One of the most enjoyable parts of social media marketing is finding new ways to connect with audiences.
No other channel continually provides fresh new ways to achieve this quite like Instagram Stories. My last blog’s thesis was essentially that start producing vertical content and a few new tools are coming soon to kickstart your vertical content presence.
Q&A Stickers on Instagram Stories
You may have noticed, but Polls on Instagram Stories are wildly popular right now. I personally enjoy participating in polls because I get to see what percentage of the profile’s followers agree with me. An exciting new sticker will bring an additional way for users to engage with this style of content.
WABetaInfo reports that Instagram is developing a new Q&A sticker option for Stories. Soon you’ll be able to use Stories to pose questions to followers where users can reply privately with a direct message. We don’t know how it’ll look paired with a video/image but I think this would be incredibly useful for marketers in a multitude of ways:
- Add trivia to ephemeral content
- Get feedback on a new product
- Seek advice on how to solve a problem
- Receive questions from the audience before a channel takeover or Live video stream
- Gauge the audience's views on literally anything
I really see this Q&A stickers as an opportunity for social media marketers to get a better understanding of who their audience is and what they care about the most. At the end of the day, social media is supposed to be social and every new tool that makes it easier for brands, companies, or personal profiles to start conversations with friends and followers makes each channel a better place.
3D Drawing for Facebook
In a year or two, augmented reality will be synonymous with how we create and share content. Giphy World tried and failed with peppering the world with AR stickers, Holo almost nailed it with its characters users can infuse all around us, and Snapchat proved that dancing hot dogs are hilariously fun to share. Facebook is about to officially enter the augmented reality space with a tool that is sure to be a hit with content creators.
“We wanted to give people an easy way to create with augmented reality and draw in the world around them” John Barnett, a Facebook Camera Product Manager, said. The company is calling the new feature “3D drawing” and TechCrunch reports it will available for all Facebook users within the next few weeks.
We’ve seen how filters and AR stickers can enhance vertical content on Instagram and Snapchat, but I think being able to draw whatever we want into our digital world will open up numerous doors for creative ways to easily create engaging content. I think the best way to utilize this feature would be to enhance video content captured at events or scanning a room to reveal something noteworthy.
Ephemeral content is starting to become just content. Once upon a time, content published to Instagram Stories was gone forever after 24 hours — now it can be a pinned to the top of the profile for Highlights. Anything created for Stories can be downloaded, re-shared on other channels and reposted. Being able to add custom graffiti to our digital environment will just be a new way to create content for Stories that can also live forever if you want it to.
I would argue that every brand and company should be developing a presence on Instagram. As you’ve just read, I would also argue that mastering the vertical content format is another must.
Promoting all this effort going into an Instagram presence is about to get easier. Sure, you can add your handel to business cards and link to it in your email signature to help get the word out, but soon users will be able to follow accounts by scanning a code called Nametags with the Stories camera.
Does your company have printed materials? Put your Instagram Nametag on it. Do you want to have a new profile pic on all social channels? Use your Instagram Nametag. Creating some swag for an event coming up? Print your Instagram Nametag on it.
Having an active presence on social media and also working at getting your content in front of new people is the name of the game.
When Instagram was young, it was viewed as the channel for sharing behind-the-scenes content. Instagram has since evolved into a channel to showcase the best visual content whereas Stories is now that venue for experimentation and behind-the-scenes posts. The point is that five years from now, all the effort put into vertical content today will pay off in the long run.