Is Instagram Stories worth your time?

What’s the point of this post? To help digital marketers figure out if they should incorporate Instagram Stories in their social media strategies

As marketers… and people… time is our most valuable resource. If you are spending time on something, you are spending money. I know this because I used to work at an agency where we billed our time to our clients down to the minute. It changed the way I think about where I spend my time, and I’ve become more frugal as a result.

Social media is not free; that statement does not take into consideration the money spent on paid social ads. The best social media activations have well thought-out strategies and exceptionally designed creative ($$$), but it’s all worth it (we think) because this type of digital marketing drives awareness, engages the right audiences and eventually converts into sales (hopefully).

So let’s say, along with the rest of your social media strategy, you’ve just mastered Instagram and you don’t get Snapchat. Or you totally get Snapchat and you’re annoyed that Instagram copied Snapchat. They even have the same name! Wherever you are on the spectrum, I hope you find the tips below useful in evaluating Instagram Stories.

Three things to consider if you’re unsure about investing in Instagram Stories:

1) Consider your audience

Who is your audience and where do they hangout online? Answer that question first. If your audience is on Snapchat, chances are they’ll be accustomed to the quick-turn authentic content Instagram Stories features. If your audience is not on Snapchat, then I would pause and evaluate their appetite for this type of in-the-moment content.

If you’ve cultivated an engaged Instagram following, you can leverage that existing audience to reach people more personally, more often.  While it’s true that Snapchat is one of the best apps out there for 1-to-1 connections, Instagram Stories keeps your brand top of mind (and top of feed).

2) What’s your budget?

Let’s say you’re already spending money producing photos for Instagram. If you’re not, you should be. Instagram Stories may be a seamless extension of that existing work stream. Here’s an idea … post an Insta-worthy photo on your feed and show the behind-the-scenes of how it came together on your Story. It might be surprising for your audience to learn what goes into creating *the perfect* Instagram post. See example below. You can even call out in the copy of the post: “See how this post came together on our Instagram Story, before it disappears!”

Instagram Post in Feed                                                                               Instagram Story on the same day

2016-08-25 19.09.28                                           Photo Aug 25, 7 40 59 PM


3) Test and Learn

Do you have the freedom to do a pilot using Instagram Stories? Try it out! As a user, checking both apps (Snapchat and Instagram Stories) is a marathon! On my personal page, I’m definitely getting more views on Instagram Stories than Snapchat, but the people viewing my Snapchat Stories are closer to me personally than my followers on Instagram. So, deciding who I want to reach or influence helps my decide where to post. I tend to share or work-life media on Instagram Stories and more silly stuff on Snapchat. That’s just my personal preference.

Wondering what to post during your Instagram Stories pilot? Check back next week for 7 ways to create a killer Instagram Story.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end. Gold star! Tweet me or find me on Instagram @socialkelsey if you have any questions.

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