The messages to communicate in your story ads for optimal performance

August 25, 2022

The following article consists of Confect's interpretation of actual data. We analyze real-life marketing, advertising, and sales data using Confect's proprietary AI engine. Below, we're breaking down our findings and sharing our results so you can supercharge your future sales efforts. Click here to learn more about Confect.

Digital marketing is constantly evolving; today, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok dominate the online world with features like stories and reels. 

But creating effective story ads requires a combination of both creative and contextual elements. 

Yes, the content you promote needs to be visually appealing. 

But it also needs to convey a message encouraging engagement from your target audience, which brings us to our topic: 

How can you craft compelling story ads that improve performance and encourage viewers to interact with your brand? 

So should you be talking about your latest products? 

Sales and discounts? 

Shipping or return information? 

Lucky for you, we’ve analyzed a mountain of data to find out! 

Below, we’re diving into our findings to bring you the best messages to communicate in your story ads for optimal performance. 

Shipping and Sale messages have an above-average performance in story ads

To find out what story messages perform the best, we compared a series of common generic ad statements, such as shipping and sales information, new product or collection launches, competitions, and more. 

We found that new product launches, competitions, and other generic messaging performed considerably worse than story messages about shipping and sales

Stories with shipping information generate about 34% more conversions than average, and sales ads generate 30% more.

Although product launches and competitions are great ways to increase brand awareness, story ads with this information don’t lead to as many purchases. 

When we break down this data, we realize that viewers interested in sales and shipping information are further along in your sales funnel, meaning they already intend to make a purchase in the near future. 

In the end, there’s nothing wrong with running branded news or competitions in your stories. 

But these messages (news and competitions) aren’t the types of ads that people buy from. 

They’re mainly used to inform viewers, and not to entice them into a purchase. 

On the other hand, sales and shipping ads are! 

When we think about it, these types of ads are naturally more transactional. 

Therefore, it’s no surprise that they show better performance levels than news and competition related ads. 

When mentioning shipping in story ads, a free, or quick delivery improves performance

We dug deeper into shipping-specific messaging and found even more exciting data:  Mentions of free or quick delivery considerably increased ad performance!

Based on our findings, when we mention either “quick” or “fast delivery,” it can improve story ad performance by as much as 81%, whereas saying “free shipping” improved performance by as much as 100% over other shipping-related ads!

Understandably, these messages offer value to potential customers by giving them what they want: either a good deal or concise information about their upcoming purchase.

Realistically, free is a buzzword for any audience. But when combined with delivery information, it creates a sense of urgency, encouraging people to buy now instead of later. 

This is especially true when these deals are only listed for a limited time. 

Realistically, your profit margins will decrease since you’ll pay shipping out of pocket. 

But the increase in overall ad performance and conversions should easily make up for the difference.  

Now we know precisely what type of shipping messages to include. So let’s review what kind of sales messaging you should use in your stories.

Saying "save up to X" is performing the best when doing sales on story ads

When we compared sales ad performance, we found that brands should avoid discounts like “get X for Y,” “buy 2 for the price of 1,” “buy one get one free,” etc. 

These ads were found to be highly ineffective and performed as much as 65% below average. 

Seasonal discounts and storewide sales also did poorly, performing about 26% below average.

On the other hand, including messages like "save up to X%" performed about 116% better than average!

When we break it down, this type of ad is vague. It doesn’t really explain the exact discount or which products are discounted. 

But it does create a sense of curiosity. Because the discount is vague, it leaves the viewer wanting to know more! 

They’re left wondering: “how much can I really save?” 

In turn, this causes them to want to click through and explore your online store to find out precisely what the sale is about. 

Leveraging factors, such as curiosity and urgency, truly can encourage people to take action now rather than later.

It creates a fear of missing out, and increases the likelihood that your viewer will convert into your next paying customer.

Improve Your Ad Performance By Leveraging Sales And Shipping Information

Story ads offer an incredible opportunity for businesses to reach their target audiences quickly and effectively through platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok. 

But compelling ads are about more than just using suitable designs and creatives. 

To ensure optimal ad performance, it's essential to include creatively compelling content and contextually relevant messages, such as free or fast shipping offers and less specific sales promotions.

In the end, by paying close attention to your specific messaging, you can easily create effective story ads that generate the highest level of engagement from viewers, converting them into paying customers and loyal followers of your brand!  

More to read

This article focuses purely on the performance of different messages in story ads. Keep optimizing with the following insights:

Data section

The dataset from this article is based on 1B impressions and 13.6K pieces of individual content on Meta (Facebook) platforms. It takes into account data from all countries and industries, with the campaign objective of Conversions. The period is from 1. September 2021 - 16. September 2022. The content was filtered based on the aspect ratio to separate 1:1 (square) from 9:16 (vertical).

Numbers are looking at correlation only, not causation. Remember to check your own data: numbers for different brands, industries, and contexts will vary.

If you were intrigued about a specific insight, you can go in-depth into the various dimensions and how data can be segmented in Confect,  here.