When Instagram released Stories in August 2016, many rolled their eyes and accused the app of ripping off Snapchat. Since that time, Instagram has really made Stories its own. On my personal feeds alone, more and more friends and family are switching from Snapchat to Instagram—and while I’m slowly transitioning apps myself, I see plenty of opportunities for brands to do the same. If your business is thinking of hopping on board, consider these “Three Fs of Instagram Stories: Followers, Features, and Funds.”
It’s possible that your brand is producing great Snapchat content, but it doesn’t matter if nobody sees it. The barrier of entry for users to follow a brand on Snapchat is much higher than it is on Instagram. Odds are your business has already run an Instagram campaign to increase followers, and the great news is that these same users will see your Instagram Stories!
Instagram Stories already has over 150 million users, and according to TechCrunch, “Seventy percent of Instagram users already follow a business, and one-third of the most-watched Stories on Instagram were created by businesses, so the company thinks its partners can make ads that won’t bore people into closing the app.”
It’s true that Instagram has mimicked many of Snapchat’s storytelling features, but it has also one-upped Snapchat with additional capabilities (my favorite is Boomerang). In addition to the popular looping video generator, Instagram allows brands and users to tag others in a Story. This is a great feature if your brand works with influencers. Instagram also allows you to swipe up from a Story to load a website of your choice. Utilize this feature if you want to showcase a product, encourage orders, and more!
While posting an Instagram Story to your brand’s page is free, the platform is also rolling out a paid in-story ad unit. These ads are not yet available to all businesses, but we’re anxiously awaiting the release!
Instagram says, “To unveil this first-ever, full screen ad to Instagram Stories, and create the most impact for businesses and Instagrammers alike, we’ll test with 30+ clients around the world, including: Capital One, Buick, Maybelline New York, Nike, Yoox, Netflix, and Qantas. With roughly 70% of watched stories being sound-on, this immersive, full screen nature creates an intimacy with people like never before.”
You also get more bang for your buck with Instagram Stories compared to Snapchat. Instagram utilizes the same targeting capabilities as Facebook, so your brand can take advantage of the custom audiences that are already set up. Furthermore, the reporting tools will be similar to what your brand is familiar with on Facebook and Instagram.
According to TechCrunch, “Instagram will also provide business accounts with analytics on the reach, impressions, replies and exits of their Stories. They’ll be able to check analytics on their Stories through the Insights button on their profiles.”