Why Instagram Stories must be a part of your marketing strategy: Aditya Saxena, Vice President APAC, iQuanti
Instagram Stories have emerged as a compelling paid channel within enterprise digital marketing, writes Aditya Saxena.
With more than a billion active users each month, Instagram, as a short video and photo-sharing social network is showing no signs of slowing down. Providing impetus to this growth is Instagram Stories, with projections of more than 500 million users every month. Within a short time, Instagram Stories have emerged as a compelling paid channel within enterprise digital marketing, as businesses all over the world aim to capitalise on the higher user engagement on the platform. More and more advertisers are using it as part of their channel-mix. Instagram has rolled out numerous key features to keep up with the user, influencer, and brand demands. The Instagram Stories boast twice as many users per day than Snapchats total user count.
As stories become a powerful tool for storytelling, let’s delve into some of the popular reasons why it’s becoming the preferred choice for social media marketers:
Interact with the audience- Stories enable brands to engage with their target audience and reach newer segments. A 24-hour window provides an excellent opportunity to capture the prospect’s mindshare as well as reach newer audiences and express ideas more uniquely.
Amplify existing content- If there’s a story or piece of content that has gained traction on another platform, brands can reshape it and share it as an Instagram story. Marketers can thus amplify popular and engaging content, while strengthening the brand’s reputation and increase its reach.
Drive Engagement – Brands take every possible initiative to engage their audience. Using strategies like showcasing behind-the-scenes videos and video testimonials provides users a sneak peek of the brand’s creative process and invites users to connect with the brand at a whole another level.
Encourages real-time marketing- Instagram Stories focus on current, relevant content for real-time marketing. Brands often rope in Influencers, who uses tactics like live streaming to strengthen brand awareness activities.
Enumerated below are some of the best practices for using Instagram Stories for driving higher user engagement:
Always Encourage Direct Messages
Instagram stories that have a direct message for the audiences cultivate a level of loyalty and intimacy. For instance, when brands like Airbnb use stories to highlight and tell the story for one of their properties, viewers can emotionally and visually connect with the message. Stories can do that better than any single image or post. And, thus, they can get a one-up on the competition even through an organic posting.
It is one of the simple and easy ways to engage the audiences to respond to the brand. This interaction is another way to signal to Instagram that the brand videos matter to the audience and informs the algorithm that the brand ought to show up higher in their news and Stories feeds. It is not recommended to use polling stickers or any other interactive feature on Instagram to ask difficult questions that might be hard to answer.
It can be an excellent tool for conducting market research for the brand. Use questions to gather audience input on current projects or brand campaigns. It is suggestive to ask questions, even for the simplest things to drive higher engagement. The responses recorded can be shared publicly as a separate Story.
Summarizing, Instagram Stories are a great way to strengthen the connection between the business and its followers. Instagram is highly user-friendly, and its efforts to popularise in-the-moment content has been widely adopted by the audiences as the most preferred social media platform. It offers an immersive social experience to its users – a winning formula for engagement that is hard for advertisers to ignore.
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