250 million people check their new Instagram Stories every single day. Instagram stories got so popular that it even knocked down the daily usage of stories viewed on Snapchat!
Now that Stories have become a dominant channel on Instagram, brands are starting to figure out how to best use them to get noticed in their fans’ feeds.
The Stories feature was introduced in 2016 and has since become an optimal way for brands to promote their cause. There are over 500,000 advertisers on Instagram, and every 3 out of 4 users will be influenced by an ad and take initiative in some way. Not only that, but it’s a great platform for introducing users to new products and services as over 60% of users learn about a brand’s cause through Instagram.
How Can Brands Use Instagram Stories?
If you’re looking for a few ways to improve stories for your own brand, check out these tips and see how other companies are using Instagram Stories to their advantage:
1. An Influencer Takeover
Takeovers are a creative way to give your content a fresh face. A takeover is when a brand gives access to an influential individual to “take over” their account for an allotted period of time.
The influencer that you feature will likely share their whereabouts with their fans, potentially bringing more followers to you. Brands often choose influencers that would fit the audience to which they are reaching out to.
Take for example Radio Disney. The company recently let singer Alex Aiono, who has a following of 2.4 million on Instagram, take over their Instagram for a few hours. Alex did a short introduction in the beginning and then posted stories of himself backstage at his concert and then welcoming fans at a meet and greet.
Model and fashion influencer Diipa Khosola took over the L’Oreal Makeup Instagram account during filming for a new mascara commercial. Diipa features other models to talk about the product and shows the behind-the-scenes.
2. Feature Employees and Brand Ambassadors
While takeovers with influencers are beneficial, you should also feature those relevant to your brand who may not have a large fanbase on Instagram but tons of affection to the company – employees!
Employees have a high understanding of the brand and can input their own expertise to share various content with viewers. If you’re a skincare brand, you can feature an skincare expert who created a product to explain its’ benefits, uses, and so on. If you’re a clothing brand for millennials, feature a young, trendy floor model to talk about her favorite pieces or fashion tips.
3. Share a Link Within a Story
If you’re a verified account, you can easily share a link to your story with the “scroll up” feature. Adding a link to a webpage with more information about your mentioned event will give users the opportunity to redirect to the site directly within Instagram. This feature is useful for brands who want an easier way to share articles or promotional pages.
Here’s an example from the Cosmopolitan Instagram account:
4. Create “Step-by-Step” Tutorials
The perk to Stories is that they can be posted in increments of 15 second videos. This allows content involving a step-by-step process to be broken down to display each step independently. You don’t have to be a food brand showing how to prepare a dish or a fashion brand showing how to put together an outfit. Yes, of course this technique works for that, but other brands can use it just as effectively.
5. Broadcast Events
This is the most commonly seen use of Instagram Stories for major brands. If your company is hosting or attending any type of event, an Instagram Story is a great way to showcase the day.
Events tend to feature celebrities, public figures, and products, which produces subtle advertising, while also creating a deeper experience for the user with the brand. Try to capture the exciting moments and highlights from your event.
Microsoft hosted an event, Microsoft Inspire, in Washington D.C. and storied some interesting features from the event.
TIP: Use a Hashtag within your story!
Notice Microsoft implement’s the hashtag #MSINSPIRE that can be clicked on to view posts from other users who’ve Instagrammed the hashtag.
Boost Brand Awareness With a Story
For marketers, Stories is an amazing feature to boost your presence on Instagram. The stories encourage people to check your links, check a campaign hashtag, or just learn something new.
Instagram and other social media platforms make it very feasible to directly give content to users. Along with the advertising of products or services, brands should be giving useful and interesting content back to their fans.