7 Ways To Boost Instagram Stories and Story Ads Engagement (infographic)

Instagram Stories have become an essential part of social media marketing from the last two years, with about one-third of the total Stories coming from the businesses, according to the research study of Instagram itself.

It’s especially true for 2020 when most of the world population is sitting at home, glued to their smartphones and scrolling Instagram, making it imperative for brands to fully embrace digital marketing in general, and social media in particular.

It is safe to assume that this figure will keep growing in the coming years. So, if you want to boost your engagement and increase your visibility, Instagram Stories and Story ads can be your holy grail.

With that in mind, a 2020 Stories study done in collaboration with Wave.video shows how companies are using Stories, what formats are more engaging, and how you can use this information to boost Stories’ results!

Why Use Instagram Story Ads and Stories?

If you have a business account on Instagram, you may struggle to get enough engagement from your audience even after posting good quality content.

Surprisingly, about 70% of the Instagram posts are missed by the users on their feed, as shown by Instagram data.

Hence, to beat the algorithm and increase your engagement, you should know how to use Instagram Stories and ads the right way.

Instagram Stories Ads are very similar to regular Stories on Instagram. But what makes them different is the fact that they are more organically blended. Users are more open and familiar to these as compared to other types of advertisements. This is especially useful if your ads are well crafted and attractive.

Another benefit of using Instagram Story Ads and the Stories is the broad audience who can get familiarized with your brand. You can target a whooping 849.3 million daily users in a single day! Sounds unrealistic? Well, it's not!

All you need to do is look at how the best do it and adjust your Stories accordingly.

Here’s what we found to be some best ways to improve your Instagram engagement using Story ads and Stories.

1. Publish 5 Stories per Day for 70% Retention

On average, a majority of brands post 7 to 8 Stories in a month. Also, the larger profiles post five times more Stories than the smaller profiles with a few followers.

While the brands with large profiles post nearly 15 Stories per month, the ones with less than 5000 followers post only 3 to 5 Instagram Stories in a month.

It is safe to say that the number of followers and the size of the brand greatly impact its capability to post Stories.

But, if you post several Stories per day, you have more flexibility to be creative and be a better storyteller, especially if you connect those Stories to create a unified idea.

Data shows that brands can publish up to 5 Stories per day and still maintain a 70% retention rate.

2. Keep Audience Interest With Video Stories

There's no doubt that people prefer videos over image and text. In fact, most of the time, people tap forward the image Stories. Video Stories are more fruitful than the image Stories as they offer minimum tap forwards and exit rates.

So, suppose you want to increase your productivity. In that case, you should incorporate videos in your Instagram Stories, since they’re more engaging and grab viewers’ attention more quickly while also keeping them engaged for a longer time.

For those who don't know, the tap forward rate is the metric used to calculate your user’s interest. In simple words, it shows that a viewer has watched your Story and moved to the next Story by tapping forward.

Similar to the tap-forward, the exit rate is also low in the case of video Stories. Data reveals that image Stories have an average exit rate of 5.64%, which is higher than the exit rate of video Stories - about 5.54%.

This metric signifies how many viewers have closed your Stories. In simple words, it shows the percentage of users who find your Stories uninteresting!

3. Pay Extra Attention To Your First 3 Stories

The first three Stories are where you can capture the interest of existing and potential customers.

The numbers have proven that the first three Stories have the highest exit rates. After that, only a few people exit Stories.

The first Instagram Story has the highest drop off rate which is around 12.99%. It is followed by 9.75% drop-offs of about after the second Story and about 8.12% after the third story.

After that, the drop off rates drastically lower to 6.70% , 4.07% and so forth.

This shows that once your viewers reach your fourth or fifth story, they’re unlikely to leave before seeing the entire Story roll.

Meanwhile, it also shows that there are a number of viewers who are watching your Stories in their entirety and may be really interested in your products or services.

Here’s what it boiled down to:
  • Pay special attention to your first three Stories. They should be well-crafted and interesting enough to grab the attention of your audience. They should be able to depict your brand value as well.
  • Consider who will be your audience starting with the fourth Story and craft a message dedicated to a more knowledgeable audience that is already familiar with your product.

4. Establish a Personalized Tone of Voice

To keep your audience engaged throughout your Storyroll, especially after the first 3 Stories, you need to establish a personalized tone of voice that makes your brand recognizable to the audience.

This means your viewer should feel as if your Storyis specially designed for him and can relate to both your message, as well as the way in which you convey it.

The goal is that each of your targeted audience becomes more connected to your brand and gets insights into how your business, services and products can help solve a problem.

5. Include Videos in Story Ads

When it comes to Instagram Story Ads, video is once more the more favorable format.

The click-through rate of video Story ads is almost double than the CTR of regular Story ads. To be precise, video Story ads obtain an average click-through rate 0.59% , while Story ads with images reach an average CTR of 0.29%.

This makes video ads the best ways to increase your productivity and boost your engagement.

6. Create Story Ads With Clear Objectives

Another great way to boost your Instagram engagement is by keeping the Stories simple and clear, but well-crafted, targeted toward your goal.

Before posting your Story ads, ask yourself the following questions:
  • What do I want to achieve with this Instagram Story ad?
  • What do I want to communicate and to whom?
  • What do I want users to do: click, comment, share?
While the objectives of regular social media ads differ from brand awareness to engagement, to catalog sales, the priorities for Storyads seem to be quite clear: link clicks or conversions.

The below report shows that 39.58% of Story ads have set link clicks as an objective, while 30.66% ads aim for conversions.

Other Storyobjectives that you should keep in mind are reach, lead generation etc. However, they account for less than 10% of the total ads.

7. Get Feedback From Your Audience

Finally, you should have a way to check if your efforts are working or not. The best way to do that is getting honest feedback from your audience.

You should always keep an eye on how your viewers respond to your posts, Stories, and IG Story ads, and regularly check your analytics.

Data will always show you which Stories are appreciated: the videos or images, the ones with long captions or the ones with less text, the ones with hashtags or the ones with more emojis, etc.

Check whether you're meeting the average metrics or falling behind, and don’t wait until the end of the campaign to understand the adjustments you need to make.

Improve your strategies along the way and keep the numbers up.

Wrapping up

Instagram Stories and Story ads are currently the best ways to target a large number of potential customers. If you're not using them, know that you're missing on an opportunity that other channels can’t provide.

By using videos, publishing multiple Stories that are well-targeted, and creating intriguing Story ads, you are almost guaranteed to publish Stories that convert.

Following these simple tips, you'll start seeing the difference in your Instagram performance in just a short while.

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