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Social Media Stories : The Next Frontier for Brand Marketing

Posted on 11.02.18 by Suraj Bajpai

Their has been a seismic shift in how marketing is being done these days in comparison to how it was being done just a decade back. With the democratization of technology and high speed internet consumers are engaging with brands 24*7 thus requiring the brands to be one step ahead in the game to come out as winners. One type of content which has gained huge traction in this hyper-techno environment is Visual content.

Visual Content today has become important and more powerful, now more than ever. Social Media Stories is one of the best example of Visual Content that has become indispensable part of a brands Content Marketing Strategy. Their increasing demand shows that humans today have a bigger urge to be on social media and share a glimpse of their daily lives through images and videos with their community of friends, family and acquaintances.

While there has been an increase in usage of Stories on social media today, news feeds on Social Media are witnessing a huge decline in their popularity at the same time. This behavioural shift shows an interesting change in our social media consumption patterns. Stories across all popular platforms are turning more popular year over year that brings out a big question; will social media news feeds disappear over time or are they here to stay?

In a Digital Marketing Conference earlier this year Mark Zuckerberg was heard admitting the growth of Stories. "Another important shift that we’re seeing across the industry is the growth of Stories. We expect Stories are on track to overtake posts in feeds as the most common way that people share across all social apps. That’s because Stories is a better format for sharing multiple quick video clips throughout your day. The growth of Stories will have an impact on how we build products and think about our business, including WhatsApp and Instagram, which are the #1 and #2 most-used Stories products in the world" he said.

It seems like Facebook has been aware of this technology shift when they acquired WhatsApp and Instagram which was a part of their gameplan to catch up with the rise of messaging and mobile visual content. Does that mean that we’re heading towards a new era in social media. Here are some stats that indicate that there’s an interesting shift that's taking place. These insights can help us gain a better understanding of where social media is heading and most importantly, how can we as a part of this digital age keep up with this change. According to a recent survey conducted by BLOCKPARTY it was estimated that:

  • There are currently over 970 million accounts who post their everyday Stories on Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Facebook Messenger.
  • According to the survey estimate, there will be more than 1 billion social accounts using Stories by the end of the year 2018.
  • When it comes to projection facts Facebook has also predicted that Stories would surpass the sharing rate of news feeds in the year 2019.

How Instagram and Snapchat have contributed to this trend?

Snapchat has been the pioneer to introduce social media stories in the visual content marketing domain. They've been the source of inspiration for introducing this trend that took over all the big social platforms by the storm. The Snapchat Stories gained the popularity among the younger demographics that brought a rise in the creation of an ephemeral content through different verticals through video narratives that hiked their popularity.

According to the recent stats shared by these social media platforms, it was estimated that 81% of their daily users post Social Media Stories. With their pioneer idea of sharing social media stories, it was Snapchat’s core decision to have a camera feature at the centre of the app’s that focuses on attracting its users to create stories every bit, fortunately, the idea brought this gradual growth resulting in an increasing number of users on their platform which is imitated by many apps now.

However, the credit for taking this trend to the next level goes to Instagram as they introduced this feature to a larger audience in comparison to Snapchat. There are currently more than 300 million daily user Stories on Instagram, which accounts for 60% of its audience. When it comes to businesses, more than 50% of them create Instagram Stories each month and this statistic is expected to increase over the next months.

How businesses are using Instagram Stories ?

According to a recent survey that was conducted it was observed that “Only 79% of the businesses that are on Instagram were posting Stories, while only 97% of them posted on their newsfeeds” which meant that certainly, the brands on Instagram are actively exploring that how Stories can be a part of their social media marketing strategy. The survey concluded that on an average the posting frequency for these Stories has been somewhere around 2.9 Stories per week, while these brands, on an average had 8 posts per Story during this period.

Also, the posting strategies seemed to be a little different as they depend on the type of industry of the brand which is leveraging Social Media Stories. This essentially means that the posting strategies may seem to be different depending on the type of isndustry of each brand, which implies that if you haven’t experimented yet with the Stories for your business, you can surely seek for an inspiration from any and every other company in your industry to find the sweet spot for your audience. It’s indispensable for brands to start experimenting with the visual content and incorporate photography, design, videography in amplifying the core messaging of the brand.

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