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Why Instagram Stories is a Must for Marketers

  • 26 July 2017
  • Jermaine Wright

The rollout of Instagram Stories, a Snapchat-esque feature that allows users to post photos and videos that are viewable for 24 hours, created a huge uproar in the social media world.

Facebook (and Instagram) have come under fire for so blatantly copying a core feature from the ephemeral app.

While many debates the merits of their tactics, the early success of ‘Instagram Stories’ somewhat justifies the controversial decision.

Already, more than 200 million of the 600M member community (34%) watch and create Stories daily and this number will only grow considering the fact that the feature is relatively new.

Instagram opened ‘Stories’ ads up to all businesses in February, giving brands a new way to tap into an already considerably large audience that uses the feature on a daily basis.

You might be wondering what do stories have to do with marketing. Isn’t it a marketer’s goal to SELL, not to SPIN tales to audiences?

‘Instagram Stories’ is a great tool for entrepreneurs to jump-start their marketing. Brands such as Airbnb and Red Bull, are already having early success using Instagram Stories Ads

According to Airbnb, which was part of the original 30 global companies testing Stories ads, the vacation rental company “saw a double-digit point increase in ad recall. While Esome and Red Bull ran a video campaign featuring visual illusions and captivating breakdancers which resulted in a 9-point lift in people who found the Red Bull Flying Illusion show unique.

Though the differences are minor, Instagram Stories is more than just a carbon copy of Snapchat. In time they could prove important to social media marketers.

This article will explain exactly why storytelling is a must for marketers now and in the short-term future.

1. Immersive Experience Creates Engagement

Ads in stories offer an immersive, full-screen experience that allows businesses to target and reach audiences across Instagram's 600M member community like never before.

Being full screen, nothing can distract viewers from sponsored content. Because you get their full attention, people are much more likely to engage with these types of ads.

2. Stories are Personal

Corporate messaging is largely not personal which won’t help a brand build personal connections with an audience. Stories are far more relatable and help your audience see the real people behind a brand.

3. Stories can Change Opinions, Attitudes and Even Brain Chemistry

Though striking, reeling off a bunch of facts and statistics is no guarantee to persuade a potential buyer – especially if they have strong objections or a bias against your product.

However, according to a University of California, Berkeley research, stories have the power to even change our brain and the potential to “move us to tears, change our attitudes, opinions, and behaviors”.

4. Stories are More Likely to Get Read

Most content that gets published online gets little to no traction. Therefore, it’s vital that brands create strategies that will get attention to their content.

Stories are a great way to do this. People would rather read stories they can connect with on a human level than dry “industry talk”.

5. Sharing Stories Builds Trust

According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages Survey, 92% of consumers say they trust earned media, aka personal recommendations, above all other forms of media.

Earned media can include word of mouth, customer recommendations/referrals, media mentions, etc.

Storytelling is an incredibly powerful tool for building connections and trust, and for getting traction for your content.

Video has become a powerful tool for brands to tell stories that engage with their audiences. Audiences are engaging with this style of content at record levels.

The honest, live, in‐the‐moment experience that platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat provide, offers users a unique and transparent brand experience that centers on key moments.

Instagram Stories is continuing to evolve how businesses interact with their audiences through this engaging format of video, making it an impactful form of advertising.

About Jermaine Wright