Since Instagram launched Stories at the start of August, users have been taking to the quick share feature to share snippets of their life, usually showing another side to the polished exterior you usually see in an Instagram post (there are only a few basic filters to save you here). In a further bid to rain all over Snapchat’s parade, this week Instagram launched three new Stories features, Boomerang and Mentions, and a trial run of links that are being tested with verified profiles. Instagram are clearly looking to grow Stories and the new elements will give users and brands more ways to experiment with their Stories marketing. Here are a few of our favourite ways that you can use Instagram Stories for your brand marketing efforts.
The common way to run an Instagram competition on Instagram is to ask a user to repost the competition photo, follow the page and use a custom hashtag to easily track this. But how can you up the ante on a winner announcement? That’s right, utilise that story! With Instagram’s new mentions feature in Stories, you can create a sense of urgency on claiming prizes before the story disappears, making the stakes all the more exciting… and a little bit ruthless!
A great way for audiences to feel close to a brand is to let them in on the little secrets… From backstage previews of major fashion designers and publications during fashion week to countdowns to new products launches. Black Sheep Cycling used Instagram stories to showcase their new kit launch from various angles with a unique countdown on each post. They finished the series with a post of a very happy cyclists with the text ’30min sell out. Yes, we are re-stocking!’. Slick!
Try your hand at new product previews – perhaps even showing just a tiny snippet to really tease your audience!
This is certainly one for brands that revolve around travel! If you’re taking a trip on business (and you’re allowed to film/photograph it), just use your phone camera and get sharing with your audience using Stories. Rather than flood a timeline with multiple posts that could see less engagement, the Stories will be a lot more ‘in-the-moment’ and genuine to your audience. GoPro are, ahem, pro’s at this! They recently upped the feel good factor by sharing the experience of a family who’d won a trip with GoPro through their #DreamReal campaign. They shared video and snaps of the incredible adventure, showing the love for their customers in the process!
If you’re not the adventuring type, maybe even try a few tours around the office or outside your headquarters if you work in a scenic setting.
You’ve got around 15 seconds to play with when recording footage in Instagram Stories, so this could make for some super interesting Q&A’s in quick time! Utilise your colleagues, customers or, if you’re lucky enough to have the contacts, celebrities (no matter who they are, always make sure you ask permission before publishing). Jeffrey Gerson, an Instagram Community Manager, did a great job at this, answering audience questions as briefly as possible after being challenged by a fellow colleague. You could easily challenge your fellow colleagues or customers to a ‘5 things about me/us you didn’t know’ to show off the people behind your brand.
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