Creative Tips for Ads in Stories

Use this lesson to:

  • Prepare your creative assets for Stories ads.
  • Create more effective ads in Stories.
  • Use the available formats to enhance your Stories ads.


Ads in Stories provide a new way for you to get your message about your business and products out to new and existing customers. This lesson gives recommendations and creative considerations to help you enhance the ads you create to run in Facebook, Instagram and Messenger Stories.

Create eye-catching ads in Stories

When you create ads that run in Instagram, Facebook and Messenger Stories, the photo or video you choose for the ad appears as a fullscreen Story in between other Stories. Unlike organic Stories, ads in Stories do not disappear after 24 hours.

Use ads in Stories to show:

  • Product inspiration or launches
  • Exclusive experiences
  • Promotions
  • How-to demonstrations
  • Behind-the-scenes videos
  • and much more

Consumers share frequent, casual and authentic moments in Stories. You can create a Stories ad no matter how simple or polished your assets are.

Creative considerations and areas of exploration for Stories

Think about how to create effective ads in Facebook, Instagram and Messenger stories. We suggest that you look at the creative opportunity on Stories through these three categories:


Click the cards below to reveal questions you could ask yourself to help drive your creative considerations.

Considerations versus experimentation

The Stories format is still evolving as the community of people who use Facebook, advertisers and creators find new ways to use the emerging tool kit of Stories features, platforms and possibilities. We have some initial clues about what seems to work well and some questions about what we still need to test.

Creative considerations

These are the areas where we’ve already seen evidence of which creative approaches appear to achieve results.


These are the areas where we’re still exploring, testing and learning. We recommend advertisers do their own testing to find what works best for them.

Next we’ll look at creative considerations and areas of experimentation for each of these three areas: approach, brand and design.


By approach we mean how you build your creative to best take advantage of the Stories format.

Consideration: Keep attention with speed

What we’re seeing:

People consume Stories content quickly, so speed is key.1

What we recommend:

  • Craft creative that captures attention from the first frame.
  • Create ads that use speed to keep attention.

Ritz Crackers used speed to show the breadth of recipe possibilities with its crackers.


People look to Stories to connect with brands and products relevant to them. Brands can connect with consumers in new and creative ways through the Stories format.

Consideration: Begin with your brand

What we’re seeing:

  • Top performing ads integrate branding and key messages at the start. 1


Integrate branded elements (logos, packaging, design elements) at the start of your creative.

  • Lead with shots of your products against vivid backgrounds.
  • Use high contrast colors and put your brand front and center.

Here, 5 Gum opens its Story ad with its brand and product to capture attention and increase recall.


People consume Stories differently than they do other media. Make sure to create content that takes the specific design elements of Stories ads into consideration.

Consideration: Pair text with focal point

What we’re seeing:

  • 75% chance of better performance with central placed text for add to cart 1


  • Pair text with key shot or frame of person/product to draw attention to the focal point.
  • Be careful not to cover crucial information.

In this example, jewelry retailer Bonny & Read saw its best results with the text vertically centered and paired with the visual focal point

Customize assets for individual placements

We recommend different aspect ratios for different placements. You don’t need to create vertical (9:16) content for Stories from scratch every time you run an ad across placements.

Our asset customization tool lets you crop and change your creative for different placements. You can customize your creative for Stories (vertical), Feeds (square) and other placements (horizontal).

To use asset customization in Ads Manager:

  1. Create your ad in as usual until you reach Format at the Ad level.
  2. Choose Single Image or Video and create an ad.
  3. In the Ad Preview section, select any placement to see how your ad will look in that placement.
  4. Choose Select a placement to customize in the Ad Creative section and choose a placement from the dropdown.
  5. A pop-up will open with options in the left column and a preview on the right. Here you can make adjustments to your image/video.
  6. Under Media you can:
    • Choose a different image/video from your account to use for this placement.
    • Upload a new image/video to use for this placement.
    • Change the aspect ratio (vertical, square or horizontal).
    • Custom crop the image.
    • For videos, you can trim to a custom length and/or select a thumbnail image.
  7. Under Text, you can change the ad text and, for video, add captions. You can also change the link.
  8. Under Creative Tools you can change the background color in your Story.
  9. Select Cancel to undo your changes at any time. When you’re done making edits, select Save.
  10. Continue for all the placements you want to customize.
  11. Complete the rest of your campaign details, and select Confirm to purchase your ad.

Your ad will run showing customized images/videos to people on different placements.

Learn more about how to customize assets for placements.

Use Stories ads, no matter the creative

We recommend that you use vertical assets whenever possible, but no matter what kind of assets you have, you can create a Stories ad. For non-vertical assets, upload your creative and let our system automatically transform it into native Stories creative.

In this example, the same image is modified to look great across different placement types, including Stories.

Preview your ad

In Ads Manager, in the ad creation process, you can preview the ad in different placements before you publish your ad. Preview your ad in each placement type, including Stories, to make sure it looks like you want it to.

Stories templates

A range of Stories design templates are available in Ads Manager which automatically transform your image into an attention-grabbing vertical ad with movement. This means you can reach your audience on Stories without investing a lot of time and effort in design. Learn more.

Key takeaways

  • Think about approach, brand and design when you plan your ads for Stories.
  • Use speed, multiple scenes and audio to engage your audience with your brand.
  • Use title cards, logos and other brand signifiers early in your Story to help improve recall.
  • Play with your approach and try new things with images, video and Stories effects.
  • Assign custom creative in a vertical 9:16 format to Stories placements when possible, but know that Facebook can adapt most quality images and video to the Stories environment.
  • To achieve more precise control over your creative, use asset customization to crop and change your creative for different placements.

Keep learning

This is the fourth lesson in a series about Stories across the Facebook family. Please explore the others to learn more.


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