Why Stories is a Format that Can help Marketers Promote Brands?

The stories format is known for capturing people's imaginations. But these lively 24-hour mini-narratives – which include Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories, Messenger Stories and WhatsApp status – can also strengthen people's relationships with brands and drive sales. In fact, more than one in two people surveyed across 12 countries who use stories said they are making more online purchases as a result.

How stories inspire shopping

The stories format enables people to express themselves creatively, experience moments outside their everyday lives and feel part of a bigger community, Facebook’s survey indicated. It also offers them an opportunity to engage with both other people and brands. Through stories, a shopper might discover a new clothing range, see a series of personal finance tips or enjoy behind-the-scenes glimpses of how their favourite snacks are made

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Stories also help marketers forge stronger connections with brands and people, and guide shoppers. About one in two people surveyed who use stories said that stories have strengthened their relationships with brands, and many indicated that stories propel them through the purchase process.

Across all regions surveyed, the most common actions that people said they took after seeing products or services in stories were browsing the brand's website to get more information and looking for the product or service on e-commerce websites. A significant number, however, also said they visited a shop to see the product or service in person. And for people surveyed in Latin American and Asia Pacific markets, messaging a business was common: 34% surveyed in Latin American markets and 31% surveyed in Asia Pacific markets did so.

What makes brand stories stand out

According to Facebook’s survey, there are a few key elements that make stories from brands capture people's attention.

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What it means for marketers

  • Ramp up your stories strategy.
    The survey indicated that many people want to see content from brands in stories, especially when it includes sales or promotions and can be consumed quickly and easily. Don't delay in using this new format to develop closer relationships with your audience and reach new customers. If you're looking for some rules of thumb, take a look at these five research-based creative considerations for Instagram Stories ads.

  • Keep your stories fresh.
    People turn to stories for content that feels unexpected and new – including content related to new products. For instance, GAP used Instagram Stories to introduce a new clothing range called Logo Remix. To capture people's attention, the brand included a remixed hip-hop version of the classic Thompson Twins' song "Hold Me Now", and to drive traffic, the brand made each card of the carousel clickable, with call-to-action buttons that linked to their website.

(Source: Facebook Stories survey (Facebook-commissioned survey of people who self-reported using stories in the Facebook family of apps, aged 13-54 in AU (1,550), BR (1,639), CA (1,503), DE (1,500), FR (1,500), ID (1,540), IN (1,529), MX (1,505), PH (1,526), TH (1,575), UK (1,508) and US (1,603), Aug 2018. "Stories" was defined as "photos and videos that you temporarily view or share for 24 hours on social media".

Rana Asali