When it comes to establishing a strong brand presence online, it’s important to create engaging content across a variety of social networks. Although different forms of social media tend to work best for marketing different brands, Instagram Stories offers several compelling reasons for businesses of all types to give the new feature a shot.
Six Reasons Why Businesses Need to Start Creating Instagram Stories
1. Connect with the Most Engaged Fans
Instagram Stories are displayed based on an algorithm that looks at engagement to make sure users see the content they care about first. This means that a brand’s most engaged fans are more likely to see the Story when they open the app – which further increases their engagement and creates a positive feedback loop that keeps the business front of mind.
Although Instagram Stories don’t yet incorporate hashtags, the rest of the platform is designed to help users connect and discover new content using hashtags and keywords. Businesses should continue to use local hashtags as part of their Instagram strategy so local customers can easily find, follow, and engage with the brand’s content, thereby loaning more visibility to their Instagram Stories and posts.
2. Easily Create Eye-Catching Visuals
Sometimes video creation can seem like a huge investment that requires special equipment and filming experience – but that’s not the case with Instagram Stories. It’s easy for anyone with a smartphone to get started and Stories can include both images and videos. Features like drawing and filters help elevate a business’s content without much effort or expertise. Check out the creative stop motion J. Crew Instagram Story below for inspiration.
J.Crew Instagram Story from Instagram for Business on Vimeo.
3. Reach a Wider Audience than Snapchat Stories
When Instagram Stories was first introduced over the summer, Snapchat users immediately noted that the feature felt oddly familiar. Instagram was clearly inspired by Snapchat when designing Stories and the user experience is quite similar. However, a major advantage of Instagram Stories is that many consumers are already following brands on the platform and it’s easier to grow a local audience thanks to Instagram’s functional hashtags, so businesses have a built-in audience that doesn’t exist for most brands on Snapchat.
4. Offer More Context than Image-Only Posts
Although they say a picture’s worth a thousand words, we’d argue that a video is worth even more. Creating Instagram Stories with a mix of photos and videos allows brands to provide followers with a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the company’s daily activity, extra details about a social media contest, or a sneak peek at upcoming in-store offers that local consumers should know about. Put simply, Instagram Stories are perfect for sharing anything that can’t be encapsulated by a single photo.
5. Create Easy-to-Consume Content for Mobile Users
Snapchat and Instagram are both highly visual social apps that attract a younger demographic. On both platforms, Stories appeal to consumers’ desire for instant information and constant updates that can easily be consumed on-the-go. Like Snapchat, Instagram Stories have a shelf life of 24 hours – so the more frequently a business creates Instagram Stories, they more exposure they’ll receive from a mobile audience.
6. Find Out Who Is Viewing Content
Another perk is that Instagram tells creators who has viewed their Story. This allows businesses to see exactly who is consuming their content – even if they don’t otherwise engage. While ‘likes’ and comments are important forms of engagement on social media, it also helps to know who’s watching what. Plus, users who view Instagram Stories are still more likely to visit the company’s profile and engage with their other posts.
Now that you know what Instagram Stories offers to businesses, will you start creating Stories for your Instagram followers?