Written by Charlotte McCleary

Instagram stories, launched in August 2016 and perceived by the market as a rebuttal to Snapchat, has seen phenomenal growth. The Instagram feature reported 300 million daily users in the third quarter of 2017. This was almost double their competitor’s numbers. An unexpected boon for marketers and content creators alike

With less than 15 seconds to grab the attention of Instastory users, how does a brand capitalize on this feature?

Audience engagement with instastory polls

Launched in October 2017, Insta-polls are the perfect way to get your audience talking. You can seek their opinion on anything ranging from which topics to discuss on your podcast to any segments you may wish to introduce to your show. Since they require only a click, they are a low-pressure way to get your target audience talking to you and engaging with your content.

You can add a poll to your Insta Story by swiping up and selecting the poll sticker. As a creator, watching your own story later can give you instant access to the poll results which show in percentages. Here are a few successful examples of Instagram Ads that rocked the Instagram world.

Instastory links for leads and traffic

Unlike Snapchat, Instagram Stories allows you to include a direct website link to your story. All one has to do is swipe up!

This is a game changer for any creator or marketer looking to push their product on Instagram. Instastories have a much wider reach than normal posts on the Instagram feed. With the auto-play feature, more people who may not even be your followers are able to find your stories and swipe up!

Placement optimization

One of the hard things in social media marketing is that there are a lot of platforms available on the market, making it hard to keep track of every campaign in each channel. Though each has different algorithms and guidelines, as well as different markets in different platforms, keeping a cohesive plan and strategy is one answer to this problem.

It is easier said than done, though, as social media platforms usually have different users. It is hard to monitor numerous accounts from social media sites as well, which might result in campaigns getting out of hand. Most of the time, marketers who are using different platforms ask for help from third-party apps. Procter and Gamble’s SK-II tested the Instagram Stories with the same campaign in Instagram and Facebook. According to Instagram, the campaign “achieved a brand lift of +13pts for its new product and +30% reach among its target audience of females in Japan aged 18-54 versus running on Instagram and Facebook feed alone.”

This just means that adding Instagram Stories in your campaign across social media platforms is helpful for your brand. Placement optimization allows marketers to extend their campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network, which will greatly help a more cohesive campaign.

Tell stories and make use of live action

Soon after Instagram story ads launched in March 2017, Hootsuite carried out tests on the new marketing feature. One of the things they discovered is that live content is much more successful than graphic or static ads.

Insta-stories are a live-action medium, reporting what a brand is doing in real time. As a creator, they provide a prime opportunity for you to rope your audience and potential listeners into how your show is created. Be it the research or recording process, tell the story. This will boost engagement beyond any CTA or ad. This will also help your Instagram ads to reinforce brand loyalty.

Partner with other creators

Instagram takeovers have proven to be a great marketing tool increasing the audience and engagement of participating accounts.

This model works even better for Stories due to their live, uncurated feel. Over the course of 24 hours, another account or creator with similar or complementary content takes over your posts.

Be sure to choose your takeover candidates carefully, opting for people who would resonate with your audience and whose audience would love your space.

Take advantage of Insta graphics and tools

Instagram stickers, GIFs, and hashtags may seem de trop but are a great way to get your podcast discovered. Instagram users will often follow a hashtag or location sticker which is a great way for your podcast to be discovered by a new audience.

When it comes to such communally owned tools as hashtags, be careful which ones you choose to use. Do your homework and make sure it ties in with your brand identity.

Instagram is still a relatively new platform that is constantly evolving therefore, there are no straightforward answers. Whatever way you choose to use the platform for your brand, keep in mind your brand identity and always be ready to learn and unlearn.

About the Author

Charlotte McCleary is a message-centric brand strategist who works with the marketing teams of start-ups and young companies to streamline their market positioning and message. When not crafting blueprints for marketers she is a keynote speaker and personal branding coach.


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