• Vivien Chew

Responses to Instagram Story Nay-sayers

Instagram Stories - let’s be real, you’ve often wondered how to justify the media spend on a deliverable that lasts for only 24-hours. Often feeling lost on how to reply to your client’s query on whether Instagram Stories are worth the media investment, here are some responses that we’ve prepared to wow your clients.

RESPONSE 1: ‘Because it's more organic!’

We’ve all been down the road of trying to approach influencer branded content more organically. Often, they perform better than hard-sell approaches and draw on the strength of an influencer’s personality. However, we are also often at a cross-road of trying to balance the fine line of getting the branded message across.

With Instagram Stories, we are in a position where we can edge towards a more organic approach because the nature of the 24-hour deliverable is that it is meant to provide a more spontaneous experience - an essence often found in organic content. The rise of Instagram Story (who found its inspiration from Snapchat) is also attributed to the richer story-telling experience that it can provide. As such, attempt to replicate similar experiences when leveraging on branded Instagram Story content. A favourite saying that we’ve heard advocating for Instagram Story: they are gone in just 24-hours, just like that cake you love! Yet, if you have cake delivered to you everyday, you may not like it as much. So the key here is to replicate that feeling of finding that unexpected piece of cake in your Instagram Stories.

RESPONSE 2: ‘Shorter does not always mean impact’

Each Instagram Story deliverable lasts for 15-seconds - though it is possible to also extend the content by combining a series of Instagram Stories. Assuming we are working within the 15-seconds time frame, we only have exactly that 15-seconds to deliver our branded message across. That’s not a lot of time!

However, the duration of delivery does not necessarily mean impact. What we refer to here as ‘impact’ is the effectiveness of delivering the brand’s message, creating awareness, or even driving purchase intent. Rather, the success of impactful Instagram Stories relies on the unique message that we curate within the small time frame. Here, it is important to take note of some considerations when crafting that message:

  • Determine the most important message you want to communicate & keep it to a maximum of 2 key messages. Consider in your own capacity the amount of information you yourself can ‘absorb’ within 15-seconds

  • Keep the message clear & concise, you can even be brutally direct if you want to! Try playing around the ‘elevator pitch’ style of communicating your message

  • Visuals should be attention grabbing: play with colours, gifs and animations to encourage the audiences to pay attention

RESPONSE 3: ‘There’s plenty of traffic on Instagram Stories’

We each have our own preference on how we choose to enjoy our social media time. Within the Instagram platform itself, there are two main experiences: vertical (Instagram Feed) and horizontal (Instagram Stories). Each to their own preference and neither is better than the other.

While receiving some resistance during the early days of Instagram Stories’ implementation, the use of it is commonplace today. Today, approximately 70% of Instagram’s users are on Instagram Story rolls and it also helps that the rolls are placed at the top of the feed when you first enter the Instagram app. With these pointers in mind, we believe that it is only prudent that brands who choose to create and maintain a presence on Instagram also invest in both Instagram Story and Instagram Feed deliverables, to capture as many audiences as possible. As such, do not discount the traffic that is on the Instagram Story roll!

RESPONSE 4: ‘Stories are engaging and interactive’

Over the years of its implementation, Instagram Stories has grown with the audience’s demand to be engaged and interacted with. Where it used to carry a more one-way communication, especially for platforms with larger follower base, several functions on Instagram Stories are uniquely curated to enable a closer interaction between platform and audience: such as polls, Ask Me questions, and recently added, ‘Support Local’ tags.

Adding the right function and cues on Instagram Story can increase the interaction of audiences with the content - thereby giving a deeper connection between the message and its audience. It encourages audiences to pay closer attention to the cues presented in the branded message and additionally, also serves as an additional success measurement metrics to gauge the level of audience’s engagement with the content curated. However, be cautious in curating your engagement with audiences and provide them with the ‘freedom’ to respond - steer away from engagements that would otherwise make audiences feel ‘cornered’.

So, there you have it! Short as it may be the duration of your messaging to your audiences, Instagram Stories have an important role to play in multi-layered communication. Where it lacks in terms of its longevity, it takes the stage of its interactivity and impact.