Studies have shown that the average person spends 3 hours of time looking at their phone. Out of this, the average time a smartphone user spent on social media was 2 and a half hours. It is also estimated that a total of 3.8 billion people has access to and use a smartphone. This amounts to a rough 11.4 billion hours of usage per day! The modern business landscape is greatly shaped by technology and connectivity. And this global ecosystem of smartphones has become the pinnacle of advertising mediums. Television adverts and Newspaper product posters are slowly becoming obsolete. Any business that refuses to utilize social media advertising will also meet the same fate.
What is a “Story”?
Social media apps are some of the most diligently updated and revised. Since they are used by a young audience that gets easily bored, constant change is a necessity. One of the most recent features, was the addition of “Stories”. Pioneered by Snapchat, in 2013 – “Stories” were a collection of “Snaps” that the user posted over the past 24 hours. The user’s friends can then view the story as many times as they want, before 24 hours elapse. After 24 hours of adding content to a story, it is deleted and can no longer be seen. This temporary nature of “stories” produces a sense of urgency that satisfies the short attention spans of many young people. Although started by Snapchat, now social networks like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and WhatsApp also use “Stories”
Advantages of “Stories” in marketing…
- Stories are separated from the main feed. Therefore, any number of posts/contents can be posted to the story without cluttering the main feed.
- Stories can be used to push trending information and updates to satisfy the responsive audience. Temporary events like giveaways, quick sales, and clearances can be brought to attention of customers via stories.
- User interaction with stories is very simple. Stories flow automatically, and if the user is interested, he taps and holds the screen to pause and absorb more. Certain apps (I.e.: Instagram) allow an upwards swipe to open a webpage for the product.
- Stories are the first thing a user can see in most social media apps. They are positioned at the top of the interface and therefore exude a certain priority.
- Stories are a superb way to show off a product or convey details. A story can utilize the full screen of a smartphone, thus providing a larger view of a product. A normal post generally is square or rectangular in shape and takes a little more than half of a screen.
- Stories can enhance the transparency of a company, by offering behind the scenes views of how things work. Many YouTube channels use YouTube stories to showcase behind the scenes footage and other short clips around their studios. This really builds up the company’s image and leads to products being wholeheartedly recommended by viewers.
- Stories influence faster buying decisions in viewers, especially young people. Since stories encourage immediate participation, users are also pressured to make a purchase faster.
- Short live streams and Q&A sessions can be conducted via stories, where people can join, watch, and comment.
- Since stories are shot on mobile devices, there is no special need for camera equipment and lighting. This greatly reduces the cost of putting out content.
How to use “Stories” in marketing
One in four youth (18 to 24 years) tend to browse stories of products and brands they are interested in. Therefore, this form of advertising is most effective for products geared at the younger population. Moreover, most social media platforms provide different groups of customers based on their interests and search terms. Companies can select groups that will benefit the most out of their products and deploy advertisement stories to them.
Most businesses have a position called a social media ambassador; this is useful to provide good PR for that company. A large business can employ a special ambassador to look over the posting of content in stories. This ambassador should also have a good knowledge about the current mentality of the internet. Memes and viral posts can be a bane or a boon to an institution. The ambassador should know how to handle these and make sure the name of the company is not tarnished. Given below are some content that is most relevant to post to a story:
- Flash product sales
- Discount events
- New arrivals
- Special offers
- Behind the scenes
- Short live streams (I.e.: Q&A sessions)
- Upcoming project sneak peeks
Social media stories are a feature that rapidly became popular amongst a large group of people. In current times, where most shopping is done online, it plays a crucial role. An organization that does not make use of this tool, is bound to lose a great share in profits. Hence its use is mandatory to guarantee the success of your business.