Conceived as Facebook’s answer to Snapchat and launched in 2016, Instagram Stories was an instant hit. As at June 2018, it has a daily user base of 400 million. That’s an incredible number for a platform that’s so young. And that large user base coupled with impressive growth is why businesses are increasingly using Instagram Stories to market their products and services, especially to younger audiences. Read on to learn all you need to know to decide whether Instagram Stories should become your newest marketing tool in your social media marketing strategy.
Instagram Stories is popular with users and brands
Half of all brands on Instagram have made an Instagram Story. And Stories encourage user engagement as 1/5 Stories published by brands get a direct message.
In fact, Stories as a tool has grown so popular that Google announced in September 2018 that it would use AI to make its own Stories. These will appear in Google search and image results.
What you can do with Instagram Stories
Stories is a tool that enables users to combine videos and pictures to create engaging slideshows. If you choose to use it, you can also add brand personality and increase interest by incorporating graphics, text, and emojis. You’ll find it’s a tool which allows brands to engage creatively with users.
And when I say engage, I don’t just mean that it gets a few likes and comments. Brands that use Stories to great effect are seeing huge returns on their investments. As an example, Mercedes-Benz Cars UK teamed up with Facebook Creative Shop to create a Stories campaign, which resulted in a 9-point rise in ad recall and a reach of 2.6 million.
Stories is a tool that offers brands a lot of room to be creative. For instance, to increase brand awareness in a fun way, Airbnb uses Stories to ask people to identify destinations through the Stories poll feature.
The Stories tool can be used to share all kinds of information about a brand. You might use it to announce new products and services, share behind-the-scenes footage from your company or even display customer-created visuals that showcase your brand’s products. Whatever you choose to share through the tool, its instant nature can help to create a personal connection with your followers.
Could Instagram Stories a useful marketing tool for your business?
Research reveals that users under 25 spend more than 32 minutes per day on Instagram thanks to Stories. More than 200 million people view at least one business profile each day and 2/3 of all business profile views are from people who don’t follow the account so there’s already a huge opportunity for businesses to reach new audiences on the broader platform. Add to that the fact that 1/3 of the most viewed Instagram Stories are posted by businesses and you’ve got a recipe for success. If your target audience is young people, Instagram Stories is likely to be especially useful in reaching that audience with your messaging.
Are you interested in taking advantage of the upward trend in purchases made on mobiles? More than a third of Instagram users have made a mobile purchase so there’s a huge opportunity to funnel Stories viewers directly to your online shop or to implement shoppable Instagram images. If you need more data to convince your boss to try Instagram Stories, 99 Firms has collated a bunch of interesting statistics about Instagram’s marketing potential that you might also find useful.
Other ways to use Instagram Stories
In December 2017, Instagram Stories released Highlights. You might use this feature to introduce your business to new viewers using your most popular Stories. Alternatively, you could use Highlights to creatively pitch your product or service to users landing on your Instagram page.
If all this has piqued your interest, check out this infographic for more facts about Instagram Stories. The image also includes 30 mini case studies about how top brands are using Instagram Stories to promote their businesses and increase engagement.
Will your business make use of Instagram Stories?
Does Instagram Stories sound like a marketing tool your business could benefit from? Share your thoughts in the comments below. And if you’re keen to use this tool but don’t want to have to go online exactly when you want to post to Instagram, check out this guide to scheduling Instagram posts ahead of time.