For You

Instagram stories – Why brands should leverage their growing popularity.

instagram stories malta

Instagram’s popularity has been growing steadily over the years both as an organic platform and an advertising channel. In June 2018, Instagram announced it had more than 1 billion monthly active users. This comes 6 years after Facebook bought over Instagram from the original founders for 1 billion dollars.

One feature that is really taking the world by storm and has boosted the app’s growth is the ‘Instagram Story’ which is a photo and video sharing feature where content can be viewed for 24 hours from the time of posting.

This very fact has led to less curated, raw content being shared by people, influencers and brands on Instagram Stories, which is appealing to people’s growing interest in less staged and more genuine content. One must add that since the launch of Stories Instagram also launched the highlights feature where one can save Stories into categories and have them available for viewing on their profile, even after the 24 hours have passed.

The behind-the-scenes, exclusive feel of the content shared on Instagram Stories has presented both a great opportunity and a new challenge for brands wanting to leverage its growing popularity to build their brand, generate leads and ultimately sell their products and services.

We have listed 6 reasons Instagram Stories can be a great tool for brands to grow their following on social media.

1) Trust

As time passes people are becoming more and more wary and resistant to traditional advertising. Gone are the days when people looked to adverts as a source of information (yes this was the case in the past). People now respond to valuable content, story-telling and most of all, people. The latter is the reason for the rise of influencer marketing and ‘the personal brand’ but that is another post altogether.

When done well, Instagram Stories can help create a trusted connection with your audience and build the ‘know, like and trust’ factor. According to Hubspot data, people are 71% more likely to purchase from a brand they follow on social media.

Quick tip: When it comes to Instagram Stories it is important to remember that people are not expecting perfect, curated content. The more unpolished, the better. People respond less favourably to a video which has a ‘TV Commercial’ kind of feel when compared to content which seems to have been created specifically for Instagram Stories.

2) Versatility

Instagram Stories can be effective, no matter what type of industry you are in. The feature can apply to all kinds of brands including physical products, services, whether you are selling directly to your consumer or not. It may also be surprising to find that the tool is not only effective when it comes to B2C marketing but has also proven successful for B2B initiatives.

Moreover, Instagram stories is a great tool to use to elevate your brand with employees as well as dream employees.

Quick tip: Stuck on what content to create? Get your team members to post about their work and ask them to tag the brand’s Instagram page, then share all the content on your page’s Instagram Stories. Boom – content is created.

3) Interaction

The ‘questions’ and ‘polls’ feature on Instagram Stories are great ways to interact with your audience and garner some valuable information from them. About to launch a new product? Involve them in the decision for the name by running a poll on Instagram stories. Want to know what people think about your brand? Get your audience to interact with you by asking questions about it.

Quick tip: The polls do not need to be serious, life-changing ones. If you are selling a food product you can ask which flavour your users prefer or how they prefer to consume it.

4) No distractions

Instagram Stories take up the full size of a user’s phone. There are no ads, posts or other distractions around your content, so you have a golden opportunity to really connect with and engage your audience.

Quick tip: As with every other platform, your content needs to be of value for your followers to tap and follow the rest of your Story rather than swipe and go to the next Story. The key is to do one of three things: Educate, inspire or entertain your audience with your content.

5) Fast-growing

As at October 2018, 400 million Instagram Stories were being shared every day with a third of the most viewed Stories being created by businesses. If you choose not to take advantage of this platform you may miss out on valuable opportunities and may even pave the way for competitors to get in there before you.

Quick tip: If you are stuck on what content to share on your Stories, you may choose to re-purpose other content such as articles you have published elsewhere, in a way that suits the platform.

6) Swipe up feature

Depending on how many followers you have you can use the ‘swipe up’ feature to get users to visit your website/ shop your product/ take whatever action you want them to take. With paid Story ads you can use the swipe up feature no matter how many followers you have. If you are posting organically and do not have 10,000 followers you can direct people to the link in your bio if you would like them to take action which takes them away from Instagram.

Quick tip: You can also use the ‘swipe up’ feature, no matter how many followers you have if you link to an IGTV video. So it may make sense to produce content for IGTV and link to it through your Instagram stories, as you are growing your following.

We can help.

If you are not yet leveraging the growing popularity of Instagram and particularly Instagram Stories, you may be missing out not only because of its growing popularity internationally and locally, but also because by getting in now, you can take the time to build a healthy following as more and more people in Malta join Instagram.

If you are looking for ideas on how your brand can stand out on social media, we can help. At Ngage Marketing, our strength is in communication. We will study your objective, ask a gazillion questions, help answer them and assist in creating and implementing strategies to use the knowledge to YOUR advantage.

We basically help communicate your value to your prospects and customers in a way that reaches them, resonates with them and ultimately leads to results.