Since Instagram launched its Stories feature in 2016, the number of people using the app has rocketed from millions to billions of monthly active users.
Statistics released by Instagram show that businesses are responsible for creating one-third of the most viewed stories. This is no surprise since they also show that 90% of accounts follow a business on Instagram and 68% of people become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in an Instagram story. Convincing figures for you if you’re not yet sure if Stories should be part of your marketing strategy for your brand or business.
How you use Instagram depends very much on your brand and resources. You can create your own branded content, collaborate with Instagram influencers and even combine the two. Your Stories can be organic or sponsored, the latter of which is a paid ad that will feature a discreet ‘sponsored’ tag beneath your name.
How To Get The Most From Your Sponsored Stories
When creating a sponsored Instagram Story you can get creative with photos, videos and the carousel feature. The Carousel option allows you to use a combination of video and photographs in your stories. Though it does limit you to three pieces of content per sponsored ad. Use a combination of the options when starting out with sponsored ads to see which works best for your brand.
Video is a definite winner for Stories and can capture your audience’s attention better than still images. “Facebook IQ studied how video content is consumed by users and discovered that in the UK people gazed at video content on Facebook and Instagram 5 x longer than they do at photos.”, reveals Ciara Wise a marketer at Australian help and Paper fellows. Video is a very adaptable medium and could be used in multiple ways. You could record a face to camera product introduction with your Head of Sales, film a 360-degree view of a product, give a tour of your premises. Get creative and have fun with video. Experiment and practice before posting anything to your stories.
Branding your stories is pretty straight forward. Use an image editor to help you add borders, filters and text overlays that you will use with every story. Keep them on brand with colours, font choices and styling so that they become synonymous with your brand. Create three to four brand templates so your stories never look tired.
Always include a call to action on the final slide of your Instagram Story – for example ‘Swipe Up For More Details’. This call to action can lead users to a product or services page, a blog with more information, a video explainer on your website. The aim is to drive traffic closer to conversion.
Get The Most From Your Influencer Collaboration
Pick your influencer wisely. The hottest influencer online might not be the right fit for your brand. It is never just about what they are posting on Instagram and always about the bigger picture. Ask yourself, do their ethics line up with your brand ethics? Do they appeal to your target audience? Also, look closely at other brands that they are working with to ensure there is no clash with a controversial product or crossover with a competitor brand.
Prepare a full campaign brief in advance of engaging with influencers that outline your expectations of them in full. “Getting this agreed at the start prevents any confusion or disappointment down the line. The Influencer has to know exactly what you want them to do, what your brand messaging is and also what proof you want.”, Says Martin Shwartz a business writer at Boom essays and State of writing.
In your brief, include:
- Your brand overview.
- Details of the service or product the influencer will be promoting.
- Brand guidelines, these should include tone and language – for example, if profanities are out then say so. Assume nothing.
- What statistics you expect to receive and in what time frame. Always ask for a screenshot of the campaign insights.
Working with an influencer requires flexibility and trust. They will be presenting your business, product or services as themselves and within their brand and not yours. This is totally normal, after all, they became an influencer because of how they do things.
Overall, Instagram Sponsored Stories are a brilliant addition to a brand marketing strategy. As with any platform, it must be carefully considered and checked against the target audience to make sure it is worth the time and investment.
Author: Molly Crockett