How does your brand stay top of mind? Social media managers talk a lot about posting consistency to maintain a significant following, increase engagement, and build a loyal community. But how can one achieve this without annoying followers, taking away from other posts, and/or sacrificing their grid design?
The answer is simple… Instagram Stories! IG stories allow brands to continue or begin posting at a high frequency as an engagement strategy instead of only “wow” posting to stay top of mind with their audience. Statistically, stories receive a 50% higher engagement rate than regular posts while providing the opportunities to post multiple times a day expanding organic reach past your brand’s current following. There are 400+ million active users accessing Instagram stories daily, which has led to an increase in the amount of time spent on Instagram to an average of 28 minutes a day (average 15-20 spent on stories alone).
It is no wonder IG is blowing up with new features every month leaving others to struggle for their share of the market. Instagram has rolled out 9 different cameras (including Boomerang, a personal fave), gifs, stickers, location tags, hashtags, face filters, text styles, highlight reels, Instagram live, and the newest ‘Ask Me A Question” feature to further engagement.
IG stories are not just for consumers and influencers. In fact, “over 50% of Instagram’s 8 million worldwide registered profile businesses have created a story. Of the stories created by these businesses, 1 in 5 organic stories received a direct message from a consumer.”
Still not convinced? Check out these 5 reasons why Instagram stories can benefit your business profile:
1. Real-Time Marketing
Real time marketing is becoming the new “it” word as millennials give more value to the present moment craving live feeds, insights, and meaningful connections from brands. It’s great to have your social media manager attend your events to post live footage creating hype, encouraging people to attend, and allowing outsiders to connect with your brand.
2. Connect with Your Audience
Speaking of connection, stories are the most raw and real present moments. There is a huge difference between the polished content that is posted to our grids and the content we create on the spot that will vanish within 24 hours. This type of content humanizes a brand giving it transparency with an insider perspective, allowing your audience to connect on a deeper level than staged images. Utilizing the feature of sharing user-generated stories to your own takes that connection and authenticity deeper as customers can see other’s posting about your brand on your story.
3. Get Creative Without Sacrificing the Grid
Admit it, we often spend hours choosing the right filter for grid photos while story creations are made with less concern and more freedom. Stories create an opportunity for brands to share newly developed content that wouldn’t work with the colour scheme and/or design of their grid. Stories allow brands to reap the benefits of user-generated content that might not be the highest quality while sticking to their branded grid. TIP: A grid should be treated like a portfolio showcasing your best quality content.
4. Stay Top of Mind
With regular Instagram posts, brands must compete in the algorithm matching interests to maintain visibility. However, stories appear at the very top of your feed with an enticing colourful ring around your profile picture to notify users you’ve published a story they can watch. This allows your brand to stay not only top of feed, but top of mind with followers.
5. Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose
Instagram has literally thought of everything. They recently introduced highlight reels to increase longevity of IG story content. Now brands can create specific highlight headlines to group stories together and have them remain on their page. Ex. Behind The Scenes, Clients, Events, Team Love, etc… You can also set Instagram to automatically save all story content to your camera roll so your photos and video can be reused and repurposed for content later on.
So, we’ve peaked your interest - want to know some basics to get started?
Here are 7 ways to utilize IG stories for your brand:
Show a day in the life of your business (Employee IG takeovers)
Turn your blog content into mini articles
Show your product in action
Celebrate a company milestone / showcase company values
Draw attention to a new post
Post event posters that do not align with your grid and have a limited life-span
Instagram live - showcase your brand at certain events in real-time
Social By Nature offers unique and professionally curated graphics for IG stories to ensure your brand is standing out from competitors while taking advantage of the newest content features. Check out our recent client portfolio section to see for yourself: www.socialbynature.com/portfolio-nutritower