Instagram is shifting away from grid posts to stories and video content, while prioritizing shoppability.
With 97% of brands actively using Instagram Stories, the platform is the most popular according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail. In fact, each brand posted an average of 98 stories over the course of July 2019. Swipe Up is the most utilized feature native to Instagram Stories, allowing brands to direct followers to specific mobile site pages. Almost half of all Swipe Ups on Instagram Stories lead directly to a product page, while 22% link to a category page, solidifying the platform’s role as a crucial mobile commerce discovery pathway.
In addition to Stories, 78% of tracked brands are active on IGTV. On average, brands with IGTV maintain 14 videos each. The formula for IGTV is short, educational videos featuring new products. Fast-fashion brand Forever 21 has found success using Instagram influencers to introduce new collections through “How to Style” IGTV content. For example, a three-minute-long video showing a micro influencer styling a new collection and linking to the Forever 21 site received 2.7 million views on IGTV. Once created, IGTV content can be reposted on a brand’s grid. This particular Forever 21 IGTV video, once reposted, exhibited a 378% engagement lift from the brand’s average grid post.
Brands should maximize the use of content generated for YouTube and other platforms by also hosting it on IGTV in order to reach a wider demographic and keep their core audience engaged.