Are you using Facebook or Instagram Stories as a part of your brand’s marketing strategy? They’ve been around for about two years now, and it’s time to face the facts – they are here to stay. Continuing to ignore the Stories features puts you at risk for getting left behind in the quickly moving world of social media marketing.
Facebook is projecting that the Stories format will continue to grow in popularity as people adjust the way they interact on social media. Nobody wants to invest a bunch of time in a passing fad, but we’re deep enough into Stories to see that this is here to stay.
Preparing for the Future
The Stories format is going to be a part of the future. And there’s no time like today to start mastering the Stories format for your business. Knowing how to use Stories will only become more important as Facebook finds ways to further monetize the format with ads and sponsored posts.
Recently, Mark Zuckerberg addressed Facebook’s desire to increase the use of Stories, “I’m optimistic that we’ll get ads in Stories to perform as well as feed over time, and that the opportunity will be even bigger because it looks like Stories will be a bigger medium than feed has been.”
If he is right and Stories will be bigger than the feed, then it vital to make Stories a part of your social media marketing strategy as soon as possible. Facebook is pushing Stories as the future of their social media platforms for both organic content and paid advertising.
To encourage businesses to invest heavily in the Stories format, Facebook recently released a study that shows some of the impact it can have on your business goals. And as you look at these stats, remember that they’ll continue to grow as Facebook pushes the format with both users and businesses.
First, regarding usage, Facebook found that 68% of their users view Stories on three different apps at least once per week. That is a bit of a random statistic and I wish they would break that out into per-platform data. But it still gives us some valuable insight – users are getting more comfortable with the Stories format and will continue to consumer Story-based content across Facebook’s platforms.
Second, regarding impact, they found that 62% were more interested in a brand after viewing their Story content. Also, 36% talked about Story content with their friends or family. In an age when building brand recognition with social media is harder (and more expensive) than ever, that is an impressive number. If over half your Story views result in brand recall, then it is worth of effort of learning a new format.
Third, regarding conversions, 56% of Story viewers later visited the brand’s website for more info. Beyond that, an amazing 49% looked for the product or service on websites where they could buy it. It’s not clear how Facebook calculated these numbers but even if they are half-true, they are still pretty staggering.
Telling Your Story
With those impressive statistics in mind, what can a marketer or business owner do to start working Stories into their marketing strategy? We’ll look at five ways to get your Stories strategy going in the right direction:
- Have a plan – Stories, by definition, don’t last beyond 24-hours. And so, it is more important than ever to have a content schedule when posting Stories. One random story a month probably won’t help – you need to be regularly updating your platform.
- Keep it Short – A study of Instagram Stories found that the top-performing ads were shorter and contained branded elements early in the video. The same study also found that you should use multiple scenes set to a fast pace.
- Show Off – If you’re selling a product, people want to see it in use. And Stories provide a perfect way to show off your product without a huge media budget. There’s no need to hire a video production agency when shooting content for Stories – just point and go.
- Be Relevant – This is true of any advertising, but make sure your content is relevant to your target audience while also being authentic to your brand. Relevance and authenticity should be the cornerstones of your social media marketing – especially in the Stories format.
- Be Unfiltered – This doesn’t mean you can’t use an IG filter, just don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in your Stories. Because of their temporary nature, viewers expect you to be looser with this format. Overly polished Stories just feel like advertisements. Go raw, behind-the-scenes, or get silly – but whatever you do, don’t be afraid to let your guard down a bit.
Find Your Success
The Stories format can (and should) be a powerful tool in your marketing toolbox. But perhaps the best news is that it allows you to find what works best for you. Stories give you more freedom to define your brand how you want it – you can use images, videos, overlays, filters, text, and a wide range of features to express yourself.
And now is the time to start experiment with this format. Because Facebook continues to push Stories as the future of social media interaction, it will become an essential part of your strategy in the next few years. Don’t get left behind because you think Stories are a fad!
If you need help with your social media, from crafting unique content to building an advertising strategy, Fusion Group USA can help you find your success. Contact us today for a free consultation with a social media marketing expert!