The Rise of Instagram Stories

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Instagram stories launched in 2016 infamously mirroring the ephemeral (disappearing after 24 hours) characteristics of rival social platform, Snapchat. It wasn’t until 2017 that Stories’ success exploded. Previous to this, Instagram was solely used by Marketers to build brand identity and exploit Influencer Marketing. Stories opened an entirely new and lucrative gateway, allowing Marketers to connect, sell, link up products, add URL and more, expanding the possibilities to use Instagram as a way of directly selling products and engaging more continuously with their customers.

5 reasons you should be using Instagram stories

1.     Reach.

Instagram is big. With double the daily users than Snapchat (200m+ active users on Stories) Instagram Stories has become the fastest growing platform ever. Alongside the recent setback for Snapchat from a certain celebrity Twitter account, Instagram’s rapid success has meant that even the most loyal Snapchat advocates have started to question whether they really need to be using both social platforms. Discoverability also allows Instagram to stand out above other platforms. Unlike Facebook and Snapchat, Instagram stories allows people who don’t follow you can see your stories, engaging beyond simply your grid followers, thus reaching out to the considered 'unreachable'. 

2.     Identity.

Stories can provide more of a ‘Behind the scenes’ element to your business, giving the consumer access to the more personal side of your brand. With trends such as ‘Meet the Maker’ and ‘A Day in the Life of’ growing, it’s apparent that customers are no longer satisfied with simply purchasing a product, they want to purchase a brand. As we move towards a much more digital form of consumption, people need to trust that what they’re buying online is legitimate and high quality. Never underestimate the importance of your brand, it goes hand in hand with the selling of your product/service.

3.     Engagement.

With characteristics such as polls, hashtags, geolocation tagging and outbound link swipe ups for those with 10,000+ followers, Stories allows marketers, influencers and advertisers to find out exactly what people. Most of marketing is a process of trial and error but Instagram metrics such as seeing how many people tap back/forward or exit your story gives concrete evidence of what target audiences want to see, what grasps their attention and what they find disinteresting. 

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4.     Content.

With the ever-changing social media algorithms, engagement rates on grid Instagram are dropping. Stories however, allows for a more continuous level of engagement and for more accessibility (always at the top of the page).  The Instagram grid is a way of presenting your brand identity in the first 6 cubes. Stories utilises content that may not necessarily flow with your avocado and latte, pastel themed Instagram grid. It also means that videos, which can clog up the aesthetics can still be used without having a detrimental effect on your work of art. The ability to save stories means that you don't have the strain of constantly churning out new and exciting content as you can reuse Story content that you know was successful. 

5.     Novelty.

Never underestimate the power of the emoji, or in fact filters for that matter.  Novelty is a powerful tool when it comes to marketing and it can be what helps you stand out from other brands. Instagram stories provides a playfulness that advertising companies scramble to achieve through traditional marketing. The ability to draw on videos, add comic hashtags and popping a dog filter on (we’ve all done it), it possibly one of the easiest ways to engage in a lighthearted and informal way.

 

Word by: Colette Kellgren-Parker

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