of guide that supports you in managing the account in this sense.

Remember then to define how each profile must be optimized, the tone of voice to be used for copying and replying to comments, formatting for each post, what are the brand’s hashtags and above all draw up visual guidelines for your account : colors, fonts, position of the logo and much more.

Maintain harmony between image and copy:

Yes, users read Instagram captions. Don’t be shy and contextualize your photos then! And maybe follow the guidelines you used to define your style on the platform.

The first step is to edit your photos so that they are in line with the brand’s personality . This does not mean that you will have to insert your colors obligatorily in every photo, but only that you will be able to modify the images without creating a disconnection with what they really represent. If you want to intensify the colors of your photos or add special effects, you can do it using Instagram filters or by downloading an image editing app. Instasize , for example, offers a good creative kit of modern filters, as well as frames for images or fonts that can help you bring out your images without betraying the philosophy of the brand.

As you can see above, the National Geographic team does not fear the publication of long captions. On the other hand, we are talking about a magazine that brings stories from all over the world. And this feature has been transposed to the official Instagram account, where each photo is accompanied by a description, a mention to the place and one to the photographer. In this way, scrolling the account gives users the same idea to browse the printed magazine.

It is therefore important  to carefully choose the words or quotes to accompany the images , so that there is harmony between them. Light colors can give a sense of cheerfulness, low saturation can express an idea of ​​relaxation and so on. In short, design your message and then choose the right formula to communicate it.

Use data for continuous improvement:

To communicate a message in the best way, it is important to also consider the thoughts of the public. This is where the data and analysis tools come into play. As much as possible, try to ask yourself about your audience, so that you can better personalize your message and communicate with fans through comments and direct messages. Who displays your content, and when? What kind of information can you find on the public in addition to age and location? These are just some of the typical questions to understand what kind of communication can be tailored to your users.

You could also use Instagram Insights to understand which posts are most successful and attention. This work should be done approximately every week so that you can change your marketing strategy when needed

Finally, remember that users want to hear a connection

Humans are social and emotional creatures, so it’s no wonder people want to feel an affinity for the brand they buy. Understanding which audience to satisfy through your Instagram account, and creating posts with this goal, will help you get in tune with anyone who wants to shake your profile. Users now know how to get the best out of the Internet, which is why communicating what really attracts their attention can make a difference.