Why and How Brands Can Use Instagram Stories
Snapchat Stories have been a big success since they came on the scene in 2013 and the feature’s helped to grow Snapchat into an effective tool for brands. Instagram wanted a piece of the pie, so hey presto, now we’ve got Instagram Stories. Sounds familiar? Hands up, who would’ve loved to have been in the Snapchat HQ when they found out, ‘what do you mean, it does the SAME thing?!’ Joking aside, this is a big move for Instagram and one that can see brands reap the rewards of more engagement with consumers by creating fantastic content.
Why use it?
Brands should be getting on board with Instagram. Firstly, it has more users, 300 million daily users to be exact and it has the clout of its big brother Facebook too. It’s a more brand-friendly tool to use than Snapchat. The platform makes it easier to follow brands, like their posts and show approval of their content, which is good for measuring engagement. Snapchat hasn’t made it as easy for brands to build large followings with its user design, for example, the search function makes it difficult to find brands and you can’t ‘like’ content.
Because the similarities between Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories are pretty striking, brands don’t have to get used to using a unique tool; they‘ll already have experience at creating short, snappy content. But there are ways of segmenting messages and targeting specific demographics, as Instagram allows brands to restrict viewing, which is good for brands with adult-friendly content.
Another example of Instagram being big buddies with brands is the introduction of a contact button on brand profiles so that customers can get in touch and interact with them. It offers another way to give great customer service and build rapport. It’s also allowing an Insights tool, so brands can improve their content strategy. Basically, Instagram can be your brand’s BFF.
Stories give brands the chance to get really creative and connect with customers in a fresh, exciting way. Here’s how.
After posting a choreographed photo or a painstakingly arranged photo with the perfect lighting, being able to give some more context and provide a behind-the-scenes video, Q&A or interview can give a brand a bit more authenticity. Giving customers an insight into your personality and the goofing around that goes on behind the posts can be just as valuable as the initial content.
Quick, concise reviews of products or instructional videos can show products actually being used instead of prim and proper photos that show them looking unused and perfect. Customers want to see content that motivates them to use a product and see people using them in a context that’s familiar to them.
Getting influencers involved with brands and collaborating with them is one of the best ways to start connecting with Generation Z who will make up over 40% of consumers in 2020. You need content that speaks to them, as well as the people to do it. Letting influencers essentially take over an account, posting content and stories helps to bring new communities to your brand and communicate something about the types of consumers you’re trying to reach out to.
With other marketing tools and channels, there can be tedious processes and lots of people that need to sign campaigns off which can make some content seem outdated by the time it’s eventually released. Instagram moments allow brands to create quick, timely content that reacts to changing situations. The whole point of the tool is about getting content out there that is reactive, responsive and interactive. Pinging creative content out there as soon as possible makes your brand look dynamic and on trend. Don’t be a sheep; get your ideas out there.
If you’re a smaller brand that hasn’t experimented much with social media marketing, especially Snapchat Stories, then Instagram Moments is a great way to see what works for your brand and how you can reach out to different demographics. Especially because of the new insights tool, you’ll be able to try out new things and see what connects with people. Smaller brands have the chance to grow loyal and robust consumer bases and you can create content that is contextual and locally minded.
Instagram stories can help your brand to create an ongoing dialogue with customers and engage with new demographics. It’s vital that your brand is prepared to talk meaningfully to millennials and Generation Z and the younger users of Instagram will want creative, experimental content that is on trend and dynamic.
Becoming more adept at Instagram and understanding the wealth of functionality the platform provides to brands is necessary for today’s PR and marketing professionals. So, use Instagram Stories and see what returns you might garner from this flexible platform. To learn more about Instagram’s algorithm and how to become an expert on the platform, listen to our free downloadable webinar, Master Instagram Marketing: Learn how to use the latest Instagram updates to your advantage.