Since the dawn of Influencer Marketing, the In-Feed Post was the go-to option for most Influencer campaigns due to its easy to understand metrics. However, with the evolution of how Influencers are using social media, sponsored Instagram stories are now becoming more prevalent in media campaigns.
According to recent studies, 39% of Instagram users became more interested in a brand after seeing them on a story post, which is significant as the normal engagement rate for an ad feed ad on Instagram is 3-5%. But, will Influencer Story ads really replace the traditional In-Feed Post?
The short answer is no.
When You Should Be Using Stories:
That doesn’t mean Instagram Stories aren’t valuable in an Influencer Campaign. Did you know that most users scrolling through their Instagram feed watch videos without sound, but around 70% of Stories are watched with the sound turned on? If your campaign is based primarily on video content that incorporates audio, you’re likely to get a better response rate simply from posting on Stories.
Apart from just video content, Stories are also ideal for quick updates, like flash sales, promoting events, or trending content. Each Story only lasts 24 hours, and you can incorporate multiple Stories a day, allowing the Influencers to give updates and edits as needed without hurting engagement.
In fact, while Stories will always have smaller initial reach due to their limited timeframe, the consumers that watch daily Stories are more likely to be “true” fans of the brand or Influencer, with one third of people saying they’ve bought something directly from a Story or targeted ad that appeared in a Story.
The frequent updates and more casual nature of Stories lend to a more relaxed but entertaining tone, giving both brands and Influencers a chance to have their personalities shine through with gifs and stickers–options that aren’t available for Feed Posts. Think of Stories as how you would act with a friend or colleague (unpolished, relaxed, quick and to the point), while permanent Feed Posts of how you would act around a parent or boss (refined, calculated, and curated).
When You Should Be Using In-Feed Posts:
So, Stories are great for short-term promotions with a smaller reach, but what about more permanent advertisements that you want to get in front of a larger audience? That’s where In-Feed Posts come in.
Feed Posts are the Yin to Stories’s Yang, and directly make up for some of the latter’s shortcomings. As previously stated, these posts are best for content that you want to reach an audience over an extended amount of time, like the launch of a new product line or service, or just promoting general brand awareness.
While Feed Posts get the most engagement and impressions in the first 48 hours, they stay live indefinitely, and can even go viral months after they were posted. The brand or Influencer can even add hashtags days, weeks, or months after the in-feed post was initially posted to keep it relevant, increasing the likelihood of the post being shared or ending up on the Discovery Page. So, not only is more of your target audience being exposed to the content initially, but it’s also possible to keep the reach potential evergreen indefinitely.
Due to In-Feed Posts being shown to so many people initially, and it’s potentially infinite lifetime, it is more common for Feed Posts to be less casual, and place a great emphasis on having a captivating visual and a caption that adds value to whatever the promotion is.
Think of Stories as a powerpoint presentation, only minimal information is presented on each Story to not overwhelm or confuse the audience. In-Feed Posts are more like an informational pamphlet, where the point is less to entertain the audience, but more to educate them and elicit an engaged response.
The Bottom Line
Can you have a successful Influencer Campaign only using In-Feed Posts? Yes, of course. Can you have a successful Influencer Campaign only using Stories? Also yes.
Whether it be in a permanent In-Feed Post or in a 24-hour Story, or some combination of both elements, you can accomplish your marketing goals and lay the foundation for success by having a firm understanding of what is being advertised and where it will perform best.
-The Black Sheep Team