Instagram Stories and their usefulness for a Marketer

Social Media Platforms are looking out for ways and means to encourage its users to create and share more and more content on the platform. Recently, Instagram launched its Instagram stories (a feature similar to Snap chat stories) feature that lets users to post content (photos/videos) that vanishes after 24 hours. The content of stories will not appear on your profile grid or main feed section.

How Instagram Stories Feature Work?

Instagram Stories feature appears at the top of feed. Whenever there is something new by a person/account, the profile photo of that person/account will have a colorful ring around it.

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You can simply tap on the profile photo, to view the content/story they have posted in last 24 hours. The content will play from oldest to newest in chronological order. Unlike regular posts, there is no like or comment section in stories. You can tap and go back, forward, or swipe to see other person’s story.

Creating a Story!

For creating a story, tap “+” icon at the top left-hand corner of the screen or by simply swiping left.

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One can record a video or take a photo, just as one would normally do on Instagram. Once you are done, you can use a range of filters, add texts, drawings to your content and share it.

Once the story is published, you can view the analytics related to number of views for each post of your story and who all viewed it.

The privacy settings of the story are similar to your account settings. If the setting is private, your story will be seen only by your followers. You can even customize your privacy setting and easily hide your entire story from anyone even if they follow you.

5 Ways Marketers can use Instagram Stories:

Almost 90% of brands are familiar with Instagram. In near future, we may see many brands testing the stories feature. Following are some of the things which the brand marketers may try implementing:

  • Back stage footage: Marketers are taking the opportunity of using stories as a chance to take their customers/followers on a behind-the-scene story. Stories are a great way to add authenticity to the content appearing in the feed. For example, a restaurant could post a picture of a dish and then create a story on how the innovative dish was made with a top chef/a food blogger reviewing it. Or a real estate company may take you on a tour to their recently started project/property which they have posted about. The options can be endless. From a yoga person sharing his diet secrets in a supermarket to a celebrity sharing some exclusive footage of their shoot.
  • Boost Engagement: Recently Instagram added a filter on its feed similar to facebook, which shows users the posts they are most interested in at the top. Stories may/may not follow this algorithm. Experimenting with stories and being an early adopter of this feature will help the brands to stand out in the platform even if their content is not at the top of the feed. This definitely will boost their engagement levels across the platform.
  • A one-on-one communication channel: Stories surely will give brands and celebrities to interact with their customers/followers on a one-on-one basis. For example: Stories may be used to send 1:1 video messages, brands indulging in answering questions within their stories.
  • Live content sharing: With all the excitement around live video content lately on facebook and periscope, there is no reason brand not using Instagram stories for live, interactive content sharing. Brands will surely use this feature to make their followers dive in a live event.
  • Brand Collaborations: With this feature, brands may collaborate with other influencing brands. It is similar to Snapchat takeover where one brand takes over another’s Snapchat account for a period and share content.

Conclusion:

With a huge online market for sharing fleeting moments present, Instagram stories does seem to have potential. No doubt, this is a big move for Instagram and if it is able to make stories work along with its current features/offering, this could be one of its most important updates till date.

Share your thoughts on testing this feature or if you foresee brands will truly benefit from this feature!

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