You may think that Instagram is just for the cool kids. This couldn’t be less true.
Because everyone loves a good story. (Btw…we think you are one of the cool kids!)
Instagram stories let “you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.”
Instagram is a creative and powerful way to connect with your audience.
Using its short-form video could not only help you reach your key demographic but make you an unforgettable brand.
With Instagram, storytelling becomes a way to engage your customers on a daily basis, building out an empathetic, dynamic customer relationship.
Did you know that research shows that 65% of the population are visual learners? This means that in order to retain or process any information, folks actually have to be able to see it. (Think movie watching vs. book reading.)
Even better, Lisa Cron, author of Wired for Story, says that our brains are wired for stories – a good one can cause your brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that “plays a role as a “reward center” and in many body functions, including memory, movement, motivation, mood, attention and more.”
Stories trigger all the good stuff in our minds.
Three great reasons to fold Instagram Stories into your marketing strategy would be having that daily connection with your customoers, getting immediate feedback on products and services, and growing your audience.
Interested yet? Keep reading!
1. You Have a Daily Connection with Your Customers
Have you ever been in the middle of a great book and can’t put it down? Or found yourself caught up in a cliffhanger at the end of show dying to know what is going to happen next? Us, too.
Instagram Stories are a creative way that your customers keep getting drawn into your stories. Whether you are posting info about your latest services, video footage of your partnership wtih a local foodbank, or teaching a stimulating lesson about something that is company-related, you keep your audience coming back for more.
Since your IG story disappears after 24 hours, your customers want to keep checking in, seeing what the latest news is, engaging with your daily content.
National Geographic has this down to a science. With over 230 million followers they may know a think or two about epic storytelling, Nat Geo has used IG to further their storytelling tradition, engaging its followers with mini-docs. Each day you can check in with their story by clicking on their logo.
A different photographer shares a powerful tale of what is going on in the world through breathtaking cinematography and compelling audio.
Have you ever heard of chinampas in Mexico? No? Neither had I until I watched Nat Geo’s IG story.
They are the natural wetlands that have sustained food production in Mexico for hundreds of years, developed as floating gardens by the Aztecs. Although chinamperos (farmers) have struggled to maintain their place in the food chain over the last century, the pandemic ushered in a new push towards traditional farming. Fascinating, right?
Readers engage with these stories on emotional levels. At the end of the story, they have the option to click on a link to find out more. (Long live the chinampas!)
More engagement. More connection.
You may not have a word-class videographer at your fingertips. But you do have a unique story and vision to share with your customers.
What is the latest break-through you have had at your company?
How are you impacting your community with non-profit partnerships?
How are you aiding your customers and making their lives better?
These are the types of stories that create a daily connection with your followers.
And even better – you get moment by moment response, finding out exactly what your audience thinks about the great work that you are doing.
2. You Get Immediate Feedback
Did you know that you can add a poll feature into your Instagram Story with an interactive sticker?
You can use it as a fun tool to engage with your customers (Are you a coffee or tea kind of guy/gal? Why?) The open ended “why” prompts your customers to respond in the comments.
Or you can use the tool as a focus group to help steer your latest social media marketing campaign. (Do you like watching behind-the-scenes workplace videos or taking interactive quizzes better? Why?)
Nat Geo used the polling feature to have their followers vote on their favorite photo from the last decade. The winner? A photo featuring Joseph Wachira caring for the last male northern white rhino in Sudan, moments before his death. It stole the hearts of followers. They responded with over 950,000 likes.
Not only did the heart-felt poll build a sense of community, it unveiled the empathy of the followers. The poll was a window into the minds of the Nat Geo customer.
- They care about the world around them.
- They want to conserve the beauty and majesty of the planet.
- They feel connected to living creatures.
All of these these qualities tie in with the National Geographic brand and their mission to conserve the beauty of the earth. Not only did this photo touch the hearts of the followers but gave those followers an opportunity to share the pathos of this photo with their social connections.
IG stories are a great way for your audience to expose their friends and followers to your passion and mission, enabling you to reach a new audience.
3. Reach a New Audience
Sharing your highlights and wins can create a deeper connection with your customers. Inviting them to participate in your stories is also an invitation for their friends and social connections to experience what you are about and how your business is impacting the world.
At @natgeoyourshot, National Geographic invites amateurs and professional photographers alike to get in on their storytelling action. The invitation is open ended:
“National Geographic’s photography community is now on Instagram at @NatGeoYourShot. Please follow us there for the latest photos from the community and tag your photos #YourShotPhotographer for a chance to be featured.”
Is there anything better for a photographer than to have a Nat Geo credit?
How many folks do you think the winner’s are connected to?
With this type of contest, exposure to new customers and followers are exponential.
With each IG Story photo contest, Nat Geo is widening its reach and engaging a larger audience. They are using their love of photography and storytelling to build out new connections in a natural and creative way.
What are some ways that you could engage your followers to invite their friends to see how your company is making an impact?
How can you highlight the creativity of your audience?
Are you using your IG Stories as an opportunity to fling a wider net and engage new customers?
Your stories could be just the thing to take your company’s reach to the next level.
We Would Love to Tell Your Story
You may be a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of launching your own IG marketing campaign. Maybe you don’t have the hours or manpower to invest in this type of creative storytelling.
Don’t sweat it! That’s what we are here for.
CCB would love to partner with you in your Instagram marketing campaign. Impactful stories? Check!
Engaging polls? Yes, please.
A wider reach? Absolutely.
Let us help you tell your story, engaging the hearts and minds of your customers. Together we can build out a social media strategy that will wow your followers and engage a new audience.