5 Tips To Make Your Instagram Story Ads Convert Better

You may not be surprised to hear an obnoxiously high number of people are on Instagram Stories every single day. How many? 500 Million people are viewing Instagram stories every day according to Instagram themselves. Not only that, but ⅓ of them are brands, just like yours.

I’m sure you already know that there is an enormous amount of people on Instagram. You’re here because you want to know how to convert them into customers.

Here’s a truckload of my knowledge all about converting that Instagram traffic:

What are the different story ad variations?

Single Image:

A single image ad is a vertical image that displays for 5 seconds. You can create and design your own image and upload it right to Facebook Ads Manager.

Image specs:

  • Aspect ratios: 9:16 and 4:5 to 1.91:1
  • Maximum duration: 5 secs
  • Maximum file size: 30 MB
  • Supported image types: .jpg, .png
  • Recommended resolution: 1,080 x 1,920 pixels
  • Minimum resolution: 600 x 1067 pixels


A single vertical video that is up to 15 seconds long. Just like images, you upload right into the Facebook Ads Manager.

Video specs:

  • Video ratios: 9:16 and 16:9 to 4:5
  • Video File Size: 4GB Max
  • Video Length: 1 to 120 seconds
  • Video Captions: Not available
  • Video Sound: Optional (suggested)
  • Video thumbnail images that consist of more than 20% text may experience reduced delivery.


You have the option to do up to 3 videos or pictures one after the other. The 3 pieces of content play together and give you a lot of room for creativity and an extra amount of ad space.

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Tip #1: Create inside Instagram

Normally, you don’t want your ad to feel like an ad. One of the best ways to avoid feeling like an ad is by making your content directly inside Instagram.

When you are creating an Instagram Story, you have tons of options of Stickers, GIFs and emojis that you can put on your post.

Facebook says that “60% of businesses on Instagram Stories use an interactive element in their organic story.”

You can create your story using all of the organic tools available through the app and then save the final content to upload to Facebook Ads Manager when creating your ad.

Using this method of creation, you’ll be able to put your ad camouflage on and get those conversion rates a little higher.

Tip #2: Interactive Stories

GAME. CHANGER. In August 2016, Instagram introduced Instagram Stories and since then, has added a lot of interactive capabilities to stories, one of which being polls.

Recently, Instagram has introduced polls into advertising. You are now able to put an interactive poll on your Instagram Story and have your targeted audience able to answer any question you ask.

Why are Interactive Stories a big deal?

Instagram launched this ability to a few select advertisers in a beta test to see how effective it would be.

Brands like Dunkin’ achieved a 20% lower cost-per-video-view using the polling sticker and Next Games’ polling ad drove 40% more app installs.

Not only do they help stories ads stand out, but they can generate more impact for your campaigns by encouraging people to watch longer. In 9 out of 10 beta campaigns, the polling sticker increased 3-second video views.

With a lower cost-per-view as well as increased viewing times, it’s a good bet you’ll be able to get your conversions up and your cost per conversion down.

Tip #3: Use the Carousel feature

Remember how we want to camouflage our ads to look like organic posts and not just an ad selling something?

The carousel feature is another tool to use when trying to boost your conversions because of 2 things:

  1. The ability to have more content in 1 ad
  2. Blending in with other stories

Let’s go over the benefits of each.

The ability to have more content in one ad:

A typical single image or single video is 5 seconds long or 15 seconds long, respectively.

With a carousel of 3, you can triple the amount of content in a single ad. Instead of 5 seconds of images, you have 15 seconds, likewise, instead of 15 seconds of videos, you have 45 seconds.

With this additional amount of time, you can get very creative with how you display your ads.

Blending in with other stories:

People don’t like being sold to.

As a marketer, this is one of our biggest hurdles to jump over. Carousel Stories gives us a unique opportunity to look like the rest of the stories on Instagram and relieve the advertising pressure of traditional ads.

Most people on Instagram have multiple stories posted each day.

If you create your 3 photos/videos to look like something someone would post organically, you will get a lot less friction from your audience, and a lot higher likelihood of someone swiping up!

Don’t be afraid to really go the extra mile with this concept of looking organic. Here are some ideas for you:

  1. Hire a model using your service/product
  2. Make it feel personal and connect with your audience
  3. Consider using no branding at all in the video (create curiosity)
  4. Make it unprofessional. Make it really feel organic.
  5. Tell a story that they have to go through all 3 parts to hear and then swipe up to hear the end of the story.

Tip #4: Use Instagram Influencers (but in a different way)

Most companies that utilize influencers just pay for them to post a photo or video and that’s it. But did you know you can advertise to their audience through the Facebook Ads Manager?

With permission from the influencer you reach out to, you can add their account into your Facebook Business Manager.

Once you have access to their page through the Business Manager, you can create custom audiences based on their Instagram following.

So, how do you make the most of this method for conversions?

Here’s exactly how you do it:

  1. Reach out to influencers that accurately represent your brand and vision.
  2. Ask them if they’d be willing to allow you to run Instagram ads on their behalf.
  3. Add them into your Facebook Business Manager
  4. Create a custom audience (anyone that has visited their Instagram page in the last 2 weeks)
  5. Have the Influencer shoot a video or photo you can use for the ad
  6. Upload that content into the ad (bonus point if you use the interactive poll!)
  7. Run the ad!

The ad will be run as that influencer’s profile to their personal audience, but now you are pushing it to that audience with an ad budget behind it and can run it as long as you’d like.

Great Job Wow GIF by Russell Brunson - Find & Share on GIPHY

Bonus tip:

That audience will be directed to your website, where you should have your Facebook pixel installed.

Now that influencer’s audience is YOUR audience.

You can retarget them from your website now, to anybody that has visited your website from that ad.

Genius, right?

Tip #5: Make them so curious they have to swipe up

I saw this ad and thought, “what the heck is that?”

First of all, this is a very clever way to point out the elephant in the room. They boldly call it out that “THIS IS AN AD”

It removes the friction to the audience that they are being sold to.

Second, it’s a product that you don’t see every day and they realize that, so instead of letting that be a crutch to them, they used it to their advantage.

This ad makes you want to swipe up just to see what it is (it’s a body scrubby by the way). Once you do swipe up and you learn what the product is and how much it is, they start retargeting you.

How could your company implement a curiosity-driven ad like this?


Instagram Stories are a great way to reach your audience and boost your conversions. For now, the traffic cost for Instagram Stories is very inexpensive compared to other styles of advertising, including Instagram Timeline Ads. It’s smart to take advantage of it while you can.

I hope you use some of these tips in your ad campaigns and absolutely crush it on your conversions!

Email me personally and let me know how your campaigns are going. alex@tacticalgrowthmarketing.com

Thanks for reading,


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