We get this question all the time: "Do I really have to use Stories to grow on Instagram?" We get it: camera shyness might get the best of you, but you don't have to let it get in the way of growing your Instagram power, especially if you're looking to amplify your content strategy! In this digital day and age, it's one of the most vital tools that's going to help you grow, so why not take advantage of it and make it work for you? If you're still worried about not putting your best foot forward when it comes to Stories, you know that we wouldn't leave you in the dark. With our brand new design tool StoriesEdit, we're going to empower you to customize and design beautiful Instagram Stories and tap into your brand's visual storytelling strategy rather than just posting content that doesn't entice your audience to view through all of your Stories. Let's dive into the few reasons as to why Instagram Stories is so essential.
Instagram Stories has been growing exponentially since its debut in 2016. According to TechCrunch, as of January 2019, there are 500MM daily Instagram Stories users (half of Instagram's 1 billion total users)! To add to the power that Stories has, in January, Instagram has had a 100MM daily user increase in just six months since their 400MM daily user tally in June 2018. To amplify that number even more Stories was only at 250MM daily users in 2017! So if you're wondering if your audience is on Instagram Stories, you can bet a good percentage of them are and are waiting for you to post Stories to get to know you and your brand a lot better.
Not only is Instagram Stories user-base growing, but watch-time is increasing at an impressive rate year over year. According to TechCrunch, video watch-time on Instagram is up 80 percent year-over-year, and the number of videos shared is up 4x. This goes to show that more users, both personal profiles and brands, have amplified their use of Stories and have started creating even more dynamic and engaging Stories that have led to much more watch-time. While this may seem like you have more Stories to compete with, it also means that it's a way to get creative and see what other profiles are doing to engage their audience. Use this as an opportunity to help you create even better content!
More and more brands are investing their ad dollars to Instagram, accounting for 23% of their total ad spend, and mostly thanks to Instagram Stories. According to a study by Merkle, more brands are understanding that not only is it worth it to invest their ad spend on social media, but most importantly to invest on Instagram and Instagram Stories ads. Unlike Instagram sponsored posts and ads, Instagram Stories allows you to create dynamic ads while users are watching Stories, and create an impact on them that will make them watch your ad and convert.
Need to tap into the Gen Z and Millennial market? Instagram Stories will be your best friend to convert sales from them. Millennials and Gen Z'ers are much more cautious when they make a purchase. They prefer to look at reviews and tips from those they follow to make a decision or real human reviews that they find on social media. According to VideoMob, 1 in 4 Gen Z and Millennials actively seek Stories for products and services they are considering buying before they make a decision. By creating dynamic Instagram Stories, you can showcase your brand's capabilities by visually communicating how your products can be used in real life (#IRL). Tapping into micro-influencer marketing will also help drive your brand message beyond your reach with influencers and individuals that your target audience relates to.
Instagram Stories is a way to elevate your visual content strategy; its' tools allow you to get to know and understand your audience 10x more. Instagram has provided the best features within Stories to understand your audience more than you would by just reading their comments on your posts. You can allow them to be further involved in your brand conversation by letting them vote, rate, and voice their opinions and thoughts based on the questions you open up to them using the Poll, Questions, and Emoji Slider stickers on Stories. With these features, you can harness even more engagement with your audience by using their responses and valuable feedback to help dictate your content strategy.
Instagram Stories allow you to go beyond your link in bio, and drive so much more traffic to your website using the 'See More' Feature. Aside from just engaging with your audience and showing your brand's personality on a deeper level, you can drive even more traffic to your site or specific links beyond just the link in your bio. If you have over 10K followers or you're "verified" by Instagram, you can grow your brand beyond social and convert more of your followers back to your site with the 'See More' Feature. Plus, if you have a visually impactful Story that has a clear call to action to drive your followers back to your site, then you will see your conversion rates go up over time. (Learn more on how to use this feature here.)
Not only can you drive more views to your content, but you can drive more sales using 'Shoppable Stories.' If your brand sells products, then by creating Stories that visually markets the products and also shows how it's used, then your audience is going to be more convinced to buy your product. But if you're showcasing multiple products, you don't have to be limited to just one swipe-up link to tell them to purchase it from your Stories. If you have 'Shoppable Stories' capabilities within Instagram, you can tag the products from your product catalog just as you would tag another Instagram account onto your Stories and allow your followers to purchase directly from the Story that you posted. (Learn more on how to use this feature here.)
-- Are you inclined to use Instagram Stories now? If you've read this far and truly want your Instagram to succeed, we hope you will! Get started in amplifying your Stories today by using StoriesEdit and start converting your audience and engaging more in one of the most fast-growing Instagram tools today. Download it on Android or iOS!