It’s been over a year since Instagram (or “Insta” as the cool kids call it) launched their Stories feature. And while Instagram Stories may not seem like most obvious place for advertising your business, social media experts say that it has untapped potential as a marketing tool.
The seemingly biggest drawback of using Stories for marketing is that, taking a cue from Snapchat, Instagram Stories are only online for 24 hours, then they disappear forever.
Nonetheless, the analysts at Socialbakers say that businesses should seriously consider marketing via Stories. These experts looked at over 1,000 Instagram accounts from businesses and found that they are being underutilized as a marketing tool.
Stories are extremely popular amongst viewers. There are 300 million active users looking at Stories every day, and that number hasn’t stopped growing since Instagram launched the feature.
Stories also appear at the very top of a user’s feed – although we’re still not exactly sure how Instagram’s algorithms sort these posts.
It’s also important to note that users can’t “like” or leave comments on Stories, so you won’t be able to use these metrics to gauge the success of your Stories marketing. Instead, you’ll have to look at Total Impressions, which tells you how many people have seen your story, or Reach, which tells you how many brand new potential customers saw your story.
With social media platforms always changing their rules and algorithms, it’s getting harder and harder to reach new potential customers, especially without dishing out cash for paid or boosted ads. Stories is a great loophole that allows you to connect with your audience without paying for it.
Don’t get caught up thinking you have to make a high-production video. Short, rough-cut, unpolished videos work great for Stories and give your audience a behind-the-scenes view of your business. Stories can be utilized to tell the story of your brand. And you can even add a poll to your story to increase engagement. For example, Red Bull asks viewers which picture they should post next, keeping the user engaged and clicking.
Social media platforms are always changing, but your business can get an edge over your competitors by staying up-to-date with new formats and features.