What Instagram stories and Carousels mean for Influencer Marketing
Over the past few years instagram has been one of, if not the most popular platform for Influencer marketing. Not only because of its extensive use by millennials, the most prized consumers, but also because it’s grounded and prevails in content creation. Its visual nature embedded in a form of reality, ease of content discovery, and constant deployment of content-creator friendly features. Quickly turning into the number one resort for content creators, and for those who take advantage of their influence.
Instagram has taken some of the best features from popular platforms and merged them into one. From a simple picture sharing platform, Instaram is now a one stop for all. With the option to post minute long videos, the added possibility to create gifs via Boomerang, to bookmark or pin images similar to Pinterest creating a grid with your favourite pictures, to stream a live video a-la Facebook or to upload a 15 second story creation which expires after 24 hours just like Snapchat. And finally its newest feature allowing users to upload up to 10 photos or videos at once with a single swipeable carousel.
All these added features give much more depth. Content creators, specifically influencers are able to tell a deeper, descriptive and colourful story about a brand or products they’re sponsoring, with a lot more flexibility over where and how they integrate sponsored content, without being restricted by a single post at a time. The nature of each feature gives the influencer the opportunity to promote a brand through several perspectives without essentially having to fit it in with their feed.
Using each feature to its full potential
Since its integration, Instagram stories have completely diverted users’ attention. Instagram’s traditional posts receive almost 15% lower engagement rate, as users have switched their attention over to stories.
Instagram stories, being less polished than traditional posts and being limited to posting content created within the last 24 hours, is the closest insight audiences can get of the influencers lives and daily reality. Fulfilling humans pure need for relatability and belonging. There’s much less opportunity for tweaking, filtering, altering and fixing a picture or video. Instagram stories are much more raw and a lot less perfect, making them more relatable. They also feed people’s curiosity about influencers lives, as to whether or not what is shown on their feed is reflected in their stories.
How to use Instagram stories
- Audiences favour videos than images on instagram stories. Unlike traditional posts, in which pictures receive 31% more engagement than videos.
- When collaborating with a brand, consider, posting content which gets your audience excited for something upcoming and new, by providing a deeper insight into the brand collaboration with behind the scenes teasers. Use stories to ask your audience to stay tuned, for the release of new sponsored content, this way diverting them to your traditional Instagram posts, increasing your engagement.
- Create a sense of urgency for your audience and entice followers to monitor your story closely by sharing special offers and discount codes or announcing a giveaway or contest via your Story.
- Share how you fit the brand in your daily life; since stories only have a shelf life of 24 hours, use this feature to integrate branded content, or products in clippets of your life. Bringing the product you promoted in your feed, to life, in a much more real form, without blatantly pointing it out.
If users start engaging with carousels, and show no signs of a significant drop off whilst swiping through a carousel post, Instagram Carousel will be a game changer for influencers and influencer marketing.
influencers would be able to give deeper insights into the brand’s personality with just one post. Posting multiple images or videos from the same campaign, maybe promoting different products, without necessarily bombarding their followers with similar sponsored posts, from the same campaign. Eliminating the fear of over posting and flooding their followers feeds. Influencers are able to tell a more in-depth and descriptive story and have more flexibility over where and how they integrate branded content.
How to use Instagram Carousel
- Since only the cover of a carousel is visible in a feed, become much more experimental creating a variety of content for a campaign, which doesn’t necessarily have to be an exact match o your theme. This way also leaving brands with a little more room for their creative input on posts.
- With the carousel feature you no longer have to go through the whole process of elimination to choose one single image, when in reality you’d like to show off your whole camera roll. You can post all of your favourite content from the same campaign, maybe featuring the same or different products, the multiple ways you could wear or use an item.
Instagram, is moving away from being a place where you only get to see mere highlights of an event. Having access to nearly all areas, means that brand-influencer collaborations should become less transient and much more substantial. Instagram’s new features, will definitely change the way brands and influencers work with eachother, and how brands measure success when it comes to influencer marketing on the platform.