It may seem counterintuitive to put a lot of effort into a digital marketing message that will disappear from the internet forever in just 24 hours.
But ephemeral content is an up-and-coming format, and brands are having fun using it to give followers a day-in-the-life-type look, a heads up on a limited-time offer, or a product launch teaser, among other creative uses.
Instagram Stories launched in 2016 and mirrors the fleeting content ecosystem of rival Snapchat. Let’s look at the ways businesses can leverage this unique social storytelling format.
How it works
Instagram Stories provides Instagram users with a separate feed of impermanent content from the accounts they follow. Stories are formatted for full screen vertical viewing, can be photos or videos, and disappear within 24 hours.
Images and videos can be enhanced with filters, drawings, and text overlays. Videos are limited to 15 seconds. No likes or comments are enabled on the platform, but a direct message button is included.
Emerging business uses
Stories is great for offering your followers a quick, behind-the-scenes look at your company’s operations, or perhaps an interview with the CEO or a key employee. The informal nature of the auto-deleting format creates a low-key, peer-to-peer atmosphere.
Brands are also having success teasing upcoming product launches and announcing contests. A quick product how-to or limited time discount are also aligned with the platform.
Businesses can measure the level of engagement with organic Stories posts with the following metrics.
- Impressions: the number of times your story was seen
- Reach: the number of unique Instagram accounts that viewed the post
- Replies: the number of messages received as a result of the post
- Exits: the number of times someone swiped away in the middle of the post
Ads on Instagram Stories
Like Instagram as a whole, Instagram Stories is a targeted advertising opportunity for businesses. Stories ads offer the same targeting capabilities as traditional Instagram and Facebook ads, as well as the same ad performance measures.
When setting up an Instagram Stories ad, businesses can choose from the following pre-set objectives: reach, video views, traffic, conversions, or app installs.
The following call-to-action choices are available for Instagram Stories ads: apply now, book now, buy now, buy tickets, contact us, download, learn more, shop now, signup, and watch more.
Instagram Stories ads come with unique design constraints, including:
- Full screen vertical at 9:16
- Resolution of 600 by 1067 pixels for photos, and 1080 by 1920 pixels for videos
- Maximum video play of 15 seconds
- Maximum photo display of 3 seconds
- Photo format of jpg or png, and video format of mp4 or mov
- Video file size of 4 GB, and photo file size of 30 MB
Use your Instagram account to delve into the world of Stories and learn what other individuals and brands are doing with the medium. Looking for ways to get your business on Instagram Stories will put you at the forefront of ephemeral content and set the stage for your entrance into Snapchat, where the youngest of social media users are currently spending their time.
Thanks for stopping by,
Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company specializing in marketing strategy, social media marketing, and building beautiful, optimized, and mobile responsive websites. We work with clients in Vermont and throughout the United States.