In October this year, Instagram will celebrate five years of its existence. And it looks like the app that gave us alternate meaning of words like ‘filters’ and ‘double tap’ is gearing up for world dominance. Among the avalanche of features to be added to the I-gram universe, the latest – Instagram Stories – is certain proof of this.
So, what exactly are Instagram Stories?
Remember when Snapchat made sharing pictures a time-bomb affair? If you weren’t on Snapchat, you were literally missing out. Instagram, too, is leveraging the FOMO syndrome with its ‘stories’ which lets users post images, videos, Boomerangs and Hyperlapses in a continuous series that get deleted at the end of the day. If you are confused about how it works, check our in-depth blog on this new Instagram addition.
Stories, and the F&B industry
For years now, we have known that food sells amazingly well on Instagram. Something about the way those filters make melted cheese look even more yummy. Now that the stories are here to stay, it is sure to impact the way the F&B industry markets itself.
Here are five smart tips on how you and your brand too can leverage this new feature to captivate and retain your audience:
1. Run exclusive time-bound offers and discounts
Instagram stories only have a 24-hour timeline, making it a great way to market exclusive day-long offers and discounts and create a sense of urgency in your customer. Limited stock could now be your best friend, and as you count down to the last block of handmade cheese in your store, make sure it’s all captured in your story feed.
2. Showcase recipes in the making / behind-the-scenes content
Instagram stories can be a great way to promote your ‘Today’s Special’ or a completely new dish at your restaurant. Short videos of the chef prepping for cooking, or the diners loving a new recipe can work wonders towards increasing footfalls. If you struggle to create content for your brand, the stories can be a great way to show the behind-the-scenes hard work and create trust in your customer’s mind. Don’t worry about anyone stealing your recipe – it’ll all be gone in a day anyway 😉
3. Feature loyal customers
Instagram stories can also be used to create real-time content with your loyal clientele. If you have a ‘Chef For A Day’ event lined up, a gala food-tasting, or a meet-and-greet with fans of your brand, then use the stories to highlight your die-hard followers and give them their moment in the (virtual) sun.
4. Showcase occasions, events and gigs
Instagram stories can be a great way to tell the world about your brand events. Instead of uploading separate pictures, you can create an instant album that captures everything from the backstage and the preparations to the main event. From a food blogger on an organic shopping haul to a brand organizing a food walk in their town, the stories are for everyone.
5. Redistribute content on other channels
Now it may seem too much effort to create a story that gets deleted at the end of the day. However, if you are wise about it you can also use your stories as content for different channels and thus create fresh ideas for videos, infographics, collages, and blogs that can be distributed on other channels.
Time alone will tell how wonderfully Instagram’s stories rivals Snapchat and if users actually take to it, but as a brand it is necessary to be forearmed and prepared for changes in the digital world. If you, too, have a take on the Instagram stories feature, do let us know in the comments below!