Instagram is the latest global phenomenon to hit planet earth. It has many features that have driven it to over a billion monthly active users. This makes it one of the best markets for you to advertise your products and services. In 2016, Instagram introduced something called stories, this will let you post content that will only last for 24 hours before disappearing. Now, this brings in a dilemma for businesses who want to advertise on Instagram. Should they spend money on conventional posts or on trendy stories? Knowing which converts better will be helpful in getting the most out of your marketing budget. Like every marketing answer, it depends. You need to know who you are targeting and what service you want to provide before you can make an educated decision about whether to invest in posts or stories. The feed Instagram gives for each user differs and they tend to have their own personal preferences.
The difference between post and story
Other than the obvious time factor difference between those two, there are many other critical things. While a normal post can be lengthy and take its own pace, an Instagram story must be short and sweet to make sure that the user does not swipe away. While posts are usually used to make elaborate content, a story is supposed to be engaging and exciting. Also unlike a normal post, an Instagram story should not be too wordy, even 5 words per story are more than enough. The other major difference is that posts are systematic and usually have a flow over time, but the Instagram stories can be used without any consideration of previous and future events.
The Instagram feed
The Instagram feed was launched in 2010, the content of the feed takes a smaller space of the screen than stories. It lives forever on the user’s profile unless deleted by the user or removed by Instagram. The feed can also be edited by filters. People have been advertising in the feed since the introduction of ads on Instagram. The concept is very similar to the advertisements displayed on Facebook. There are two different ways in which you can post on the feed on Instagram, you could either have a text accompanying it or not. Having an engaging text along with your post will significantly increase your conversion rates. Unlike Instagram stories, you can make much longer videos and give extensive texts accompanying the post and do not impose many limitations. This makes the feed the only logical way if you want to advertise a complex product or service.
Instagram feed posts though cost more than stories. Feed post is also more likely to be read by older people than by younger people. While this might seem like a disadvantage, over 54% of all Instagram users are over the age of 35. If you are targeting the older segment of the market, you could go with the post. However, do bear in mind that the difference is not very significant, and it is best that you try with both the formats to know which one works for you best.
Instagram stories were launched in 2016. The content in Instagram stories will cover the entire screen of the mobile device and will disappear within 24 hours unless saved. The posts on stories can also be modified with many creative tools like GIFs, emojis, and stickers. You could also place short texts that are artistically designed. The stories also have a time limit, so you will not be able to display long videos. You also won’t be able to attach a separate text along with the story.
Instagram stories are cheaper to advertise in than posts. They also tend to generate much more interest in the user, but the lack of additional text and time limitations reduce the amount of information that we can covey. Stories also tend to get more clicks than normal posts. Also, advertisements in stories are growing much faster than posts, thus implying that more and more companies are jumping onto this bandwagon. While Instagram posts are more popular among older people, the difference is not that significant. Stories are also very immersive, it resembles the snaps in SnapChat, appealing to millennials at their root level. Instagram ads tend to have more clicks, a higher conversion rate and will reach more people than posts without text.
As told in the beginning, it depends. Knowing what your product and who your audience is, are crucial to deciding whether you must use stories or regular feed. Stories have a much higher click-through rate than posts, but the issue is our inability to convey a lot of information. While this might not matter for someone who just wants to advertise a discount in their eatery, it will matter to a company trying to sell a complex service like SEO. Posts with text, on the other hand, have a much higher conversion rate as the ad is much more detailed and will clearly inform the audience what the lead is about. That said, the difference in conversion rate is very significant. The cost of Instagram story advertisements is also much lower than that of a normal post.
The story format is relatively new to advertisement and is still not used by a majority of the advertisers. However, the growth in stories indicates that it will overtake the newsfeed for organic traffic in the near future. Thus invest at least a small part of your marketing budget in it to prepare yourself for the future.