What makes a high-performing Story ad, according to Instagram

Tips from Instagram on how to maximise your Story performance

Following research into the performance of thousands of Story ads on their platform, Instagram has released insights on what makes them so effective.


According to Facebook IQ, 58% of Story viewers become more interested in a brand after watching them featured in a Story ad. With 500 million monthly active users, Stories are an unmissable opportunity for anyone looking to connect with a social audience. Here’s how to make yours amazing.

Look and feel


Facebook were clear that creative content can make or break a Story’s performance. 56% of the brand’s sales lift can be attributed to the quality of the creative. Vamp engaged high quality creators for their Adobe campaign and transformed it into ads optimised for Instagram Stories.


Tip: Grab attention with speed

People are consuming stories content faster than any other mobile format. The habitual scrolling of the main feed has been replaced by tapping through Story frames at breakneck speed. Get your viewers attention with an impactful first frame, then use speed as a creative element to maintain it.


Tip: Enhance with sound

The more senses an ad engages, the harder it is to ignore. Facebook found that 80% of Stories with voice-over or music drove better lower-funnel results than ads without. Use sound to enhance your message and keep viewers engaged.


Tip: Use text strategically

Facebook reported mixed results when it came to text overlays. While some helped land a key message, others overwhelmed the audience. Keep text to a minimum so it’s easy to read and consider its placement carefully. It shouldn’t detract from the focal point.

Brand and product


Instagram are constantly evolving their Story functions to make them an attractive options for brands. Features like ‘swipe up’ and shoppable tags make it easier to convert potential customers the moment inspiration strikes.


Tip: Begin with your brand

Due to the speed users to through Stories, Facebook found that top performing ads integrate branding and key messages at the start.

Making brand elements unmissable at the beginning of your creative will assist with recall.


Tip: Call your audience to action

In Facebook’s study, there was an 89% chance of ads that emphasised a CTA (like ‘swipe up to shop’) driving more conversions than those that did not. Experiment with creative elements that make your CTA prominent and clear.

See Vamp’s work for Converse, which used both tactics

Format and execution


We all know that content should be mobile first, but a video shared in Stories should be optimised for that specific channel too.


Tip: Split your Stories into scenes

According to Facebook, top performing ads have shorter, more succinct scenes. Try experimenting with bite-sized and fast-paced narratives to see if your completion rates improve.


Tip: Mix static with motion

Campaigns with a mixture of static image and animation have an 86% chance of driving higher value for lower funnel metrics than video or static-only assets, according to Facebook. Consider multiple formats in your creative where possible. Boomerangs or gifs are easy and high-impact ways to bring life to your Stories.

For Seeds of Change, Vamp animated elements of a once static image for a more impactful Story.

Vamp uses creators who are specialists in mobile content to produce the assets they enhance for Stories ads. It’s this double optimisation, using our insights as a Facebook and Instagram Marketing Partner, that makes our campaigns so effective for our clients.

Facebook pointed out that, despite these learnings, there is no single formula for a universally impactful Instagram Story. What’s right for you will vary on your brand and audience. Trial these tips and keep a close eye on your Instagram Business analytics so you can gauge the impact they are having and further refine your strategy.

Download the free Vamp guide and learn how your brand can succeed on the original influencer marketing platform, Instagram.

Download this free Vamp guide and learn how to succeed on the world’s most viral platform.