Instagram recently announced that they have added carousel ads to Instagram stories. This is big news as their ‘stories’ feature is becoming increasingly popular with users. Instagram stories were introduced less than a year ago. According to Facebook (Instagram’s parent company), more than 300 million daily active users regularly use Instagram stories and the overall engagement rate of users on stories is quite high too.
The storytelling on Instagram is rapidly evolving and it was about time, the marketers saw value in it.
Why are Instagram stories important?
Marketers have identified the intimate value of stories as they have more human appeal. By drawing, adding GIFs and emojis in stories, major brands can strike the right chord with the current social media trends, hence the ads taken out by the company are more personalized. Stories allow marketers to personally connect with the audience and also put forth the stance of the company.
Stories that showcase a bit of creativity stay with audiences for a longer period of time and it’s almost equivalent to advertising on television. Instagram stories are now driving up to 10 times more traffic to advertising sites than any another form of ads on social sites. Given the fact that people nowadays spend more time on the internet than TV, aggressive and innovative advertising of products or services on social media has become all the more important.
Vertical ads fit perfectly on mobile screen and are less irritating to watch. More luxury brands who were reluctant to advertise on social media have willfully accepted the concept of vertical ads. SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are leading platforms offering marketers with the option of publishing vertical ads. Instagram being a media sharing platform video ads become all the more important.
SnapChat has added several features to lure in more marketers. It was about time Instagram did something to counter the competition. The absence of carousel ads in SnapChat will definitely put it in a disadvantageous spot. SnapChat and Instagram both have been widely unsuccessful in selling ad spots. This is because both of them are mobile oriented platforms and are limited to an extent in terms of the targeting options they offer to marketers.
How carousel ads will add up to the experience
Instagram already has the option of carousel posts i.e multiple media in the same post which can be accessed by swiping one after the other. The decision to extend this feature coupled with other new features like adding text, drawings, and GIFs to stories will ultimately give rise to more innovation.
Previously Instagram only allowed one media per story but now after the introduction of carousel ads, the stories can have maximum three media files all compiled into one story, which is similar to the carousel posts.
Carousel ads in stories will add more depth to the storytelling. Advertisers can now use this feature to create a continuous flowing story much like an advertisement. This will end abrupt stopping of ads after the story is over, the extended version of the story gets continued in the next media in the same story.
This feature is not widely available but some companies like Gap and Coca-Cola are already making great use of it with much success.