Written by Michael Del Gigante
Social media marketing is constantly evolving, and just as brands are starting to excel in the options available, another exciting marketing tool enters the scene. Stories have arrived as a powerful, creative tool for engaging audiences.
Originated by Snapchat and soon adopted by other social media networks, the story format permits users to post vertical, mixed-media pieces that vanish in 24 hours. Stories are similar to traditional posts, but have a unique structure that differentiates them.
Despite their popularity, understanding how to best incorporate stories has been challenging for brands. Some marketers avoid using them altogether because they don’t understand how to incorporate them into their content strategy—which could ultimately cause a setback.
So, why should stories be a key component of your social media strategy? Here are 10 reasons why MDG Advertising’s social media specialists say stories are worth adding:
1. Social Media Users Love Stories
While new to marketers, stories are very popular among today’s social media users. TechCrunch data showed that 450 million users posted stories on WhatsApp throughout 2018, while 300 million shared stories on Instagram. Stories also are popular on Facebook and Snapchat, with 191 million and 150 million stories posted, respectively.
2. Stories Are Highly Visible
If you’ve scrolled though social media networks recently, you may have noticed that stories are located in the top section on many platforms. This is especially important on mobile devices, since stories are often what a user sees first. Plus, users can auto-play stories, which show posts one immediately after another.
3. Stories Help Brands Get Noticed
Have you avoided adding stories to your brand’s marketing strategy? If so, it may be time to reconsider. While social media is full of traditional marketing posts, stories still haven’t been fully adopted. This means that the brands that do incorporate stories will stand out from the rest.
4. Stories Are Key to Influencer Marketing
Want to engage in influencer marketing? Then it’s time to embrace stories. As shown in recent statistics from klear, about 33 percent of 2018’s sponsored influencer posts were stories. This year, that number is predicted to rise.
5. Story Posts Engage Younger Customers
One group has largely adopted the story format—young consumers. VidMob research revealed that over two-thirds of Gen Z consumers in the United States use stories on Instagram and Snapchat. Millennials have also shown an interest in stories, with 53 percent using them on Snapchat and 58 percent sharing Instagram stories. This means that brands hoping to connect with young demographics should start utilizing stories now.
6. Stories Are Designed for the Right Now
Marketers have long been skeptical of the vanishing nature of stories, wondering whether it was worth investing in content that would disappear. However, its temporary nature has advantages: stories are ideal for well-timed pieces, like special offers and events. They are lower maintenance in terms of content creation, too, since consumers don’t expect stories to be perfectly crafted.
7. Stories are Mobile-Friendly
Social media content originated during the days of analog, first appearing on desktop computers. Stories, on the other hand, were created specifically for mobile. Their mobile-friendliness can be seen in their vertical configuration, as well as their interface that encourages swipes and taps. This establishes stories for ongoing effectiveness, since mobile devices drive more than 50 percent of online traffic.
8. Stories Aren’t Just Organic
Stories can be organic, but they also can be paid posts. Most of the top social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, have incorporated story-centric ad formats. Plus, additional paid options should be available before long.
9. Stories Have Multiple Capabilities
The casual, off-the-cut format of a story masks and important fact: stories are highly sophisticated marketing tools. Stories allow brands to incorporate multiple inactive elements, including filters and polls. Marketers can link to external websites, social media accounts, and products. These features can be used simultaneously, creating compelling pieces.
10. Stories Spark Creativity
Why have stories engaged audiences? One key reason is that they’re unlike any other content available today—and they’re fun. Stories are designed for the here and now, they’re completely mobile-friendly, and they incorporate a variety of useful tools. With stories, marketers can get creative and provide a fresh take on social media marketing.
About Michael Del Gigante, CEO of MDG Advertising
In 1999, CEO Michael Del Gigante founded MDG Advertising, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Boca Raton, Florida and Brooklyn, New York. With his unique insight and decades of industry experience, he turned what was once a traditional ad agency into an integrated branding firm based on an innovative 360-degree marketing philosophy that provides a full spectrum of traditional and digital advertising services.