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July 24, 2018

How To Scale Your Instagram Stories Ads

This article was originally published @ Blog

Illustration by Karolyn Escalante

Scaling Video Creative

One of the biggest challenges online advertisers encounter is scaling video creative. And understandably so, it’s not easy to adapt video content for all the ad formats and placements available on Facebook and Instagram. Simultaneously, the traditional video production approaches have become somewhat obsolete as assets need to be constantly adapted to the new norms of online advertising.

After its launch in 2016, Instagram Stories has found its way to the users’ hearts and everyday lives. With 400 million daily users, Instagram Stories has opened a myriad of opportunities for advertisers to reach and further engage their consumers.

Our team Creative Studios witnessed first-hand the struggles that advertisers face with high demands of video content. Therefore, we started creating video presets that ease the onboarding and allow our customers to immediately start creating video ads. Presets are templates that come with ready-make layers, animations, and placeholder content for our customers to easily visualize what the end result could look like. Our customers can then fill the preset with their feed or static content. They can also edit or add layers to customize the template. The automation of video production leaves ample time for teams to focus on strategic thinking while maintaining a brand-specific look and feel.

Story-First Presets:

Successful Facebook and Instagram ads have two things in common: they tell a story and look native to their platform and ad placement. Thus, when creating new presets, we always start with the ad placement to ensure that the preset is native to its platform. When we have decided upon the ad placement, we start building the content. During the process, we take into consideration different patterns within consumption behaviors that vary depending on the platform. Here are our best practices when creating presets and Instagram Stories Ads:

  • We make all presets look organic/native to the platform. When creating your videos, mimic what the users are posting. For example: stickers, GIFs, and/or text overlays can help your ads to blend in with the Stories feed.
  • We select the first element smartly. The first 0.5 second is critical as it determines if the user will continue watching or not.
  • Use textual/visual cues and call-to-actions to guide users on what you want them to do next.
  • Illustrate the message clearly with visual and/or sound. Remember that you need to cater ads with sound to two separate audiences: those who watch videos with sound on and those who don’t. If the content relies solely on sound, the risk of losing the non-listening consumers grows exponentially. Subtitles, text CTAs, hashtags or keywords are complementary content to sound and communicates the message to all users.


All Placements Available with Video Templates

Our goal is to design hundreds of mobile-first presets to make video ad production easy, effective, and enjoyable for our customers. When they find presets that fit their brand and objectives, they can iterate the designs using brand colors, fonts, and product feeds. After the launch of a campaign, our customers can use the performance data to further iterate their ads to find the most effective version. Likewise, we use data and feedback we get from our customers to iterate and produce presets that perform better. The automation enables brands to maintain their brand integrity as the risk of human errors and instructions getting lost in translation diminishes significantly. Design teams can redirect their time to planning campaigns rather than iterate minute details for separate ads.



TUI ran an Instagram Stories, Facebook Newsfeed and Instagram Stream ad campaign using a Video Template that combined destination images, names and prices into compelling videos using one of our presets for Travel. The videos updated automatically with deals updated from their feed.

Video Templates boosted our Brand Awareness campaigns with videos featuring our competitive prices to fly to 100+ destinations. The scalability of these video ads with destination and up-to-date prices wouldn’t be possible without an automation tool like Video Templates. We were able to scale the production of video ads while maintaining great performance using the presets designed by’s Creative Studio.” Julie Messiaen, Digital Marketeer, TUI Belgium


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