The constantly changing digital environment can make it difficult to keep up with the best marketing and advertising practices. In some instances, you can end up second-guessing whether it’s worth pouring the time and resources into the latest tool. However, not doing so could mean you risk missing exciting business opportunities.
Instagram’s scope can be divided into millions of subgroups and categories as users follow and engage with their specific interests. Evolving into one of Instagram’s signature features, “stories" offer unparalleled (yet often, untapped) value for brands. There are 400 million daily active users on Instagram stories, and advertising opportunities have only grown. Most significantly, by developing and using lively and colorful Instagram stories, brands can see a 21% increase in brand lift (and thus, followers and product sales).
Successful brands are in command of their content and understand how to use sStories to target die-hard followers while pulling in new fans. Despite their differences, there is a significant overlap in how brands increase engagement and popularity. Consider these three tips to help you take full advantage of Instagram stories.
Many brands fail to keep their content cohesive — especially with disappearing Instagram stories. Successful brands, however, corroborate with each social media feature and across all networks to strategically publish their posts with matching style, personality and even color. Users that see and hear one voice are more likely to remember who you are. Because Instagram stories are snapshots into the core of your brand, you have to be on target. From your language to photo choice, make each element part of one cohesive plan.
Consider the New York Times, for example. As a leading global news outlet, the New York Times has unique challenges competing on image-based Instagram with the ever-changing news cycle. Mainly, the publisher faces the challenge of ensuring content is up to date, while not misleading the public. Yet it hasn’t been scared off from exploring and advancing their brand through Instagram stories.
Its world-class photography brings storytelling to life — perfect for an Instagram story. The photos enhance its brand image of storytelling and truth-seeking journalism with either a snapshot or an abbreviated version of a story. The photos are a funnel for clicks. Users learn and explore, thus increasing the newspaper’s profile in a cohesive way.
Using Interactive Features
With posts disappearing after 24 hours, the interaction between you and your followers is a bit different than on other platforms. With that said, stories can easily distinguish your brand from your competitors. By using stories, your brand can showcase more personality and build a strong connection with followers. Ask questions or create polls and quizzes to engage your followers –– and always remember to keep it simple. One Facebook study points out that the content that is easiest to understand performs the best.
Look at Starbucks: Showcasing its latest flavor, seasonal favorites or drink specials, Starbucks makes captivating statements to its fans using Instagram Stories. However, the company does more than provide stunning photos of its coffee or treats. Each story is personalized with text and stickers, which gives it color while matching Starbucks’ brand identity –– followers can almost taste their next latte. By using stories, Starbucks converts its personality into fans and, ultimately, the next coffee connoisseur lining up at the shop.
Bright color contrasts, quizzes and user-generated content all provide opportunities to instantly generate emotional connections in your stories. However, the real key is to create original content. Doing so keeps your brand fresh and interesting to followers new and old. Always keep your strategy at the core of content development, and add your brand's own flare to stick out from the crowd.
NASA, for example, isn't afraid of anything after landing on the moon — including social media. NASA’s posts often tell stories that otherwise wouldn’t make it on the front page of major outlets. Additionally, its images are entirely original, some taken from billions of miles away. Followers are immediately intrigued and captured because they want to learn more about the story behind the simply stunning photos.
Despite their differences, there is a significant overlap in how brands increase engagement and popularity. The Instagram story feature is a powerful tool to promote yourself on Instagram. With increasing popularity, brands must take full advantage of the feature to stay on top of competitors in the digital sphere.