Opinion

Five examples of how businesses can capitalise on Instagram Stories

5 min read

10 November 2017

Former deputy editor

When Instagram launched in 2010, few people could have predicted the success that the photo sharing platform was going to have. Seven years later, the app has over 400m active users every day.

On top of this, its 2016-introduced Instagram Stories feature has become a remarkable success for the photo-sharing platform, with an incredible 250m Instagram Stories being shared every day.

Originally criticised for simply imitating Snapchat, the platform has gone from strength to strength in its own right. And, despite the ephemeral nature of Instagram Stories, which disappear from view after 24 hours, companies are starting to take notice.

We work hard to make sure we’re always ahead of the game with new avenues for advertising, whether that’s researching new paid advertising trends, social media strategies or SEO techniques.

In doing so, we’ve collected some of the best ways in which companies are taking advantage of Instagram Stories to provide a little bit of inspiration for your next campaign.

(1) Competitions

24-hour competitions or promotions are perfect for this channel. Use aspirational images or video footage, and then collect potential customer details or encourage new followers to sign-up. Although users can’t like or publicly comment on Instagram Stories, they can use direct messages to communicate with you or supply personal details.

For example, Pacific Northwest Wonderland use Instagram Stories to get followers to click through their bio link with a limited-time promotion.

(2) Event promotion

Countdown to a store event, a talk or a conference by providing daily snippets of preparations, giveaways or previews.

Some companies like Birchbox even use it to announce their live streams, using the short-lived nature of Instagram Stories to make sure that they have viewers for their live stream.

(3) Behind-the-scenes sneak peeks

This taps into the more transparent and personal aspect of Instagram Stories. Provide exclusive content showing product creation or manufacturing, conduct interviews with staff, share selfies or get the CEO to answer customer questions.

Topshop is very good at uploading perfectly produced photos that show of its latest products, and then showing the process behind what it takes to get said shot. Giving more context humanises the company and also gives you a chance to show off your product in action.

(4) Teaching

Provide handy 15-second guides, demonstrate a technique, answer a question or tackle a misunderstanding about your brand head on.

A great example of this is from Sean McCabe, a former hand lettering artist. He charged five-figure rates until he launched a course teaching people how to do what he did and made an impressive six figures in the first three days. Since then, he has taught a variety of courses on building and growing a sustainable business.

He uses Instagram Stories to share sneak peeks of his live training and explanations of why his followers should sign up for his courses.

(5) Sales

Countdowns to sales work as a method of driving excitement for a particular event. The immediacy of the channel is also perfect for flash-sales promotion – if they don’t watch then they’ll miss it entirely. Companies such as the San Francisco-based Mission Bicycle used Instagram to tease the launch of their very first product.

Although Instagram Stories is a relatively young component compared to its main offering, its rapid growth shows no signs of slowing down.

The temporary nature of sharing Stories may seem as though it’s not worth a marketer’s effort to invest money and time into the platform, but it proves a perfect complement to other social media efforts. It’s also an ideal testing ground for new campaigns and ideas.

There’s an incredible range of ways to take advantage of the platform, so why not begin planning out your next Instagram Stories campaign today?

Nicky Applegarth is MD of Ayima

[rb_inline_related]