Three times upbeat: The triumph of the story function

What will we remember when we look back on the Internet at the end of the 2010s in a few years? Snapchat is likely to be right up front. The quirky messaging app with the cunning mind, the ease of use of an average SAP installation and the innovative augmented reality lenses that have convinced millions of adults that selfies with dog and cat faces are socially acceptable for mid-twenties.

The true legacy of Snapchat will be the invention of the story feature. Stories, the juxtaposition of photos and short video snippets with funny stickers, location information or drawings, have begun an incomparable triumph on the Web. Stories are now common features on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, and even Google has YouTube and now even the Web search a Stories feature donated.

Grandma’s holiday stories: the digital slideshow

For the users, stories, e.g. on Facebook or Instagram, an excellent way to share everyday experiences in a creative way with family, friends and acquaintances. Instead of the postcard and the obligatory slide evening following my grandma can post directly from the holiday their impressions on the web. Stories are automatically deleted after 24 hours. For snapshots that you want to share with your followers for longer, the so-called “moments” that allow you to save stories on your profile for the long term are a nice feature.

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Also creative you have many possibilities. Through the simple combination of videos, photos, stickers, drawings and music even technically inexperienced users can create and share considerable content in a short time.

Exciting is Google’s story integration in the search results. Standardizing the format as an evolution of the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project provides users with quick and easy access to news stories and visual content related to their desired search term or topic.

Stories as media environment: limitless video inventory

In addition to Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube, Facebook is now also providing the complete story inventory as an advertising environment for moving pictures after several months of testing. The spots are switched between the individual story elements or between two different stories. One should not be blinded by the potentially high range, the advertising environment is only limited comparable with other InStream placements such as broadcaster media libraries or the classic YouTube for several reasons.

Stories are a clear mobile format, the content is used vertically. Therefore, it does not make sense to use classic TV commercials in 16: 9 format as breaker advertising. The usage situation is also subject to mobile rules: on the go in waiting situations, with a high potential for distraction and not necessarily with headphones. Ads for the story feed should therefore be adapted to these conditions, in this case, the same rules apply as in social feeds in general. Subtitle, short (rather five instead of 15 seconds) and to the point with obvious sender, instead of lengthy told stories with suspense and resolution at the end. Unfortunately there are not many investigations into the advertising impact of Ads in Stories, but the effect is likely to be comparable to Ads in the Facebook Newsfeed.

Brand Stories: the perfect field of experimentation

Stories on Instagram, Facebook and other social platforms are an excellent field of experiment for brand communication. The creative possibilities are diverse, from commercials in story format such. for the new BMW 8 Series …

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about behind-the-scenes videos of events such as Media Markt at Gamescom …

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… on Q & A formats or voting – Stories allow companies to stage their branded content in the style of each platform and to integrate organically into the users’ content experience.

A few basic rules should be considered anyway. Obviously, but often overlooked: if the content has no relevance, the users jump quickly. High rate of change in scene change and generally short stories fit better in the usage situation on the smartphone and that one should not start to recycle his 16: 9 TV assets in a vertical video format, of course, goes without saying.

Keeping to these rules, Stories also achieve good results: A survey commissioned by Facebook of nearly 10,000 regular users of stories on Instagram in the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil and Indonesia found that 39 percent of users through contact with brands and products in Stories the brand / product interest could be increased.

And for the guardians of the sacred branding CI requirements, perhaps also a reassuring news: The same investigation has revealed that the users of Stories expect authentic, playful and unfiltered impressions. As a brand you do not have to show the same perfectionism as in the print ad in the news magazine.

About the author: A passionate nerd since childhood, Alex Turtschan has spent more than 10 years in the Serviceplan group looking at consumer, market and technology trends and their impact on digital marketing. He is currently Director Digital Strategy at Plan.Net Media.

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