Last week, we explained Instagram Stories, broke down how they compare to Snapchat, and gave you the marketers’ perspective. But we know that, even when you have the facts, sometimes you need a little creative inspiration to get your social content machine whirring.
That’s why I’ve done some scouting and found the early adopters of Instagram Stories. Here’s what the savviest, most forward-thinking brands are doing with Instagram Stories right off the bat, along with tips on how you can replicate these tactics for your own organization.
Yoga apparel brand Beyond Yoga, widely renowned for their supple and durable yoga pants, posted an entire Instagram story following a woman getting through her workout in their gear.
What Your Brand Can Try: This is one of the most effective techniques a brand can try on Instagram Stories, especially retail brands. Instagram Stories enable your brand to get followers so close to your product they can feel it breathe and can connect to it more deeply.
Yes, your dress looks beautiful in that highly stylized Instagram photo — but what does it look like on a real woman’s body, moving around? That’s the question a prospective customer is going to want to know the answer to during the consideration phase:right before they click through to visit your website and purchase your item.
Pacific Northwest Wonderland used Instagram Stories to get followers to click through their bio link with a limited-time promotion.
What Your Brand Can Try: Give a limited-time promotion or offer a shot on Instagram. It doesn’t have to be a huge giveaway — experiment with small tokens like stickers to see what kind of participation you get.
Instagram Stories offer the perfect venue for this kind of promotion, because you are reaching people who care enough about your brand to follow it, ensuring that you’re cultivating a community and treating your existing followers well instead of giving away swag to people unlikely to become advocates. You might find that your engagement rate on Instagram Stories involving promos is greater than on other networks, though you will have to conduct regular testing to make sure this hypothesis is true.
Clothing brand Aritzia used Instagram Stories to highlight the press pick-up it got.
What Your Brand Can Try: Use Instagram Stories to remind followers of pick-up in more “traditional” media outlets. This is a great way to lend your brand legitimacy, especially if you are a smaller or more niche brand. It also pushes your followers towards more brand-related content they can indulge in.
BarkBox, a monthly subscription box service for dog toys, treats, and goodies, put together a cute Instagram Story consisting of multiple clips from a “doggie interview” between an employee and a delightful little pug. It was hilarious and adorable.
What Your Brand Can Try: Put together an Instagram Story that actually tells a story, leveraging the skills and creativity of your employees. Go beyond just snapshots and videos from “a day in the life.” There are plenty of these out there, and one more probably won’t make your brand stand apart.
But don’t tell just any story: tell a story likely to resonatewith your target audience,which includes some kind of reference to your product or company culture. For instance, BarkBox’s Instagram Story features a dog and tells a humorous, engaging story — all without coming off as salesy or forced.
Unsurprisingly, E! News has taken to Instagram Stories like a fish to water. Click through the gallery below to see screenshots of one of their latest stories, which gives a daily rundown of the latest entertainment news with pictures and clear, bold text overlay.