With an ever-increasing number of platforms available for social media marketing, it can be far from simple to choose where and how to advertise a particular brand online.
One platform that businesses could take greater advantage of is Instagram Stories, which in the years since its launch in 2016, has proven to be an effective tool for high-impact video marketing.
The Instagram social media platform as a whole is already a significant advertising tool for businesses, with 67 percent of Australian users aged 18–34 using the platform to find new products, services or businesses.
But while maintaining a holistic Instagram profile should form an important part of your social media marketing strategy, using Instagram Stories provides some unique opportunities to maximise your video marketing impact in ways you don’t get through simply posting to your account or running a newsfeed video ad.
Here are five reasons why Instagram Stories should be a part of your social media video marketing strategy.
1. Keep up with the crowd
If you’re not using Instagram Stories, which boasts 500 million users daily, then you could already be falling behind your competition. Many Australian businesses are already reaping the benefits of this advertising platform, including Country Road, which reported an average 18.05x return on their Instagram Stories ad spend in one 2018 campaign.
In fact, 62 percent of worldwide Instagram users say that they have become more interested in a brand or product due to Instagram Stories, while one-third of the most viewed Stories are from businesses, and brand Stories see an 85 percent completion rate on average.
In other words, if you’re not promoting your brand on Instagram Stories, then you’re probably missing out on an opportunity to reach new audiences and engage with your current one.
2. Benefit from real-time marketing
Instagram Stories lends itself well to real-time marketing—sharing content in the moment rather than after the fact. Real-time marketing is a great way to capture your audience’s attention with a sense of immediateness and urgency, while also supplying relevant information at the right time and increasing your connections and quality of engagement.
Whether live streaming an event through the Instagram Live feature or sharing behind-the-scenes videos of your latest staff planning day, Stories offers the opportunity to:
- Drive high engagement with a time-sensitive campaign,
- Repurpose content to share your campaign in a new way (eg. creating short outtakes of a campaign video for Stories), and/or
- Use the ad hoc nature of Stories to promote the fun, casual side of your business.
3. Experiment with new content
Stories provides a place for you to experiment with new marketing content without lowering the quality of your overall profile. Use it as a testing ground for content that you’re trying for the first time. If it’s successful, you can also choose to share the images or videos as a post on your profile and if it’s not, the evidence is gone in 24 hours.
4. Increased visibility
Originally, Instagram displayed posts in your feed in reverse chronological order, however in 2016, the platform shifted to a more complex algorithm that took into account other criteria, such as engagement, to determine the order posts in your feed are shown. The result is that it’s harder to guarantee that you will be seen by users.
Not only does Instagram Stories provide another opportunity for your audience to see your content in addition to the newsfeed, but it’s also displayed at the top of the app making it easier for your followers to see and engage with your content straightaway. And in our experience at 500HQ, Instagram users check their Stories before scrolling through their newsfeed. As a result, we’re seeing a 300 percent increase in conversions when we add Stories to a campaign, so long as it’s formatted correctly for the platform.
5. Increased engagement
Instagram Stories provides an opportunity for you to have more targeted engagement with your audience through a number of interactive stickers. Stickers enhance engagement in 83 percent of videos on Stories, so long as you don’t go overboard.
- Chat sticker - allow people to join you in a Direct thread chat.
- Donation sticker - host a fundraiser for a nonprofit you support.
- Quiz sticker - write a multiple choice question for your audience.
- Countdown sticker - countdown to an event.
- Question sticker - allow people to ask you a question.
- Music sticker - share a song with your audience.
- Poll sticker - allow people to vote in your poll.
- Emoji slider sticker - allow people to vote using an emoji slider.
- Hashtag sticker
- Location sticker
- Current time sticker
- Weather sticker
As well as stickers, you can also enhance your content with drawings, emojis and text over the top of your content, drawing attention to a particular aspect or message in your Story.
For more social media marketing tips, download our free ebook, 6 proven record-breaking social media video marketing tips.
500 Digital Media is a Melbourne-based production studio with a national focus. Fluent in every stage of production – from concept and creation to social media strategy – we provide a full-scale and integrated end-to-end service delivered by our team of in-house experts.