24 Hour Marketing? Using ‘Stories’ Effectively Across Platforms
The war of stories has been on for quite some time now. Snapchat launched disappearing stories in October 2013, wherein photos and videos would be available to followers for 24 hours and then disappear. Celebrities, influencers and the likes cashed in on showcasing a segment of their lives, with a lot of behind-the-scenes footage garnering the most following and engagement. After failing to acquire Snapchat, Facebook owned Instagram launched its own version of stories, documented before as a clean rip-off, in August 2016. The result was a cleaner, easier to use, more intuitive, and live-stream enabled platform which, by April 2017, had surpassed Snapchat in the number of users. Mostly because it truly was easier to use, and brought everyone back onto one platform. Perhaps not so smartly enough, Facebook and WhatsApp launched similar stories platforms, which have yet to pick up with comparable success. So what’s the big deal with stories anyway, and how can they be used for marketing?
Unveiling a Brand Personality
Similar to Snapchat, any format of stories allows brands to provide a behind-the-scenes look and add a human touch. Taking it a few steps forward from simply creating a textural brand personality, stories can be used to provide feedback on products, used for influencer marketing. The key in a story is to provide an exciting incentive to discover more about a brand or a personality.
Picking the Right Platform
Keep in mind that while most of your following may be on Instagram, the average Snapchat user profile constitutes of an 18-24 year old female who likes casual, curated and user-generated content, versus Instagram which has more gender neutrality with a 19-29 year old average demographic. Instagram users prefer sequence and harmony in stories, and once again due to searchable hashtags and geotags, the reach is distinctly better if your brand focuses on specific locations or holds an event. Facebook has an older, but larger demographic, but its stories are on a growth stage to see if they will be taken up by brands.
Focusing on Time Sensitive Material
Since stories disappear within 24 hours, it is important to keep them time sensitive. Whether this is to a season (holidays, summer), a day (national holiday), or something relevant to your brand (e.g. National Lipstick Day for a cosmetics brand), it is important to keep your audiences engaged with it. For Instagram in particular, large-following accounts can add a link which makes a direct call to action possible, prompting users to visit your respective URL to discover more or make a purchase.
Capitalizing on Influencer Takeovers
Influencer marketing is at an all time high, and having influencers post about your on their blog or Instagram is common practice. However having an influencer take over your account provides a double impact of reaching your followers as well as the influencer’s followers, that to in a behind-the-scenes, attractive raw footage style, and can be a stand-alone campaign or one that showcases the process by which you work with the influencer to create a finished product. Both are extremely attractive for followers.
Measurable and Searchable Marketing
For quite a while, Snapchat was a pain for data-based marketers due to the lack of ability measure things on it. Instagram now has solved that problem. For brands based in a location, or promoting a hashtag via events marketing, the geo-enabled power of stories helps to find multiple forms of behind the scenes or activity footage on both Snapchat and Instagram. Once again, Instagram enabled search for stories with geotags and hashtags, catapulting its reach to its wide user base.
Stories on both Snapchat and Instagram are, as expected, up for paid advertising. Since users spend a long time swiping through their stories, having an aptly placed ad (with a relevant clickthrough or call to action) can boost awareness with audiences that formulate the right target market. As always, it is always recommended to invest in organic growth via stories before jumping into paid social.
Ready to jump into the world of impactful 24 hour marketing? Just keep your audience demographic and platform usage in mind before picking which platform to use for ‘stories’, and get ready to entice your audiences with your brand personality.