As a marketing consultant who has helped dozens of small businesses increase revenue through social media, I‘ve seen firsthand how impactful Instagram Stories can be. Here‘s an in-depth look at the explosive growth of this feature and how you can capitalize on it in your content strategy.
The Rapid Rise of Instagram Stories
Since launching in 2016, Instagram Stories has become one of the app‘s most popular features.
- Over 1 billion people have posted on Instagram Stories
- More than 900 million people use Instagram Stories every day
- That means Stories sees more daily users and posts than Instagram feed and Snapchat
But why has Stories taken off so quickly?
Psychological Appeal of Stories
Research shows that the ephemeral, casual nature of Stories appeals to our innate desire for novelty and autonomy.
The 24-hour expiration gives Stories a sense of urgency and immediacy, making them more exciting to view. This triggers a fear of missing out which increases engagement.
Additionally, the off-the-cuff, behind-the-scenes aesthetic makes followers feel like they‘re getting a unique backstage pass into influencers‘ and brands‘ worlds. This makes Stories content feel more authentic and exclusive than highly curated feed posts.
Huge Marketing Potential for Businesses
With so many eyeballs turning to Instagram Stories, the marketing opportunities are tremendous.
- 60% of Instagram users say they feel more interested in a brand after seeing it in Stories
- 36% of businesses are now using Stories successfully for promotions and driving sales
"We launched a new product exclusively on Instagram Stories first. We saw a 21% increase in purchases from existing customers that same week." – Sara D., Founder of boutique home decor store Threaded Home Co.
The interactivity of Stories ads also boosts engagement. For example, Woodstuff Furniture increased Instagram Stories clicks by 5x using polls and sliders.
Best Practices for Standout Stories Content
Now that you know the immense potential of Stories, here are my top tips for creating compelling content as part of your small business marketing strategy:
Leverage Interactive Elements
Questions, polls, quizzes, and sliders grab attention and spark a two-way conversation. Dirrectly prompt followers to take action like visiting your link in bio.
Give fans a special "access all areas" look they can‘t get anywhere else, like product development, office culture, company events, etc. The inside scoop makes followers feel valued.
Cross-Promote with Feed
Tease fresh Stories content in feed posts to entice viewers. But don‘t simply repost Stories onto the feed – create complementary content.
The Bottom Line
With high usage surpassing both Snapchat and Instagram feed, Stories represent the future of social content.
Small businesses that embrace Stories early and develop an effective strategy stand to gain more leads and sales. Let your brand personality shine through fun, authentic Stories to attract new customers.
The marketing advantage is clear – over 1 billion Stories users could soon discover your products and join your brand‘s community!