A Vertical Path to a Rich Social Media Experience

62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Instagram Stories (Hootsuite). Social Media Stories (Stories) are 15 second vertical videos that last 24 hours. They provide a different video digital experience.

When you tap on them, they cover the whole surface of your mobile device. When you post videos to Stories, you can immediately see who is watching. This gives brands insight into who is interested in their content and what are some of the characteristics of their target audience.

INstagram and Facebook Stories Examples

Stories became most popular on Snapchat, then Instagram and Facebook, then YouTube, and now a Beijing giant TikTok, has taken it to a completely new level.

One word of caution: there is a wrong way to use Stories. For example: sharing information without intent.

Going Vertical

The traditional 16:9 landscape format is being replaced by a new 9:16 vertical format that has fast become the default for video creation and consumption.

Since the rising popularity of this format on Snapchat, it is the preferred way for many users to consume video content.

Stories are an important addition to digital experience marketing because they allow viewers an insight into a micro-moment in someone else’s life.

Most Stories are recorded directly on the mobile device which make them a very private (at arm’s length) experience.

Brands who creatively tell an interesting story in 15 seconds, and evoke a reaction, will continue to build audiences with people aligned with their brand personality. This results in more followers, increased awareness, and market share.

“59% of Millennials and 70% of Gen Z users watch Instagram Stories (99Firms).”

Consumers often use Stories to search for local businesses. For instance, on Instagram Stories, you can add a ‘sticker’ with your location, that allows users to view other stories in that location.

Likewise, the use of hashtags for places or events have a similar effect of driving user curiosity. Another way to increase engagement is by adding GIFs, stickers, and Polls to your Stories. For instance, if you’re thinking of launching a new product or service, you can ask an audience for their degree of interest eliciting pre-sales.


Among the main benefits to using social media stories in 2020 are:

  • Access to audience insights
  • Constant engagement with followers
  • Increased brand awareness
  • Low cost ad solution
  • Increased exposure to your website

How Instagram Stories Work

Here’s a personal example of how I came to learn about a History Channel show called “Unidentified.”

    1. Saw an IG story with one of my friends (let’s call him Chris) wearing an old-style headset. Looked like he was on an interview
    2. Turned on the volume to hear what he was saying
    3. Then I clicked through to the person who was tagged on the post which took me to Ed Clay’s profile (@edclayofficial). Before then I had no idea, who Ed Clay was. But if he was interviewing Chris, I knew I had to learn more.
    4. I then found out Ed Clay is a popular Podcaster from the link on his IG bio. His Podcast is called The Big Idea Podcast (https://shor.by/TheBigIdeaPodcast)
    5. I clicked through that link and it launched Apple Podcasts
    6. I then ‘Subscribed’ to his Podcast
    7. Searched in his interview for Chris’ interview and found it
    8. Questions and answers were SO engaging that I ended up hearing 50 minutes of it
    9. During this time, I learned about “towering confidence”, who Tom DeLong is, and about a show called “Unidentified” on the History channel, and that Chris is an investor in ‘The Stars Academy’.

ALL from one single Instagram Story. That’s how this works.

About the Author

Daveeed Wagner is a keynote speaker, Founder & CEO of 1marketingidea, a marketing agency that leverages the social media experience to transform brands struggling at connecting and engaging with their networks. This results in deeper and stronger relationships, repeat business, referrals, and higher profits.

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