Instagram Stories have a slideshow format and are only live for 24-hours (though they can be added to your profile as highlights, showing up on your profile even after the original Story disappears). This feature is a direct competitor to Snapchat’s Stories and is continuously being developed by Instagram.
These are some of the benefits of using Instagram Stories for brands:
- Stories are prominently displayed at the top of follower timelines just under the Instagram logo.
- They can be used to capture behind-the-scenes content that doesn’t have to be as high in quality as regular posts.
- Stories make it easy to experiment with different content types including photo, short video, Boomerang (GIF-like image), video filmed backwards (Rewind) and live video.
- Tagging other accounts, e.g. @instagram in Stories is ideal for collaborators and influencer marketing.
- Fun additions like face filters, text and stickers help you edit images on-the-go.
- Story search for hashtags and locations make them more discoverable.
- All photos and videos you add will play in the sequence they were added and you can add as many as you like.
- Instagram Stories adverts became available to all businesses globally in March 2017. You can use these to target new audiences and add CTAs to your collages which can be especially useful for promotions. Check out Single Grain’s ultimate guide to running Instagram Stories Ads for a full step-by-step guide to creating your first one.
Note that Stories are only available on the mobile app and it’s possible to send Instagram Stories as a direct message (DM). The use of social media Stories is definitely picking up and almost any brand can find a fun and engaging way to participate.