When Snapchat launched in 2012, the world was introduced to a new format of social media content. It was [and still is] real-time, available only temporarily, and engaging. Millennials especially adapted to this style of content, with 78% of Snapchat users being between the ages of 18 and 24. 1 With Snapchat’s success, other platforms began to follow suit, starting with Instagram’s adoption of the real-time content style in 2017, followed closely by Facebook.
We’ll forgo spelling out the statistics regarding the increased usage of Stories overtime on both Instagram and Facebook, but if that information interests you, you can find out more in our 7 Social Media Trends to Expect in 2020 blog post. If your company is on the fence about adding Stories to your social media strategy in 2020, we’ve outlined six simple but important reasons any business should consider at least introducing this type of content to your marketing strategy:
If you are relatively familiar with marketing, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the rule of 7. 2 This rule illustrates that a person needs to see something seven times before they will react to it, in this case engaging with content or purchasing an item online. Social media is a game-changer for businesses to slay the rule of 7. While billboards and print advertisements are examples of traditional methods of marketing that serve as brand awareness, these approaches are often times too spread out. Social media, on the other hand, allows for unique targeting that can get in front of an ideal audience, multiple times in a consistent, expected environment.
But with more types of shareable content than ever before, it can be confusing where to focus your attention. The high rate of engaged users looking at social media Stories, though, is an indication that planning to incorporate Story content into your 2020 strategy will play an important role in the brand awareness phase of your marketing funnel.
Stories allow unique opportunities for engagement. Interactive possibilities such as polls, questions, reactions, and votes allow story viewers to give their opinions on your content. This also allows brands to keep their audience engaged longer. As you might imagine, the longer a brand has a user’s attention, the more likely that person is to recall the content. 3 When using tools such as those listed above, you can capture more of your audience’s time in a quality way. Audiences can be involved in your brand by giving quality feedback and opinions on topics such as new products, service features, or answers to open-ended questions.
At NWA Brand, we are big fans of repurposing content in a quality manner if it adds value to ours and our clients’ followers. Utilizing different forms of content and platforms allows businesses to increase the number of people that they are connecting with. For example, if a brand is planning to record a video that could be transposed into a podcast, going ahead and recording it with that intent allows the content to be dual purpose and therefore reach more of an audience. Other examples of repurposing content can be turning a blog post into a video, an email into a blog post, a live video into a recorded YouTube video for longevity, or promoting something across multiple channels with several forms of content such as video, photo, or GIF. The opportunity to repurpose content or connect increases as the number of outlets increases. Adding content to story is a natural way to promote longer forms of content.
A trend that has been around almost since the beginning of Stories on Instagram is working with influencers to do story takeovers. You can read more about this trend in our story takeover blog, so we won’t go too far into how to do a takeover, but here is the gist: brands create and share Stories in their profile that feature or are even created by other accounts or influencers. It is important, thought that whoever you work with has the type of followers that would actually be interested in your business. By doing a takeover with another account or influencer that has followers who share common interests with your own brand, you are introducing your brand to those followers and getting in front of new potential customers.
Two of the best things about Instagram Stories are that it’s a great outlet to repurpose content (as we mentioned in our previous point) and it’s supposed to be authentic and created in real-time. You don’t need to spend time creating brand new content for it and, even better, you can create stories while you’re doing tasks you’re already doing for your business anyway. For example, a car dealership could share photos of the latest models, which are already being used on the dealership website and in the car listings. If it takes little to no effort and no cost to reach a broader audience, this point alone makes adding Stories to your strategy a no brainer!
Generation Z and Millennials, more than any other generation, care about and prioritize genuineness and causes taken on by brands. The Story feature is great for this, because it offers businesses the opportunity to give audiences this behind the scenes experience customers are looking for. Whether it’s sharing more about your employees, your work space, or the mission behind your company, by humanizing your brand, followers can relate to and feel as if they can be a part of the narrative. And when they feel included, they trust and are much more likely to become loyal customers.
Whether you’ve been considering adding Stories to your marketing strategies for a while or this is the first time you’ve thought about it, we hope this post has helped you not only realize how important it is, but also how simple it can actually be. Adding Stories to your marketing strategy is a great way to reach new audiences and share your brand’s story, all without taking very much time, effort, or money. Leave us a comment below and let us know how you’re thinking of adding Stories to your marketing strategy today!