March 19, 2019

Instagram Stories: a tool for selfies or digital marketing?

If you read our blog post last week, or generally like to know what’s going on over at Facebook HQ (us too), then you know that Facebook recently reported $16.6 billion in ad revenue. According to the fourth quarter report of 2018, its average price of an ad decreased 2 percent, while ad impressions were up 34 percent.

While Facebook can no doubt thank its namesake’s ad integration for a decent chunk of this revenue, Instagram ads and Stories are responsible for much of the impression growth.

Currently, almost half a billion people use Instagram Stories, a feature similar to Snapchat that creates a feed of temporary photos and videos that disappear 24 hours after being posted.

What does this mean for businesses looking to utilize Facebook ad services?

On average, one in five Instagram Stories receives a direct message response. And when a potential customer or client reaches out to your business, that’s a lead — a key metric for measuring your business’s marketing success.

With decreased ad prices, increased ad impressions, and a growing demand and trend for video content, Instagram Stories are a great ad alternative for businesses with a stronger Instagram presence or who are looking to specifically grow their Instagram voice.

Let’s take a look at the features you can use with Instagram Stories to create authentic content that drives attention and action for your business.

Engaging, motion graphics

Most, if not every, image your audience scrolls through will be a standard, flat 2D image. 

Instagram Stories lets you experiment with live and standard video, gifs (known as Boomerangs), stop motion, and different kinds of filters or effects. Trying something unique and creative with your video is an opportunity to make your audience stop and click.


Hashtags are key to helping prospects find your content, whether you’re promoting a local event or gauging a niche interest.

Instagram Stories lets you type in a hashtag, or username, onto your image or video, place it however inconspicuously you’d like, and lets users discover it as they would other tagged images or videos from their regular feed.

There’s also the opportunity to geo-tag your content by dropping location pins, similarly to hashtags, onto your image or video. If your audience can see you’re posting live from your event, or your business’s newest location, it can encourage them to follow or learn more.

Interactive social content

At the end of the day, the best content is the one that users interact with. Instagram Stories offers a few different options for user interaction: stickers, polls, questions, and swipes.

Stickers, polls, and questions are all applied to your Story image or video much like a hashtag or location pin, except you can choose how you’d like to frame the content. You can create polls to gauge user’s interest in your product, or ask questions to gain specific feedback from your audience. The best part? You can see each user’s specific response!

Watch our latest #TechTipTuesday video to learn how to best utilize Instagram Stories stickers for your business.

Performance analytics

Just like the original Instagram feed, Instagram Stories offers analytics for business profiles. You do have to initiate this in your business profile settings, but once you’ve started, the Stories data will be displayed with the rest of your Instagram Insights.

If you’ve ever thought about using Instagram Stories for business, this is the time! With sleek, user-friendly features and a driving force behind Facebook’s 2018 fourth quarter ad revenue, Instagram Stories are as practical a strategy as they are fun.

Ready to get started with Instagram Stories? Check back next week or follow us for seven Instagram Story ideas for your brand.