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Sephora, GE embrace Instagram Stories for easier accessibility than on Snapchat

Macy?s, GE, E! network, Mountain Dew and Sephora are just a few of the many marketers flocking to Instagram?s new Stories feature, which offers better visibility compared to Snapchat. 

Instagram is thickening the competition with Snapchat by introducing a feature that allows users to record video and pictures, which appear at the top of selected newsfeeds for only 24 hours, whether they follow the user or not. Brands are immediately embracing the intimate feature, hoping to gain back the attention they might have lost after the photo-sharing application changed its algorithm. 

?Stories gives brands a new opportunity to connect with fans on Instagram who may not have been engaged due to the recent algorithm change, increasing the amount of daily users and engagement with those users,? said Aubree Rose, digital media manager at Chacka Marketing. ?An interesting feature with Instagram Stories enables users to choose who they want to share their stories with ? providing brands with unique opportunities to interact with followers and non-followers. 

?Many brands are easily accessible and well established on Instagram, which creates an advantage over Snapchat where it can be challenging to find and connect with brands,? she said. 

Instagram vs Snapchat
Instagram introduced the new feature yesterday and immediately a significant number of brands shared content on Stories. The stories appear as bubbles featuring the posting user?s profile picture on the top of users? newsfeeds, which are listed as a horizontal scroll. 

Users can swipe to the left to view all the stories posted within the last 24 hours and click on the icon of the story they wish to view. Macy?s was one of the first brands to quickly adopt the new feature and shared videos and images from a photo shoot for the launch of new Urban Decay beauty products. 

Sephora released a similar story that shared behind-the-scenes footage of its video production for tutorials and other blog-like content. However, Mountain Dew took a different approach and shared images of branded merchandise the marketer is giving away randomly on the social app. 

The E! network is celebrating with users over the switch through its Keeping Up With The Kardashian?s brand by leveraging funny footage from cast members mixed with text that makes note of the new feature. General Electric went for the wow factor by showing images inside an active volcano.  

Holistic approach 
While the new feature may lead to a setback from Snapchat, brands should not slow down on content on either platform but instead incorporate as a part of a holistic brand approach. 

?Brands should look at this as a new and enhanced opportunity to engage their consumers with a cohesive ?story? in a short window,? said Andrew Wilder, associate director at Resolution Media. ?This should not be looked at as a direct replacement of any current efforts, but rather an additional opportunity for brands to share their message within Instagram.?