Stories is a big theme for the past couple of weeks with Snapchat and Instagram making some major changes to their Stories feature. Learn more about these changes and some other new social updates below!
Snapchat Custom Stories:
Overview: Snapchat brings collaboration into their Stories with “Custom Stories”. Snapchat users can invite friends within the same geofenced area to add to or view a specific Story. As with regular Stories, the Story will disappear in 24 hours if no new Snaps are added. You can also select “friends of friends” to add to a Story which can be great for an event like a wedding.
Influencer Campaign Thought Starter: This can be a great add on to an event activation. Influencers participating in a specific event can create their own custom Story, inviting those who are at the event (friends and friends of friends) to participate, adding their own content. Since Custom Stories can be named, it can be branded for a specific campaign.
Instagram Stories - New Ad Objectives:
Overview: Instagram allowed advertisers to launch ads within Instagram Stories back in March. However, the campaign objective was just limited to reach. With this latest update, advertisers can now run ads within Instagram Stories that optimize campaigns for a number of objectives including video views, traffic, conversions, and mobile app installs.
Influencer Campaign Thought Starter: Instagram Stories have seen significant growth over the last year, surpassing 200 million users as of April. Not only has this been a great outlet for Influencers to engage with their audiences organically, but it has been an effective way to drive additional reach through paid distribution. With this latest update, Influencer image and video content can be promoted throughout other relevant Stories and drive actions such as website traffic and conversions. Think of an Influencer promoting a cosmetic product through an Instagram video and then using that video to drive conversions via Instagram Stories, targeting relevant users based on age, buying behavior, and location.
Pinterest - Auto-Play Video:
Overview: Pinterest is the latest to offer video with auto-play as part of their ad offering. Initially they ran a test with a select few advertisers back in November and now are rolling it out to all brands.
Influencer Campaign Thought Starter: Video continues to be one of the more effective ways for Influencers to engage with their audiences. With this update, Influencer video content can be promoted through a targeted audience on Pinterest based on parameters such as search queries, interests, locations, among others. Since these videos auto-play, they have relatively low CPVs (as seen with Facebook video ads). Pinterest’s auto-play video ads can be an effective way to promote Influencer video content focusing on things like recipes, DIY projects, and makeup tutorials.
Instagram Face Filters:
Overview: An obvious clone of Snapchat’s Lenses (and Facebook’s version), Instagram Face Filters lets users add fun filters to their selfies. These work on photos, videos, and boomerangs.
Influencer Campaign Thought Starter: At minimum, these will be a fun way for Influencers to further engage their audiences on Instagram. Longer term, these will likely be able to be sponsored at a fraction of the cost of Snapchat’s Sponsored Lenses. I can see Instagram allowing advertisers to create their own filter and promote it to targeted audiences based on the thousands of targeting parameters available on the network. Eventually, brands will likely be able to create a branded Face Filter and leverage a combination of Influencers and paid Instagram ads to drive usage and reach around the filter.
Location & Hashtag Stories on Instagram:
Overview: These can be viewed as almost two separate features. For location, when a user adds a location sticker to their Story, there’s a chance it will appear as part of a larger Story for that location (similar to how Snapchat had it prior to the roll out of “Our Story”). These location Stories appear on top of the app, alongside other Stories, and can also be found via a location search. The hashtag Story follows a similar format - users add a hashtag onto their Story and can be possibly featured in a larger Story for that hashtag. These Stories can be found via a hashtag search.
Influencer Campaign Thought Starter: Influencers were commonly featured in Snapchat’s location Stories because of the quality of content and high volume of engagement they were producing. This likely will be the case for location and hashtag Stories as well. Influencers who add these stickers to this story have the possibility of being featured in a larger story, which will drive more views. Expect to see Influencers incorporating these stickers into their Story content moving forward.