Instagram Stories Make a Marketer’s Dreams Come True

For many people, we wake up with a standard routine that (for better or worse), which typically includes scrolling through our countless social media profiles to see what we missed in the few hours we were asleep.

Many know that each platform has unique features that can only be found within their respective apps. Facebook is the all around general social media for keeping up with everyone in your life; Instagram is a visual hub of creative content and selfies from last night; Twitter is that friend broadcasting every thought that pops into their head every five minutes; and Snapchat is the place of self destructing visual content that vanishes within 24 hours. They each have their own purpose and uses – at least until this past week.

Instagram unveiled a feature that felt a little bit too familiar. Sadly, it looked like an identical copy of Snapchat Stories and ironically, it’s called Instagram Stories. The feature also has a time element to it: photos and videos disappear after 24 hours.

It begs the question…is this legal?

It is. The idea of video on a social media isn’t proprietary to anyone, however, no one is actually trying to “steal” anything. During a talk with TechCrunch, Instagram’s CEO said, “Snapchat pioneered a lot of this format. Whole parts of the concept, the implementation, down to the details. Totally…They deserve all the credit.”

So what does this mean for Snapchat? In all honesty, not much from the general user standpoint. But it does mean a lot for marketers: Instagram Stories is tapping into a potential that brands weren’t able to do on the platform before and that is to reach more of their followers faster.

.gif courtesy of TechCrunch
.gif courtesy of TechCrunch

Snapchat, without a doubt, has gotten a huge wave of attention with 150 million daily active users. However, Instagram has double the users. In addition, Instagram is a community filled with users who are interested in brands and what they are doing on social media. Snapchat, on the other hand, is more of a platform to see things happening live with our favorite brands, such as behind the scenes photoshoots and commercials to exclusive 24 hour deals. There’s probably a great following of people who enjoy that kind of content, but there’s more interested in the overall brand. Which is why Instagram Stories is so appealing to marketers.

Companies like Coca-Cola, Sephora, Nike, and others have already spent the time racking up millions upon millions of followers on Instagram with their following on Snapchat being significantly (assumingly) less. Why start over on a new platform when you can instantly reach your followers in a brand new way on a platform they already chose to follow you on? The choice is simple.

The same idea goes for celebrities and social influencers on Instagram: Instagram Stories allow them to reach more of their followers faster and easier which brings the question: why wouldn’t they utilize the feature? I would even go as far as saying marketers and brands are missing out on a great opportunity if they aren’t utilizing this feature.
Are you using Instagram Stories for something interesting? Do you have a creative approach to using social media to provide real time content to your consumers? Talk to us! We’d love to hear your story.