One of the most impactful mediums for engaging with your audience is Instagram – and a compelling way to use that platform is to leverage the power of Instagram Stories.
In this two-part article series, we’re going to talk about the topic of Instagram Stories and show you exactly how to use them effectively as a school marketer.
This week, we’ll cover the following:
- How widely used Instagram is among your target audience
- Why your school should be using Instagram Stories as part of their marketing strategy
- Two examples of schools that are using IG Stories well
Next week, we’ll recap on all the lessons learned and show you exactly what you need to do to start getting the most out of this exciting medium.
If you’re interested in learning more about getting the most out of Instagram Stories, then read on!
Instagram Usage Stats – Just How Widespread Is It?
It’s no secret that Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world right now… but just how popular is it?
According to Adespresso, the website has:
- ~1 billion monthly users
- 500 million daily active users
- 4.2 billion likes per day
To make things more specific, we can look at UK statistics. According to Rose McGory:
- 41% of UK adults aged 18+ use Instagram
- 23 million active users in the UK
- 69% of male and 91% of female internet users under the age of 24 have an account on the site
- 30% of male and 47% of female internet users aged 35-54 use the platform regularly
As a school marketer, your attention is usually divided between your prospective pupils and their parents. As you can see from the stats above, your potential students are certainly using the platform, you also have the opportunity to reach their parents.
Instagram offers several advantages over other platforms.
- According to Adespresso, Instagram images get 23% more engagement than their Facebook counterparts.
- Additionally, brands can see up to 4% of their followers regularly engaged on Instagram. This is much higher than the 0.1% organic engagement these same businesses report on Facebook and Twitter… so it’s not a stretch to say you could see similar results for your school.
These higher engagement levels could be attributed to a number of different factors, but without making things too complicated, we believe the primary reason is:
Visual content is more engaging than text-based content. (Source: Moto CMS)
The case for schools using Instagram is clear. The website offers prime access to your target audience and better engagement levels than many alternatives.
But why should you use Instagram Stories over traditional posting methods?
Why Schools Should Use Instagram Stories
We’ve seen that most schools don’t get the most out of Instagram. Few schools are making effective use of the platform.
With that in mind, you can easily stand out from your competitors once you start following a few basic strategies. So, why should you use Instagram Stories?
According to SproutSocial, Instagram’s Stories feature has 500 million monthly users. Although we don’t have any hard data on the matter, we can assume that these users are roughly equally distributed around the world.
There are three main reasons why Stories are an effective medium for engaging with your audience.
- Attention: when someone is watching your Story, it takes up their entire screen. It’s unlikely for something else to distract them.
- Scarcity and FOMO: stories (unless added permanently to your profile) disappear after 24 hours. This means that they’re usually of current events. People may fear missing out on what’s going on, so will click to avoid this.
- Authenticity: global brands all leverage the power of Stories to engage with their audience. This content doesn’t have to be as refined as your regular posts, they can be more real.
Using Stories is a worthwhile practice in promoting your school, it gives parents, prospective pupils and staff an insight into what your school is really like.
One of the fastest ways to get a winning strategy in place is to emulate schools that are performing well. We’d like to mention two schools that are worth studying:
In particular, look at the variety of Highlights they’ve added to their profile. Both of these schools are offering visitors the chance to engage with them in an authentic way.
When used in conjunction with visually compelling posts and an understanding of your target audience, Stories can be the key to achieving great results.
That’s all for Part 1 of this series. Now that we’re clear on why you should consider using Instagram Stories for your school, we’ll move on to how to use this information next week. We’ll take a more in-depth look at some schools that are making great use of this feature and give you some quick tips you can put into practice immediately, read Part 2 here.