• Camilla Gould

Get creative with your Instagram Stories

Updated: Jul 3

Since their launch in August of 2016, Instagram stories have gone from strength to strength, stopping Snapchat in its tracks and elevating Instagram from a curated, formal photo sharing platform, to an all-round social superpower. The new feature allowed users to upload photos or videos which vanish after a 24hr period.

It didn’t take long for innovative brands to start taking advantage of new opportunities to connect and engage with their audiences in a way that was previously not possible on this platform, and with regular addition of new features, such as stickers, editing tools, filters and gifs, it looks like the possibilities will be endless.

By November 2017, Instagram Stories topped 300 Million daily users, with the feature encouraging users to remain on the platform longer than ever before. With this in mind, it’s hard to ignore the success and potential that lies within this feature. We've highlighted a few key areas that brands should be looking into to achieve a successful Instagram Stories strategy.

Broaden Your Content Horizons

One of the most notable achievements of the introduction of Instagram’s Stories feature has been the freedom it has afforded brands to take a step back from the curation process and have a lot more fun. The aesthetic of Instagram’s grid feature has always meant that brands have been hesitant to share rough and ready, behind the scenes and fun content, for fear that it will result in a scruffy and unappealing feed.

Now, you can share photos and videos that would not previously have made the cut. Not only does this mean that perfectly good content is no longer going to waste, but it allows you to connect with your audience on a more personal level. This type of behind the scenes, live action content gives consumers a far more intimate insight into how your business works, and the people behind it, with the Highlights feature giving you the option of saving these stories for your followers to view anytime.

Go Live

Video content is king on social media, and Instagram is no different. Instagram’s live video feature combines the popularity of video content with the exciting and engaging quality of live video. This is the perfect opportunity for brands attending a trade event, hosting a wine tasting or launching a new product. Your followers will be notified when your live video starts, immediately encouraging them to check out your account and take a peek at what you’re up to, using that true-to-life style of content that has made Stories such a hugely popular feature.

Time for a takeover

Working with influencers is widely acknowledged as a fantastic way of reaching new key audiences and improving your overall brand awareness and authority, which when combined with Instagram stories can be a match made in heaven.

Invite an influencer to visit your vineyard, a trade show or wine tasting event and have them take control of your Instagram channel to document their experience. Not only will this attract a swathe of their own followers, but it will provide your existing fans with fresh and exciting content that they are more likely to engage with. Pair this with a special offer code or promotion for your influencer to push out, and you’re likely to see sales being given a healthy boost.

Ask and you shall receive

Instagram’s latest Questions stickers are a godsend for brands if used correctly. This feature allows you to request that your followers ask a question and gives you as a brand or individual the ability to respond directly to it on your story reel.

This feature is a fantastic tool to communicate directly with your audience and position yourself as a ‘human’ brand, as well as receiving unprecedented feedback directly from your fans.

Take advantage of this feature as an opportunity to position your brand and its leaders as industry experts. Host a Q&A with your CEO, or an educational series featuring wine pairings, informative wine tips and tricks and plenty more.

Instagram Stories offer such a wide range of features, stickers and possibilities that it really is up to you and your brand to maximise on their potential. Your own creativity is the only limitation when it comes to designing and sharing engaging content, so have fun!

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