The Rise of Instagram Stories in Brand Marketing
By Emily McCann
Instagram has reached more than one billion active monthly users, with more than five hundred million of them using Instagram Stories daily. That’s why it is crucial to recognize the potential that Stories hold for brand marketing. Consider this: after seeing a Story posted by a brand, 75 percent of Instagram users will engage with that company; this demonstrates how Instagram Stories provides a powerful means for brands to get their content on display and to further expand their reach.
Considering the vast number of Stories that get posted daily, it is important for companies to use eye-catching content to make their Stories memorable for their audience. Instagram is continuously developing new features and tools within Stories that can be used to help build brand-audience relationships, such as polls, countdowns and questions, which provide direct communication with and feedback from viewers. The key to using these features in Stories is to be as creative as possible.
Split screen votingis an example of an immersive, interactive Story experience. This way of voting is effective for brand marketing as it causes the audience to stop and consider their personal preferences for the brand, it provides consumer insights and is also a fun approach to driving traffic to a brand or company page.
Featuring links in Stories is also an effective strategy for driving traffic; it has been shown to get up to a 25 percent follow through to a page. It also differentiates content between a brand’s feed and Stories, capturing the audience’s curiosity and creating an element of surprise.
These6 I tricks to get better engagementwith Instagram stories provide ideas for unique ways to showcase new content and keep key audiences engaged with brand content ongoing.
Instagram Stories provide the opportunity for advertisers to create a storyline around their advertisement, often done using video. Exhibiting the product in Stories provides a more authentic approach that moves away from the more obvious, traditional advertisement post. As stories disappear after 24 hours this is beneficial for companies as it means they can share an advertisement for a day rather than turning their entire feed into advertisements, causing it to lose authenticity amongst their audience. The same principle applies to influencers, who have rapidly become a key feature on the platform, currently leveraged in around 93% of Instagram campaigns. Similar to brands, if influencers constantly share permanent, sponsored posts, they lose authenticity amongst their audience, so Stories have become a key aspect of influencer marketing in order to avoid this.
The success that brands and companies have seen with Instagram Stories proves it is a key tool to integrate in the marketing mix. With that said, it is important to take note of the of the best practicesfor using them.
- One to seven stories is the optimal posting length to maintain the attention of an audience.
- If posting a video, make an impact in the first four seconds or your audience will lose interest.
- The best time to post on Instagram Stories is outside of office work hours or during lunch time.
- Post the best content first to capture the interest of viewers.
- Run competitions on Stories to cultivate brand loyalty and reward those who check Story content.
- Include hashtag(s) in Stories as other users can see it even if they don’t follow the brand.
The key to success with Instagram Stories is for a brand to know its audience and what they care about, be creative with content and be consistent in posting.