The Power of Instagram Stories

Influencer campaigns are usually centred around beautiful content, that can be posted by the brand and influencer alike. So how does the dynamic change when the campaign is activated entirely via Instagram Stories? Instagram stories (up until recently) only lasted 24 hours, and due to the spontaneous nature of the immediate camera and sizing restrictions of the frame, Stories content was seen as not a worthwhile investment for brands. But Facebook wanted to prove this was a misconception by creating an influencer activation, centred around Christmas, entirely created through the Stories feature.

Facebook, in partnership with the creative agency WeAreFamily, commissioned a Whalar campaign in which a select group of influencers created Instagram Stories content, in order to show how powerful the tool can be. The content was to be used in house to educate and inspire advertisers.

The theme was Christmas, and it had to be interactive; so the influencers played a game of Charades via Stories. The campaign was turned around in two weeks, with 72 pieces of beautiful, funny and engaging content created. We spoke to three of the creators involved about the project.

Stephanie of @stephaniepeers...

What was the inspiration behind your image/images for the Instagram Stories campaign? How did you put the inspiration into action?

The theme for the project was words relating to Christmas so I took inspiration from the decorations that were popping up all over London. I wanted to create a range of still images, Boomerangs and animations so came up with the ideas and then found suitable locations around town to shoot them.

What do you find different about creating content solely for stories rather than for your feed?

I actually really enjoy creating content for Instagram Stories as I feel like I can be a bit more free, whilst still maintaining my own style. My Instagram feed is much more coordinated so it was great to use bold Christmas colours and lively imagery to act out some of the "words of the day" and I loved creating the emoji animations.

Do you think the campaign was successful? Are you still happy with the content you created, would you do anything differently approaching the project again?

I really enjoyed taking part in this campaign as it was so different to the projects that I am usually commissioned for. I think Boomerang works so well for this type of content creation and I was really happy with my "Let It Snow" post which featured piles of snow, glittery snow globes and bold lettering. If I was approaching the project again I'd definitely use the newly released Stop-Motion feature on Instagram Stories as you can use it to create really fun stories which would have been perfect for this campaign.

Sarah from @sarah_ louise__ferg...

What was the inspiration behind your image/images for the Instagram Stories campaign? How did you put the inspiration into action?

I get super excited by Christmas. So literally just having my decorations out meant that the inspiration for the images came pretty naturally. I called on a few of my Instagram favourites and tried to think about what they might do, and pulled some inspiration from them too. I tried to think backwards; how would I work out what the word of the day was? And then I tested each idea on my husband - just to make sure they weren't too difficult to guess!

What do you find different about creating content solely for stories rather than for your feed?

I found creating stories to be a lot of fun! The tools available mean that there are more options for you to be creative. You can really make something pretty cool and I feel you can really make your personality come across. Producing for your feed sometimes needs to be carefully curated. Stories can be made in a way that is footloose and fancy free.

Do you think the campaign was successful? Are you still happy with the content you created, would you do anything differently approaching the project again?

I think the campaign was great; I'm really pleased with what I created. I laughed whilst I was making each image and had a lot of fun.

Emily from @emilyfredasharp...

What was the inspiration behind your image/images for the Instagram Stories campaign? How did you put the inspiration into action?

I asked myself how I could play with the words and stimulus’ given and then worked out ways to visualise the ideas. In some cases I ended up focusing on homonyms (physical and audible), like ‘Bauble’ and ‘Bubble’, whilst in others I tried to mime the actions and gestures commonly associated with the theme - for example, pulling apart a ‘Christmas Cracker’.

What do you find different about creating content solely for stories rather than for your feed?

When it came to working with Stories, I really had to play around with the settings and get to know tools provided, as I mainly use it to speak with the IG community through static images/text and or blog style videos. I’d not created many pieces of playful content, designed to be seen in Stories, so it was an interesting challenge. I actually fell into the rhythm of designing moving shots and animations quite quickly and I think that some of the playfulness that Stories lends itself so well to, has begun to rub off on my content as a whole.

Do you think the campaign was successful? Are you still happy with the content you created, would you do anything differently approaching the project again?

As always, I’d loved to have had more time to work on the campaign, but I could have spent days on the content and still wanted to make changes. I think what was really successful for me was that it reminded me of what an amazing and adaptive tool Instagram originally was when I first joined back in 2011. It was fun for the work to feel so fresh.

What do you think - are you a brand or a creator? Do you like the idea of campaigns created via Stories? Let us know in the comments or via our socials!

Banner image by @stephaniepeers