Getting your message across to your audience isn’t only about the content, it’s also about the platform you’re using to deliver that content. In recent years, one of the most popular methods of content delivery is through “Stories.” These are quick tidbits of information in the form of short videos or photos that only last for around 24 hours.
The immediacy of Stories lends itself to events and information as it’s happening. Perhaps your brand is having an event that you want to drive day-of traffic to. It might also be a great place to publish a pun or joke that will disappear in 24 hours.
Let’s start here out of fairness, as we wouldn’t even have Stories if it weren’t for Snapchat. Since 2011, the app has quickly grown to the messaging platform of choice for millennials, having gained over 150 million users since inception.
The popularity of Snapchat has quickly gained a lot of attention. In December of 2012, Facebook even tried to latch on to the popularity of the platform by cloning their own version in the “Poke” app. It both failed and backfired, driving more publicity and more users towards Snapchat. In 2013, Snapchat began to explode with many brands creating accounts on the platform. In the Fall of that year, the app became a little more accessible to companies and brands when the original iteration of Stories was introduced.
Some of the best examples we’ve seen of Snapchat stories are from brands who have daily repeating content to share. Some of them include Major League Baseball teams who share small highlights from games as they happen. Others include clips from nightly talk shows such as Conan on TBS, who share clips of jokes and other fun from the show.
The functionality of Snapchat also continues to grow, with users and brands being able to create temporary stories that are based around a geographical location or specific event. This feature lends itself fantastically to specialty events so that visitors can also add to a brand story as well.
Although Snapchat originated the use of Stories, Instagram has quickly rivalled it in terms of content availability after launching the feature in August of 2016. Sitting on top of the normal Instagram feed, Stories exist as a line of circled user profile pictures that a user can tap to see the same content format as Snapchat.
By nature of having over 700 million active daily users, Instagram has proven fairly successful in convincing usage of Stories. It’s also easier to add a brand and see their Story on Instagram than it is on Snapchat. While Snapchat traditionally favors user and content privacy, Instagram remains largely public in nature, making it easier for users to mention and follow one another. For these reasons, Instagram’s Stories tend to remain active and full of content.
Much of the content remains in the same format and capacity as Snapchat’s, with many of the functions and features seemingly having been copied wholesale. However, these Stories tend to reach a slightly older and wider demographic, which makes tailoring content for that audience attractive for content creators.
Some of the best use cases of Instagram Stories that we’ve seen come from large content creators such as The Onion. The satirical newspaper often delivers sound-byte headline and quotes from some of their funnier articles, teasing users to visit the site for more. The added functionality also allows these type of brands to tie content directly to their normal Instagram feed as well, a huge plus if a following is already built there.
While Facebook owns most of everything else in the social realm, this is one area where they’ve come in dead last. As we noted before, Facebook has attempted and failed to clone Snapchat with their Poke app. They’ve also attempted to clone Stories inside of their Messenger app.
Unfortunately for Facebook, usage of Stories within Messanger has also been received poorly. Countless users report seeing their Facebook Stories entirely empty, and feel little urge to add anything to the void no one else is contributing to.
While Facebook’s normal timeline is an essential for any brand, there seems to be very little point to taking the time to add anything to their version of Stories (at least for now).
So which is the best? After throwing out Facebook as an option (as mentioned previously - for now), we know that it comes down to Snapchat and Instagram. Deciding between the two really boils down to your audience or demographic. If it veers younger, Snapchat is likely the way to go. Otherwise, Instagram is probably the best choice.
It does pay off to duplicate content in both areas. And let’s be honest, that can be a time consuming venture. Thankfully, that’s where WebDetail comes in. We’ve been keeping a close eye on what is and isn’t working for our clients and often are on-site for their large events to curate this content. Let’s talk and figure out how we can best take advantage of Stories for your upcoming event as well.