How to Tell a Story: Excelling at Snapchat and Instagram Stories

4 Min Read

Instagram and Snapchat are two of the most exciting and intriguing social media platforms.

Each app provides sleek, fun ways of integrating multimedia communication – such as video, photography and chat – that create seamless mobile experiences millennials love.

Among the most popular features on both are their Stories – which are near replicas to each other – where a user or brand can upload a string of images and videos that followers can view in succession with the tap of a button over 24 hours. Different graphics, animations and Bitmojis may fill the screen to create a more entertaining experience.

This is short form, user-generated content at its finest. It’s a free and easily accessible way for users to consume a wide variety of content within seconds.

It’s a key opportunity for brands to perpetuate their story and brand voice in a mobile-friendly manner. Your brand would be remiss to not explore the potential these platforms have for their brands.

Here are three key ways to make use of the content you produce on these platforms.

Providing Value

A great storytelling technique to keep users continuously consuming your content is to provide some unique value and insights users could not get anywhere else.

Whether it’s educational fun facts or profound advice, users want to be able to get something they couldn’t get otherwise with your content.

Genius, the music media and lyrics annotation company, does a great job of bringing their brand to life with their Story content through the series, Song Stories.

Whether it’s on one of these two platforms or even their own and operated properties, users can consume insightful content around the background and history of their favorite songs.

Each post gives a different nugget of information that pushes the story along a little further, until they receive the ultimate reward diving into the songwriting process as a whole.

Depending on your brand’s value proposition and voice, you may want to think about delivering interesting facts or statistics that make the users rethink the way they see things, or like Genius, demystify a particular process with a behind the scenes look.

Breaking the News

Many media brands, like ESPN, will use Stories to help round out their news coverage. It’s another opportunity to provide a upbeat, energetic content in a snackable form.

If you’re thinking about providing news through this distribution channel, it’s a great way for you to create quick snapshots of current events.

Between the limited real estate for copy, abundance of creative options for visual and graphic communication, and lightning fast nature of the platform, Stories can be a foundational way to maneuver around those who are looking to consume news beyond text and the standard on air report.

Sheer Entertainment

With any social media platform, sheer, unadulterated entertainment will always attract a user base. Many influencers and brands use Stories to tell engaging narratives in a quick, enrapturing format.

A mega influencer like Casey Neistat uses Stories to distribute his content and voice in a lightning, firebrand approach that stays true to his extremely popular YouTube channel yet repackages his content for the format.

Entertainment can be a possible content strategy for many brands or users, especially if it’s authentic to your typical marketing and branding, along with what your customer base is coming to your brand for.

If entertainment does fit your style, then your audience gains a new outlet to spend their online time in a more enjoyable manner.

It’s a great way to make a positive brand connection with a young audience on platforms that are increasing in popularity, engagement and overall users.

So, What’s Your Story?

As with any platform, it’s vital to think about how to best distill your brand through the funnel of the channel itself without sacrificing what makes your voice unique.

Stories are a platform that’s typically generated by normal users such as you or I, so it’s a sensitive manner when penetrating a platform that many already love without brands making their mark.

So, when you do make your mark on Stories, tell a narrative that’s unique to you and captures users minds in a way that only you can.

In that case, Stories may be a platform for you to really engage with your user base in a unique, kinetic approach that other platforms couldn’t leverage your brand in the same way.

Creating content that’s entertaining, newsworthy or provides a sense of interesting value are general buckets to help focus your brand through the funnel of the fast-paced, slick and low-key nature of Instagram and Snapchat’s Stories.

When brands find their niche on these platforms, they create an electricity with their audience through a new window that helps brand breakthrough the noisy clutter that is so typical of media and digital marketing platforms in this day and age.

Tell your story. Tell your story with a vigor and passion that empowers your voice beyond the snackable content that serve as the chapters to your Story submission.

If you can continue to evolve your story with each new post, you may find that writing your brand story on Instagram and Snapchat may suit your brand’s nuances better than the other platforms, especially social media ones, that already make up the bulk of your media plan.