Video Essentials

Instagram Stories: 5 Tips From Facebook on How Brands Can Succeed

Video marketers can connect with consumers through Facebook Feed and Instagram Stories, but while the two areas are similar they’re consumed differently. To help brands and advertisers create more breakthrough content in Stories, Facebook commissioned research on what actions work best. It then condensed that research into five best practices, presented this week by Shawn Baron, marketing science partner at Facebook, and Vicki Molina-Estolano, consumer research manager at Facebook, speaking at the Audience x Science conference in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Instagram Stories

Shawn Baron and Vicki Molina-Estolano of Facebook

First, understand how Feed and Stories videos are consumed differently. Consumers associate Feed with relaxation and Stories with excitement. Stories is more about fun and quick cuts. Viewers like authentic communication and they like humor. Here’s how to get their attention on Instagram Stories:

  1. Use the Speed of Stories as a Creative Tool

Consumers tap through Instagram Stories quickly, but don’t let that be intimidating. Instead, pull that speed into the ad and use it to set a tone. Keep it brisk and brief: Stories don’t have to fit a 15- or 30-second format. In fact, Facebook found the top performing ads are 25 percent shorter and introduce the brand in the first 1.5 seconds.

  1. Multiple Scenes Perform Better

Yes, it’s possible to have multiple scenes in a brief video. In fact, it’s desirable. The top performing ads have an average scene length of 2.8 seconds, while the bottom performing ads have an average scene length of 4.1 seconds.

  1. Use Sound to Add Relevance

People typically scroll through the Feed with sound off, but 60 percent of Stories viewers have audio on. Be sure ads make sense without audio, but don’t neglect the soundtrack. The top videos were 19 percent more likely to include music, and that audio layer drove a 60 percent increase in relevancy as scored by consumers.

  1. Bookend With the Brand

Introduce the brand at the beginning and again at the end. Some ads keep the brand’s name onscreen through the entire ad.

  1. Play Around and Remember There Are No Rules

Instagram Stories is a new area, and there are no hard and fast rules about what succeeds. Test, learn, and iterate. Figure out through experimentation what works best for each brand. That could mean highly produced ads or spots shot off-the-cuff on a cell phone. Play around and keep it fun. Any type of spot can succeed if it follows these best practices.


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