Following Facebook’s confirmation at its F8 developer conference that Stories are dominating, and announcing updates, Vamp co-founder Aaron Brooks argues they should be part of every user’s Instagram strategy.
On day one of Facebook's F8 conference, chief product officer Chris Cox revealed that, “the Stories format is on a path to surpass feeds as the primary way people share things with their friends sometime next year.”
The lapse videos and photos, which expire after 24 hours, became a hit with the explosion of Snapchat and have been successfully cloned by both Instagram and Facebook. The former more so, leading the way with 300m daily Story users, leaving Snapchat stocks to fall.
According to consulting firm Block Party, stories creation and consumption is up 842 percent since early 2016. They encourage users to share by removing the ‘is this interesting enough to post?’ pressure and increase the amount of time spent on the platform.
Zuckerberg’s latest plans aim to propel this success further with updates including third-party app integrations with Spotify and GoPro (so you can share your favourite song on Insta) and allowing brands to build custom AR features.
If you’re not already using Stories in your social strategy, here are five reasons why you should start today:
Shorten the path to purchase
The ‘swipe up to shop’ function is available to all users with 10,000 followers or more and allows you to attach a link to any image or video you share on Stories. With this you can take a user directly to the eCommerce page at the moment of inspiration.
When you add a hashtag or geotag to your story, it gives you yet another opportunity to be discovered. Nearly every location has an aggregated Instagram Story and by including a tag you will be added to the mix, which could be particularly powerful for local businesses.
Trial new ideas
If you want to try something new and test your audience’s response, without disrupting your carefully curated feed, this is the place to do it. Instagram Stories even offers a poll function to gather further feedback from your followers.
Share candid moments
Stories are great for capturing developing stories by piecing them together in their sequential order. This makes them perfect for showing ‘behind the scenes’ footage that doesn’t need to have the same polish as the main feed. But don’t make it an afterthought. Brands have achieved success in pushing an element of exclusivity, maximising on events like fashion week or music festivals. Others have made theirs episodic, so users know they can tune in at the same time each week to see a regular feature.
If you post photos on your feed, but use your Stories to video pieces to camera, this gives you a new and engaging way to speak directly to your followers. It also offers plenty more opportunities to connect with them throughout the day, without risk of bombardment.
Aaron Brooks is the co-founder of influencer marketing platform Vamp