Creating Social Stories for B2B Marketing
Social media marketing is like a revolving door. New trends and practices come in, and old marketing methods go out. If you don’t pay attention, your brand could suffer. The idea of Stories – an idea that can be credited to Snapchat, but has evolved through Instagram and its parent Facebook – isn’t an entirely new concept. But it has grown to be a top choice for businesses when it comes B2B marketing.
Since 2016, Stories’ creation and consumption is up 842 percent, according to consulting firm Block Party. And Facebook expects that number to be even higher moving forward.
“Stories is a big part of the future of video sharing, which is why we’re all in on it across our family,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook Q1 2018 earnings report.
What exactly are Stories?
On Facebook, Stories allow users to share photos, videos and animation, but disappears after a 24-hour period.
While there are no likes or comments, viewers can interact with stories via Facebook Messenger. These stories also appear at the top of a user’s Facebook page and not integrated throughout a user’s newsfeed.
This may not sound like an ideal marketing tactic, but there are a few reasons why you should consider Stories as a tool for your brand’s marketing plan.
Stories allow marketers to integrate their brands in a consumers’ daily lives; and it also allows a fair amount of creativity.
One could create a cartoon, an interactive game, emojis, stickers, or links within a Story for a consumer to download about your product information.
Advertising via Stories is no longer an advertising mechanism that is stiff with no flexibility.
This is key because we are a society that is always on-the-go and always on our phones. This method helps get your brand’s message across in a short visual manner.
Over 500 million daily users
Stories are viewed by over 500 million daily users – that’s the equivalent to about 1/3 of the 1.56 billion daily users of Facebook.
The rapid growth of Stories has helped to compel the 3 million advertisers that run Stories ads across Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.
One brand that has seen Facebook Stories as a successful addition to their marketing brand is Mercedes-Benz. According to Mark Aikman, general manager of marketing services for Mercedes-Benz USA, Stories makes up around 10% on average of its ad delivery.
“Stories increase the efficiency and efficacy of Mercedes-Benz USA’s brand and direct response strategies by expanding our opportunity to reach customers (beyond the feed) where they are spending their time with full-screen, eye catching creative. Seeing the consumer shift to significant time spent within Stories, we knew that we wanted to prioritize reaching our audiences in this placement with full-screen, short-form content across our full funnel objectives.”
As Stories expand, so do the increasing options for brands that use the platform for marketing.
In February 2019, Facebook launched a new tool that would allow users to share events via Stories. Users can post a video about the event, allow users to share the event or express an interest in attending the event.
“People connect on Facebook in different ways, so we’re always exploring new ways to help people do that,” a Facebook spokesperson told Download.com. “We also know that people share in more visual ways, so we’re working to give people the tools they need to share the way they want. With this feature, they have the option to add their own flair, like stickers, to capture the attention of friends.”
The other feature that may attract additional advertisers is the option to archive specific Facebook Stories. Whether you’re promoting a product, a deal, or even a sale, having that additional shelf life of time for your brand can be a huge benefit.
Like its parent company, Instagram has seen a huge jump in the number of users since the launch of Instagram Stories in August 2016.
With over 400 million daily users, the features on Instagram Stories differ from Facebook, but still gives marketers plenty of opportunity to use its tools to their advantage.
Through Instagram Stories, advertisers can create polls, swipe meters or even questions that gain insight into and feedback from users. This can help with interaction from your audience, but also may help generate ideas towards about the next campaign.
Fashion brand Ralph Lauren advertised through Instagram Stories from September- November 2018 in hopes to raise continue awareness of the brand and also encourage users to purchase through Instagram and Facebook.
This resulted in an 18% increase in online sales among the acquired millennial audience and a 41% increase of product page views.
“We’ve long considered Instagram a strong platform for brand building, although we were unsure how well Instagram Stories would perform [at] fueling sales. The results definitely exceeded our expectations. We were able to craft a very targeted strategy for our different marketing audiences and drive brand preference and acquisition, specifically on the Gen Z and millennial target audience,” said Pauline Azoulay-Zerbib, VP Media Emea, Ralph Lauren.
Both Facebook and Instagram see Stories as a concept that is the future in digital advertising. Is it time for your B2B brand to jump on the Stories bandwagon?