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  • Writer's pictureIan Morris

Instagram Stories, proving that brand storytelling is evolving

An Instagram icon with the text "It´s time for Instagram Stories¨

If you’re on Instagram, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen the latest launch of the ‘Instagram Story’ – a feature that allows users to capture moments of their day, before it disappears after 24 hours. A way of “Bringing your story to life”, says Instagram.

The shift from traditional advertising to ephemeral marketing

The rise of Snapchat and Instagram Stories is a prime example of a shift that was already underway in marketing. Brands have already been embracing this shift on Snapchat to promote key events and create excitement around future collections/product launches, so it was only a matter of time before Instagram, one of the most effective advertising platforms, launched the feature themselves.

Within hours of the launch, brands such as Topshop and ASOS had already jumped on the bandwagon, posting real-time behind-the-scene footage of photoshoots and aspirational outfit ideas.

Why does real-time advertising resonate more with audiences?

Today’s audiences crave authenticity from brands. With all the growing technology and platforms to communicate, the ability to share photos and videos that don’t feel like adverts but still build strong brand lifestyle show that young people are largely ignoring traditional adverts – instead they expect their favourite brands to engage with them in fun, personal and entertaining ways.

Seeing as they have the means to, brands now mimic the type of fun, unstaged, interactive photos and videos that youngsters themselves post on these platforms as authentic, visual brand storytelling is proving to be the future of marketing.

The time has come for marketers to loosen the controls on what’s acceptable brand content and the Stories feature is just the beginning; it provides brands with a tool to communicate their values in a fresh way, to stimulate a higher level of content by curating daily moments. It allows them to maintain a balance by generating effortless, fun content as opposed to the highly stylised images they were once expected to produce.

This should most definitely light a fire under brands that have yet to embrace ephemeral marketing, as brands expressing themselves in this way is proving how users now prefer to interact with light content, painting the brands they love in a familiar tone.

So it’s no question why Instagram “copied” the Snapchat Stories feature…the battle amongst social platforms continues. What other features and functionalities will be stolen next? After all, its young millennial audience’s attention is pretty fickle…

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