Showing Your Personal Side with Instagram Storytelling
Instagram storytelling is a great, low-cost way to connect with fans on a personal level. Here's how 3 brands use Instagram storytelling almost perfectly.
Reading time: 6 minutes
We're entering an age of digital marketing where the well-polished, curated content brands put out may start to be outperformed by more rough, personalized storytelling. After Twitch was acquired by Amazon, it was a wakeup call for other other big companies to get their ass in gear with livestreaming. We've seen YouTube and Facebook embrace the livestream - a chance for established and smaller brands to make their fans really feel like they're in the same room as them. Some have been met with obstacles, while others have been doing great with it out of the gate. The Verge only had around 1,000 concurrent viewers on their first YouTube livestream despite having over 1 million fans, yet people like Showry and Gary Vaynerchuk are hitting a much, much higher % of their fans on Facebook Live. The bottom line here is that we need to be more personal with the communities we're building and Instagram storytelling is a relatively low-cost, time-effective way of doing it. We're not all ready for live video, myself included.
water.org's "water gives _____" Campaign is Genius Instagram Storytelling
water.org has been using Instagram storytelling as a tool to engage with new audiences. They're an organization focusing on helping people lacking clean water and sanitation and have an excellent marketing team behind them. With their "water gives ______" campaign, the organization brought transparency to where donations go - highlighting how having access to clean water benefits those living in poverty.
Not only do they tell their own story, but they tell the stories of those they're helping. It's Instagram storytelling with multiple angles that engages fans, brings in new ones and while I can't quantify it, I bet it's increased their donations as well. This level transparency and humanification to their operations is something we can all look up to. It's what GeiLi Giving is trying to bring to China's charitable organization landscape - transparency. It's what I'm trying to do with my Instagram marketing blog. I put everything I do out there - every tactic, my metrics and my insight on what others are doing with their Instagram storytelling.
NASA Makes Use of Long Form Text
NASA uses their extremely unique photography to bring awareness to their work to people that would never have read about their missions or accomplishments. NASA's social media manager, John Yembrick told WIRED that they feel it's important to reach out to new audiences. Not just for their own brand image, but on a cultural level. Their photo of Pluto below was liked over 360k times and its reposts on other space-related accounts have received similar support.
Instagram's visual focus is a creative challenge for organizations that aren't regularly producing exciting photography or data. NASA's Instagram storytelling has shown us that the story behind a photo matters just as much as the image. Their posts are much more sparce than the typical brand story and they use long form text to engage their fans. Organizations that aren't inherently visual can make their best moves on the platform by focusing on their unique stories.
The NYC Public Library Tells Stories with Unique Hashtags
They've built a community from the ground up based on unique offerings. The New York City Public Library shares their history with weekly hashtags. Every Monday, they share an old quesiton card using the hashtag #LetMeLibrarianThatForYou. No one else could make this happen and people truly love it.