The range of expanded capabilities Instagram is bringing to Stories doesn’t surprise anyone anymore. Actually, we’re all expecting, on a daily basis, to see what other new options we get to play with in Instagram Stories.
From live videos to enhancing photos and pinning stickers, Instagram Stories have enabled users to express themselves in a more genuine way. In return, users have provided an immense variety of creative content: some hilarious, some adorable, some inspirational and some…plainly weird. And of course, brands and influencers were the leaders of this creative race, leveraging the feature’s benefits to raise engagement and connect more closely with their followers.
So, the logical question is: what’s next?
At the beginning of this month, Instagram announced it was bringing Carousel Ads to Instagram Stories. Great news for brands, as they can now add up to three pieces of media in one single story. And since brands already had the habit of creating such multi-stories with organic content, Carousel Ads came as a natural next step.
Carousel Ads were first introduced on Facebook and later made way to Instagram. However, mixing Carousel Ads with Stories brings an entirely new dimension of tools into question. Like all new features, this too presents some nice opportunities for brands and influencers and their businesses. But what are the full capabilities of this new feature and how can you use them? Well, let’s break them down and see how they can help you improve your marketing strategy.
1. Businesses can now better adapt their ads for Instagram Stories
So far all Ads on Instagram Stories were limited to 15 seconds and immediately stood out as paid content. However, the new Carousel Ads give brands and influencers the possibility to create ads that flow better in the overall Instagram Stories feed. This is also because marketers will be able to express themselves in the same way in which users are doing. With access to drawing tools and stickers, the ads will blend more naturally with the other content generated by friends. So, rather than looking like an interruption, the Carousel Ads have the chance of being more genuine and strengthen their connection with their users.
2. Brands can now tell more comprehensive Instagram Stories
Instead of squeezing your message into a photo or video, you will now be able to tell a more complex story. Don’t think Shakespeare, but a story nonetheless. By creatively using the 3 pieces of content, the drawing tools and stickers, marketers can craft better stories and raise engagement rates for their brands. Our intuition tells us that Carousel Ads in Instagram Stories will open up a whole new realm of expression for brands and influencers. So be sure to give your creative talent a go at Carousel Ads in Stories.
3. Brands can now incorporate drawing tools and stickers in videos
This might be the biggest news of all. Why? Well, because stickers and drawing tools are what make Stories the special place it is So long, boring conventions and perfectly edited pictures! In Stories, the serendipity of the moment is visible in the colorful, quirky and genuine stickers and drawings. Now, brands can create ads that look more like what people are sharing rather than an actual ad. It’s a great chance to create new, refreshing content that can trigger better connections.
While the benefits are not limited to our top 3, these are really the cherry on top of what Carousel Ads might bring to Stories. We’ll keep on testing and have you constantly updated on what other goodies we find for your marketing strategies.
Now, you may wonder: why limit Carousel Ads in Stories to three pieces of content? According to Instagram’s Director of Product Marketing, Susan Rose, this is “just a starting point”. We may complain we want more, but for now, we’re going to have to be grateful for the three and test them to their limits.
The new Carousel Ads for Stories has the potential to become a valuable tool in your marketing strategy. However, as all new options, it is still to be seen if its efficiency raises to our expectations. It depends both on the user acceptance rate, but also on the creativity with which brands and influencers will tackle this new feature.
What does the new feature mean for users?
For users, things won’t change in terms of interactions. They will still be able to pause, fast forward and reverse through Carousel Ads. Hopefully, what they have to gain is more relevant content for their interests. And that is for all marketers and advertisers out there to figure out how to deliver. For the benefit of everyone. As far as we’re concerned, we’re certain they will rise to the occasion. And we can’t wait to see what you have in mind.
But until we get ahead of ourselves due to our enthusiasm, it’s good to remember that this is just an early announcement. The new feature is yet to be made available to the larger public. Before mainstream release, it will be tested and implemented by selected advertisers such as Coca-Cola, Paramount, and the Gap.
We’ll be watching them closely to see just how creative they get. And we’ll be sure to keep you posted as well.