September 14, 2018
Instagram has cleared the floor and is stealing the spotlight of social platforms. If you haven’t noticed, Instagram has taken notes on disappearing content (aka Stories) from Snapchat and cleaned it up to be a well-mannered and fully functional social phenomenon. What’s more is that Instagram is not just for pretty pictures of your friend’s food, it’s content from influencers, brands, publishers, entrepreneurs, nonprofits and your friends. Advertisers have taken note of this explosion, and with beautiful imagery, they’re capitalizing on the opportunity. Here’s how you can use the popular Instagram stories for brands.
Since its debut in October 2016, Instagram Stories’ user base grew from 100 million to 300+ million in 2017 and now 400 million as of its second birthday, whereas Snapchat only gained 25 million new users in 2017. Furthermore, 80% of the Instagram user base follows one or more brands, and one-third of the most viewed stories are from businesses. So how can you connect those mobile dots? Give them they pleasant surprise they were looking for.
With “channels” to peruse, hashtags to search and suggested stories to see, there are endless ways to reach and enrich people’s phones. Users are more likely to acknowledge and accept brands who produce and share relevant and interesting content that fits their interests. In a Facebook report, 1 in 3 self-reported daily active Instagrammers say they have become more interested in a brand after seeing it on Instagram stories. They may try that new restaurant they haven’t heard of because their image of outdoor dining was appealing. They may buy those mustard yellow corduroys they normally wouldn’t because of the way the influencer has styled them. They’re scrolling through their feed hungry for new content and discovery.
While brands should be present and positive on the platform, it needs to be noted that there are tips to creating engaging content and best practices for brands utilizing the tool. For example, simply popping a pretty horizontal picture on your story is not effective. Instagram is heavily visual with a growing yearn for video content. Users flock to stories to be quickly captivated by full screen images and experiences. 40+% of Instagram stories are video, so even adding a gif or animation could help engagement.
Unlike other video services, you have about three seconds to capture your audience. This means you have to use your time and space wisely. Strategically brand your visuals, get to your point quickly and be personal. Don’t bust through with a volume blasting, action-packed video after the user just watched a boomerang of a baby. Sneak into their scene with carefully crafted, like-minded content they’re used to seeing, and avoid being skipped. Take a peek at what your users post, what similar channels are showing and which of your own posts get the most interaction.
Keep your objective in mind when you create your content. If you’re creating an Instagram story for advertising, draw the user’s eye toward the action you want them to take. Put a little arrow animation pointing to the “Learn More” swipe up arrow, and take advantage of how easily users can explore your landing page from the image. Instagram is also rolling out stickers that show more info on the items in the image. This coming feature will make it even seamless to shop within stories when the right content is shown to the right people.
From social media trends to digital design and website heavy lifting, our 10,000+ projects and 20 years of experience lets us help brands like you get the recognition you deserve. If you’re ready to take your Instagram game a level up, we are just a contact form away!