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7 Ad Ideas for Instagram Stories that Boost Sales

The days when Instagram was a simple photo-sharing tool are far behind us. Business Instagram claims that over one billion active users are active on the platform and 90% of them follow at least one business on the platform, so it’s no wonder that Instagram has attracted over 25 million businesses that want to reach their target audience, promote products, and sell in-app.

The competition is already tough, so it can be hard to cut through the noise without paid ads. The solution? Consider running Instagram Stories ads!

Like other social media stories, Instagram Stories disappear within 24 hours, but statistics say this short-lived content can do wonders, and here is why:

  • More than 500 million accounts use Instagram Stories daily
  • One-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories come from businesses
  • 96% of marketers plan to continue using Instagram Stories ads in the next 6 months

So if you are running a business and still haven’t taken any advantage of Instagram Stories, chances are you are missing out on one of the best marketing tools the digital world has ever had. 

Don’t hesitate – get started with Instagram stories to boost sales right now: the whopping demand for visual content leaves room for everyone different, eye-catching, and enchanting.

Why Run Instagram Stories Ad Campaigns?

Today, 2 million advertisers run paid campaigns on Instagram to reach their potential customers and they always seek out new creative ways to establish a connection with customers. As a result, more and more advertisers run Instagram Stories ad campaigns, and here are the main reasons why they do it:

  • Beat the Instagram algorithm. With a short lifespan of 24 hours, Instagram Stories create a sense of urgency and encourage people to watch disappearing content so they don’t miss out on something important. As a result, you can increase the visibility of your content on Instagram.
  • Reach out to your target audience. Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms among modern customers. Running paid ads via Instagram Stories helps reach your potential customers and encourage them to make the purchase decision.
  • Boost sales. In the era of social shopping, about two-thirds of customers discover products on Instagram and half of them also buy them in-app. Instagram wants to help its users purchase products in-app, so the platform has product stickers that allow users to learn more about the featured products and buy them without leaving the app.
  • Stay ahead of competitors. About two-thirds of businesses plan to use Instagram in 2020, but not all of them are going to start with Instagram Stories. While some will still be missing it in 2020, you won’t!
  • Show off creativity. The 15-second time limit literally whispers that should be something outstanding, evoking thrill and delight, something out-of-the-box. If you are creative, turning Instagram Stories into a goldmine would be a no-brainer.

All of the above will help you in achieving your business goals organically and unobtrusively, creating a long-lasting bond with your customers. Check out the following Instagram Stories ad ideas with examples that can enable you to boost sales.

7 Instagram Stories Ad Ideas to Boost Sales

Showcase Your Products in Action

(Image Source: Ted Baker)

Generation Z is still growing their purchasing power, but that gives you all the more reason to start building your relationship with them to build brand loyalty. Take a look at the brilliant case of Ted Baker, a British luxury clothing retail company that created a sequence of ads including a) a set of 10-second-long videos for the range of menswear and womenswear clothing; b) more targeted ads in collection and carousel formats. The campaign got wonderful results:

  • 8.2-point lift in ad recall and Instagram views
  • 3-point lift in consideration
  • 22% increase in sales to 18-24-year-old buyers

Key takeaway: If you want to grab the attention of your target audience, create dynamic videos that showcase your product in action and add a swipe up link to let interested viewers learn more about your product.

Show Off the Variety of Products

(Image Source: Revolve)

Another apparel case worth highlighting is the ad campaign launched by Revolve in 2019 to represent the summer collection of women’s clothes. Unlike the video approach taken by Ted Baker, Revolve used a slideshow of photographs of a lady in dresses, shorts, shirts, blouses – actually, everything that the brand wanted to show. 

Not only does it attract more customers, but it also improves customer retention. Why? According to GetVoIP, 41% of people are more loyal to brands that offer custom products. And that ad led to fantastic results:

  • 3x more people covered and purchases generated
  • 2.5x more overall purchases and 2x more money spent by customers

Key takeaway: Instagram Stories shouldn’t necessarily be videos and neither should they be specific – feel free to use slideshows to give a bird’s view on the whole range of your products.

Showcase the Benefits of Your Product

(Image Source: Chantelle)

Edging the competition by videotaping the advantages of underwear might sound a bit strange – after all, what real competitive advantages of underwear would you recall? But Chantelle Lingerie has taken it to the next level by shooting the female gymnasts wearing its underwear within a campaign targeted at fans of sports, fitness, and yoga. And though no special tools were used – just automatic placements to achieve the best price-value ratio – the results were just spectacular:

  • 7.3 point boost in brand awareness
  • 7.7 point boost in ad recall
  • 2x more sales of the collection

Key takeaway: People buy solutions, not products. It’s important to talk about the benefits of your product to spark interest in your brand.

Announce a New Product Launch

(Image Source: Bose)

Heating up the audience before a product launch is not something new, but doing it through Instagram Stories and carousel ads is definitely off the beaten track. And the audience is likely to appreciate it – just the way it was with Bose, a famous audio brand that targeted different groups of people. They used carousel ads, which are a few videos or photos united into a single piece of content. To be more precise, the brand used a combination of photo link ads, videos, and Instagram Stories ads to encourage people of different interests and from different walks of life to use noise-masking headphones. The success was overwhelming:

  • 14.8-point increase in top-of-mind awareness
  • 4.5-point boost in familiarity with the brand
  • 8.8-point rise in ad recall

Key takeaway: Carousel ads drive more traffic to your blog or website as well as at least two times more clicks compared to sponsored posts. Carousel ads are perfect for targeting a diverse audience.

Harness the Power of Influencers

(Image Source: GAP)

Personal recommendations matter: 62% of customers become more interested in a product or service after seeing it in Stories. Imagine the buzz that you would create if a celebrity recommended your products. Influencer endorsements are one of the most powerful word-of-mouth marketing strategies. 

The remarkable case of renowned apparel brand GAP, which promoted its new logotype by displaying world-class remix stars like Metro Boomin and SZA wearing GAP clothes, truly deserves its place in this list. The ad campaign targeted people aged 18-34 and showed excellent results.

  • 17-point boost in ad recall
  • 4-point increase in message association
  • Almost doubled click-through rate

Key takeaway: Modern customers trust influencers nearly as much as their friends, so collaborating with niche opinion leaders can help to increase brand loyalty and increase ecommerce sales.

Engage Your Target Audience in Conversation

(Image Source: Dunkin’)

You can’t get closer to your audience than directly asking them what’s on your mind. That’s what Drunkin’ demonstrated with its ‘Fries vs. Donuts’ ad campaign. The brand based its ads on nothing but the universal truths: a) provoking a conversation contributes to the overall engagement; b) new features are always welcomed by keeping-pace-with-the-times Instagram users.

So what they’ve done is use a new polling sticker feature to offer a choice between donuts and fries, and asked simple questions about their products. Seems almost too simple and obvious move, but it worked wonders:

  • Every fifth customer that watched the ad made a vote
  • The company saved 20% on ads with the polling sticker

Key takeaway: Provide your customers with a choice and let them be a key aspect of your campaign.

Promote Your Time-Limited Offer

(Image Source: Tatti Lashes)

Exclusivity works. Establishing a timeframe for your offer is one of the best marketing tricks up your sleeve. Tatti Lashes, a false eyelashes brand extracting more than half of its traffic from its Instagram account, launched a limited-offer campaign to giveaway 60% discounts within a certain period. Quite fun and engaging, the ad became the brand’s best point of sale once it was launched:

  • 36% decrease in cost per click
  • By 64% more clicks on ads
  • 25% of the overall web traffic

Key takeaway: If you want to start selling on Instagram, it’s a good idea to offer time-limited discounts as they encourage users to give your product a try.

The Bottom Line

Instagram Stories are growing rapidly in popularity. With a variety of business-friendly features like product stickers and polls, there are many ways to create engaging Instagram Stories that encourage viewers to establish a connection with your brand.

So if you want to grab the attention of your potential customers and boost sales on the platform, running Instagram Stories ads is a great way to achieve your marketing goals.


Val Razo is a freelance social media marketing consultant who has over 5 years of digital marketing experience. Today, Val helps small- and medium-sized businesses to promote their products on social media. Follow her on Twitter.