Instagram Stories have been going strong for a year and a half, gaining success and slowly reeling in the Snapchat Stories users. In this time, brands have been experimenting with the feature and use it in many different ways.
A few companies are doing it differently – Bustle being one. They’ve created 11 episodic series and its sibling sites, Romper and Elite Daily, have also produced a few.
New Form Digital’s CEO said “We honestly were thinking about Snap, but then Insta Stories launched and we were like, ‘Oh, we can put it here, and this is a little different, and there’s an engaged audience’”.
Here’s why it works so well.
- Posting all these videos at once would clog up their Stories. Users might get annoyed at having over twenty consecutive videos to watch. Skipping is something that Stories publishers want to avoid wherever possible. It’s essential to retain the attention of users.
- Episodes are a great way of storytelling. It’s an innovative, creative and clever way of getting users to return to the platform and to keep coming back to their content. For publishers, it’s crucial that users return to their content, as opposed to competitors.
- Stories are more interactive than a post. Users prefer engaging directly with a post, and clicking through can help them to feel more involved.
- And, the money-making. Getting returning followers (or viewers) is highly desirable to brands. Brands such as Sephora Hidden Valley and even the film “Before I Fall” have sponsored Bustle’s Stories.
Bustle clearly have got Stories down to a tee, as they’ve made several million dollars in revenue from Stories sponsorships alone. To put things into context, three episodes of “Beauty Call” got over 1.5 million views. Off the back of this success, their SVP of Brand Marketing expressed interest in engaging with Instagram series again.
So how can you make it work?
- Capture your viewers from the get-go. Ensure that your first post is the one that makes your viewers want to watch more of the episode. Then, keep ‘em coming back.
- Tell your story quickly. The nature of Stories is click, click, click, swipe, click click, swipe, swipe. The parts of your story need to be shorter than 15 seconds and they have to create a congruent story. Bustle’s shows can be up to 4 minutes long, but are broken down into under 20 slides.
- Post your story in-feed too. WeBuyGold were sceptical as to whether a purely Stories-based episodes would work alone. If you’re concerned, try posting the story in-feed too. A harmonious story between the feed and Stories will always work.
- People are creatures of habit. Ensure that you’re posting at the same time every episode to increase your chances of getting those return viewers.
Does your brand create content for Stories? Episodes could help you to get return viewers to your Instagram Stories. Ensure that it tells a harmonious, clear story and you’re onto a winner!