Conventional social media marketing demands brands to post their best selves on social media channels. And because it stays out there, it is of paramount importance that your customers get the best of you. But there is a new type of content sharing which stays only for a day and then vanishes into cyberspace. This disappearing photos and videos were first popularized by Snapchat and now available of instagram as well in the form of Instagram stories. But it turns out that these vanishing photos and videos are more engaging and stays longer in the minds of the customers.
Instagram stories have changed the way we use Instagram and has turned it into something more than just an online photo album.
The big question is why to spend any time on a content that will erase itself after 24 hours. The research shows that it’s addictive because of its ephemeral nature. In one study that interviewed 25 college students by Cornell University found that they enjoyed Snapchat because it was fun and the ephemeral nature made it less formal. This is probably the same reason why customers enjoy sharing stories on Instagram.
But here are some more reasons:
Instagram has over 300 million daily users for stories.
You don’t have to spend hours on a post that’s going to fade away in 24 hours. All it takes a little creativity, and just a good story or a quick idea of an interesting moment.
Instagram stories are not as exposed as regular Instagram posts and hence you can quickly test your ideas which you are not sure of and gain some insights about your customers likes and dislikes. If you get good response on your story, you can create a permanent post for the channel or use it in other channels.
You get numerous other features such as adding text, drawing, placing stickers, adding augmented reality filters and many more.
You can add a link to your stories.
You get swipe-up links if you have more than 10K followers on Instagram and a business account.
Reach a wider audience by adding hashtags and geotag stories with a chance to get into the featured stories for the tags you choose and amplify your reach.
Using Instagram Stories
Instagram gives a fair amount of features which you can apply to your posts and create content within its own editor, but you can still quite easily just upload content you have created elsewhere.
- Click on the camera icon in the top left or the ‘+’ on the profile picture.
- Tap the camera button to take a picture or hold it for a video or tap the gallery icon in the left corner to use existing media on the phone.
- Edit the photos and videos using various editing options.
- Then tap the ‘Your Story’ button to post to the public story or tap ‘Send to’ to send it privately to the followers via Direct message.
- However, instead of the standard square instagram posts, the stories are shot vertically and so photos and videos should be sized accordingly at 1080 x 1920 pixels.
Instagram stories give you a variety of modes to create in various formats.
- Type: Type-based posts in a variety of styles against a colored background.
- Live: You can live stream an event where customers can comment in real-time and you can post them as stories later.
- Boomerang: Create a 1-second looping video.
- Focus: Take portraits that blur out the background and keeps your subject’s face in focus.
- Superzoom: It dramatically zooms in the subject from afar and often used for funny effect.
- Rewind: You can also record a video that will playback in reverse.
- Hands-free: Record a video without holding down the record button.
Think of Instagram stories like a TV network with scheduled programs. You should release Instagram stories on regular intervals, maybe weekly or twice a week, the choice is yours. Plan ahead on the type of content you will be sharing and how the story will flow. This helps you to create a more addictive and consistent experience for the viewers.
You can repost existing content which you’ve created for other channels without messing up the consistency. Plus, you can add the right tags to get more reach.
Hashtags: In the stories, it is best to use hashtags if they are your own. However, if you are running a contest or you are getting customers to submit their personal photo with your products and your brand hashtags, then it’s a different story. This way, if the hashtags is used in a story, it will present your fans a collection of your own posts as well as post from your followers.
Location tags: It will help you get discovered by people in your area, especially the ones who are not following you and are simply checking for posts using the location.
Mentions: With mentions, you can give recognition to your partner brand or give certain members of your audience a shoutout for submitting a post or a video, or you can simply acknowledge your most loyal fans and they will all get a notification via direct messages.
Using Instagram Live
It is fun to watch someone else’s live show but intimidating to run your own live streaming. It gives you less control because it’s on the spot but the interactive natures bring in a ton of engagement. In live streaming, your followers get notified when you start it. After finishing the live stream, you have to option to upload it on your story for the next 24 hours.
This is an interactive format so, you should regularly acknowledge comments, likes, and responses. Plus, you have to invite them to join in. Because it takes some time to join, before you start, keep some ideal time apart before starting the live stream.
Here are some Instagram Live Ideas
- Running a contest
- A company tour
- Hosting Q&A
- Share a live event you are attending
- Host a talk show
- Live vlogging
So, here goes top ways you can market your brand using Instagram stories; however, for every successful campaign, you have to get your hand dirty and learn the ins and outs of the feature. Instagram stories are still evolving but brings they bring authenticity and creativity while provokes the fear of missing out the story as it stays only for a day.