Instagram Story Strategy

IMC.2_February_2017-15.jpg

Whether you’re trying to raise awareness of a new product feature, gather information from consumers, or test a message, Instagram Stories are a social media manager’s best friend. Each day, over 500 million people around the world use Instagram stories, and it’s no surprise engagement with Stories is increasing with each new feature added. With around 68% of millennials watching Instagram Stories, it might be time to consider these quick-timed posts as an investment in initiating a dialogue with a younger demographic.

Ways To Use Instagram Stories:

Story Telling

The multiple quick-timed frames make it the perfect platform to create an engaging narrative around your brand.

Interacting With Your Audience

Story features such as polls, questions, or reaction sliders are great for soliciting engagement from your audience and showing that your brand cares about their feedback and opinion. Having your brand featuring a user’s, fan’s, or Influencer’s post is an effective strategy for building loyalty and continued engagement in your community.

Testing Content And Messaging

Instagram Stories are fleeting- they are 15 seconds long and expire within 24 hours, which makes them an ideal playground for testing different messaging strategies over time. For each Story slide your team can view when and where in you Story your audience exited. This is valuable information when gathering data on what kind of messaging works for your audience.

Addressing Negative PR

When brands are under fire, they have addressed a bad PR situation or negative via their Instagram Story. Discussing the issue with a genuine approach and apologizing in real time can mean a lot to your audience.

Quick Tips and Tricks:

Quality Content Over Quantity

The importance of the top bar: Your audience can see how many slides of content is loaded into your Story and will use that information to decide whether to move on or not. A good general rule of thumb is no more than seven Stories in one day.

Grab Attention From The Beginning

Use engaging content such as video or GIF’s. Moving content is more likely to grab your viewers’ attention than a static image and more likely to be remembered later on. Experiment with using language that matches the conversations your brand would have with consumers as if the interaction happened in-person.

Stay Relevant

It’s imperative to listen to your audience and adjust your message according to the current climate. For example, it could be advantageous for a jewelry retailer to post about current pop culture or celebrities (let’s say Bradley Cooper) wearing a brand of watches to the Golden Globes that they carry in store.

Plan For Live Posts

Be proactive and invest in the generation of Instagram Story templates incorporating your brand’s logo, colors, and fonts for later use. Company Christmas party coming up? Or a charity event you support? Then it’s a great time to start asking your team, ‘What can we say about this event and why?’ Asking these questions is very important so your team can capture live content accordingly. Planning ahead of time will ensure there are no lost opportunities for branded storytelling.

Create A Narrative Based On Your Goals

How do you want to position your brand? Can your company use comedy to speak to your audience about your product versus a competitor’s? Or perhaps your brand should aim to be informative or thought provoking within your industry? There are many features available to drive home your messaging goals.

Above all, staying authentic and true to you brand voice is the most important part of creating any content. With more marketing ad spend being shifted into Instagram and millennial’s major attraction to the Story platform, it’s worthwhile to consider that a strong Instagram Story strategy will be an attractive addition to your company’s marketing plan. What brands have you seen with strong Instagram Story content?

Story By: Jillian Radcliffe