Instagram – love it or loathe it, you can’t deny the impact the photo-sharing application has had on how we present ourselves to the virtual world, and on the way that companies reach out to their customers and market themselves.
Instagram introduced Stories to let you “share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile.” The feature enables you to share multiple photos and videos, add text and doodles to them, and have them appear together in a slideshow format that’s only visible for 24 hours.
Sound familiar? Instagram has raised some eyebrows in the tech world for borrowing very heavily from competitor app Snapchat. It’s working out well for Instagram though, as they continue to outgrow Snapchat.
Co-founder Kevin Systrom recently revealed that Instagram now has more than 700 million users, with an estimated 400 million users checking the website or app every day. Snapchat currently boasts upwards of 160 million daily users.
These are the sort of numbers that give Marketing Execs butterflies in their stomachs. Many companies and brands now see Instagram not just as a platform for unsatisfied millennials to share their wanderlust, but as a place to reach out to an engaged and captive audience, in unique and creative ways.
Best use of Instagram Stories
Cheerios is an American brand of cereal manufactured by General Mills, consisting of pulverized oats, rice, and wheat shaped into small “O”‘s. Cheerios’ switched-on marketing team uses Instagram Stories to give personalized shout outs and positive messages to their followers.
This kind of engagement is sure to brighten up someone’s day and helps cement the cereal’s brand as one that is full of good vibes.
During the Perseid Meteor shower in 2016, not only did NASA post beautiful pictures of the annual cosmic spectacle, but they also made clever use of Instagram Stories to make the images more meaningful.
They shared facts about the meteor shower, their ongoing research, talked to the scientists and engineers involved, and showed the equipment they used every day.
This “behind-the-scenes” content is an excellent example of a brand knowing what its followers want, and supplementing their primary feed with additional information and posts. It’s educational, too.
3. Chris Bukard
Blogging since 2009, Chris Bukard is a landscape photographer, and top travel influencer, with 2.6 million followers on Instagram. People come for the stunning pictures and detailed captions offering the story behind the photos, but the photographer also understands how to use Instagram Stories to maximize his feed.
He uses Stories to take his followers through the adventures involved in taking a shot, such as showing the river crossing they had to make, and the misery of pitching a tent in sideways rain. It’s a smart tactic that engages his audience with more than just a pretty picture and helps them feel connected to all the work put into taking that perfect shot.
Three very different brands, with three inventive and intelligent uses of Instagram Stories. Hopefully, these will serve as an inspiration to getting your brand out there in the big, wide world of Instagram.