With a billion people on Instagram, it is no surprise that over 400 million people use Instagram stories. This feature lets you post several videos and photos in a slideshow format that then disappear in 24 hours. While stories have a short shelf life, they can be saved to Story Highlights on your profile so anyone can see them at a later date.
In an ever changing social media world, consumer attention has shifted from desktop to mobile, then from image to video, and is now in the process of shifting attention from a feed to stories. Instagram Stories are a quick, engaging format well suited for mobile use.
Stories is the fastest growing product in Facebook History, having jumped from 100 million users in October 2016 to 250 million in July 2017 and to 300 MILLION people as of November 2017.
Instagram Stories are a great tool for businesses. Stories allow for an interactive experience with your content because users can tap, swipe, and explore. Stories also allow the easiest way to share links and drive your customers towards your site and more information. Stories with Swipe Up elements (swiping up leads to another site) increase click conversions. This facilitates an impulse buy, because it puts the product right in front of the user with just one swipe.
On average one in five Stories gets a direct message.
1/3 of the most viewed Stories are from businesses and 50% of businesses on Instagram have created at least one story a month.
80% of Instagram users follow at least one brand.
60% of users hear about a new product through the app.
30% of users have bought a product they have discovered on Instagram. This is because 62% of consumers use social media when deciding whether or not they want to purchase something.
Instagram Stories are now Discoverable which means that people who don’t follow you can also see your posts. Also, because of the format of the app, stories are at the top of the feed, so it is an easy way to ensure that your company is at the top of the page, instead of being lost in the feed like a regular Instagram post.
So what is holding your company back from using the Instagram Stories feature?
Get started with an Instagram Stories strategy for your business with these few basic principles:
1. Most users will watch Stories without their sound on, so make your content as clear as possible without needing to use sound. Though you should design for sound off, you should “delight with sound on,” according to the Stories team.
2. The shorter the better. 2 seconds is the new 3 seconds for watch time, so frontload your message.
3. Your video should be less than 15 seconds, as videos with shorter, faster scenes outperformer longer videos.
4. Integrate value messaging with Stories about benefits, savings, or a demo.
5. Some ideas for Stories are tutorials, listicles, host a takeover, do a Q&A, or give shoutouts to followers by sharing their content.
Promote exclusivity by going behind the scenes, breaking news about your business, or showing people what you’re working on. This will make users feel special and create hype for your business.
Use Stories to tease or alert followers about live streams on other platforms, such as Facebook. Cross promoting content via Stories is a great way to build up viewership.
6. If you are brand new to Instagram and/ or Instagram Stories check out your favorite brands and look at the creative ways they are using the platform. With gifs, stickers, polls, Spotify music integration, locations, filters, and so many more fun way to design, you’ll find a fun way for your business to stand out.
Users want to engage with brands in a personal way. Stories make it easy for brands to show themselves in a fun way, and it is easier than ever to humanize your brand.
Not only are Instagram Stories organic, but you can also inspire action with Stories Ads. Ads combine Facebook’s ad focusing, audience reach, and measurement solutions in a creative, engaging, and immersive format that inspires real business results. Instagram uses Facebook’s system, which has unparalleled targeting ability to give you ads that work. Ads run smoothly from one story to the next, oftentimes making it so users don’t even realize they are watching ads.
Instagram stories make is easy for marketers to engage with users, create leads, humanize their brands, and generate customers. With Instagram Stories’ massive popularity, every business should be leveraging this platform to find more customers and advocates. How do you plan to use Instagram Stories to grow your brand?
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