Step aside social networks—Instagram is stepping up to be the new content leader on the block. Call me a lover of Instagram, an Instagram guru, a ’grammer for both work and pleasure—but whatever label you decide on, I’m here to give you the ins and outs of using Instagram Stories and how it can help elevate your brand in the social sphere.
If you’ve thought about using Instagram Stories for your brand, here’s your chance! Every day, over 300 million people use Instagram Stories (via Hootsuite), which means that every day there is a large pool of users that have the potential to view your content. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
What Are Instagram Stories?
So glad you asked! Instagram Stories gives your brand the ability to upload photos, videos and graphics—you name it—to a feature built within the Instagram platform where they play in a slideshow-esque manner. Think: Snapchat built into Instagram. These stories last for a whopping 24 hours at the top of the newsfeed but then are able to be added to the Stories Highlights built within the face of your brand’s profile. This allows users to go back and view them after the 24 hours are up. Instagram Stories can be extremely effective and powerful if used in the correct way for a business. When planning your content, think about the following: What would my brand’s consumers like to see? Behind-the-scenes content? Fun, interactive ways to connect with each other? Make your story come to life!
Why Use Instagram Stories?
Great question. Instagram Stories allows your fans to connect with you in a more in-depth way, beyond surface-level metrics such as likes or views. Instagram Stories allows you to poll your fans or take a vote on a specific subject, it lets your fans ask you a question, and so much more. At EPIC, our brands have leveraged the Instagram Stories Highlights feature to promote products, present questions and add other interesting content on the face of their profile. This gives users a glimpse into what their products can do, outside of the normal ’gram post.
Ideas for What to Share on Instagram Stories:
- Take a poll: Ask your fans which product they like better! If you’re lucky, they may even DM (that’s direct message in social media language) you if they want to elaborate. Hint: This can be a great way to get market research or testimonial content for future use.
- Display a tutorial or product specs: Show your fans how to use your product in a specific application. For example, EPIC Creative works hands-on in the snowplow industry (we’re looking at you, SnowEx), and has seen just how successful Instagram Stories can be when highlighting specific products and diving into a few of their features and benefits.
- Share your experiences or partnerships with other brands: We all know that sharing content and tagging the appropriate parties or hashtags is key to social media virality.
How to Integrate Paid Advertising on Instagram Stories?
In the pay-to-play market that social media marketing is, we know that there must be a way to integrate paid advertising into your Instagram Stories. Well, there is. Instagram is a product of Facebook, and Facebook’s advanced marketing tools have now crossed over into the Instagram world. Not only are you able to sponsor your Facebook posts and then have them appear in your Instagram newsfeed, you are also able to place them as an Instagram Story. We would suggest having these advertisements sized correctly for Instagram Stories (1080 x 1920), but Instagram will also process your original Facebook sponsored post for Instagram Stories if you’re looking for a more organic look and feel. Our team has had great success when placing advertisements on Instagram Stories, earning a stunning average of 10% of website links clicked. This is an extremely effective strategy; before this, most of our link clicks derived from Facebook. Test it out for yourself. We’d love to hear your results!
Still a little iffy on how this fun social media tactic can be effective in the social space? Come along for the ride with one of EPIC Creative’s clients, SnowEx, a brand that has been consistently—and successfully—using Instagram Stories to leverage their brand.