Previously, we talked about the differences between Stories on Snapchat and Instagram. Although the idea for Instagram Stories was simply copied from Snapchat, there are differences between the two, with Instagram Stories needing a bit of a different approach. In this blogpost you’ll read why Instagram Stories is perfect for creating unique and interesting content, and how to use this to put your brand on the map.
Top of App = Top of Mind
When you post a Story on Instagram, your brand’s logo will be visible at the top of the app’s interface (at least, if you have chosen your logo as your profile picture). When a Story is viewed the logo moves to the right, but since a Story remains active for 24 hours, your brand’s logo will be at the top of the Instagram app for 24 hours as well. If you post another Story, your followers will immediately see your logo when they open the app. Repetition leads to recognition, so as long as you’re logo is at the top of the app, chances are you’ll be top of mind with your followers.
Instagram Stories offers an incredible variety when it comes to content. With a little bit of creativity, you’ll easily be able to create fun and unique content. Of course you can simply post photos, but you can also mix things up with video, and there are many other possibilities. The following 6 ways can help you creating unique and interesting content for Instagram Stories.
1.Tell your Story
It’s already in the name: Stories is the perfect way to tell your story. Because Instagram displays their Stories kind of like a slide show, it’s very suitable for storytelling, for example by posting multiple short updates. After all, every brand has a story to tell. Additionally, the open character of Instagram (as opposed to that of Snapchat) gives you the possibility to reach large groups of people. Users don’t necessarily have to be a follower to be able to see your Story.
Huffington Post uses storytelling to summarize news items for their followers. As shown in the example below, the company uses a combination of photos and text to tell short stories.
2. Create Engagement
Stories allows you to mention other Instagram users, which enables you to involve other users in your content. This also means that users can mention your brand in their Stories, which increases the chance of getting some user generated content. For example, you can start a contest, asking people to mention you in their Story. You can then use the content created by these users to share with your followers.
A brand that cleverly utilizes Instagram Stories to create engagement with their followers is GoPro. The brand is known for their adventurous character, and to further strengthen this image with their target audience, GoPro took few of their followers on an adventure: they launched a campaign that would let the travel dreams of a lucky few followers come true, after which they would share their trip via Instagram Stories.
3. Generate Traffic
A nifty feature of Instagram Stories is that it allows you to link to websites. This way, users can be led to your website via Instagram. This is unusual, since Instagram doesn’t allow you to add links to your ‘normal’ content. Users only have to ‘swipe up’ to be redirected, which means that using Stories is a great way to drive more traffic to your website.
4. Creative Content
As said before, Instagram Stories offers many opportunities to create unique content. Try to be creative and use as many of the various available features as much as possible. For example, just like with Snapchat, you can use different filters and emojis, which easily allows you to turn a regular photo in a work of art. You can also use ‘geo stickers’ to show your current location. Another fun Instagram Stories feature is Boomerang, which allows you to create short, moving timelapse photos. Because Stories are kind of displayed like a slideshow, you can set yourself apart by creating a how-to, tutorial, or step-by-step. For example, a recipe or a cooking tutorial, using appetizing images combined with text-instructions to explain how to make the most delicious dishes.
5. Story of my live
Just like Facebook, Instagram allows you to broadcast live video. These live videos will appear at the top of the app, just like the Stories. A downside to these live videos is that users are only able to view when you’re actually live, contrary to Facebook which allows you to view live videos even after the actual broadcast. On the plus side though, followers receive a notification on their phone whenever you start a live broadcast via Instagram. Also, Instagram also allows you to save your live video on your phone, which enables you to share it with any followers who missed your live broadcast. Live broadcasting is especially interesting if your brand is attending an event, or if you want to take your followers behind the scenes at an important happening.
Pretty recently Instagram integrated advertising through Stories. These ads are played automatically in between regular Stories, and come up unexpectedly. This is another good way to surprise the user with fun content. You can design and create your own advertising videos; they don’t necessarily have to be recorded with your phone. However, always make sure your video has the correct dimensions and specifications. The following specifications are suitable for advertising videos on Instagram Stories:
- Recommended format: .mp4 or .mov
- Resolution: at least 720p
- File size: 2.3 GB max.
- Recommended aspect ratio: 9:16
- Length: up to 15 seconds
Short but Sweet
Because of its open character, wide range and many features, Instagram Stories is a good tool to use if you want to put your brand on the map. You can easily add a call-to-action to your Stories, however keep in mind that the content you post on Stories will be displayed for only 15 seconds. Content must therefore be short but sweet in order to trigger a user. Get creative and try exploiting the different possibilities of Stories as much as possible. Want to know more about Instagram Stories, or need help setting up a campaign? We’d happily assist you with developing a successful Instagram strategy.