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Making the most of the Instagram stories feature

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Instagram stories is by no means a new feature, so most brands have had plenty of time for trial and error when it comes to using it as part of their digital marketing strategy. This means there’s no excuse not to use it if your brand offers visual products and services—we’ve seen plenty of successful campaigns that we can draw inspiration from when planning campaigns and promotions!

Tell a short story

The way the feature works, presenting a series of visuals made up of photos, video, graphics or text means it’s a great way to communicate a content series that may feel too long to squeeze into an individual post. You can get creative with this and create a campaign that tells a short story to give your brand more character.

Example: Beyond Yoga used Instagram stories to post a series of videos showing a woman going through her workout routine whilst wearing their clothing. This is a great way of showcasing how products actually look on someone who’s moving around, which gives users a much better example of what they’re purchasing rather than if they were to use a still image of a model.

Promote an event

Gone are the days where it felt like you were overloading your audience with content if you live post too many individual images from an event you’re promoting. With the stories feature, you can keep adding images or video throughout the event without worrying about cluttering your feed or spamming your followers. You can even post content during the set-up of the event, giving your audience a sneak peek and creating a sense of excitement which may trigger FOMO and encourage a higher attendance.

Example: ASOS teamed up with Reebok to deliver a rooftop screening of True Romance and documented the lead up to the event with images of the venue being prepared. They included a call to action asking users to answer whether or not they’re ‘partial to a good old 90s movie’. Engaging event posts like this allow people to feel involved in the set up, meaning they feel more tempted to attend.

Create an exclusive offer

Due to the fact Instagram stories only exist for 24 hours on your followers’ feeds (unless you choose to save the images to your featured selection), you can take advantage of the time limitations to create an offer that only people who engage with you in the time window provided can claim. This creates a sense of urgency, as people are aware they have to act immediately if they want to be one of the lucky few to gain the reward.

Example: J.Crew posted an image of a new pair of sunglasses soon to become available and released 50 pairs through Instagram before making them generally available through their website later on in the week. The sense of urgency meant the first 50 released flew out as users competed to be the fastest to click through and make a purchase.

Set up a creative competition

Similarly, you could run a short competition which has the potential to be more creative than the simple like/comment/retweet style posts on other social media platforms. You could do something along the lines of posting destination images and asking users to guess the location...

Example: ...or you could play the humour card like KFC and offer your audience a joke product if they follow your call to action, indicating your brand are playful and therefore fun to follow and engage with.

If you're responsible for marketing a hospitality business such as a hotel or restaurant, you might find our post on using Instagram Stories in the hospitality industry useful too.

We have plenty of experience working with brands on building up their Instagram feed and following. Keep an eye on our blog for further advice.

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