Reach 400m active daily users in 13 simple steps

by | Aug 29, 2018 | Social Media Marketing Tips

Instagram StoriesIt’s a fairly new channel. Its user-base is growing fast, and if you don’t get in on the action now, you’ll regret it later.

I’m talking about Instagram Story Ads – full screen vertical ads that appear between Instagram users’ stories.

The best part about Instagram Stories is not that it has shown a massive growth in user base (400m active daily users) or that it has fantastic targeting options (Instagram is part of the Facebook ecosystem).

The bit that excites me the most about this advertising channel is that it is still a relatively uncluttered channel full of first-mover opportunity.

Back in 2016, Facebook and Instagram “borrowed” the “story” idea from Snapchat, and finally made it available to all advertisers in March of this year. This means that there is massive opportunity for advertisers. But it might be short-lived, so you’ve got to move fast.

I recently ran my first Instagram Story Ad. And based on the metrics below, the figures don’t look too shabby at all.

Instagram Metrics

Just to note, these figures were from a relatively small data set, but it still shows the potential of this new placement. What I was most impressed with was how cheap the CPM and the CPC’s were compared to my standard Facebook and Instagram ads.

Standard Ad

How to reach 400m active
daily users in 13 simple steps

Creating an Instagram Story Ad is in many ways very similar to creating a standard Facebook or Instagram ad.

However, they do differ from traditional Instagram Newsfeed ads as they have very different creative and technical requirements compared to the other placements. This means they can’t run alongside any of the other placements, besides the Facebook Newsfeed.

The first thing to keep in mind is that there are three formats to choose from:

  • single image
  • single video
  • carousel

If you use the video format, it must be between 1 – 15 seconds long and video ratios must be 16:9 to 4:5 and 9:16.

AIM Tip: Video captions are not available yet, so any text you want to display must be part of the video file.

Below is a step-by-step guide of how to create an Instagram Story Ad.


While in ads manager click create ad.

Step 1

Step-2: Choose your objective

Instagram Story Ads are currently limited to only six campaign objective types. (I normally pick conversions as I want to stay on top of the cost of each lead or sale).

  • Reach: Optimizing to show your ads to as many people as possible.
  • Video Views: Optimizing to get as many people to view your video as possible.
  • Traffic: Optimizing to send as many people to your landing page as possible.
  • Conversions: Optimizing for whatever conversion event you choose for email signups, registrations, sales, or custom events.
  • Mobile App Installs: Optimizing to encourage users to download and install your app.
  • Lead generation: Opens up a lead gen form that automatically fills out as much of a users’ information as possible.

Step 2

Step-3: Name your campaign

Step 3

Step-4: Track your conversions

This step will be different depending on what campaign objective you choose in step 2.

  • If you choose traffic, you will need to decide where you want to drive that traffic.
  • But if you’re like me and you pick conversion as the campaign objective, you will need to choose what your conversion event is. For example, it could be an app download, a purchase, a custom conversion, or like I have picked below, a lead.

Step 4

Step-5: Pick your target audience

Here you can either create a new target audience, use a saved audience, target one of your custom audiences, or a lookalike audience.

Step 5

Step-6: Placement

Select edit placements as opposed to automatic placements. From the drop down, select mobile, and choose the Instagram Story placement.

Facebook has recently made it possible to run the story placements alongside the Facebook Newsfeed placement, but I would recommend breaking these out, as both placements will behave and perform differently.

Step 6

Step-7: Budget

The next step is to decide on whatever budget you want to set for you campaign, and also if there are any scheduling options, you would like to set.

I normally leave the ads run all the time as I like to leave the algorithm do its thing.

Click continue to the next page.

Step 7

Step-8: Associated Account

Pick a Facebook page or Instagram account to be associated with your ad.

Note: The business logo and name will also be displayed in the top right hand corner of the ad.


Step 8a

AIM Tip:
Facebook suggests that you run your ads from an Instagram account rather than a Facebook account as this may improve performance.

Step 8b

Step-9: Format

Choose from one of three formats you want to use for your ad, carousel, single image or single video.

Step 9

Step-10: Creative Asset

Upload your creative asset.


Step 10

Step-11: URL or Landing page

Pick what URL or landing page that you want to send people to.

Step 11

Step-12: CTA

Choose your desired call to action from the drop down list.

Step 12

Step-13: Review and Publish

Review to make sure all is correct then hit Publish for Facebook to review your ad.

You’re done!

It shouldn’t take too long before you ad is live and appearing between your target audiences Instagram Stories.