Instagram stories have only just celebrated their first birthday and what a year it’s been for the service! Instagram stories have proven to be incredibly popular among users of the social media site, and have been one of the most important innovations in the field of social media this year.
What are Instagram Stories?
The concept for Instagram stories borrows heavily from a format first popularised by Snapchat, the idea of the disappearing photo or video.
One of the main reasons that a lot of people feel uncomfortable with social media is that the information that we submit stays out there forever. Snapchat solved this problem by having media files ‘self-destruct’ after being viewed. In the case of Instagram stories, the content stays active for 24 hours; with Snapchat it is a matter of seconds.
Why are Instagram Stories So Popular?
You might wonder what the point is of investing time in content which will be gone after 24 hours. While it might seem counterintuitive at first, this format is actually very effective at keeping customers coming back for more.
This is in part due to the fact that the limited lifespan of the content means that viewers will see new and different content regularly, so they can be certain that it will not stagnate.
A study carried out by Cornell University found that participants who enjoyed using Snapchat also tended to enjoy Instagram stories, and their reasons for both were largely the same. The main appeal of both was that they were fun to use, provided a neat and simple communications channel, and are less formal than other forms of communication.
From a marketing perspective, this shows that customers respond well and engage with content through Instagram stories. Consequently, your audience and potential customers are more likely to pay attention to your messages that are sent in this way.
How Does This Help Marketing?
So, we know that customers engage with Instagram stories and that alone is a good reason to make use of them, but there are other advantages as well.
First of all, there is the size of the Instagram userbase: every day, 250 million users make use of stories. It is also far easier to put out a good story post compared to a standard Instagram post, which requires considerable consideration to be given to the image composition. A story just requires a quick or interesting thought.
Instagram stories are shown to your followers but aren’t publicised in the same way as a regular post would be. This makes them perfect for testing new ideas among your existing fans and customers. You can then gauge the response before putting it before a larger audience.
Since their launch, Instagram stories have proven to be very popular amongst users of the service and they are an excellent way for your business to show off its creative streak. While the options for customising photos aren’t as comprehensive as Snapchat’s, they still allow users to add their own personal flair to their images to make them stand out.
When you put all of the above together, what you have is a service that has been well received by its user base, which offers businesses and individuals the tools and the opportunity to produce unique creative content, and which, by its design, encourages users to regularly come back for more. It should be obvious how this all makes for a very powerful marketing tool.
Marketing through social media is essential in this day and age. Even if we set aside the raw numbers, important though they are, having an active social media marketing campaign shows users that yours is a business that understands the modern world. By displaying your creativity, you further demonstrate individuality – an invaluable trait when it comes to marketing.
Contact our team of digital marketing and social media experts today to discuss how you can incorporate Instagram stories into your social media strategy.