How to Use Instagram Stories For Your Business
By now, you have inevitably heard about, or have even tried, Instagram Stories or have begun to wonder how to use instagram stories for your business marketing.
It’s hard to ignore the fact that the entire concept is a knock-off of Snapchat’s popular “story” feature. However, we are still deciphering how this new tool will impact digital marketing and the way we use social media as a whole.
Snapchat Stories gained popularity by allowing users to upload a compilation of “snaps” to their feed. This content was then available for followers to view for the next 24 hours.
In short, Snapchat Stories are a fun way for users to share, in chronological order, bits and pieces of their day through photos or short video clips. Sounds fun, right?
That’s because it is fun! As a millennial who is guilty of sharing one too many videos of her cats on social media, why would I not love an application that allows me to show off an unlimited loop of 10 second clips of my fur-babies, only to start over again every 24 hours?
I could talk about my cats all day. But what’s important right now is the mystery of Instagram Stories, and whether or not this new resource can match Snapchat in all its glory.
Instagram Stories: What Are They Anyway?
Instagram Stories began rolling out with the most recent app update and the reaction amongst users has since been controversial.
In fact, some Instagram users have been going as far as posting photos of their “Snapcodes” on their Instagram Story. This sends followers to their Snapchat profiles.
Much like Snapchat, Instagram Stories allow users to share bits and pieces of their day. This is done through short videos or images in a slideshow format.
Users have the ability to draw on their images and videos as well as add a few colour filters – again, very similar to features provided through Snapchat.
Followers can view uploaded “stories” throughout the day while still scrolling through their feed as normal. This keeps the layout fairly user friendly and is, for the most part, very easy to navigate.
In short, Instagram Stories are a Snapchat-esque way to show your followers quick clips of your day (disappearing after 24 hours) as opposed to posting photos and/or videos that will remain on your feed indefinitely unless otherwise deleted.
So, What’s the Difference Between Snapchat and Instagram Stories?
The basics of each application are essentially the same. However, there are a few significant differences to consider when comparing Instagram and Snapchat Stories.
The first big difference is filters. Instagram Stories allow users to use a few basic filters (i.e. black and white).
This is where Snapchat knocks Instagram out of the park.
Snapchat filters are extremely interactive. They go from location tags and temperature recognition to face activated filters and the increasingly popular “face-swap.”
Snapchat’s filters are arguably the driving force of its popularity amongst its audience.
You will also find differences in the way that each application allows users to “draw” on their photos and videos.
Snapchat allows you to doodle on your photos and videos. But Instagram’s version allows users to choose different brush stroke styles. This is definitely a fun addition to the app that Snapchat lacks!
If you compare Instagram and Snapchat stories side by side, there will be a fair amount of minor differences. However, at the end of the day, there is an overwhelming consensus that Instagram didn’t even try to hide that their new app addition is just Snapchat with a new name.
Ok. So Should I Use it in my Digital Marketing Strategy?
For businesses considering whether or not utilizing Instagram Stories is right for them and their digital marketing strategy, the short answer is yes.
It’s arguable that using every available social media tool is beneficial. But this can certainly become overwhelming to your target audience. Especially if it’s done without any strategic planning.
Instagram Stories are great for businesses who may not exactly be targeting the demographic that is predominantly using Snapchat (i.e millennials) but may want to create the same type of content.
Moreover, many businesses already have a solid Instagram following. This allows for the opportunity to utilize a new type of social media tool without the task of reestablishing a new following from scratch. Great, right?
Maybe. If you are posting the same content on your Story as you are your regular feed, your response is probably going to be subpar. Like Snapchat, Stories are best utilized as more of a “behind the scenes” approach.
By utilizing these tools strategically, businesses can efficiently attract new followers, which is a perk that Snapchat doesn’t necessarily have.
Essentially, by using Instagram Stories, businesses have the opportunity to humanize themselves and create a positive and engaging relationship with their audience though a “behind the scenes” experience. This makes a fantastic digital marketing opportunity!
The Short and The Sweet
While you’ll certainly still find me Snapping clips of my cats on a regular basis, I still see the emergence of “Stories” as a win for Instagram and a win for digital marketing!
Unlike Snapchat, Instagram has ample opportunities for increasing engagement and a follower base. This is why your business should absolutely utilize Instagram Stories – the basic perks of Snapchat with the marketing benefits of Instagram!
If you’d like help with incorporating Instagram, Snapchat or any other social media platform into your digital marketing strategy, contact VPDM today!