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How coronavirus cemented Instagram Stories as a key marketing tactic

by Hester Bates

18 June 2020 10:28am

Instagram Stories have been a much-loved feature of Instagram since the photo-sharing app rolled them out in August 2016. However, since the coronavirus outbreak began, Instagram Stories have become even more popular, with daily views on Instagram Stories jumping 21% in the middle of March.

Stories captured our attention at the peak of the coronavirus outbreak, and have since been keeping us entertained during the pandemic. As we tuned out of our day to day lives, we tuned in to creator-led content on Stories that gave us lockdown inspiration, challenged us to fun daily tasks, and gave us an insight into the unfiltered lives of our favourite creators.

Coronavirus has made social media a much more intimate place, and Instagram Stories provide the perfect arena for that stream of genuine content that we’re all craving during this time. People have been opening up their lives in new ways on social media, and since we’ve all been stuck at home, there has been nowhere to hide! More than ever, consumers are looking for authenticity and Instagram Stories encourage and allow creators to authentic content that meets this demand.

We’re looking at why Instagram Stories have been so popular, and how brands are using them to reach their target audience during coronavirus and beyond.

They’re Less Edited And, Therefore, More Authentic

Instagram posts often present a picture-perfect insight into someone’s life. While this kind of content may be beautiful, it may not clearly demonstrate reality. Stories on the other hand are a much less edited style of content, that allows for authentic relationships between creator and follower to flourish.

During coronavirus, this authentic style of content is what people have been crying out for since so many of us are going through a lot of emotions during this time. The last thing we want to see is someone showing off their perfect lifestyle when in reality we all know that no one is ‘living the dream’ right now.

This less edited way of connecting to an audience has brought consumers a lot closer to creators and brands. With more time on their hands, creators have been able to engage more fully with their audience on Stories, and project an accurate depiction of what life in the time of corona is actually like.

Creators And Brands Have A Moral Obligation To Guide During Corona, And Stories Aid This

Creators and brands alike have a moral obligation to be creating content that encourages people to take the right actions during this time. Stories allow brands and creators to become a voice of reason and guidance during these times of uncertainty, which has again built a relationship of trust between creator and consumer.

Many people look to brands and creators for guidance on the latest advice, and Stories are the best way to keep people up to date, due to their real-time nature. Instagram Stories allow regular updates to keep people in the loop with what’s going on, and Instagram has even added stickers like the ‘Stay Home’ sticker as part of their commitment to keeping people safe and informed.

This has made Stories an invaluable feature and has strengthened the bond between creators and their audience as we all look to Stories for quick, real-time updates.

Instagram Stories Added Features To Help People Feel Connected

During the Coronavirus outbreak, in a time when people wanted nothing more than to feel connected, Instagram Stories have been able to bridge that gap between creator and audience. Not only is the authentic content style of Stories a key strength, but the features and add-ons have made it a great success during this time too.

In the time of lockdown, people were craving connection to other humans, and things like polls, music, filters, and tagging challenges that occurred on Instagram Stories has made that connection possible. The connectivity of the Instagram Story and their ability to elicit a reaction within their audience is one of the key reasons that they are likely to thrive way beyond the lockdown period.

Why Should Brands Consider Instagram Stories?

The Coronavirus outbreak has solidified the importance of Instagram Stories in content strategies, however, the rise of Instagram Stories should be considered a key marketing tactic moving forward too.

There are a few reasons for this:

Nearly 1.7 billion accounts use the Stories format daily and 86.6% of Instagrammers post on Instagram Stories. If you want to ensure that people are posting about your brand as well as simply viewing your content, encouraging the use of Instagram Stories to talk about your brand is a sure-fire way to run more successful social campaigns.

15%–25% of people swipe up on a link in branded Stories. Not only are people using stories to create, but they are also looking to purchase from their favourite brands, and with the ease of the swipe up feature, Instagram Stories are the perfect way to get your audience navigating their way to your website.

They help you create authentic content that will resonate with your audience during coronavirus and beyond. Branded Instagram Stories and collaborative Stories with top creators, offer your brand the chance to build a community that will strengthen the relationship with your target audience.

2020 appears to be the year that Instagram Stories have really peaked. And we predict that their use as a key marketing tactic will only continue to grow. Whilst other streams like main feed posts, IGTV, and Lives have also seen an increase in usage, we believe that Stories will remain a key part of the mix throughout coronavirus and beyond.

Learn more about what we do at Influencer today, or discover the ways that Instagram Live has flourished over the past few months too, in our recent article from CEO Ben Jeffries.