Instagram Stories: getting your strategy right

A recent L2 report revealed that brands are over two times more likely to upload videos to Instagram 'Stories' compared to Snapchat, which has contributed to significant growth for Instagram since the feature was added in 2016. What's more, the channel offers exciting advertising and audience parameters for digital marketers - and thanks to the creative, timely content brands are posting, it also boasts great engagement rates. Last year, we found that 71% of digital marketers would be investing in Instagram, so with this level of time and investment going into the channel, it's important that marketers are aware of the latest trends and insights.

THE STATS

Despite initial criticism that Instagram's Stories were a copy of Snapchat, AdWeek has since reported that the feature has proven to be highly beneficial for the social media giant in terms of growth; reaching 250 million daily users in June of this year. This growth is explained by the key audiences that use Instagram, as they span across a multitude of verticals, including beauty, luxury and consumer packaged goods.

While the value of Instagram is clear, digital marketers need to research how it would best serves their target audience before developing video content. This holds true when it comes to advertising too - make use of audience analytics and targeting tools to evaluate the best way to speak to users, and above all, ensure the journey from 'viewing video' to checkout is as seamless as possible to avoid cart abandonment.

TIPS TO NAIL YOUR INSTAGRAM STRATEGY

To get the most out of Instagram Stories, here are some tips to effectively plan and execute your strategy.

Organise and plan your posts

The safest, most effective approach to take when setting up posts is to organise and plan in advance; this allows you to review and assess the relevancy of your content and to evaluate whether it'll be engaging for your audience. From there, you can use audience analytics to establish the best time, day and placement for the post to maximise performance. It's also key to maintain consistency across posts, and worth monitoring competitors to assess their approach and how it compares to your own from time to time too. 

Involve your audience

Whether it's through competitions, content co-creation or promotions, prompting your audience to get involved is a great way to reinforce their bond with your brand and leverage microinfluenecer marketing. It's all about reinforcing that two-way conversation between brand and audience.

Pick the right influencer

A great way to broaden your reach on Instagram is through influencer marketing, which allows brands to leverage on the reach and appeal of influencers and social media personalities. The key concept is to find the right influencer whose persona aligns with your brand and values. A successful example of this was when Volvo teamed up with influencer Aimee Song for a recent campaign aimed at audiences who matched Aimee's core viewership, and earned Volvo exceptional engagement as a result.

GET THE MOST OUT OF INSTAGRAM STORIES

Quantity and quality

When it comes to posting your Story, it's crucial for brands to post in a consistent and proactive way. According to Forbes, the ideal number of content pieces to publish to your Story per day is between 8 and 12. Always make sure that you're creating a relevant piece of content and delivering a valuable, engaging message.

Use hyperlinks

When using a verified account, it's possible to add hyperlinks to your Story. This is a great and effective way to redirect to external websites and content such as full videos, articles and interviews.

Get your hashtags right

Hashtags are the quickest and easiest way to broaden the reach of your stories and posts; the top Instagram Stories hashtags of the past year are outlined below:

#GOODMORNING

#WORK

#GOODNIGHT

#MOOD

#HAPPYBIRTHDAY

#TBT

#LOVE

#HOME

#BOMDIA ("Bom dia" means "good morning" in Portuguese)

#RELAX

Instagram has grown and developed quickly in the social media space, so it's crucial that digital marketers stay up to date with the latest functionality offers, while also carefully planning and executing branded activity that speaks to their user base. Most importantly, marketers need to ensure communications align with brand values, and that posts speak to relevant audiences in an engaging and creative way.

 

 

 

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