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Instagram Stories — Tantalizing Fans With Peek-a-Boo Marketing

If YOLO is the battlecry of millennials and generations born thereafter, then the phenomenon of disappearing social media content makes perfect sense. Raw, uncensored, and in the moment, disappearing content offers an authentic glimpse of people and their experiences, answering the modern mania for living in the now.

Since Instagram joined the disappearing content game with Instagram Stories in 2016, its 250 million users are now spending 32 minutes a day in-app.

What is the appeal, and how can companies make use of this peek-a-boo style marketing?

According to Shelby Rogers, a content marketing strategist at web design agency DigitalUs, Snapchat and Instagram Stories win with the trifecta of exclusivity, immediacy, and fun. Without the “politics of Facebook and the cynicism of Twitter,” these more creative and lighthearted platforms are the go-to for people “looking for something much more fun.”

Disappearing content also works on users’ fear of missing out, since they know that once content is gone, it’s gone forever. It keeps them coming back again and again, not wanting to miss the excitement of an exclusive celebrity interview or a glimpse behind the scenes with a favorite influencer.

The payoff for marketers is the opportunity to drive heightened engagement for a small investment and without altering your overall social media aesthetic. You can grow brand awareness, increase traffic to other content like videos or newsletters outside of Instagram, or share sponsored content.

Instagram Stories works in tandem with Instagram Direct, a tool for private messaging between users within the app. With more than 375 million users, Instagram Direct is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world.

And if customer engagement is what you’re after, TechCrunch says that brands sharing Instagram Stories receive a Direct reply from one in five users, establishing a direct connection with fans and an opportunity to learn more about them.

Insta Inspo

If every social network has a personality, Instagram’s is likable, minimalist, and playful. It’s true that not every business is super sexy, but Instagram Stories isn’t just for the cool kids. Even if your business is serious in nature, this platform is a place to demonstrate that while your work is important, there are real people are doing that work. Save the jargon and resume for LinkedIn, and don’t be afraid to craft a brand message that is a little less polished and a lot more personable. Puns and emojis are welcome here. Share your grandmother’s poundcake recipe or a picture of that incredible rainbow you captured from your office window.

Here are some inspirations for your own Instagram Stories:

1. Promote an event.

Whether you want to highlight a function at your own place of business or one you will be attending, like a trade show or conference, you can create an event flyer using Instagram’s native text options to give users all the deets: event name, location, your booth number; date(s); and event hashtag.

Are you hosting a grand opening, party, awards banquet, or new product launch? Make yourself and your business relatable by posting a brief video of the event to your Story. Remember to keep it light and entertaining.

Since videos only run for 15 seconds before cutting to the next piece of content, you can use a third-party app to edit your video into 15-second clips. If you want to play longer videos in your Story, split a video into 15-second segments and post them to play sequentially in your Story. You can use these apps: Continual (iOS only); CutStory (iOS only); Story Cutter for Android or iOS; and Storeo (iOS only).

2. Preview a blog post.

Your Instagram Story is a great way for new readers to discover your blog. Entice readers with a tantalizing snippet and then link to the full blog post.

3. Post news about your industry.

With a little creativity, you can turn small happenings into interesting and newsworthy events. These mini news segments will encourage users to check back in for the latest market trends. Keep the conversation going by asking users to offer their opinions. Add a customizable two-option poll sticker so they can participate in your content with a “hell yass” or “no way.”

4. Demonstrate your product.

This is your chance to give even ordinary products or services their 15 seconds of fame. Get creative and answer FAQs with videos. Use a program like Loom to record a video of your computer screen and show people how to use your software or web tools. Let the human side of your brand shine through.

It’s important to know that Instagram Story’s video dimensions are: 1920px high and 1080px wide, with an aspect ratio of 9:16. Remember to adjust your video’s dimensions before uploading.

5. Give a shout out to other companies.

As your Instagram following grows, other businesses will want to follow you and be affiliated with your success. Give fans and business partners a shout out, and nurture those relationships.

Instagram Stories allows us to play in the ephemeral tides of the now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t, where the surf recedes to reveal smooth sands just waiting to be written on once again. What do you want to say to the world today?

Big Chief Creative Media is a full-spectrum creative digital agency specializing in brand communications, web marketing, and lead generation. Contact us at https://www.bigchiefcreative.com/contact-us/.