Why Every Brand on Instagram Should Consider Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories debuted in August of 2016 as their answer to Snapchat. It's functionality was much the same; take photos or videos that last 24 hours, can be viewed in a reel, and can be edited with text, emojis and filters. As time has gone on, Instagram has added more and more features to Stories to try and differentiate from Snapchat, but in the end they were exactly the same, right?
Well, not quite. Instagram had a bit of an edge being that Stories was tied to an actual established account; the whole basis of content wasn't about the disappearing video, it instead turned into a plus-up for users who were already active. And people enjoyed the fact that they were able to do what Snapchat could do all in one platform they were already using. In fact, when Instagram launched, Snapchat's growth slowed by 82%. So despite the groans of Instagram "copying," they did something right.
So now that Instagram Stories has existed for almost a full year, there's no reason a brand can't consider using it if they are already established on Instagram. If you've been thinking about it for your company or brand, but aren't convinced, then let me convince you.
It's inherently more brand friendly than Snapchat. - Yeah, I said it. Snapchat, for the longest time, has struggled to figure out brands' place on their platform. And to be frank, they never really embraced them. Their platform wasn't made initially to make a profit; it was meant as a quick way to share silly videos to friends and nothing more. When they blew up bigger than expected, they had to find a way to turn profit, but are still vastly expensive for most advertisers and have analytics that leave something to be desired.
Instagram had a better head start on branding as they learned from Snapchat's mistakes, but also had Facebook's knowledge of advertising and brand friendly content behind them. They have the ability to push consumers off platform to a website, article, etc through the ability to scroll vertically, and paid Instagram Stories have recently been implemented with much success.
If you have an audience on Instagram already, you'll likely have an audience for your stories.
Instagram Stories just recently surpassed 250 million daily active users, and that's not just those who are uploading their own stories, but those viewing them as well. If you have someone following you, chances are they will see your story; it's become user habit to watch through the stories on their feed. The key is, you have to keep their attention rather than letting them skip your story without taking any information in.
Yes, you do have something to say.
A lot of brands fear that they don't have anything to say that would warrant an Instagram story, and that just simply isn't true. Whether you're a brick and mortar with a sale, a bar with a great special or live music on a particular night, a consumer goods company with new product, or a non-profit with an event coming up, you have something to say. You don't need to have a story every day, but you definitely have moments where it'll come in handy.
It allows for a less polished style of content that feels more authentic to a consumer.
Authenticity is so important nowadays, with a cynical consumer who can see when they are being marketed to; especially more so with Gen Z, who are growing up fast to become the next big spenders.
Instagram Stories allows you to connect with potential consumers on a more personal basis, whether through behind the scenes videos, live event coverage or more personal one on one talks with a figurehead. Whatever it might be, it's raw and it's real (especially if you are streaming live!) and the consumers of today appreciate that more than any perfectly edited ad.