However, last week Instagram launched their new Stories feature, an unashamedly similar feature to Snapchat Stories, as both allow users to post photos and videos sequentially, and are available to view for 24 hours.
The key differences between the two? Instagram Stories is more user-friendly and provides instant access to the stories of the people you follow, making it easier for content creators and brands to share and display stories to their followers. That’s not to say that Snapchat should throw in the towel – one of the app’s most popular features are their humorous filters which can alter the face of the user, make them look more attractive and even swap faces with others. Snapchat is also hugely popular with the teenage demographic, who make up 86% of their user base and may prefer to remain on the more network that has yet to be adopted by their parents.
But why is this type of feature so popular with users? In a world of perfectly filtered and photoshopped images, it’s a breath of fresh air to see more raw and realistic footage of life inbetween. And for the poster, by disappearing after 24 hours it allows people to see this side without it forever existing on their account.
So how you can use the ephemeral craze to drive sales? In this week’s tips, we share four ideas.
Show the product in action
It’s one thing to write about a product, but what can help to seal the deal with a prospective customer is enabling them to see exactly how it works. Likewise if you’re a fashion blogger, you can truly show how an item of clothing looks and moves with your body in a short video clip which is harder to achieve with a photo. Make use of the filters and editing tools to inject some humour into your stories of the product, to show it in a unique way that will also demonstrate your creativity.
Build up anticipation
Have you managed to get your hands on a product that is yet to be fully released, or are you one of the first to purchase a new launch? Use stories to post teaser clips and photos that will build up anticipation for your followers. This will also help to cement your status as a tastemaker who is the first to share reviews on the latest launches, encouraging your followers to turn to you when they want more information before purchasing, as well as recommending your content to their friends.
Humans are curious by nature, so satisfy your follower’s curiosity by letting them see behind the scenes of your website. There are a number of ways you can do this. If you’re not camera shy, a great way to build a following is to show the person behind the content. Creating stories of you talking to the camera and/or showing your daily routine will allow you to build a personal connection with your followers. Ultimately this means that when it comes to making their purchases, they’ll pick someone they trust and feel engaged with.
However if you’re not comfortable with sharing your personal life online, you could show the behind-the-scenes of how you create your content. Whether that’s showing the location of where you’re taking photos and filming videos, or the tricks and tips you use to create the perfect photo, it’s another way to engage with your following that will increase their connection with you.
Encourage feedback from your followers
Both Snapchat and Instagram Stories allow your followers to respond to your story clips directly. Use this opportunity to encourage engagement and feedback. You could ask your followers to share their thoughts on the product you’ve shown, to ask for their recommendations for other products which you can then share, and to ask for requests for specific types of content.
Using Instagram and Snapchat Stories can add a new dimension to your content and brand. It can help you to engage further with your followers, creating a stronger connection that can ultimately help to drive sales. Particularly if you’re already using Instagram, give the stories feature a try and experiment with different types of posts. And don’t forget, after 24 hours the story will have disappeared anyway ;-).