Instagram Stories: How Companies Benefit

Stories on Instagram are one of the fastest ways to get users’ attention. Find out who the dynamic social media format is really worth and what needs to be considered.

According to Instagram, an average of 500 million users use Instagram Stories every day – a lot of potential for companies to be seen on the social media platform. The focus is usually on entertaining, cool stories – entertainment is the most important thing for 58 percent of German Instagram users, says the statistics of the AudienceProject. In order for the stories, which automatically disappear after 24 hours, to really succeed and also to generate financial added value, a few preliminary considerations are required.

Overcome distance: Run to the
Followers

The story is often closer to people than the feed and can therefore create a stronger bond – also with brands. The immediacy plays an important role. Large influencers such as Bianca Claßen (known from Bibis Beauty Palace) design their story accordingly in order to reach more people. Your advantage: You are independent because everything comes from a single source. Companies, on the other hand, need adapted, flexible work processes and teams in order to publish high-quality stories on a regular basis – even more spontaneously than is already necessary in the field of social media. If you only upload a story every two weeks, you won’t feel any effect in terms of the number of followers or interaction with the users.

It should be noted that comments and reactions increase the value of the story, but at the same time increase the community management effort. The simple but very well thought-out Dunkin ‘Donuts example shows how brands can easily interact with users.

Dunkin 'Donuts story ad with clever use of the survey sticker
Story Ad by Dunkin ‘Donuts with clever use of the survey sticker, source: Cocomore

The brand poses a decision question via the interactive survey sticker, in order to then open up to the users that they do not have to choose a culinary variant for the brand.

Clear messages and well thought-out visuals

The quality of story posts can be seen in the message, timing and content. A story is most effective when it has a clear message that fits the target group – and communicates it directly, as in the Daily Harvest example.

Instagram story from Daily Harvest, source: Cocomore

In the first few seconds, it is decided whether the user stays on or moves their attention to the next post: 75 percent of the stories are not watched to the end. Videos work better than static screens because they are not typed away so quickly on average. They support the key message and often have a high entertainment value. Almost two thirds of Instagram stories consist of more than one section of a picture or video – the so-called story frames.

Story versus feed post

The story format has become an integral part of the social media landscape. However, stories still play a subordinate or only complementary role on many of the more than 25 million Instagram company profiles. This is shown by a study by Conviva and the evaluation of Instagram data: Companies still achieve 60 percent of their reach with contributions in the feed. Companies post an average of 2.5 stories per week.

Instagram profiles with many followers use stories according to the 2020 benchmark report from Rival IQ with an average of three posts per day much more often than small profiles. However, the smaller company accounts with up to 10,000 followers on average reach a larger proportion of their subscribers than the large company accounts – namely 8.4 percent instead of 2.3 percent.

Stories do not necessarily increase visibility in the Instagram community, because statistically speaking, the same five to ten percent of followers always click on these posts.

Give wings to the story

External links with a call-to-action can only be set in stories from 10,000 followers. Are stories above all something for the big company profiles? Not necessarily: Story Ads are also the means of choice for smaller company profiles in order to benefit from additional interaction and user engagement and to minimize the effort. Just like articles in the feed, stories with an additional budget can also be distributed unerringly. The easiest way to do this is via the app – but with Facebook Business Manager it works much more precisely. External links can also be set with a call-to-action via story ads, regardless of your own number of followers.

The German dating app Lovoo shows what good story ads can look like:

With the help of a successful video campaign, the company reduced its costs per app installation by 29 percent compared to other channels through story ads. The CPM (thousand contact price) for app installations also decreased by 31 percent compared to other campaigns. With the call-to-action, the user quickly came to the desired landing page.

The reach of influencers
use

Another way to successfully advertise with Instagram Stories is to work with influencers: They already have a large community and reach, are tangible and credible as people for many users – and generally understand their craft. In order to reach and convince your target group, you need the right people. For example, Lidl is working with the influencer ichsowirso for a current campaign to promote its own organic brand.

With other influencers, the discounter presents #LidlStudio! regular trends and creative products in stories and posts.

Do it or have it done – that is the question

Stories can pay off in different ways. The more often and more targeted they are posted, the more they grow beyond the supplementary role. Several stories a week, the integration of video frames and interaction with the followers – as in the example of Dunkin ‘Donuts – are the first strong basis for success. In addition, ads ensure a higher and more precise range. With influencer collaborations like #LidlStudio! With the right choice of multipliers, your own company becomes much more tangible for the community and the brand benefits from the authenticity of the influencers – not just from their reach.

The stories from Lovoo or Daily Harvest show that clear goals and messages give the campaigns the necessary momentum and can thus contribute significantly to the success of the brand in the community. Therefore, the following applies: Look at how Instagram Stories can be integrated into the marketing and communication strategy of your own company, use synergies and approach the matter with a clear concept – that ignites, whether with ads or native stories.



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