Strategy

How Stories Can Help You Promote Your Brand

Louai Nasser

Jan 23, 2019

Last month, Facebook revealed that it had reached an impressive 300m daily active users for Facebook and Messenger Stories combined, so you can imagine the potential reach that advertising on this placement can have. Of course, the Stories format has also become very popular on other Facebook-owned platforms such as Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status. We discuss how Stories can play a strong role in creating and increasing brand awareness.

Updated on 13/5/2019

The statistics and figures mentioned in this blog are based on research conducted by Facebook’s IQ-commissioned Ipsos survey. Over 18,000 people between the ages of 13 and 54 across 12 countries (US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, France, Germany, UK, Australia, India, Indonesia, Philippines & Thailand) who use Stories on at least one of Facebook’s owned apps, were surveyed.

Everyone loves stories

In case anyone needed a quick recap, Stories are visual (video or photo) status updates posted by users on either Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp that disappear after 24 hours. And as we revealed to you a couple of months ago, Facebook followed in Instagram’s footsteps as they confirmed the monetisation of the Stories format by allowing advertisers to place advertisements within them. Not long after that, WhatsApp confirmed it would also start hosting ads for its Stories (known as Status on WhatsApp), although it is not yet clear when this will be.

However, when it comes to Facebook, Messenger and Instagram, Stories have proven to be very effective when it comes to creating and strengthening relationships with brands as well as driving sales. In fact, nearly 70% of respondents revealed that they use stories on at least three or more apps at least once a week. This not only confirms the success and popularity of this format, but clearly shows the potential impact that advertising within the format can have on viewers.

And bearing in mind that there are an impressive 300 million daily active users for both Facebook and Messenger Stories combined, you can understand why advertisers spotted a goldmine of an opportunity in this recently added ad format. That’s without even mentioning the fact that Instagram recently revealed that its stories format is being used by more than 400 million users every day!

How stories can drive shopping & sales

What’s special about the stories format is that it offers people the opportunity to truly express themselves in a creative way, giving viewers the chance to experience a peak into their lives whilst presenting users with the sense of being part of a larger community where people can create their own stories as well as watch those of their friends and families.

That being said, it is also the perfect opportunity for brands to engage with their customers and vice versa. This interaction with brands can help create long-lasting relationships between brands and their customers. And there are many ways in which a brand can approach this engagement between itself and its viewers.

Offer viewers a glance into a brand’s behind-the-scenes action, show how a particular product is made, discover new products and services or present users with tips and tricks and how your product or service can be best used. It’s the perfect opportunities to tell your viewers engaging stories and the possibilities are endless!

So what do people think about using stories to connect with their brands?

  • 69% of respondents agree that using stories is a great way for people to get to know a brand’s products and services better
  • 62% said their interest in a brand or product has increased since seeing it in one of the stories
  • 31% claimed that in the future, they will be even more likely to use stories in order to connect to brand that they like

A final golden tip for brands looking to create engaging stories content for their viewers is considering the fact that many people watch stories without sound. In fact, Instagram’s research proved that 40% of Instagram Stories with video content are watched without any sound. This means it’s crucial for content creators to either ensure that a video can be fully understood and watched without sound or they can choose to add captions or overlays to it.

How have people taken action after seeing a brand or a product in stories?

Upon seeing a story on one of the social media platforms, there’s a number of ways in which viewers can act on what they’ve watched. Sampling answers from respondents across all 12 aforementioned countries, we stumbled upon some interesting findings.

Most people (56%) concluded that the action they’re most likely to undertake after viewing such a story is browsing through the brand’s website in order to get more information about a specific product or service.

Exactly half of the respondents explained that it will lead them to start looking up the exact product or service they saw in the story in order to see where they could purchase it.

Meanwhile, 38% will start talking to someone about the product or service they’ve seen advertised in the story with 34% actually making the effort to visit a shop so they can physically see the product or service that is on offer.

These statistics clearly demonstrate that stories can have a strong influence on viewers’ decision-making process, encouraging them to take action with the help of engaging and interactive visuals.

What kind of stories do people want from brands?

According to the results obtained from Facebook’s research, there a number of elements that really help in catching viewers’ attention whilst they watch stories. We’ve narrowed it down to the five most important elements, helping us understand what it is that people want kind of content people like to see from stories.

The following results are based on the average results across all 12 aforementioned countries.

So what types of stories do people want to see from their favourite brands?

  • 51% want stories that feature sales & promotions
  • 51% prefer stories that are short, quick and easy to understand
  • 45% like stories that offer viewers tips, tricks & advice
  • 44% want to see new products or services to be introduced in stories
  • 43% like stories that feel real to them

Other kinds of content such as stories that manage to inspire viewers or stories about events that are particularly relevant to the viewer (concert, festival, shows etc.) are also quite popular despite failing to make the top five list of things people want to see in their favourite brands’ stories.

Facebook’s survey has shown that people enjoy viewing content from different brands in stories, whilst viewers have proven to be quite responsive to engaging content as it helps brands drive sales whilst strengthening their relationship with their customers. The Stories format has become a vital component of many brands’ social media strategies and the statistics laid out above convincingly prove why this is the case. Keep your stories content fresh and constantly up to date with new products, deals and special offers and determine what type of content your target audience is most likely to respond to.

Effective tips for advertising on Stories

Check out these key tips to help you get started with advertising on Facebook & Instagram Stories.

  • Add a strong and encouraging Call to Action (CTA) and use actionable keywords such as ‘Free’; ‘Sign Up Now’; ‘Create Account’; ‘Limited Offer’ etc.
  • Use high-quality content, focus on videos as these have the best engagement rates
  • Add sound to your Stories ad, although make sure the message can be understood without it too
  • Promote a special offer, limited edition or discount
  • Make it appealing from the first second, viewers have a short attention span
  • Keep your ad short, sweet and powerful
  • Make sure your brand name is visible within the ad
  • Keep Facebook’s ad specs in mind

Want to start creating Facebook and Instagram Stories with the help of a Facebook Marketing Partner? Need some help shaping up your social media strategy? Don’t miss out and sign up to our free two-week trial with no strings attached. No credit card required!

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