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Instagram Stories Recap: Thinking Beyond the Feed

Since launching in 2016, Instagram Stories continues to grow faster than any Facebook-owned product in history, now hitting over 300 million daily active users. In comparison, Instagram Stories is seeing tremendous user growth rate, garnering nearly twice as many users as Snapchat’s 165 million daily active users. While a typical user’s Instagram feed is carefully curated and glamorized, Stories fosters a community of user-generated content that is slowly becoming the future of the popular app. Brands need to start adapting and thinking beyond the feed as consumer attention is swiftly shifting away from a feed into a Stories environment.

Instagram Stories allows for an immersive and highly-engaging full-screen ad experience. The capabilities lead to longer dwell times, compared to Facebook’s other placement options, and inspire consumers to action. While more than one third of Stories viewed by users are from advertisers, it is a way to reach consumers and condense the customer journey with high value-adds.

The Stories-style format allows advertisers of every size the opportunity to playfully extend their brand’s story through an engaging tool kit of text overlays, emoji polls, dancing GIFs, stickers and more in conjunction with Facebook’s robust audience targeting capabilities.

Not convinced yet? Adding Stories to your planning strategy is as easy as checking off the “Instagram Stories” box in your placement options. Below is a list of best practices to take into consideration when taking Instagram Stories for a test drive.

  • Speed: deliver your message in less than 15 seconds

  • Scenes: use multiple cuts or scenes in a photo or video Story

  • Sound: optimize for both sound on and off; 60% of Stories are played with sound on

  • Bookend with branding: open and close with your brand message

  • Play: create a test and learn agenda to find out what objectives and optimizations work best for your business goals, which can be tested organically first

To drive the best media efficiencies, think about your brand or performance objectives. With mixed placement optimization, Stories can be automatically converted from existing in-feed placements and assets, to a full-screen vertical format, whether it be carousel, canvas or video.

Advertisers are always looking to utilize new tactics to break through to consumers and are finding huge success in this venture. Stories have proven to be versatile in the business results they yield, with snappy content, making it a highly effective tool throughout the consumer journey. Stories ultimately drive strong brand resonance, measured through brand effect studies, as well as direct response objectives like app installs and lead generation, making them a tool that is not to be ignored by brands.

Shirley Leung, Senior Associate, Paid Social, iProspect US, is the original author of this article.