Visual imagery is one everlasting element that helped Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, and a number of investors generate billions of dollars in a few years. Well... but you are not here to learn how the co-founders and investors of Instagram became multi-millionaires and billionaires in less than half a decade. Instead, we are here to discuss how you can use the brand awareness tips from different success stories of large brands using Instagram Stories. Stories, meanwhile, exists on the basis of visual imagery (photos and videos) coupled with its addictive 24-hour-old system.
These success stories have nothing to do with small results or even small-size brands, but some of the largest brands in the world today — relatively to their industries — seeing impressive results with the help of Instagram Stories. Let's dive in.
5 of the largest brands seeing incredible results with Instagram Stories are...
(The figure in parenthesis is the approximate number of IG followers of the corresponding brand.)
Vogue Magazine (19.9 million)
When it comes to the fashion or lifestyle industry, Vogue Magazine is as respected and well-known a Aretha Franklin was in the music industry. The brand was founded in 1892 but has shown that such longevity doesn't necessarily ascertain old-fashioned strategies. In lieu, Vogue Magazine uses modern brand awareness strategies powered by Instagram Stories to proliferate their audience and sales.
The technique used by this magazine is quite straightforward: make use of every opportunity to attract healthy attention. Vogue Magazine once used a historic event being broadcasted live to attract attention to the photographers capturing the newsworthy event. The brand published a Story with a number of photos accompanied by a link to the webpage with the full gallery.
E! News (11.7 million)
E! News is widely known in the pop culture community for spreading the latest celebrity news in a timely fashion. This particular brand appeals to its audience on the basis of 'content delivered swiftly'. As a result, E! News has optimized its Stories to meet the needs and expectations of its audience. Its Stories consists of short news to spark conversations and prompts to read full news on its website — all delivered swiftly.
To use this precise technique, you must first understand how best to communicate with your audience and what they expect. Then you must strive to always meet their expectations.
Travel + Leisure (3.6 million)
As the name implies, Travel + Leisure treats its customers to an assortment of good food, wine, and trips. The brand uses Stories to unbolt one of human's most inevitable emotions: curiosity. How does the brand do it? Well, let's take an example.
Travel + Leisure once asked its followers to guess where a certain photo was taken. It takes such interactive and playful questions to keep people watching. And when existing customers watch, more customers will jump in.
Anthropologie (3.5 million)
With #MyAnthropologie, Anthropologie displays its followers rocking its very own apparels, accessories, and many more. This tactic brings the brand closer to its audience and vice versa, and each photo has a link to the product page so the sales are as important.
If we're to pick the best tip on this list, we'd pick this one because of three pros:
It reduces the brand's expenditure. No more expensive hour-glass models. Just free pictures generated by real-life customers.
Instead of the typical Photoshopped photos, the user-generated contents are more natural and humanized and are loved on social media.
It works perfectly well for both user engagement and brand awareness. To engage users, make your customers brand ambassadors and give them the spotlight they deserve. To call attention to your brand, make your customers proud of using your product or service, thereby encouraging others to do so.
5. Airbnb (3.3 million)
The hospitality service and lodging company Airbnb uses Instagram Stories with a little more finesse. Instead of uploading photos or videos to promote their Travel Tuesday series, the brand uses a number of quizzes to interact with its audience and provide expressive travel ideas. This increases user engagement immensely as viewers are also asked to specify the location in the story via polls. (Users are then directed to the company's website.)
Additionally, this strategy allows Airbnb to evaluate its follower engagement. The lesson here is to build sure-fire momentum and finish off with a strong call-to-action (CTA). The use of polls, quizzes, and links are all geared towards improved user engagement, thereby increasing brand awareness.
And even more...
6. Coach (3.0 million)
While Coach might have done nothing special to laymen, smart marketers and business owners understand (and credit them for) how well the brand uses Instagram Stories. Scheduling is as precious as time, so the brand doesn’t upload content randomly. No! Everything is planned.
Coach once uploaded three photos on a Friday to promote its Parker bag. The first photo caught people's attention thanks to its New York night theme while the second photo suggested a place to use the bag. The last photo closed up the deal with a "Swipe up to shop Parker" CTA.
With just three photos, Coach engrossed its audience, promoted its product, and multiplied its sales. The overtone is to deliver products and the perfect scenarios for their usage.
7. J.Crew (1.9 million)
There are two takeaways to learn from J.Crew's Stories.
The clothing brand once introduced a brand new pair of sunglasses via Instagram Stories.
The sunglasses were first teased on IG; J.Crew offered a pre-sale exclusive to its followers. However, the brand pre-sold just 50 pairs of sunglasses to build a powerful sense of urgency and hype the product. You can also employ this strategy: reward existing users (e.g. giveaways, contests, and sale promotions) and create urgency. In a way, J.Crew used this to test-run its Stories strategy and to anticipate the sales of its new product.
J.Crew uses Stories to promote certain blog posts.
At first, there were three photos with the latest displaying the CTA that directed viewers to the blog post. When J.Crew realized this was ineffective, the brand began uploading screenshots of the blog posts with the text-and-coloring feature instead of the default 'See More’ CTA that appears when you include a link in your Story. This teaches you to track your performance so you can know which method works best for your brand.
The concept of Stories works efficiently because it seems more natural and personal than normal IG posts. Posts are now considered boring or "too old" for this time, so Stories is the next big thing.
When all is said and done, you must have upped the awareness game of your brand with the strategies carefully deciphered above. Do note that you can mix some tips to create even better results. That is, experiment and define how you want to use Instagram Stories — with its many business features and marketing tools — to open your business to more sales, customers/clients, and prospects. Cheers!