Instagram Stories and what it means for marketers

Aug 4, 2016

Instagram Stories and what it means for marketersAnother day, another giant social media update. If you’ve been on Instagram in the last day or so, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the new circles at the top of your screen. Those are the new Instagram stories.

And, no, it’s not just you: Instagram Stories is eerily similar to Snapchat Stories. With Instagram Stories, you can share moments throughout your day, which then appear in a slideshow format for 24 hours. After that, they disappear forever. Your story doesn’t show up in your profile on Instagram or in your followers’ feeds, so you don’t have to worry about “overposting” – so says Instagram. Yup, like I said: it’s essentially Snapchat.

So, now that we’ve established that Instagram just copied Snapchat, what does it mean for you? We’re diving into Instagram Stories and what it means for marketers today. This blog post is sure to be outdated in another month or so, since I have no idea whether Instagram Stories has staying-power or whether it’ll go the way of Foursquare. But for now, here’s what to know: 

Instagram Stories and what it means for marketers

1. Instagram has a larger platform.

According to Ad Age, “Instagram updated its numbers last week, saying it has 300 million daily users, and Snapchat has about 150 million, according to sources familiar with the company’s internal figures.”

Besides that, with Snapchat, users have to know the exact name of the person they’re looking for before connecting. It’s hard to gather a big following that way. With Instagram, searching is easier, making it easier for brands to get more followers and quickly.

Waukesha Web Design Experts: Responsiveness2. Instagram is friendly with brands.

Do you remember our post from June, the one that considered whether you should use Snapchat at your business? It’s OK if you didn’t – I’ll reveal the answer right now: Snapchat is probably not a good social platform for your business to be on, as there’s no analytics. There’s no way to tell if your efforts are working.

With Instagram, brands are welcomed (remember, too, that Instagram is owned by Facebook). It’s easier (and cheaper) to do advertising on Instagram. Instagram allows brands to buy ads that link directly to their account, thereby (again) growing their following.

3. Instagram is already Instagram.

For brands that want to focus on one or two social platforms, Instagram Stories is a great opportunity. It’s a chance to communicate with fans and followers in a different way, but on the same platform. Brands can make Stories part of their overall Instagram strategy, rather than developing a unique one for Snapchat.

It seems all signs point to Instagram Stories, doesn’t it? As a marketer, you’ll just have to wait and see. Will Instagram Stories get the backing of the people, or will it peter out? As Robinson Meyer from The Atlantic points out, “As those two apps lose their distinctiveness, I wonder if they’ll also lose what made them fun.” 

I hope not. But, as always, time will tell. Stay tuned.