Do you know that over 400 million people use Instagram Stories every day?
Ever since its official launch in 2016, Instagram stories have evolved into one of the most effective marketing tools for brands today. Stories allow users to instantly share photos, texts, or videos which will ‘self-destruct’ after 24 hours. Although some skeptics argue that it isn’t exactly a ground-breaking feature, but in actuality, stories offer massive opportunities for businesses to create a fun and engaging marketing content.
At most, stories have also been proven to encourage users to stay on Instagram longer and visit it more frequently. It’s no wonder that Instagram has been actively pushing its users and brands to use this interactive feature. But why is Instagram stories such a big deal?
How Instagram Stories Work
First thing first, maybe you’ve heard about the feature, but you have no idea how it works. Instagram stories were initially introduced as a sort of successor to Snapchat’s ‘self-destruct’ content. But, that’s as far as the similarity goes. What makes Instagram stories really unique?
Most Instagram users utilize stories as the ‘exclusive’ feed for their loyal followers. Any updates on Story are usually highlighted upfront by Instagram, which creates a sense of urgency, making them a must-see type of content that is kind of privilege as well. This way, the audiences will feel as though the brands are talking to them directly at a more personal level. Moreover, the temporary nature of the content easily evokes the audiences’ curiosity and excitement because it is ‘time’-limited. Between the time-sensitive nature and creative freedom, there are plenty that businesses can do to take advantages of this format to their marketing strategy.
Marketing with Instagram Stories
Naturally, the challenge with Stories is, the short 10–15 seconds window that brands have to show to the 400 million audiences something unique and memorable about their products or services. So, what would you, as brands, like them to see that would boost your engagement and conversions?
Polls and Quiz stickers for Interactive Feedback
These stickers are one of the features that allow users to add interactive content in their stories. Brands can use polls and quizzes to gather their audiences’ feedback on any topics in a fun way. Likewise, they can also utilize these stickers to engage in a dynamic interaction with their followers, while making them a part of the content creation process.
Airbnb is one of the brands that have utilized this feature in their marketing campaign. On stories shared by Travel Tuesday, followers are asked to participate in a simple yet interactive guessing game. The content is especially creative as Airbnb took advantage of a content generated by followers or other Instagram channels.
Drive Traffic with Links
Instagram stories allow the establishment of an intimate connection between brands and followers unlike other channels. How? Answer: direct links.
This is actually one of the best things about story, which sets it apart from Snapchat. Businesses with over 10,000 followers can tag links in Instagram stories where viewers can swipe up and be redirected to the brands’ preferred URL. This means, brands can send viewers to their websites, blogs, email lists, or even a partner page, basically to any landing pages they want with a single click/swipe. Furthermore, e-commerce brands can also utilize this feature to put an “add to cart instantly” type of call to action. At such, this feature is especially efficient in driving traffic to brands’ websites.
Delish, for example, shared a story to direct its followers to content outside Instagram with its “See More” link. This way, their followers can swipe up or tap the link to be redirected to the content without leaving Instagram.
Time-limited Offers and Deals as Rewards for Loyalty
Everyone loves sales. Just like the regular promotion posts on Instagram, brands can do the same with stories. The difference is, brands can make the offer sound more exciting through limited-time deals.
Take J.Crew as example. The brand announces a pre-sale to its loyal followers via Instagram story that gives off a strong sense of urgency around the offer. Story-specific offers are a smart marketing strategy to encourage people to stay glued to your Instagram for fresh deals and updates on a regular basis.
Behind-the-Scene Digital Storytelling to Highlight the Authentic Content
There is no limit to the power of storytelling. The best thing about stories is that it allows users to tell an actual story, be it about the products, the brands or the people behind it. Documenting a sort of narrative tale through a ‘behind-the-scene’ footage in stories easily makes brands look approachable, which could significantly impact positively on brand loyalty.
Nordstorm, for instance, uses stories to give its followers a sneak peek of behind the scenes of one of its fashion shoots. The content gives followers a more affable, “raw” look of the brand. Furthermore, the candid stories cleverly showcase the latest items from the brands, while giving viewers a sort of privilege as if they were seated front row at an exclusive runway show. Granted, the content might not be of commercial quality, but the unpolished posts actually increase a sense of authenticity.
Undeniably, Instagram stories have become an integral part of a brand’s online presence within the app. Given the fact that Instagram has been focusing on stories lately by constantly upgrading the feature, it is only natural for businesses and influencers who haven’t really utilized the feature to get on board with it in order to stay ahead of the curve and regularly keep their followers engaged with a creative and authentic content.
So, have you figured out the best way to incorporate stories in your marketing strategy? Shoot us your ideas!