Instagram Stories are among the most popular features of Instagram. In fact, 500 million audiences use stories daily on Instagram. Additionally, users are also active contributors to the app’s stories, with 86 percent posting their stories every day.
With more than eight million active business accounts on Instagram, brands use Instagram Stories to create brand awareness and engagement from consumers. As a matter of fact, brands produced ⅓ of the most popular stories on Instagram. Because of viewers’ constant interaction with brands, one out of three Instagram users admitted to being interested in a product they saw in Instagram Stories.
Aside from creating branded content, businesses may also collaborate with influencers to produce an Instagram story for the brand. This post will discuss why and how brands should invest in Instagram Stories for their influencer marketing strategies.
Why Use Instagram Stories?
Since the average human attention span narrowed down to eight seconds, a short yet appealing advertisement is what catches viewers’ interest. Hence, a platform like Instagram Stories that has content lasts from 7 seconds for photos to 15 seconds for videos is effective to use in engaging audiences.
Secondly, Stories found on Instagram can be visible to all viewers. Thus, all Instagram users, including non-followers, can see your brand’s public posts for 24 hours. This discoverable feature of the platform creates opportunities for higher audience engagement.
Instagram also offers a number of aesthetic and engaging tools to produce creative and user-generated story content including stickers and polls. Therefore, brands may promote products or tell stories in a unique and entertaining way.
Lastly, a brand gains more visibility through Instagram Stories. Every time a new story is published, a red ring indicator around your brand’s profile will appear and be visible to followers and non-subscribers. Hence, the story feature allows viewers to stay connected with your brand and see brand offerings and promotions easily.
9 Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Influencer Campaigns
Many brands utilize stories to promote products and increase sales. In fact, statistics show that 36 percent of businesses produce Instagram Stories to advertise brand offerings. Moreover, 59 percent of brands direct viewers to the company’s website for sales and purchases.
Instagram offers a number of tools and features to help brands create a winning story. Here are nine ways on how brands can leverage stories for a successful Instagram influencer marketing campaign.
1. Run Instagram Story Takeovers
On an Instagram story takeover, a brand allows someone to take over a brand’s Instagram account to provide audiences a fresh view of the brand, its values, products, and services. Companies may partner with influencers, consumers or employees in running the campaign.
Furthermore, brands may invite influencers to share recommendations and opinions on the brand’s products. Therefore, Instagram story takeovers can help brands reach out to new audiences and potential consumers.
An example of a brand running an Instagram Story takeover is Nike. The brand invited athletes and fitness influencers to post stories on the brand’s Instagram account for Nike’s Wake Up Call Campaign. In addition, brand collaborators used an Instagram Story takeover to reach out to viewers and share sports related motivational messages.
2. Advertise Contest and Challenges
Contests and challenges are two successful ways to encourage audience participation and increase engagement. A brand may use an Instagram Story to inform consumers about current contests or gather user-generated content.
For example, when TJ Maxx launched the #Maxx50Challenge campaign, the brand partnered with influencers to post Instagram Stories while buying their specific needs with a $50 budget. Taking over TJ Maxx’s Instagram account, the collaborators showed the products they could get from the brand’s stores and how inexpensive the products were.
As a result, the brand successfully highlighted the store’s many offerings and piqued consumers’ interest in taking the challenge to see for themselves what they can get for $50.
3. Feature Brand Events on Instagram Stories
An Instagram Story can be used to show events and programs happening at the moment or in the future for better engagement and attendance. Additionally, capturing brand events on an Instagram Story allows audiences to see your brand values, personalities, and programs that can influence their buying decisions.
In partnership with Forward Influence, Google launched an influencer marketing campaign in February 2019. The brand invited influencers to the movie screening of Ralph Breaks the Internet. Furthermore, Google asked collaborators to share social media content including Instagram Stories during the event. As a result, the brand received high social media engagement.
4. Promote Discount Codes and Promos
Brands may produce an Instagram Story to advertise discount codes and promos. Moreover, businesses may partner with influencers to include specific discount codes on their Instagram posts and stories and direct consumers to a brand’s website.
Since an Instagram Story is available for only a 24-hour period, it creates a sense of urgency. Hence, brands may use Stories to promote flash sales and limited discounts and promos.
Meal delivery service brand, FlexPro Meals, utilized influencer campaigns by incorporating discount codes on influencer Instagram Stories. The brand provided specific codes for each influencer partner and collaborators shared them on all social media platforms.
5. Produce Video and Live Video Stories
Two great features of an Instagram Story are videos and live videos. Brands and brand influencers may create live stories on Instagram to promote brands and products, show current shows and events, or introduce time-restricted giveaways and promos.
Video stories allow content to be appealing and entertaining. On the other hand, live video stories are shown at the top of the story feed with a “Live” sign. Hence, live videos are easy to be seen and can attract more attention from viewers.
Sportswear brand Fabletics highlighted influencers’ and ambassadors’ video content on the brand’s Instagram account. The brand used Stories to feature collaborators doing workout routines and making healthy food recipes to share with audiences. In addition, the brand showed stories of influencers trying out Fabletics sports clothing and unboxing brand products.
6. Initiate User-Generated Content
If your brand is looking for ways to use an Instagram Story in building new audiences and creating engagement, user-generated content can be your best shot. Brands may invite viewers to create stories featuring their products and tagging them. In return, businesses may offer incentives to audiences or feature them on the brand’s Instagram page.
For example, Dove launched Project #ShowUs which focused on initiating user-generated content. The campaign aimed to provide a diverse representation of women in media and advertising. Hence, the brand sought the help of women around the world to send photos of themselves on the campaign’s website.
Dove used Instagram to promote the brand’s campaign. The brand produced posts and Stories featuring users and brand partners asking viewers to submit photos showing diversity in beauty. As a result, more than 5000 no filter and inclusive images were collected. The photo library was then made available to be used for media representation.
7. Promote New Products and Posts in Instagram Stories
To accumulate post views and website visits, brands may create an Instagram Story to feature new products and posts. Bands can make video stories to introduce new offerings and promos for appealing content. Additionally, Instagram accounts with 10,000 followers and more can add the “Swipe Up” feature of Instagram that may direct consumers to the brand’s website, online shop, or social media posts.
Thus, promoting social media content and offerings in your brand’s or influencers’ Instagram Story can attract more viewers to view the entire post and visit your website.
When Maybelline launched Maybelline Brow Fast Sculpt, the brand introduced the product, features, and its uses in the brand’s Instagram Stories. Additionally, Maybelline included a “See More” button that directed the viewers to a page containing more information about the product.
Companies may also partner with influencers to promote brand-sponsored posts. For example, to advertise the brand’s Boxtumes campaign, Amazon, in partnership with Forward Influence, collaborated with influencers to create DIY Halloween costume ideas using Amazon boxes (aka Boxtumes). The influencers produced blog posts about the step-by-step tutorials of creating the Boxtumes. In addition, each influencer created social media content, including Instagram Stories, to inform followers of their new blog posts sponsored by Amazon.
8. Generate Creative and Interactive Content
Instagram provides several features that can be used to produce fun and interactive Instagram Story. Brands may include polls, questions, hashtags, and location stickers, live lenses, and reaction sliders to come up with more appealing and engaging content.
For example, the 2020 New Year Instagram Stories campaign of Daniel Wellington included well-curated images, a question sticker, and reaction sliders. Firstly, the brand asked audiences about their New Year’s resolution and included an Instagram Story question sticker that can be used to respond. Secondly, Daniel Wellington featured photos of consumers and influencers using the brand’s watches while doing goals for the new year. Then, followers reacted if the featured images were similar to their goals through the reaction slider.
9. Show a Sneak Peek through Instagram Stories
An Instagram Story can reach a wider range of audiences. Therefore, it can be used to advertise interesting content like a sneak peek of new products and promos. In addition, a sneak peek of brands’ offerings is a great tool to build anticipation and engagement among audiences.
In January 2020, Revlon produced an Instagram Story to announce that the brand was launching new shades of its Never Enough Lip collection. To create entertaining content, the brand posted in its Instagram Story a video of influencer and model Ashley Graham while using Revlon lip products.
Wrap It All Up
Influencer marketing is expected to grow in the coming years. Thus, brands may continue to leverage social media platforms and features to increase ROI. The suggestions and examples provided above will help your brand utilize Instagram Stories to create an excellent influencer marketing campaign.