Instagram - a mobile-friendly photo & video album app that has more than 1 billion monthly active users and approximately 100 million photos and videos being uploaded each day. With easy access to mobile devices and a wide consumer reach, no wonder most brands are already on Instagram but the real question is are they engaging with their fans?
Brands should consider looking into engagement factor apart from reach as a definition of success and Insta Story is the answer to it. The Insta Story feature is a great way of building a brand’s identity, engaging and connecting with the audience. Instagram has been roaring out waves of trendsetter features and exciting stickers on Insta Story, that is why there are more than 400 million stories per day!
This further solidifies the reason why brands should hop onto this feature immediately. Twitter brands uses Insta Stories to share some highlight and trending tweets on news, celebrities and sports. Each story prompts users with a CTA (call to action) swipe up to learn more which lands on the tweet itself, where the “real” conversations are taking place. Nordstrom Rack is another example of a brand who uses Insta Story, bringing their online fans an exclusive behind the scenes of the holiday shoot. This helps the brand to establish a relationship with their fans by interacting with models and also building hype on the latest launch.
Furthermore, Instagram has also rolled out Insta Story ads which is a fantastic way in boosting brand awareness, gaining more followers and improving your sales which will definitely leave you in a great position for competition. The option of creating ads on Insta Stories are as vast as the ocean from Boomerangs to Carousel Ads, so it is time to take your creativity for a drive!
But, before you comment “What about the feed?”, let us weigh in the values of the feed and the story.
When fans land on a brand’s page, the feed will always shape their first impression of a brand. This is the sole reason why brands tend to lean towards aesthetic themes or even coloured filtered themes to make their feed #goals! Which is why it is crucial for brands to portray their brand identity onto the feed and even onto their bio. The content and the creatives on the feed are thoroughly thought through to portray the best messaging to the fans once fans hover on the feed.
Basically, the content on the feed is perceived as a well-curated masterpiece being hung onto the feed for a very long time (unless you delete them). Usually, the feed helps fans to understand and to find brands but hardly interacts with them.
Feed = More fixated and refined with finesse which will exist for a very long time
Insta Story tends to be more raw, authentic and personal because it strengthens the relationship between brands and fans. The nature of Insta Story is to be brief as it takes up less than a minute (depending on your content) hence it is not a need to be well polished by brands as long as the objectives are clear. With over 38% of users logging in to Instagram multiple times within a day, can you imagine the number of target audience?! A plus point? Insta Story is strategically placed at the top of the page! This builds an urge for fans to constantly check as the stories are only available for 24 hours.
Insta Story = Raw and personalised content which will only exist for 24 hours
Needless to say, both content formats serve different goals and objectives of the brands. Now, let’s get down to business, shall we? ;)
Insta Story is definitely a game changer for social media marketers and brands as we can unleash our creativity and innovative ideas in strengthening the bond between brands and fans. Having these Insta stories frequently help brands to remain at the top-of-mind for their fans. With some luck and good content on your side, you might even find your Insta Stories circulated. The best part? Insta Story does not have to beat the algorithm! AHA!
Insta Story ties in well with media strategies as it helps brands to stay in touch with their fans by showcasing exclusive behind-the-scenes, a day in a brand’s life or even the nitty-gritty of a product launch event. There are endless content pillars which can be created on Insta Story, some may even include storytelling, contest giveaways, and live updates. Brands have already succeeded in achieving their business goals just by simply building anticipation or seen even through the instant engagement from fans. This creates an intangible relationship with the fans where they know what happens behind the curtains!
Not to mention that there are a handful of stickers, polls and other features like the countdown sticker, question polls, GIFs and the ‘Swipe Up’ feature that Instagram has bestowed upon us These are the key secret ingredients in making an Insta Story worth engaging with. Brands should leverage these tools to gain new insights by asking their fans a question, or even to acquire what the fans want in the next product launch. As a fan of some brands, I can safely say that this will make us feel like we are of value to the brand as we are part of the process.
Here are some examples of Insta Stories that we had created for our clients!
Weekly Policy Round Up LKYSPP - A weekly summary leveraging on the current trending policy affairs and encourages the audience’s feedback
Cbtl Halloween & Event coverage - Creating a leeway informing the audience about the event by creating Halloween jokes and uploading live Insta Stories during the event
At the end of the day, Insta Stories should complement and not replace a brand’s Instagram feed. It gives an extra oompf don't you think so? ;)
Do you have any interesting Insta Story ideas? Do share with us in the comments below!
P.S. Stay tuned for the 2nd blog as we will talk about what kind of content should your brand display on Insta Stories aka game plan!