The Storyteller’s Guide to Facebook Story Ads

The Storyteller’s Guide to Facebook Story Ads

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Humans love watching and listening to stories.

In one of his blog posts, author and marketing shark Seth Godin has this to say about stories:

The top story is the one that informs our narrative, and our narrative changes our future.

Instagram has proved this with a vengeance. If you’re an active Instagram Stories user, you’ve noticed that Instagram Stories ads represent literally every second, third, or fourth post you swipe.

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The huge popularity of Instagram Stories pushed the Facebook team to expand storytelling opportunities across the Facebook family of apps and services and later introduce Stories for Facebook and Messenger. And it was the right move — in one survey, 68% of people said they use Instagram Stories, Messenger Stories, and Facebook Stories at least once a week.

We’re glad you’ve decided to read about Facebook Story ads. It’s story time!

The True Story about Facebook Story Ads

Let’s start with two facts. 1) According to a Facebook IQ study, users create and watch 300 million Facebook Stories every day. 2) The Facebook Q1 2019 earnings call transcript says there are 500 million people using Facebook. 

These numbers are huge. And you definitely shouldn’t ignore them when launching your ads on Facebook.

Introduced on September 26, 2018, Facebook Story ads are an ad placement available in Facebook Ads Manager. Want some Facebook Story ads examples? Consider this ad made by KFC during one of their Facebook ad campaigns:

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How to Create and Launch Story Ads on Facebook

You can create Stories ads on Facebook the same way you do on Instagram.

Here are the steps you need to take:

Step 1. Launch Facebook Ads Manager.

Facebook Story ads — Ads Manager

Step 2. Once you’re there, click Create to start a new ad campaign.

Facebook Story ads — a new ad campaign

Step 3. Choose one of the marketing objectives that support Facebook Story ads.

Facebook Story ads — marketing objectives

Step 4. After you choose your marketing objective (and your target audience), proceed to Placements and pick Manual Placements.

Facebook Story ads — Manual Placements

Step 5. Scroll down to the list of placements, find Facebook Stories, and check the box to select it as a placement.

Facebook Story ads — the list of placements

Step 6. After you pick Facebook Stories and any other placements, finish creating your ad campaign by setting your budget and schedule, choosing your Facebook Story ad template, writing ad copy, etc.

Facebook Story ads — placements

Step 7. Check your settings carefully to make sure they meet your requirements by clicking Review. Then click Confirm and wait for your ads to be approved by the system.

Design Specifications for Facebook Stories

The first thing you should know about Facebook Story ad specs is that the Facebook Stories placement can’t be used on its own without either Facebook Feed or Instagram Stories placements.

Facebook Story ads — placements error

Before creating your Facebook Story ads, check out this spreadsheet:

Aspect ratio9:16 to 1.91:19:16 to 1.91:1
Facebook Story ad size4 GB30 MB
Maximum Duration15 seconds6 seconds
Supported file typesMP4, MOVJPG, PNG
Maximum video width500px
Video qualityH.264, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan
Audio qualityStereo AAC at 128kbps+
CaptionsNot available. Subtitles or captions must be embedded in the video.

Along with Facebook Story ad dimensions, sizes, and other specifications, you need to know the objectives and call to action buttons that support Facebook Story ads. Here they are:

Call to Action ButtonsMarketing Objectives
Apply NowTraffic
Book NowConversions
Contact UsReach
DownloadBrand Awareness
Learn MoreVideo Views
Get ShowtimesLead Generation
Request TimeApp Installs
See Menu
Shop Now
Sign Up
Watch More
Listen Now

How to Master Facebook Storytelling with Facebook Stories Ads

When it comes to Facebook ads, Stories is one of the most fascinating advertising formats. The all-purpose nature of Stories allows any business from any industry to promote itself using any narrative form.

According to marketing data collected by Facebook:

  • 69% of users say branded Stories are a great way to discover new products and services.
  • 44% of people want to see Stories that announce new products.
  • 51% of customers would like to see branded Stories that contain promotions.
  • 45% of people want to see Stories that offer advice.
  • 62% of users say Stories spark their interest in a product or brand.

Let’s go through seven best practices to create the best Facebook Story ads:

Best Practice 1. Get to the Point in Seconds

Always remember that a typical Stories viewer knows they have a lot of content to see. If you don’t want your Facebook Story ads to be swiped, attract viewers’ attention with something that’s truly out of the box starting from the first seconds. 

Best Practice 2. Keep Your Content Fresh

Promote anything you need by means of trending content, news, or events. In other words, use something that’s familiar to everyone at the current moment and adjust it to your products, services, or business.

Best Practice 3. Use Motion and Vividness

The eyes of users will catch something that moves fast and contains bright elements. Take advantage of different editing techniques and graphics to hold viewers’ interest. Test various stickers.

Best Practice 4. Link Stories to Your Brand

Use brand colors and add your logo to let people know they’re going to see a Story that’s worth their attention from the very beginning.

Best Practice 5. Benefit from Sound

Did you know that 80% of Stories that contain music or voice-over narration bring better lower-funnel results than ads without sound? Stories get the best feedback when they not only move fast but sound cool.

Best Practice 6. Enhance Visuals with Powerful Copy

The right text overlays that appear at the right moment and in the right amount do magic. Come up with drastic calls to action. Avoid mentioning prices.

Best Practice 7. Cut, Cut, and Cut

Create as many scenes as possible. This technique will enhance the effect of everything we mentioned above.

Make Facebook Video Stories Ads with Artificial Intelligence

When it comes to cutting scenes, it may be a real challenge to choose the best parts from your footage. We know that firsthand.

The good news is you don’t have to do this by hand. When you import your video to the Softcube artificial intelligence system, an algorithm will help you find the best scenes, cut them, and create a short, high-quality video ad that will boost your conversions.

Best of all, Softcube does all this automatically and for an image-sized budget.