In the Investis Digital Brand Values and the Bottom Line report, we pointed out that businesses now need to manage their relationships with customers, employees, and shareholders across an exploding landscape of touchpoints ranging from your socials to your website. And each touchpoint requires its own unique approach so that you maximize the features and attributes that make each one distinct. A case in point: the continuous evolution of Instagram and Facebook Stories, which are rapidly gaining prevalence. How well are you applying Stories?
Instagram and Facebook Stories Take Flight
Facebook Stories now have 500 million users according to Facebook’s first-quarter 2019 earnings announcement – and that’s not counting the hundreds of millions of people who use Stories on Instagram and WhatsApp. As reported in TechCrunch, one third of Facebook’s daily users post or watch Stories – compared to zero when Facebook launched Stories two years ago. For the sake of comparison, look at Snapchat, the platform on which Stories originated: its user count is only 190 million. Meanwhile the actual Facebook user base continues to grow – its 1.56 billion daily active users, as of March 31, 2019, represent an 8-percent year-over-year increase. In other words, you can bet on even more adoptions of Stories.
Opposing in-feed posts, the narrative nature and interactive elements included within Stories give your business a great way to create content that allows you to engage more dynamically with your Facebook and Instagram followers. According to the research firm Ipsos, 62 percent of people said they were more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a Story; and more than 50 percent said they make more online purchases as a result of Stories. If you follow entertainment brands, you’ve probably seen them using Stories to roll out new releases of movies and music, enhanced with visual effects such as stickers. Even KFC relies on Stories as an advertising format.
A wide variety of businesses are using Stories to humanize their brands in creative ways. For example, auto dealerships use Stories constantly – to showcase new vehicles, yes, but also to give their followers inspirational tips and motivating ideas as a way of staying on the screens of their customers.
In particular, editorial companies, such as Vogue, have mastered the art of using Stories by posting short-form content to engage their audience with their larger content, and to grow their subscriber base for both their digital site and print publications. In fact, Vogue’s methods have been successful enough that the company sold out its September print issue through its use of Instagram Stories. What’s more, Stories are an inherently measurable medium. In addition to using Stories to build the brand’s following and readership, Vogue has achieved a 40 percent higher conversion rate with ads on Instagram Stories in comparison with its campaign averages.
What You Should Do
I suggest that you weave the Stories feature into a broader visual storytelling approach that combines Facebook and Instagram Stories, YouTube and/or Vimeo, your own site, and other touchpoints in order to build a consistent narrative. That way, you can truly capitalize on their value. To get started with Stories, ensure that you:
- Include video content to give your followers a “behind-the-scenes” look into your company’s internal culture and practices. Your customers and potential employees in particular will gravitate towards these exclusive snippets.
- Incorporate A/B testing for different content types. This will allow you to discover what content resonates with your followers and target audience(s).
- Make sure your business’ Stories are different from its Facebook or Instagram in-feed content. Stories are a great way to communicate with your followers and audiences in a playful way, whereas in-feed posts should retain a professional quality.
At Investis Digital, we help businesses create closer relationships with their audiences across the entire digital landscape by combining expertise in disciplines such as social media, content, and paid media. Contact Investis Digital to learn more.