Newsfeed or Stories? Instagram features that are important for marketers
How do Internet users perceive and how do they use such Instagram features as Stories and newsfeed? To answer this question, advertisers asked Instagram for a detailed picture of Stories and newsfeed. The prominent social web met the advertisers halfway and surveyed a big group of its users: about ten thousand people from the USA, Indonesia, United Kingdom and Brazil at the age from 13 to 55 years old who use their Instagram accounts at least one time per week. This research showed that practically all the users treat Stories and newsfeed in different manners. The new information will help advertisers improve their marketing campaigns on Instagram and on other social media as well.
It turned up, that today more than 50 per cent of Instagram users refer to newsfeed and Stories every single day. Both features enable users to view, share pictures and videos, though the two features have some important differences.
Stories appeared in 2016 as a full-screen feature. If the user doesn’t save certain stories, they automatically disappear within twenty four hours. Users can optionally add some funny and useful tools to their stories — GIFs, emogis, various stickers.
As for Instagram newsfeed, it was launched eight years ago, in 2010, and doesn’t take up so much place on your screen as Stories do. The newsfeed is permanent unless deleted. Any user can edit it with various filters.
The users who took part in the research in all the chosen countries take Stories and newsfeed as visually attractive places to show their creativity. As well, people associate these two features with unalike use cases. Many of them say, for example, that they use Stories to monitor live content — clips from different private, sports events, etc. Herewith, people admit, that they monitor their newsfeeds for another reasons and basically use it to find certain products and get necessary information about them. Knowing that, advertisers should use Instagram newsfeed as a good way to introduce their products to the potential customers while Stories as an effective way to engage people through interesting, authentic content.
A couple of words about the reasons why Instagram Stories have become so popular. The feature appeared only a couple of years ago, but hundreds of million people throughout the world use it every day.
The users who participated in the research answered some questions about this Instagram feature. Many of them said that Stories highly improve their personal communication with other people. Many of those asked highly appreciate that in 24 hours all the unsaved content automatically disappears from the newsfeed. Two of three participants admitted that Stories helped them to become interested in many new products. This result appeared to be relevant in all the chosen countries, though particularly in two of them — Indonesia as well as Brazil. It is not surprise, that people from the two countries monitor Instagram Stories much more often than people from all the other countries, which participated in that research. Users from the USA and the United Kingdom refer to Stories very often as well. Many people consider, that Stories help them to become closer to their fellows and family members. Almost 50 per cent of users admit that Stories enable them to become more true to their near and dear ones. More than 40 per cent like Stories because all the unsaved content automatically disappears. Almost 30 per cent managed to discover some useful products due to Stories. That is a good news for marketers.
What are users’ most widespread associations connected with the features of Instagram that we’re speaking about? The research showed that people take both newsfeed and Stories as visually attractive features helping to feel yourself free in your expression. At the same time, some regional distinctions were noticed. Users from Brazil usually associate Stories and newsfeed with inspiring content, such as uplifting videos and pictures. The Indonesians take Stories as a goldmine of authentic content. That is not surprising, because stories sometimes include occasional, unedited scenes. Users from the UK consider that Instagram Stories are the way to express their inner passion. Maybe that is because the feature includes a great number of various creative tools. At whole, people associate Stories as well as newsfeed with fairness and creativity.
In what situations do people usually open Stories and newsfeed? When the authors of the research asked users to explain their main objectives connected with newsfeed and Stories, it appeared that people from the four countries prefer stories to newsfeed in two cases. Firstly, when they would like to know what their fellows and family members are doing now. That shows how Stories help people become closer right here and right now. Secondly, users open Stories trying to find unfiltered content — pictures and videos from everyday life. In addition, there is the third reason, which is unusual for Indonesia only: the desire to find funny, amusing content.
On the other hand, Instagram newsfeed was launched much earlier than Stories. Apparently, that is the reason why the variety of situations when people use the first is bigger. Typically, they open newsfeed trying to find news or information about certain products. So users refer to Stories when they want unedited videos and pics and for newsfeed when they intend to discover something.
What kinds of posts do users rate high in newsfeed and Stories? Though users really often choose newsfeed instead of Stories to find products, it doesn’t mean that they ignore commercial posts in Stories. When the initiators of the research asked users about newsfeed and Stories independently, they found out that users from the United States, Brazil and United Kingdom highly appreciated commercial content both in newsfeed and Stories. However, users from Indonesia love Stories not for commercial content, but for the opportunity to express their inner selves. One way or another, it is clear that while Instagram users connect discovery of different products with newsfeed, at the same time they don’t disregard the chance to see commercial posts in Stories.
About newsfeed. Users from the USA and United Kingdom prefer posts that give them opportunities to communicate with their fellows, to learn something about them, to know some new details about their everyday lives and find new friends with the same interests. The Indonesians as well as the Brazilians, in their turn, praise newsfeed for the chance to find new destinations and visit new interesting profiles.
So we learned that the types of content that users look for in newsfeed and Stories are not similar. And what about advertisers? Here are some hints for those who are going to promote themselves on Instagram:
- Try to tell people your own, unique story. A great number of users surveyed admitted that Stories improve their communication skills. While planning your next marketing campaign on Instagram, don’t forget about stories. Use them to inspire your potential customers.
- Think about your followers. Find out what most of them really want and give it to them. Creating your content, always keep the desires of your followers in mind. Make new stories with interesting, authentic moments, create timeless posts for people’s newsfeed.
- Never forget about the peculiarities of your market. Customers in different segments of market need different approaches and different kinds of posts. Spare no expense to do marketing research, find out the psychological traits of your target audience and develop your marketing strategy for Instagram accordingly.
- Be creative, but take the experience of other companies into account. The evidence from practice shows that strategies like early branding, instant switches from one scene to another and creating stories dedicated to certain products are always effective.
We hope that the information from this article will be useful for you and will help you to promote your business on Instagram successfully.