A new feature dubbed Stories was introduced by Instagram a few days ago. To tell the “story” of users day, they are permitted by Instagram Stories to share multiple photos and videos all under 1 album or slideshow-like format as the name implies. After 24 hours, all content in users’ Stories disappears.
Social-savvy brands may compare Instagram Stories to Snapchat Stories, which are also collections of videos and pictures which last for only a day before expiring completely. Instagram Stories is not a novel concept in this sense. But, video marketers have a unique opportunity to harness this new feature and use it to their advantage with Instagram’s impressive track record of helping brands boost their online presence and gain millions of video views,
For Brands, The Reason For Instagram Stories Are Important
To offer brands looking to master the platform and grow their following, Instagram Stories have some of worthwhile benefits. While still providing multiple images and videos for their followers to enjoy throughout the day, the ability is one of these benefits for brands to upload their content directly to a Story instead of as individual posts. Also to spice up the content uploaded to Stories, text and drawing tools are available. To view the Story to see just what a brand has prepared for them, this permits for more creativity in developing a brand’s unique style and character, and enticing followers.
The ability for users to like or comment on Story content Instagram has also chosen to restrict. This decision takes the pressure off brands from chasing after likes and comments, or crafting the “perfect” Instagram post. Instead, video marketers on Instagram can focus solely on creating unique content in a casual setting to enhance their brand’s image.
The feature’s noticeable presence in the Instagram app is another key aspect about Instagram Stories. Users will see a colored ring around those accounts’ profile pictures in the to 2p Story bar when followed accounts post new content to their Stories. In essence, uploading a steady stream of photos and videos to a Story means brands will have a better chance of staying front-and-center in followers’ feeds than those who choose to post only a photo or 2 a day.
Brands Can Use Instagram Stories By 4 Ways
Although now the importance of Instagram Stories for brands should be clear, none of those points matter if brands do not actually implement Stories in their Instagram marketing. There are a few key ways to begin doing just as follows:
1 To use Stories for to Cover an Event: The slideshow style of Instagram Stories may seem inconsequential at first glance. However in some instances, throughout the day your brand may not want to constantly bombard your followers with content.
For instance, Awesome’s followers may get overwhelmed by the amount of content and select to unfollow the account if multiple team members of Brand Awesome were at a convention and all of them were using Brand Awesome’s Instagram account. It might be in Brand Awesome’s best interests to instead permit all its team members to post to one Story, which its followers can watch at their leisure all in one go in this case.
2 For Followers, to make it a Not to Miss Feature: To take a cue from Instagram’s new feature and think about ways your brand can tell a story which will delight your followers and make your Instagram Stories a can not-miss part of their day also important.
One of the most skilled brands around at dominating social media and video marketing is a good example of storytelling comes from National Geographic. The wildlife and nature-centric company posted a string of images and videos around the replica of a Viking longhouse in Denmark on Instagram on August 9:
3 To Use Stories to Highlight: Consider putting together highlights from the day instead if stringing together an entire story is not your brand’s forte. To use Stories to post highlights of the convention it attended from the different viewpoints of its team members, it would make sense for this company in going back to the example of Brand Awesome.
As a highlight reel seems especially fitting for sports-related brands like the NBA or this year’s Olympic Games, using Instagram Stories. On an Instagram Story, to catch up their followers on the day’s events, these companies could post photos or videos of important moments, athlete interviews, and even game results. In fact, with its newspaper-like #MLBTimes Stories, this is exactly what the MLB is doing now:
4 To Make Content Go Further: Consider killing two birds with one stone if your brand is also on Snapchat. By downloading them to your phone, and then uploading them to Instagram Stories, to save your Snapchat Stories.
To ensure you pay attention to how your audience reacts to the double-posting of content as any good social video marketer. As they only keep up with your brand on one platform instead of both, a couple of followers may not notice. But, cutting the practice immediately and re-focus your efforts on providing content unique to the separate platforms if you feel your followers are not reacting well to the double-posting.
To show their content chops, a new and welcome opportunity for brands and video marketers alike is Instagram’s Stories feature. For providing followers in-the-moment photos and videos which do not need to be primped and polished before going live, Stories are a great avenue, and also for brands to be creative and compelling on a platform otherwise singularly focused on individual content posts, they provide a fresh way. In the coming weeks, we are eager to see how brands begin to use Stories.