4 tips for brands wanting to ‘Live’n up their Instagram Stories

This month Instagram revealed a new feature for its live product. Users watching live streams can now request to join and, if accepted, can start broadcasting live as the host’s guest.

Previously, anyone streaming live could invite a friend to join them, but now the request function allows for more collaborative opportunities. Hosts see the request pop up in real time and can accept or deny guests, as well as having access to a list of pending requests.

Celebrities and influencers can choose to ‘take calls’ from fans to boost their profile.  For brands, this presents an opportunity to have a more personal conversation with their followers.

With over 250 million daily users (according to figures from Wochit), Instagram’s Live Stories is a key marketing platform that brands shouldn’t ignore. To help you stay ahead of the game we’ve pulled together some top tips to ensure your brand has a Story worth talking about…

#1

Get real with your feedback

Thinking about launching a new product and want a sounding board? Where better to go than direct to your followers for some real-time feedback. Whether you’re in the development stages or have just unveiled your latest design range, asking what your followers think is a great way to engage and respond to consumer trends.

#2

Go behind the scenes

Insta-stories are a great way to give some authentic, behind-the-scenes ‘sneak peaks’ into your business. This can be anything from ‘backstage’ experiences at glamorous industry events to shining the light on an unseen part of your brand. For example, food and drink brands might wish to share the ‘gate to plate’ experience or allude to where their ‘secret ingredient’ has come from.

#3

How to videos

Everybody loves a ‘how to’ video and for brands this creates an opportunity to sell your product or service in context. While lovely pictures of your gin/yoga-wear/lipstick are perfect for your Insta feed, you’ll find you get more engagement for demonstrating how these can be used in fabulous cocktails/while mastering downward dog/to create the perfect pout in real time.

#4

Start a discussion

Brands keen to be seen at the heart of their sector, or driving the conversation around a topic, can use Instagram Stories to test the waters with a light panel discussion. With the new live feature, brands can take questions from the floor by way of requests and position themselves as experts in their field.

What else is new?

Black Friday aftermath

We’ve just about recovered from Black Friday and Cyber Monday madness and have looked at this year’s winners and losers. Figures from trade body IMRG show shoppers favoured ‘clicks over bricks’ as £1.4bn was spent online while footfall on the high street tailed off.
Online sales over the post-Thanksgiving weekend increased by 11.7% on last year, while the number of shoppers traipsing the High Streets, shopping centres and retail parks were down 3.6%, analysis firm Springboard said.
The sweet spot for checking out baskets was towards the end of the working day at 4:38pm – not us though, we were hard at work…

The internet’s reaction to the Royal engagement

Wedding bells are ringing at Clarence House again this week as Prince Harry confirmed he had popped the question to long-term girlfriend Meghan Markle. Sparking a frenzy online, we saw the happy couple make an appearance in Diana’s Memorial Garden where media titles had the opportunity to Facebook-Live the event. The Prince and future Princess then gave their first joint interview to the press on Monday evening.
The excitement on Twitter was met with confusion around the spelling of HRH’s name - many were unaware that Harry is short for Henry. As congratulations rolled in from around the world it was also celebrated that Harry and Meghan will be the first interracial couple in the British Royal Family (fingers crossed for another Spring Bank Holiday in 2018).

Digital detox with a 'Substitute Phone'

An Austrian-based designer has developed a cure for smartphone addicts. Klemens Schillinger has created an art piece as part of an exhibition titled ‘#Offline – Design for the (Good Old) Real World,’ which confronts our digital obsession.
The substitute phones are made from heavy plastic and feature marble-like stones that move when you run your finger over them to mimic the all-familiar swiping motion. They have no screens, no electronics and certainly won’t notify you when you’ve been tagged in a photo from the Christmas party – we’re yet to decide if that’s a blessing in disguise…

Photography: Leonhard Hilzensauer

 

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