You can get 2-3X more engagements with Instagram Stories posts compared to regular content, according to agencies.
In the past decade, the word ‘story’ was often associated with fiction novels or even fairytales. Fast forward to this generation; Stories are the ‘it’ thing using which people share their life with their friends, followers, and fans. Even though Stories is a relatively new feature, there are about 500 million people who use it daily! Snapchat was the first application to introduce this feature, wherein people could share a post, and it would disappear after 24 hours.
Instagram was quick to follow but did it better.
Brands have already started making the shift to find ways to connect with users, for which Instagram is one of the top platforms. With more people using Stories so often to communicate, brands have started leveraging their relationships with consumers through this platform. Half of the Instagram business users post stories, and one in five of those posts leads to a direct message from users.
A lot of brands have already seen success by regularly publishing content on this platform. Insider, the American online media company, received 18 million video views on Instagram across seven of their accounts, with the most popular being Insider, Insider Food, and Insider Design. Of these 18 million views, 5.2 million views were generated solely through Instagram stories.
Similarly, Condé Nast-owned publisher Teen Vogue, weekly news & politics-focused newsletter, too, witnessed its largest growth in subscribers since they started using Instagram Stories. Terron Moore, the director of social media at Teen Vogue and Allure, said, “Instagram Stories felt like a natural fit.”
But, why do Instagram Stories result in these success stories?
Use Instagram Stories to grow brand awareness
Did you know that the average person spends four hours every day on their mobile phones, out of which half of the time is spent on social media platforms? Most people are addicted to social media, and Stories are the perfect type of content to view on their mobile devices as they are quick, engaging, and suited for a mobile-viewing experience.
Moreover, considering Instagram Stories are presented in an ephemeral format, it lowers the formality and anonymity between brands and users and makes the whole experience more fun and casual.
That being said, the market is oversaturated, with many brands already using this platform to connect with their consumers. So, it can be increasingly difficult for new brands or individuals to replicate the successes of companies who have been at it since the beginning.
For such brands, it’s essential to be in the know-how by understanding how Instagram Stories work and which tactics they should adopt for best results.
So, without any further ado, lets dive right into the best tactics you could use to create Stories that users will surely love!
Tactics to create an Instagram Story that viewers will love
Instagram Stories are a great way not only to keep your current and loyal followers engaged, and if done right, it can also lead to new audiences discovering and loving your brand. Using the tactics given below, you can create Stories that leave a lasting impression on viewers.
1. Less is more, it really is!
Even though there are no specific rules to follow when it comes to the text you use in your Instagram Stories, you still need to be mindful of the number of words used.
It is recommended to use fewer words as it could confuse users, prompting them to swipe away from your Story before you get the message across. You should use text overlays and subtitles to add clarity to your posts; however, don’t cram the content as it may lead to damaging good creatives.
Speaking about text placement, it’s recommended to place your text messaging either on the center or bottom part of the screen. Moreover, keep your text informative and generic, instead of promotional or spammy. Your text should immediately communicate the core of your message and encourage users to swipe up to view more about your brand, as users are used to scrolling quickly through their feeds.
In short, keep your text direct and straightforward.
While creating the copy, answer these four questions:
- Is this useful?
People need to see the value in it.
- Is this unique?
Users need to see the promise of a unique benefit.
- Is this urgent?
The text should lead the viewer to act now.
A brand that has used this tactic effectively is Daily Harvest, as it concisely posts critical information.
2. Use the power of FOMO
According to a survey conducted by the Entrepreneur, 69% of millennials feel a sense of loss when they don’t attend an event of some kind. This mindset gave birth to brands offering mind-blowing deals to their audiences for a short period.
That being said, with the disappearing nature of Instagram Stories, added to the limited period offer, an extra level of excitement and urgency is created for the consumer, urging them to act before the opportunity vanishes.
Research shows that a staggering 69% of millennials feel a sense of loss when they can’t attend some sort of event.
Increase the pressure to click by offering your audience deals they can’t refuse within an already immediate format!
Like Sponsored Snaps, the disappearing nature of Instagram Stories adds an extra level of excitement and urgency, prompting viewers to act before opportunities vanish.
For example, you should use phrases like “limited time offer” or “available to the first 50 customers to attract the attention of your customers and compelling them to purchase what you have to offer without thinking twice.
While this is a great strategy when you’re selling a product or a service, the same can also be applied for urging customers to interact with your brand simply. For example, you can use phrases like “Call Us Now” or Try It Free Today” to give people a sense of urgency that they could be missing out on something special.
Postmates is a company that utilizes this tactic to great effect quite frequently. They use their Story to not only play a short video about their brand but use it further to present an enticing, short-lived opportunity.
3. Can they see the Story?
Did you know that 82.5% of users viewing videos on any platform hold their smartphones in portrait orientation?
If you want to optimize your content from a mobile-first perspective, you need to consider vertical viewing too. What you need to remember is that you must keep the vertical view in mind right from the beginning, while creating the content. If not, you will have to adapt and edit content written in another format to fit properly in portrait orientation.
Warby Parker, a retailer of prescription glasses and sunglasses, has nailed this strategy in its Stories content:
4. Who doesn’t love a reward?
Audiences like interactive content, as it’s an excellent way for them to connect with your brand. But, what they love is interactive content wherein they get the opportunity to win something.
After all, everyone loves a reward!
Contests and quizzes have always had a great turnover rate for brands as they have been largely successful in gaining clicks, likes, and driving conversions. Forget all the catchy one-liners and super HD images, merely offering a tantalizing reward is all that’s needed to lead viewers to make a swipe up.
Every user, subconsciously, always wonders what’s in it for them, whenever a brand urges them to take action. Hence, your Story should offer to solve their problems or satisfy their wants. That’s where the rewards come in.
The word of caution, however, is that this strategy could lead to a higher cost for customer acquisition. However, with the return on investment, paying the higher cost for a short duration initially is worth it in the long-run.
Here are some easy-to-snag rewards you can offer Instagram users:
- Percentage of discounts
- Dollar value discounts
- Free shipping
- Free downloads
- Weekly or monthly discounts
- Pre-launch offers
- Holiday and seasonal deals
- Abandoned cart incentives
- Referral incentives
Dear Frances, a London-based luxury shoemaker made use of this strategy with the help of beautiful images and texts. The company offered a special deal with a clear call-to-action, which turned out to be a resounding success.
5. CTAs for life (and visibility, of course!)
You may have the best of content and visuals, with the most catchy audio tune. However, CTAs are the masters of this game. You don’t want to hold back when it comes to urging customers to take the action you want from them.
Most brands don’t provide proper CTAs as they are either hoping that the customer knows what to do, or that they don’t want to come across as pushy. However, you need the CTA to be clear, confident, and catchy, as it maximizes the outcome of this campaign.
One brand that excels at this game is Red Bull:
6. Only if they know you, will they watch you
With a host of brands advertising to customers and trying to engage with them, it can be difficult for you to distinguish yourself by simply posting catchphrases and great-looking designs.
To stand out from the crowd, you need the customer to connect with your brand and appreciate your company’s mission & vision. Instagram Stories are a great way to give people a look into your story and add a new dimension to their understanding of your product or service. This helps users feel more connected to your brand, thereby increasing brand loyalty and the chances of them making a purchase.
Mentioned below are a couple of types of posts that can help ‘humanize’ your brand from the audience’s perspective:
The spotlight needs to be on your people
Leverage the power of the human-touch to wow your audience by introducing the people behind the creation of your brand, be it the company owner, employees, or even brand advocates.
Show them what’s unique about you
This is your Story. Hence, you need to make the most of it. Do you have a unique work environment or are using advanced technology? If yes, make sure you showcase these as they help you stand apart from the crowd.
Let your product own the space
With the help of captivating storytelling and great visuals, you need to showcase your offerings. This will help create curiosity among users and nudge them to make a purchase.
Nothing works better than a sneak-peak
Are you working on something new? Maybe a new clothesline or a new product? Tell your audience about it by giving them a quick sneak-peak.
Calvin Klein made great use of this strategy as it took its viewers backstage and gave an exclusive of how things work with Stranger Things’ star Millie Bobby Brown.
And, in the end…
The digital world is forever shifting and changing. For now, Stories are ruling, and by the looks of it, they are here for a while. So, this is your chance to align your goals to this platform and take advantage of this immersive format. You get the opportunity to talk to your audience in a distraction-free environment and connect with them through direct-response outcomes. Just follow these tactics to get the best of Instagram Stories:
A quick recap
- Keep it simple. You want to engage your users, not confuse them. Mind the word count
- People hate missing out on things. Make sure you use this to your advantage
- Most people watch videos in portrait orientation, so ensure your video is optimized in that manner for a great viewing experience
- Give your customers a reward to encourage them to interact with you
- Tell your customer exactly what you want them to do instead of hoping that they just read between the lines
- Tell your story to the customer. Show the human side of your brand
Armed with these best practices, you will have all the chips in your hand to create the best Stories to help you stand out from the crowd!