June 12th, 2018

10 Things Marketers Need to Know About Instagram Stories

Lindsay Cosner

On May 17th, Facebook hosted the event See More With Instagram Stories at the company’s, very cool New York City office. The event intended to give attendees, all professionals from advertising and marketing agencies, clear insight into the unignorable consumer shift toward Instagram Stories as a prefered sharing format. And Likeable was there to get the latest findings, straight from the source.

Instagram believes that the shift from the feed to Stories is in keeping with previous, landmark attention shifts from desktop to mobile and image to video. However, as consumers migrate to this new format, businesses are lagging behind, presenting an immense opportunity for agencies and our clients to get ahead of the curve and reach customers where they are increasingly spending their time.

We were—quite literally—front row, center for the event, and here are the ten most important things we learned and why they matter:

  1. 40 percent of Instagram Stories are videos. Videos over index within the Stories template on a massive scale when you consider the fact that over 91 percent of the content posted in Instagram’s feed are photos.
  2. 60 percent of Instagram Stories video posts are played with the sound on. To put this statistic in perspective, 85 percent of video on Facebook is watched without sound, marking a huge shift in the way consumers are interacting with this medium.
  3. 1 in 5 Instagram Stories results in a direct message. Following in a strong 4th behind the behemoths of messenger apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat, Instagram Direct has grown to 375 million monthly users. This behavioral shift allows brands a private channel to communicate with customers, and Stories are proving to be a strong conversational catalyst.
  4. 2 seconds is the new 3, so frontload your brand and your message. This sounds like another sign of the disintegration of the modern attention span; however, as mobile attention spans shrink, so does the time it takes consumers to translate and comprehend the content they’re being served. The recall speed of mobile feed content is a snappy 0.25 seconds. When you consider the evolution of our digital skills, 2 seconds is enough time to hook your audience with a sharp, branded message—just don’t bury the lede.
  5. Adding a content-complimentary Canvas to your Instagram Story campaign drives 25 percent improvement on ROI. Multi-touch approaches are quite effective, and it is no surprise to see the same results happening within Stories as well. Campaigns that tell a brand story before presenting a CTA are more effective than campaigns that presented a CTA only. View-through rates for sequenced ads can be as much as 87 percent higher than standard ads. Instead of thinking about Stories as one-off placements, consider running them as part of an integrated campaign.
  6. People said that they look at Instagram Stories to connect with brands they like, discover new products that are relevant to them, access tutorials on products they like or own, and find deals or special offers on brands they like. This year an impressive 69 percent of Americans use at least one social media site. A majority of these social media users report joining the sites to stay in touch with family and friends. However, Stories appears to be a place where users are seeking out branded content, offers, and product features.
  7. 1 out of 3 of the most viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses. And a quarter of Instagram users were viewing Stories daily at the end of 2017.
  8. But only about half of business on Instagram create a Story in a typical month. At the end of 2017, 71 percent of US businesses were on Instagram, nearly double the number from 2016. Stories launched in the summer of 2016 but have been slower to grow with businesses, despite mass adoption with consumers.
  9. Instagram Stories are growing faster than the feed, the fastest growing product in Facebook history with 300M daily active users. Specifically, Stories are growing 15x faster than the feed. And Instagram is the fastest growing of all social platforms, growing 5x faster than any other network and expected to hit 930 million users by the end of 2021. These projections show compounded growth for Instagram over the next few years.
  10. Instagram Stories make up only 8% percent of agencies total Instagram investment on behalf of their clients, opening a clear path for early adopters. Instagram’s ad revenue is expected to hit $7 billion in 2018, with 86 percent of brands implementing paid tactics on the platform. With a focus on diversifying spend on the platform, Stories offers a huge opportunity for brands.

Not making the top ten list, but cool enough to note, was a skill we picked up while the event’s Story School was in session: the coveted “rainbow text hack.” Watch carefully and be patient with yourself (it took us a few tries).

Want to tap into the power of Instagram Stories? Let us help.

Tags: Data & Analytics, Facebook, Instagram, Strategy, Tools, Trends

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