Instagram Stories: Game Changer for Bloggers, Brands, Businesses

by | Aug 10, 2016 | Need to Know, Social Media

By now you have used or at least heard about the latest update to Instagram, a feature that allows you to create quick videos or photos with text overlays, emojis, the whole thing for your fans. Except puppy filters…no puppy filters or golden butterfly crowns on Instagram stores…yet. (Instagram if you’re reading, give the people what they want.)

From what I’ve gathered on my own feed, some love it while others utilize the platform to send people to their SnapChat — the OG of this social story sharing technology. Another use I’ve seen is people and brands pushing the same content to their Instagram stories that was also on their SnapChat — I see you, stop it! Though I’ll let it slide if you’re trying to test which platform your content performs best on before making a strong stand one way or the other.

What you need to know about Instagram Stories:

  • Videos or photos will disappear after 24 hours.
  • No animated filters here, but you can swipe left to take advantage of the different color filters (similar to those photo filters that already exist on the platform)
  • Typed text can only be white… for now. (Which is how I know some brands are pushing content on Instastories they created over on SnapChat in all their multi-colored typed text glory.)
  • 3 different “pens” to handwrite text or draw  — my favorite is the neon one.
  • Equipped with emojis.
  • Content created for stories can be saved to phone’s camera roll.
  • Instantly toggle from forward-facing to rear-facing camera — let the selfies commence!
  • Ability to send a message to the person who’s Instastory you just watched —increasing engagement and building loyalty. However, some celebs and public figures have disabled this feature. Totally understandable.

What I love best about this update is it allows those brands, bloggers, and businesses to utilize the audience they’ve worked so hard to build on Instagram and show them a bit of the raw behind-the-scenes happenings. Which, oh by the way, is the complete opposite of what Instagram has been traditionally used for up until Instastories came on the scene. I mean, tweens take down photos if it doesn’t get enough likes or comments in the first few minutes its live. Real talk. Real frightening. But that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.

Side bar:  SnapChat is not going anywhere for the reason I stated above. Instagram was built for perfection and SnapChat was built to be carefree, to be silly, to be sloppy, to just be. So some users of both platforms are channeling their inner Offspring by saying, “gotta keep ’em separated.”

Instastories has the potential to change e-commerce and sales as well as influence opportunities. According to Daniel Del Carlo a “real estate investor and social media influencer”, who apparently I follow, but didn’t realize it until I saw him on my Instastories — another reason to hop on the story creating bandwagon is your fans discover you all over again! Anywho, Daniel said (in an Instastory) that he saw 17 times more opens on one of his Instagram influencer accounts versus what he saw on the same content for that same influencer on SnapChat. ::Cue thinking face emoji.::

There are a few reasons behind higher engagement on Instastories:

  1. Timing. the platform is so new (especially in that first week) everyone wanted to check out who was using it and how they were using it. Heck, 78 people viewed my first Instastory.
  2. Audience. We don’t know if Daniel’s audience is the same on both channels both in quantity and intent. I, of course, would get less views on my SnapChat if I have less followers there.
  3. Placement. Instagram was very very VERY smart on where it placed the stories feature — right at the top. Can’t miss it. It’s genius because it will push more people to create content and more people to consume it as well with the added bonus of putting a face and voice to the brand, blog or business.
  4. Users. The numbers are in Instagram’s favor: Instagram has 500 million users, 300 million are daily active users. That’s a huge number! SnapChat has 130 million daily active users.

How do I know if Instagram stories are for me?

Instagram stories are for you if you’ve worked hard to build the audience you have on Instagram and are looking for new ways to further engagement, build brand awareness and loyalty and have a little fun while doing it.

Need help brainstorming what type of Instastory content you should be creating? Shoot me an email, I’m happy to help!