Instagram Stories: What Are They & Why Are They a Successful Marketing Tool?

After launching just nine years ago, Instagram has clawed its way towards the top of the social media landscape, capturing one billion monthly active users according to Sprout Social. That makes Instagram the third most popular social media network, behind only Facebook and YouTube.

A picture-based platform allowing users to see content from their friends and influencers, Instagram has continued to evolve its offerings. After the success of new features, such as the ‘Explore’ tab, Instagram introduced Stories. Instagram Stories are a full screen image or video that can be seen by an individual’s followers for 24 hours after publishing. Instagram Stories allow users to add text, gifs, and more to customize their content.

This new medium presents a great opportunity for marketers. Instagram Stories do a phenomenal job of capturing engagement and driving product sales. Many features make Instagram Stories a marketing playground, such as customization, the ad taking up the entire screen, and the way the Stories are weaved in with organic content. Advertisers have taken notice and are now putting an emphasis on the growing feature. This blog will highlight the features of Instagram Stories and explore their advertising success.

The Details of Instagram Stories

Instagram Story Example

Ever since the release of Snapchat’s “My Stories”, disappearing images and videos have become very popular amongst social media users. Not long after Snapchat’s release, Instagram introduced a very similar experience in 2016. The amount of daily active users has continued to grow since Stories’ inception. According to 99Firms, one year after launch, 150 million people used the feature. Now in 2019, that number has ballooned to over 500 million users.

Instagram Stories are full screen content that are temporarily available. The images are viewable for 24 hours before disappearing, making this a popular method of sharing amongst younger generations. In addition, social media users can add gifs, stickers, emojis, locations, and more to their stories to help share experiences with followers.

Instagram recently introduced a new feature, allowing users to save Stories on their profile. This tool, named “Highlights”, allows individuals to revisit previous Stories, even after their 24 hour expiration. Users can group Stories into specific categories, such as restaurants, shopping lists, or experiences, making it easier to go back and locate specific memories. This features aids advertisers, as it allows users to go back and find their latest posts and offers.

Instagram Stories & Advertising

The growth of Instagram Stories has caught the attention of advertisers. Marketing teams have started putting significant effort into the platform and it’s paying dividends. According to a study performed by 99Firms, 15-25 percent of people swipe up on a link in branded Stories, compared to an average click-through rate of 0.9 percent for Facebook advertisements. Instagram Stories’ advertisement engagement and website traffic is unmatched amongst other social media advertisements.

Even with all of this success, there is still room for growth. 99Firms goes on to say that Instagram Stories only account for 34 percent of Instagram’s sponsored content. That means marketers are still focusing their advertising dollars on Instagram posts, which doesn’t generate the amount of return as Stories. This leaves the door open for savvy advertisers to dedicate more spend to the medium that is offering the most value.

With an ROI rarely seen in the social media marketing landscape, there is ample opportunity for advertisers to generate sales via Instagram Stories. If your business wants to start leveraging the power of Instagram Stories, contact the social media experts at Aronson Advertising. Our team is in tune with the latest trends, data, and opportunities to help your business drive sales. To get a small taste of our strategies, find us on Facebook, Instagram (@AronsonAdvertising), and Twitter (@AronsonAds) or contact us directly at (847) 297-1700.

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