Snapchat brought ephemeral content into the spotlight in 2011. Don’t be confused by the jargon, ephemeral content is any visual content that disappears from sight after a certain amount of time. From now on, this content will be referred to as Stories, the colloquial term. Snapchat stories are used by 20% of Americans this year, but what’s all the buzz about? Stories remove the burden of permanence, allowing users to feel safe being themselves on film. Moving forward, in 2016, Instagram launched Instagram Stories. Today, 500 million Instagram users utilize this feature.
Stories encourage content sharing and remove the necessity of content serving a lasting purpose and a publisher’s woes of perfectionism. Maybe every day details are not worthy of posting and captioning on Instagram or Facebook, but stories give users a place to share content without bounds and bonds. It is informal and authentic; the same reason why influencers are still on the rise. The disappearance of the content after 24 hours increases the sense of urgency to check and use the app regularly.
When you’re using Stories for business, you can add a few boundaries to increase engagement and ensure that you Stories tell a story. For starters, your Stories must have a beginning, middle, ending, and theme. You should also utilize the features on the channel. On Snapchat, this would be geotags and amazingly fun filters. On Instagram, you can utilize the quick polls and GIFs.
The best use of stories are to promote a product launch, show authentic behind-the-scenes footage, and promote flash sales. There are other uses of Stories and creativity should be encouraged because there is no permanence. There are less concerns about lasting impressions. It should be noted that most smart devices are capable of capturing screenshots, so professionalism should not be left at the door.
With such a quick turnaround time, some may wonder how to measure success on Stories. Both platforms allow businesses to add links to the website from the story. You can instruct viewers to “swipe up” to engage with any promotions or learn more about your brand on a landing page. This lead generation feature will directly affect your ROI.
Stories are predicted to be one of the biggest trends of 2020. Keep an eye out.
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