Instagram stories and brands

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When you consider the human attention span ( that shrinked from twelve seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds now), it isnt a surprise that authentic, ephemeral content is resonating with social media audiences. Snapchat and Instagram stories success can be explan by this.
Snapchat pioneered this idea with branded content, and quickly became a force to be reckoned with. Then Instagram launched Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories has become a new playground for brands on social media. Heres why.
Natural and Experimental: Instagram has always been the place to highlight the best-quality images from brands, supported by a range of clever filters and editing tools. But Instagram Stories allows filling in the space in between capturing all the worlds moments, not just the best ones.
Instagram Stories do not need to be shot professionally. They vanish in 24 hours. They humanize brands and forge a deeper connection between social audiences and brands. Instagram Stories can also be a great way for brands to experiment with different kinds of content and see what works before investing marketing dollars in that idea.
For audiences, Instagram Stories are an amazing way of showing those day to day moments that they wouldnt like to keep permanently posted at a time line.
On Top of the Feed: When Instagram changed their algorithm a few months ago to show posts depending on how likely were you to be interested, brands had no choice but to work even harder to create compelling and engaging content. Instagram Stories help brands be even more visible to their followers. If someone already follows your brand, they will see it on top of their feed highlighted by a colored circle, which indicates that a new story is available. This is a huge opportunity to get content right in front of an audience that already cares about you, helping to keep your brand top-of-mind and driving awareness.
Instagram and other social networks have a unique ability to impact prospective customers and customers in various stages of the buyers journey, from awareness to advocacy. If you still havent done it, study the market funnel theory, it can really help in your strategy.
While Instagram Stories do not currently offer indepth metrics, the feature is already being used by top brands across many verticals. Here are some examples of how companies are using Instagram Stories to meet business goals for their brands and products.
Fall has become synonymous with pumpkin patches and Starbucks Pumpkin Spice offerings. The retailer has, in a very light-hearted way, captured both popular subjects in this Instagram story.
Starbucks seasonal coffees are so popular that they command their own social media pages. As the retailer launched the fall themed coffees, this story was perfectly crafted to capture the fall mood and at the same time announce the new products, driving awareness.
Time Magazine
Time is using Instagram Stories to highlight global issues like the refugee crisis in Greece or the coverage of the United States general elections. Powerful photos like these have a potential to be a great instrument for social change, documenting peoples circumstances, sharing their stories, and changing their lives.
Instagram Stories are shared with people who are already aware of your brand and are following you on Instagram. This is an opportunity to connect with your core audience on values they followed you for in the first place. Time, which has been an impeccable source of world news for over nine decades, used Instagram Stories to release a very strong and succinct story about the crisis in Greece, directing the audience to more content on their website.
NASA shared an Instagram story inviting social media users from around the world to register for a satellite launch event at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The selected applicants would get exclusive behind-the-scenes access for the launch, plus the opportunity to snap, post, tweet, and share everything about the launch of NOAA's GOES-R. This is actually an amazing example of a sucesful call to action.
Another amazing thing about the NASA example, is the fact that technically, NASA is not a brand, is a government agency, and not many government agencies are using Social Media in the right way.
It is not every day that we get an opportunity to go behind the-scenes at a rocket launch. Being part of an event like a rocket launch inspires the audience to engage with NASA further and makes them associate with the brand positively, helping drive adoption and building advocacy.
AirBnB showcased an AirBnB room with an influencer, @SongofStyle, who visited Paris for Fashion Week. In this story, she gives a quick glimpse of her room and the neighborhood where she stayed.
This influencer takes AirBnBs audience around the house and out the window, and even on a trip to the neighborhood shop. This rich and immersive experience is a great example of a brand activating influencers to become advocates and inspire evangelism among current customers. Worth noting: there is no CTA here, which keeps the content no salesy and experiential.
Amazon showcases a Chalkboard Mug in this story, showcasing how creative one can get with it. The playfulness of this story keeps it memorable.
The ephemeral nature of this Instagram Story is a good fit for the transient nature of the design on the chalkboard mug. For a retailer that sells millions of products, it is not possible to create a story for each one of them. However, a simple and fun story like this one helps build top of mind awareness about the retailer and also helps drive people to Amazons website, where they can then discover many other items. This is a great example on how to create a successful funnel marketing with social media.
This where some interesting examples I found on brands using Instagram Stories, I know there are some interesting examples on Snapchat as well (however, some brands replicate the content on both networks, which I believe is not the best thing you can do).
Do you know any other example that could be interesting to discuss?
#brands #instagram #stories

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