Story Ads: The New Format on the Block


Story ads are one of the newer advertising formats and have taken the web by storm. 4 million businesses are using story ads to create engaging experiences that lead to higher conversions than traditional formats. Keep reading to learn more about story ads and how you can effectively use them to increase your brand metrics.  


What is a Story Ad?

Story ads are digital ads in a full-screen, vertical format that utilize videos and images to advertise your product or service. As with most digital advertising, story ads can target a variety of business results, including brand awareness and conversions.


The immersive experience captures audience attention more efficiently than traditional ads as it mirrors the story experience most are familiar with from using social media. While story ads are much like traditional ads, they also differ in a few ways. 


multiple story ads
via AdAge


How they Differ From Traditional Ads

Although story ads include components similar to traditional ads, such as similar targeting goals and calls to action, there are a few key differences between the ad formats. Story ads are: 

  • Relatable. Humans love connecting. It’s in our nature to crave relatability with others, even when we are just browsing online. Traditional ads, such as search or banner ads, are much more cold and to the point, making viewers feel detached and disconnected. Story ads connect with audiences much more effectively, especially as they use a relatable format to the viewer.
  • Memorable. With ads popping up in more places than ever, it’s hard to stand out in the crowd and encourage audiences to remember your content or brand. Data even shows users have trained their brains to ignore content that resembles ads, is close to ads, or appears in locations traditionally dedicated to ads. Story ads help fight this occurrence as they more closely resemble the stories viewers typically associate with friends, however it’s up to you to make a memorable experience with the use of creative visuals and text. 
  • Motivational. Story ads are also able to motivate users in ways banner or search ads cannot. The use of storytelling is highly effective to invoke emotions in viewers, causing them to take action. For example, using story ads to sell healthy foods by including video testimonials of customers who used the product to become healthier are much more effective than an image of the food with a title and call to action. 


Do Story Ads Work?

The data shows story ads are an effective way to advertise digitally. According to Hootsuite, Brand Stories have an 86% completion rate and additionally, 58% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories. The immersive experience grabs their attention compared to traditional ad formats and keeps them engaged much longer. In addition to these metrics, story ads can even increase message association and ad recall, key metrics for creating long-term customer relationships. A Gap campaign showed a 17-point lift in ad recall as well as a 4-point lift in message association after launching their story ads promoting their new collection. In short, story ads are not only working, they’re working well. 


gap story ad on iPhone
via Gap


Benefits of Story Ads

Story ads are beneficial due to their storytelling nature. They are a much more immersive experience than traditional ads and can increase engagement in noticeable ways. Story ads are also the least disruptive form of digital advertising as they so closely resemble the organic ad experience. 


However, using story ads alone is not automatically going to increase your metrics after an upload. There are a few key ways to ensure your ads perform well and are actually watched by your target audience, instead of being swiped through.


Building Your Brand

In addition to increasing engagement, story ads are also an effective way to help build your brand with your target audience. As their name suggests, story ads have an emphasis on storytelling. This helps the audience interact with your brand in a more meaningful way than a banner ad, for example. Story ads also help meet your customers where they are. Any ad experience that requires additional effort from your audience, such as navigating away from their current experience, is a sure fire way to annoy them and make them less likely to convert. Story ads keep the viewer in their story experience, while mildly interrupting their organic content with a sponsored message. Ultimately, story ads can help your target audience learn more about your brand while enjoying a storytelling experience.


Content Customers Care About

In order to get your target audience to watch your story ads you have to use content that will grab their attention and engage them. As the story experience is an immersive one, use full-screen imagery of your products to captivate your audience. The best way to keep the audience engaged includes displaying short and entertaining video clips featuring your product. For more tips on creating shoppable videos, which are great to include in story ads, read our blog with more information. Overall, ensure your story ad creatives are attention grabbing and attractive to maintain your audience’s attention and interest. 


Showcase Your Product or Service

The star of your story ads should be the product or service you’re advertising. While this may sound like a no-brainer, it’s crucial to show off the key features of your product or service and exactly how it’s unique. This is your opportunity to show off why your viewers should choose your product and your chance to show it in action. Seeing your product in action virtually allows users to imagine themselves using it and makes them more likely to purchase as 79% of the people say a video ad has convinced them to buy a product or software.


Story Ads Straight on Your Website

Adding story ads directly to your website is a great way to break through the noise of social media. Just as you are trying to grab the attention of your target audience, millions of other brands are as well. By adding your story ads to your site, it allows users to focus just on your products or services and the benefit they bring to them. Need an easy way to bring story ads to your website? Get started with Firework and start converting your website’s customers with just a few clicks.

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