Do you remember when Instagram stories didn’t exist? In just 4 short years, Instagram (and to a lesser extent Facebook) stories, gifs and stickers have grown to such an integral part of our social media life. Since 2016, forward-thinking brands and marketers have reaped the benefits by utilizing stories to drive awareness, engagement and even actions. However, as a marketer can you tell what content is best suited for stories or posts? If you can’t, that’s alright – it is often a blurred line between content for Instagram stories and posts on feeds.
What exactly are “Instagram Stories”? “Instagram Stories” let users post vertical (9:16) photos or videos, up to 15 seconds, that disappear after 24 hours after posting. Instead of the regular feed, these stories are only displayed at the top of the screen and are tapped or swiped through to view rather than scrolled. For reference, “Instagram Feed” refers to your main Instagram profile page and the photos and videos you post there will show up in the feeds of your followers.
One of the reasons why Instagram stories have worked so well is due to the unique concept that it allows your followers to see more exclusive content that may not make it to your main feed. We know the content on feeds are specially curated and are kept to a certain standard for it to be deemed feed worthy. With stories, the content often appears more authentic and sincere. Disappearing after 24 hours has also empowered brands to use stories more casually. Content is shared in the moment so there’s a lot of room for experimentation. Thus, oftentimes content creators feel free to just go ahead and try new things. It is undeniable that viewers love to watch stories because it provides a sense of transparency for them.
One of the most obvious differences is that stories are more engaging and interactive. Unlike the feed, Instagram stories offer a wide range of tools that encourages engagement. Examples include story stickers that let you ask questions, set up polls and more. Furthermore, the interface on stories makes direct engagement easier and hassle-free.
With that said, although stories sound like a good idea for content spam since it seems like there’s not a lot of need for strategizing every content, brands should still ensure a natural flow in their Instagram story content strategy. Whether the information will be beneficial and “bite-sized” that is easily understood by your viewers. Over the years, more brands are hopping onto stories and willing to take the risk for increased engagement. At this point, we all know Gen Zs are looking for creative, bold and authentic brands, so Instagram stories might just be your best shot. If you’re wondering how you can level up your engagement rate, contents and your Instagram stories here are some tips that might help.
Break Down Your Profile, Content And Message
Let’s put your Instagram account into this perspective — treat your profile as a portfolio, something a user will look at for a first impression. Then, utilize your stories to be something users can get to understand you on a deeper level. Stories for casual, fun, personal content and feed for timeless moments that are reflective of your brand image. With this approach, you can break down your content better and know what are the different messaging strategies you can go for with each content you feature.
Crucial Times Calls For Crucial Alertness
Everything on social media happens in the blink of an eye. The faster you react, the bigger the advantage for authentic and well-received content. A few good examples would be during the time when Instagram stories had a template trend. The template stories generated countless engagements for brands and casual users who were just keen to understand their audience or peers better. The trend also prompted users to think of other creative engaging ways to interact with their followers.
Creativity Sparks Engagement
It’s true. Since the launch of Instagram effects/filters, there’s been a rising trend in interactive filters such as AR, quiz and your very normal aesthetic filters. If you’re looking to boost your engagement rates, gain a huge following in the shortest amount of time, now’s the best time to do so. One great example would be the ‘2020 Predictions’ filter creator, Filippo Soccini.
Previously, his account had over 7k followers, and after his filter went viral, he has amassed well over 100k followers as a result of the filter’s popularity. As filters are rising in popularity, in no time, brands will start to create their very own filters and engage influencers to bring in brand awareness and engagements for their campaigns.
If you’re thinking, why is there a need for so much work on a story that will just disappear after 24 hours? Good thing there’s story highlights! That’s one way to make your valuable content last longer than 24 hours. By creating a story highlight on your profile, it can help you put the timely content front and center. Now you have a nice and organized profile, that showcases your brand image and a flow to your content that enhances the user experience when a user visits your profile.
As more tools are coming up to help grab as much attention possible for every content generated, it is so important to stay true to your brand’s image and learn to work on creativity and time simultaneously. More than ever, it’s the age of recycling ideas and making it better.