By Silvia Woolard
By observing every step in the last eight years, it’s evident that Instagram is much more than just a member of the popular social media group. It started as a website with socially-related goals and an artistic outlet, but it turned out to be something more.
Not just a photo-sharing platform anymore, Instagram has become a powerful marketing tool. A big reason for this is the Instagram Stories feature, a feature that’s being used by more than 400 million users. These peculiar temporary posts have reshaped Instagram as we know it.
What people saw as a convenient alternative to Snapchat ended up being one of the best marketing platforms we have ever seen. More and more businesses are using Instagram Stories to accomplish their goals.
You should start as well. It’s free, easy and very achievable for people of all walks of life. To allow you to understand this phenomenon, we’ve decided to break the entire trend down. We’re going to take a look at how exactly have IG Stories changed the field of marketing and how can this aid you. It’s a trend you don’t want to miss out on.
The “story” concept goes way back to the infant days of Snapchat. You could post something that your followers could see, but only for 24 hours.
This new form of posting content intrigued people and gave them more freedom when it came to posting their lives online. However, when Instagram introduced Stories as a part of their network, Snapchat soon saw their success fading away. Why was this the case? There are several reasons:
- Instagram offered much more around the Stories feature, making them an add-on instead of a centerpiece.
- Instagram simply gave companies a better view of possible customers – the user body on Instagram is much more diverse than that of Snapchat.
- Instagram stayed loyal to a design, and they didn’t change it – they only modernized it as they saw fit, depending on the OS and the goal in mind.
- Because of regular posts and the profile feature, Instagram offered a constant brand presence to businesses, whereas it seemed much harder for a company to establish a presence on Snapchat.
With all of this mind, Instagram Stories became the premier tool for increasing brand awareness, as well as promoting your products and services to complete strangers. There are several reasons why IG Stories have started a new era in marketing and why they’re built to last. It all begins with numbers, and you gaining insight into your campaign.
Analytics are still important
When it comes to running a successful marketing campaign, you have to have an insight into what’s going on behind the scenes.
Stories were a great way for brands and companies to show off their latest products or announce big things, but they only became a viable marketing strategy with the introduction of Insights. This particular feature changed the world of marketing overnight. Why? The answer is precise marketing.
Instagram Insights give you many types of metrics – post-based ones, account-based ones and audience-based ones. More important that all of these are Story-related metrics. Using them, you can see the following – how many people saw your stories, how many people in total you have reached and are there any drop-offs or increases.
Insights have truly transformed Instagram Stories into a powerful marketing tool because it gives you proof. If you see an increase in outreach, it means that your campaign is working. If there is a drop-off, you can quickly change plans. Using Instagram Insights, you can craft better ads.
IG ads – how to have a guaranteed high conversion rate
Instagram ads are by far the most user-friendly on any social media network. It has a lot to do with Instagram Stories and the way they function. Ads on Instagram are usually shown in between stories from accounts you follow. T
hey are strictly limited to being 15 seconds long, which is a great way to remove the risk of customer fatigue. Instagram has limitations on how often can ads appear and to whom they appear.
While they’ve seen a rise in advertisers, Instagram has maintained a customer-first policy. Because the advertising method is not aggressive, pushy or persuasive, your brand can flourish. Instagram ads in the Stories section are short, rare and interesting.
Because of the company’s policy, marketing has been changed forever. This regulated type of marketing yields a high conversion rate and a balance between organic and paid content.
Adding links and “shoppable” Stories
In the beginning, Instagram Stories featured only a “reply” option, and that was it. In 2017, they added an option of adding links to stories, for profiles that have more than 10k followers. This move, in particular, benefited both brands and customers.
A much higher conversion rate was seen immediately upon the introduction of this feature. Customers could get what they want with a mere swipe in an upwards direction.
For brands, this meant that you could promote a product or service and get anyone interested in the crux of things right away. This meant the development of landing pages, instead of the old “click the link in the bio” method that requires more navigation.
Shoppable stories are also a revelation. If you sell products, you can link them to the image you’ve posted, all with a price tag and the link to the purchase page. That way, people can get acquainted with your roster of products right away. Such immediacy when reaching out to customers has changed the marketing game forever.
Additional perks – location stickers, hashtags and much more
Another reason why Instagram Stories are at the forefront of the marketing revolution is the perks that come with them. If your brand has a physical location, you can use the locational sticker to the stories you post. Of course, this allows your customers to click on the location and see where you are, but it’s so much more than that.
When you click on a location sticker, it shows you the entire custom-crafted feed of the same location, including all the stories and posts with the same tag.
You can follow a location, in a way. It’s the same with hashtags as well – a customer can see all the posts and recent stories related to a location or hashtag they found interesting.
This is just another way to increase engagement. Instagram Stories have become such a renowned marketing tool simply because they give you the option of creating an entire cosmos for your brand, with you being the creator.
The road to further increased engagement
We’ve mentioned how important it is to have an entire vacuumed cosmos dedicated to your brand. However, there are more ways in which you can engage your customers. This primarily concerns new features like polls, questions, and stickers.
With polls, you can give your customers and fans actual power to decide and have their voices heard. With questions, this continues the same trend, but on a more personal level.
In addition to this, you can use GIFs and stickers to make your Stories feel more interactive. Also, there are many trendy stickers and gifs, which, if used, can make you seem like a shrewd marketer that knows how to navigate trends. This is another reason why Instagram Stories are the prime marketing tool – they’re interactive.
Google and Facebook have too many limitations to be able to focus on freely promoting your brand. With a non-invasive modus operandi and interactive features, you can engage your customers like never before.
A/B Testing – The competitive edge
Marketing is not about fast-paced trial and error strategy. You should devise a well-planned A/B testing strategy. Instagram Stories are the best A/B testing tool the marketing industry has ever seen. They’re temporary and small in the grand scheme of the whole network.
As a result of this, you can roll out many different campaigns and see which one works. Even if a particular Story ends up failing to reach expectations, it will disappear.
Aside from the A/B testing method of conducting your campaigns, you can use stories to appeal to your customers in a personal way.
Teasing new products, posting images of your employees and your office – all of this will give your customers the impression that they’re a part of the family. This is perhaps the best advantage of the whole Instagram Stories trend.
Instagram Stories changed a lot of things, but most importantly – they made marketing easier and almost painless for the majority of your customers.
You will also find it easier to promote successful parts of your campaign, as well not feeling the effects of failure that much. All this gives you the opportunity to raise your brand to a whole new level.
Silvia Woolard is a professional writer at EssayOnTime and novice entrepreneur from Phoenix. She mostly writes and works in a field op popular psychology and marketing. In her free time she loves to travel around the globe. Follow Silvia on her Twitter!