Have you heard the news? It’s been hard to escape, Instagram has launched their latest feature – Stories.
We’ll leave the ‘is it just copying Snapchat’ debate to other blogs and focus instead on how you can use this new feature to aid your video marketing output.
How to use Instagram Stories
Like all of Instagram’s features Stories is intuitive and easy to use. To begin simply tap + at top left and tap the circle to either take a picture or hold it down to film video. You can also upload from your camera roll including content you’ve already created in Boomerang and Hyperlapse.
You can then use pens, text, emoji and colour filters to add another dimension to your footage or photo. You can hold down on a colour filter to get an advanced colour spectrum.
Tap the + to share and to save tap the three dots at the bottom right.
Once your story is live it is only available to view for 24 hours. Making it the perfect way to share less polished, authentic content.
To see basic analytics swipe up whilst viewing your story to see who’s seen it. If for any reason you want to block someone from viewing your stories you can click the X by their name. There are no likes or comments with stories, if people want to respond to your content they must private message you.
How can brands use Instagram Stories?
It’s a great way to show behind the scenes shots of your business or use it as teaser trailers for upcoming events such as webinars. You could even use old event footage to promote a new one.
People love live content so utilise this to show your office life, production line or team outing. You could create short tutorials, showcases of new product features or even sneak peeks of upcoming launches.
If you have a group of influencers then you could partner with them, a strategy that is already successful for many brands on Snapchat. By inviting an influencer to create your daily Instagram story you can bring your brand and products to an even bigger audience.
As it only lasts for 24 hours it’s a great way to experiment with content and if it works you can incorporate that into your regular Instagram strategy and even roll it out onto your other social accounts.
The benefits for your brand
If you’ve got Instagram already you’ve already got a built-in audience. Yes, it’s basically Snapchat but if you don’t have an audience there then Stories will save you time as your content will reach more users without you having to invest time building a new audience.
Because of the updated Instagram algorithm you can’t guarantee your content will organically reach your followers, however, stories appear at the top of the feed for anyone that follows you, giving you a much higher chance of being seen.
It’s a great chance to show your authentic side with less stylized brand content, research shows that millennials don’t respond well to obvious advertising and overly branded content. Show them you’re authentic and personable and they are more likely to engage. This doesn’t just apply to millennials as all people prefer interacting with brands that have a personality and aren’t too corporate.
Instagram is bigger than Snapchat with around double the daily users, also thanks to Geotagging and hashtags it’s much easier to get your content found.
What should you do?
Smaller organisations should dive in and use trial and error to establish a routine, use Stories as a way to test content and then roll it out across all platforms if it is successful.
Don’t forget traditional Instagram posts, still do 1-2 a day with consistency to your brand identity and style guidelines.