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Are 'stories', the new place to be for Digital Marketers?

In this article I will be looking at social media marketing and specifically on of the latest trend: ‘Stories’ - a feature that is growing in popularity and spreading across all channels of social media.

‘Stories’ were originally brought into the realm of social media by Snapchat in October 2013. It is a feature which allows users to compile snaps into chronological storylines, accessible to all of their friends. Snapchat was originally created by three former students at Stanford University in 2011. Almost immediately after the stories feature was released, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, approached one of the Snapchat founders, Evan Spiegel, with a staggering $3 billion buy-out offer, which was subsequently rejected. Following this, Zuckerberg decided to begin implementing the ‘stories’ feature into his own social media platforms; first Instagram followed by WhatsApp, Facebook and Facebook Messenger.

Stories are short, time constrained videos users post on social media platforms, these stories have a limited period of 24 hours and disappear once the 24 hours have passed. Millions of users view stories every day on social media platforms. Some estimates include: Whatsapp status (stories) with 450 million active users per day, Instagram stories with 300 million per day, Snapchat with 191 million per day, Facebook stories with 150 million per day and Facebook messenger with 70 million per day.

Facebook stories were launched in March 2017, and it took 14 months of silence until Facebook announced their active user count for stories, many believing it was a major flop. They announced that 150 million daily users for its stories were recorded. Instagram and Snapchat have also already introduced advertising in their stories. Seeing Facebook’s stories reaching such levels, the time has probably come for adverts to start being introduced into Facebook stories too. This is a great opportunity for social media marketers to target such large numbers of users on a daily basis.

Advertising on stories enable digital marketers create short 5 – 15 seconds video adverts that appear randomly in between friends stories. Users are able to skip these video adverts should they wish. Businesses will also have detailed insights on their social media story performances to gauge whether such a venture feasible. It is predicted that stories are going to overtake social media newsfeeds in terms of traffic. As a digital marketer I would say this is a great opportunity for businesses to market their brand at a time when the advertising feature is relatively unknown, exposure can be more impactful.

Instagram started showing adverts in stories when it hit 150 million daily story users, which was just 5 months after launching the feature, whilst Facebook took 14 months to reach this milestone. Facebook has recently been trying to improve its stories feature by introducing the popular ‘Boomerang’ and 360 photos features - just imagine how awesome a 360-degree advert would look in your business’ Facebook story!

Existing Facebook and Instagram advertisers would be able to make use of the additional availability of choosing to portray their adverts on stories, on both Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, ensuring a greater total user reach. Stories might be the answer to the issue of Facebook of running out of space to put adverts, while the sidebar units will be removed to make it an overall more enjoyable, less chaotic experience for users. In the recent years, social media platforms have pivoted towards visual communication through imagery and video, rather than text.

At Deloitte Digital, we offer digital marketing services, including social media marketing and graphic design services. We can help businesses to create impactful marketing campaigns using eye-catching strategies and leveraging the key benefits of advertising through social media stories.

Stories are the new ‘big thing’ when it comes to advertising, especially when considering that no other feature has gained popularity in such a short period on social media platforms. Stories seem destined to be here to stay.

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