The holiday season is finally upon us and that means Starbucks’ red cups are back, as well as cheesy Christmas song parodies being featured in every other commercial. Aesthetically, we associate the holiday seasons with images of snow, wax candles burning bright, and polychromatic Christmas tree ornaments. What better platform to market holiday content than the world’s largest online visual platform?
Instagram Stories is a relatively new feature that allows individuals to post tons of content in a slideshow or video format detailing their day. These posts disappear after 24 hours, similar to how Snapchat operates. For brands, the potential to engage with customers and create a sense of urgency using Instagram Stories is unmatched by any other social media platform.
Here, we’re going to discuss how you can use Instagram Stories to drive high volume engagement over the holiday marketing season and elicit unforgettable customer connections.
Why use Instagram Stories?
With over 800 million monthly users on its platform, Instagram is the third largest social networking platform behind Facebook and Youtube. It’s been reported that an estimated 200 million users interact with Instagram Stories everyday.
Approximately 68% of Instagram users engage with brands regularly and 80% of Instagram users already follow at least one brand. With a market demographic heavily composed of 18-29 years olds, Instagram is the ideal venue to reach customers with more creative and authentic advertising. One survey found that 75% of Instagram user purchasing decisions were influenced by the platform and the people they followed on it. Being the hub of influencer marketing, Instagram is a platform heavily focused on lifestyle and creative industries.
In terms of paid media, 75% of users take action after viewing an Instagram ad. With direct view-through conversions, e-commerce platforms can optimize Instagram touchpoints to create a fairly remunerative sales funnel. Instagram Stories is just another unexplored venue where more creative marketing ideas can be implemented to create urgency for your follower community and elicit conversions using FOMO (fear of missing out).
With some clever calls-to-action, brands can increase their their social traffic from Instagram and set up their own Instagram sales funnel. This reinforces the need to create a seamless mobile experience.
Using a mix of video and photo advertising, Instagram Stories is one of the hottest platforms to engage with customers and spread your brand’s message to new audience members. The holiday season is one of the most lucrative times of year for brands to market over social media. Let’s explore some strategies you can take to market your brand and its stories this holiday season using Instagram Stories!
Ways to Encourage Engagement
The only caveat that runs with Instagram Stories is its 24 hour-only post feature. This means that posts unmet with user engagement will diminish your ROI.
Creating flash promotions and inviting people to participate in contests over Instagram Stories is a great way to encourage engagement. Encourage customers to submit user-generated content for a promotion have them submit it to you over Direct Messenger. This creates another valuable touchpoint to engage with customers directly and foster long-lasting customer relationships.
Instagram Stories is also a great platform to host polls or two-question surveys that encourage people to click on your Stories account to answer. Make the question provocative or holiday themed to gather more clicks. The great part of hosting contests and polls over Stories is that they’re time sensitive, so it encourages people to answer right away.
It’s important to keep a fresh mix of content ranging from promotions to simple entertainment on Instagram. Instagram Stories is a more intimate platform than Instagram’s general ecosphere, so brands will be viewed as inauthentic if they keep posting mindless promotions everyday.