Definition of Sponsored Stories
Sponsored stories are a type of advertising where content appears on a user’s news feed or stories feature due to monetary payment by an advertiser, rather than organically. Essentially, they are ads that are seamlessly integrated into platforms like Facebook and Instagram, designed to look and feel like the platform’s native content.
Using the ads manager, brands can choose where these stories are placed, be it on a user’s news feed or as Instagram stories ads.
Key statistical figures about Sponsored Stories
- 72% of users say they have purchased a product or service after seeing it in a sponsored story.
- 63% of users say they trust sponsored stories more than traditional advertising.
- 58% of users say they are more likely to follow a brand after seeing it in a sponsored story.
- 54% of users say they are more likely to share a sponsored story with their friends and family.
Differentiating between Organic Stories and Sponsored Stories
Organic stories stem directly from users or brands without any paid push behind them. They appear on your feed simply because you follow the user or have shown interest in similar content.
These stories provide an authentic glimpse into a brand’s or individual’s day-to-day or share content they deem important. They’re the natural, unpaid snippets of a brand’s or user’s daily activities or posts.
In contrast, sponsored stories are strategically positioned pieces of content, paid for by an advertiser to be displayed on a user’s feed or within their stories. They’re often crafted with specific marketing objectives in mind, such as building brand awareness or promoting a product or service.
Using tools like ads manager, advertisers can set specific target audience parameters, ensuring that their stories ads appear to the targeted audience.
Why Use Sponsored Stories?
In an age where millions are scrolling through their news feed daily, capturing attention becomes paramount. Sponsored stories emerge as a powerful tool in this quest.
First and foremost, they offer a way to reach new audiences that may not have come across a brand’s organic content. For instance, while organic Instagram stories are confined to followers, Instagram stories ads can reach a broader, more specific demographic, amplifying brand awareness.
Another compelling reason is the flexibility and range of ad features available. From engaging Instagram story video ads to carousel ads that use motion, advertisers have an array of creative options.
Plus, every second counts in today’s fast-paced world; sponsored stories, with their full-screen, vertical format, offer a viewing experience that’s both immersive and brief, ensuring the message is straight to the point.
Lastly, the data-backed results. Through Instagram reports and other analytic tools, brands can measure their sponsored stories’ effectiveness, adjusting their ad campaign strategies in real-time.
In an environment where ROI is critical, sponsored stories can make a huge difference by putting your content front and center, maximizing the chances of lead generation and conversions.
Types of Sponsored Stories
These are straightforward sponsored stories that display a static image. While they might seem simple, with the right creative, they can engage viewers and drive them to your landing page or e-commerce website.
Unlike static image ads, video ads bring stories to life. Whether it’s a brief clip showcasing a product or service or an engaging Instagram story that captures an experience, videos have the power to convey emotion and detail in a short span.
These allow brands to showcase multiple pieces of content in a single story. Viewers can swipe through different photos and videos, giving advertisers more room to convey their message or showcase multiple products.
CTA (Call-to-Action) Ads
These sponsored stories include clear CTAs, urging viewers to take a specific action, be it visiting a landing page, making a purchase, or signing up for a newsletter.
Influencer Sponsored Stories
Leveraging the power of influencers, these stories are shared by popular individuals or personalities on platforms like Instagram. While they appear organic, they’re sponsored content designed to reach the influencer’s followers, expanding the brand’s reach potential.
How does Sponsored Stories Work?
When it comes to maximizing your brand’s visibility, sponsored stories are an innovative tool that stands out. So, how exactly do they function? To initiate the process, an advertiser uses the ads manager to craft their desired story, ensuring it aligns with their marketing objective.
Whether the aim is building brand awareness or pushing a product or service, the story can be tailored accordingly.
Once the story is crafted, it’s all about getting it in front of the right people. The power of sponsored stories lies in their precise targeting capabilities.
Advertisers can pinpoint their target audience based on various criteria, ensuring the story reaches Instagram users or Facebook users most likely to engage with it.
To add a cherry on top, there’s the call-to-action (CTA) feature. An effective CTA can encourage viewers to swipe, click, or even make a purchase. It’s this integration of captivating content, precise targeting, and actionable CTAs that make sponsored stories such a compelling advertising tool.
Top Tips for Creating Engaging Sponsored Stories
In the rapidly evolving world of social media, where users are constantly bombarded with content, creating sponsored stories that captivate and engage is paramount.
But how can advertisers ensure their stories aren’t just seen but also remembered and acted upon? Here are some pivotal points to consider:
1. Utilize Instagram Stories Templates
Leveraging stories templates can provide a consistent look and feel, reinforcing brand recognition. It’s a simple yet effective way to stand out in a user’s news feed.
2. Opt for Motion
Ads that use motion, whether in the form of video ads or dynamic photo ads, tend to capture attention better than static image alternatives.
3. Craft a Strong Call-to-Action (CTA)
Every story should have a clear and enticing CTA. Whether it’s a swipe up to visit a landing page or a prompt to check out a product or service, CTAs can significantly increase engagement.
4. Prioritize Authenticity
Users tend to resonate more with organic-looking content. Even when “sponsored” is clearly marked, making the story feel genuine can bridge the gap between advertiser and audience.
5. Optimize for Mobile Viewing
Given that the majority of stories are consumed on mobile devices, ensuring a full-screen, user-friendly viewing experience in a vertical format is crucial.
6. Use Influencer Partnerships
Collaborating with an influencer can add credibility and widen reach. An influencer can act as a trusted voice, offering a fresh perspective on the brand’s product or service.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
In the quest to amplify brand awareness through sponsored stories, advertisers often make mistakes.
Let’s identify and explore some common mistakes:
1. Over-Reliance on Automation
While using Instagram’s ads manager or Facebook’s ad tools can streamline the process, entirely depending on automated ad placement without manual checks can sometimes lead to undesirable results.
2. Ignoring the Importance of Organic Stories
Relying solely on sponsored stories and neglecting organic stories can lead to a disconnect with the target audience. Remember, organic Instagram stories or Facebook posts can build a genuine connection.
3. Ineffective Call-to-Action (CTA)
A weak or unclear CTA can result in low engagement. It’s vital that the CTA in your Instagram stories ad or Facebook ad directly corresponds to the ad’s purpose.
4. Disregarding Audience Feedback
Ignoring negative feedback or comments on your sponsored stories can be detrimental. Engaging with viewers, even those who might have criticisms, is crucial for brand-building.
5. Not Tracking Ad Performance
Failing to use tools like Instagram reports or Facebook advertising analytics to monitor the performance of your sponsored stories means missing out on insights that could inform and improve future campaigns.
6. Poor Landing Page Experience
If your sponsored story’s objective is to direct users to a landing page, ensuring that it’s user-friendly and relevant to the content of the ad is crucial. A mismatch can lead to drop-offs and reduced conversions.
Future of Sponsored Stories
The future of sponsored stories is bright. As social media continues to grow in popularity, sponsored stories will become an even more effective way for businesses to reach their target audience.
Additionally, the development of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality, will make sponsored stories more engaging and interactive.
What are sponsored stories?
Sponsored stories are a type of social media advertising that allows businesses to promote their products or services through the stories of people who have used them. Sponsored stories are typically shared on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, and can be either positive or negative.
How do sponsored stories work?
Sponsored stories work by partnering with social media influencers who agree to share a positive or negative story about their experience with a product or service. The story is then shared on the influencer’s social media account, with a link back to the business’s website or landing page. The sponsored story will typically include a call-to-action (CTA), such as learn more or shop now.
How much do sponsored stories cost?
The cost of sponsored stories varies depending on the social media platform, the target audience, and the length of the campaign. However, businesses can typically expect to pay a few dollars per click.
How can businesses create effective sponsored stories?
To create effective sponsored stories, businesses should:
- Identify their target audience and tailor their stories to their interests.
- Set clear goals for their sponsored story campaigns.
- Create authentic and engaging stories that will resonate with their target audience.
- Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) in their sponsored stories so that users know what they should do next.