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With the rise of quick social content, Snapchat took to the full screen of your mobile device to create an immersive and personal experience for sharing called stories.  Facebook, who owns Instagram, then started its own variation of this immersion with a similar name.  

With over 500 million daily users, you can find stories across your Facebook Feed, Messenger Feed, and Instagram Feed, but mainly showcased on the younger generation social media, Instagram.  We all know Facebook PPC and Instagram PPC creative best practices are to use a 1:1 square image/video as this will show on most placements.  Since most stories are viewed on mobile devices, your 1:1 square image/video will have very standard looking borders and text that does not really fit for mobile devices.  This is where having a story creative for story placements come in handy.

Best Practices for Story Creative

Use the name of the placement as your first step in determining what content you want to use. 

  • Create story assets first. 
    •  From here you can zoom in and crop, and use new ad creative for additional placements
  • Try different creative types, videos, GIFs, and static images.
    • Note that static images are recommended for promotions
  • Keep the text short.
    • If you are using a video, this content is more than brand awareness.  It is a quick experience and call to actions should be in the beginning.
  • If you are using a video or GIF use sound.
    • Your content is auto-playing, get their attention quick.

Specifications for Story Creative

You first need to create an image/video that is a 9:16 ratio and we recommend pixels be at least 1080×1920 px if possible. Note that you need at least 600 px for the smaller ratio.

  • Since you are created a 9:16 variation image/video, any primary text you type in the Facebook ad manager will not be displayed on your ad.  This means if you need to mention a promotion, it is best to have text onto the creative itself but make sure not to have the text take up 20% of the image.
    • If you don’t have the capability to get the text on the image, consider using Canva or get that user-generated content (UGC) look by drafting a story ad yourself and ad text from there.
  • Your profile name shows on the top and there is a call to action that shows up on the bottom.  To combat this we recommend having none of your important text or actions be 180px from top and 200 px from the bottom.
  • If you plan on using a GIF or video, note the length of the content.  You do not want your ad to cut out after a few seconds, add a loop if you need to.
    • For GIF’s, make sure you upload the content is uploaded as a video and not an image.

The strategy of Story-Specific Creative

The best way to implement story-specific creative:

  • First, you need to understand where your current Facebook/Instagram ads are being placed. 
    • Go into a Facebook ad set by clicking on edit and scroll down to placements.  The standard setting for Facebook placements is auto, but possibly you do something specific.
  • If you are targeting any story placements or doing an automatic placement, duplicate the desired Facebook ad set.  
  • Remove any story placements from your original ad set, if you are on automatic placements click manual placements, select everything minus placements in the stories section.  
  • Then in target stories on your new ad set.  
  • Label your ad set and creative respectively.
    • Note that clicks are the main factor for engagement rate ranking data

Examples of Story-Specific Creative

Here are some examples of story-specific creative:


This following example from Revolve showcases the text that is short and positions the text where the account name and call to action do not cover up any important information.



Nikon did an excellent job explaining a call to action they want you to perform.  Showcasing a specific product did not take away from the main call to action.


This following example from Nike here keeps the text short and is very eye-catching with its color scheme.


To Sum It All Up

Now go ahead and segment out your story-specific ad sets.  If you are not sure, we recommend starting off small and duplicating one medium performing ad set.  Target story placements with a story focused creative and see which one drives stronger KPI’s.  If you have any questions or what to discuss more strategies, please feel to reach out to or fill out the Free Consultation questionnaire in the menu!

David Kim