Instagram describes its Stories feature as something that lets you “share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile”.
It’s no secret that Stories are a big deal on Instagram. Instagram recently told the world that over 400 million users use Stories each day.
Why are they so popular? The truth is that Instagram Stories are really fun. They offer users and brands the opportunity to engage with their audience in a disposable manner which disappears after 24 hours. Engaging features such as the Questions Sticker and creative touches like Music help to make Stories truly unique in terms of content.
Historically, ‘Stories’ have been seen as secondary, an exclusive feed of content for your most dedicated followers, with primary posts residing on your Instagram page indefinitely. Recently however, the tendency is for users to naturally click on ‘Stories’ instantly upon landing on the app. Previously the natural reaction would be to scroll down through the newsfeed, similar to Facebook.
This shift represents the pull that Instagram stories unexpectedly developed, with more and more people gravitating towards the content on a daily basis. Between their time-sensitive nature and creative freedom, there’s plenty that businesses can do to take advantage of this format.
Let’s take a look at some of the brands who are doing it well while honing in on the features utilised to make their campaign a success.
Stories’ sequential format makes them perfect for step-by-step, how-to style content. This also lends itself well to recipe and beauty content. ‘Wednesdays #WithGalaxy’ runs every week with Samsung breaking down step-by-step how to take the perfect photo using a Galaxy device.
Samsung also encourages followers to share their creations using the #WithGalaxy hashtag for the opportunity to be featured in their feed.
Part of the beauty of Instagram Stories is that they don’t have to be big, polished productions. In fact, many brands create Stories that are sort of off-the-cuff while attending public events or industry conferences. In a sense, Stories allow brands to take their followers along for the ride. Here’s a recent example from Salesforce’s recent Story from their TrailheaDX 2018 conference. Promoted with the #TDX18 hashtag, Salesforce showcased everything from real-time presentations to happenings at booths around the conference.
Stories can be used for limited-time deals or to highlight a current sale. Whole Food’s “Delish Deals” shows off items which are on sale at their stores. A handy feature on Stories is a ‘Swipe Up’ button at the bottom which could be used to send the user a link to purchase
Manchester United have over 23 million followers on Instagram. Given the disposable nature of the content, they can use the platform for all the latest announcements around each match day. Line-up, goals scored, final result etc. They tend to have 6-10 stories each day. This is content that wouldn’t be applicable to long term organic posting and offers the Manchester United marketing team the opportunity to be a little more personable than they can be on other mediums.
Starbucks utilise the ‘Swipe Up’ feature to great effect, allowing customers to pre- order their coffee through the Starbucks website prior to collecting in store.
A nice personal campaign from Mailchimp is one of our favourites. They recently ran a series of day-in-the-life Stories. Each Story highlighted individual members and their day-to-day roles at MailChimp, including bringing on new hires.
And of course, what better way to ensure that your Story stands out than by running an ad? Many brands have seen success using Instagram’s hyper-targeted ad platform via Stories. Allowing brands to use 10 photos or videos, the full-screen format is truly unique in terms of formatting and keeping your targets’ attention. Here a recent example that has great creative along with compelling always on ‘Shop Now’ feature at the bottom.
Stories have become an integral piece of so many brands’ Instagram presence lately.
But are they part of yours?