6 Brands Crushing It with Instagram Stories

  • 6 Brands Crushing It with Instagram Stories

You know what I like more than just about anything in the whole wide world? Seeing profitable social media. It’s right up there with running in the rain, drinking a cold beer after yard work, and sleeping in on a Sunday. Profitable social media is the stuff of life. It smells like freshly mowed grass and tastes like fine champagne.

Through organic social media efforts, brands can’t make a profit unless they are building the trust and respect of their audiences. I love seeing profitable social because that means both the brand and the customers win. Who doesn’t love a win-win?

Recently, many brands have been knocking it out of the park on social, namely with Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories create an interesting dynamic for brands because, from the outside, no one can numerically judge the success of their efforts—there is no view count or like count. That said, there is no denying that the following six brands are winning in their Instagram Stories.

Brands can’t make a profit without building the trust and respect of their audiences.
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1. Converse

Have you noticed how hard Converse works to be “alternative,” especially lately? Unabashed effort goes into missing the mark on “cool” and falling into whiskey tango foxtrot—thus, they are earning the respect of many youths, as is customary for Converse.

Creative aside, marketers should take notice of their Instagram Story strategy. In announcing the roll out of a new shoe collaboration, Converse seamlessly connects their Instagram post content with their Instagram Story content.

Their Instagram feed and Instagram Story work in perfect harmony.

I’m all for obvious, somewhat repetitive social—wash, rinse, and repeat. If brands want their audience to know something, they should wrap exciting, memorable content around that something and repeat, repeat, repeat, just as Converse has done—so nicely “it will make you puke.”

2. Twitter

Twitter, you dog, you! Twitter shamelessly shares highlights from the channel on Instagram Stories. Swipe up, and users will land on Twitter. If they haven’t downloaded the app or created an account, they will be prompted to do so.

Twitter knows what Tweeters love to Tweet about. Their Instagram Stories are full of social causes, news, sports and celebrities. Each video prompts users to swipe up to learn more, i.e., swipe up to go to Twitter, where the “real” conversations are happening. When they post content of such engaging quality, who can fault Twitter for stealing a little Instagram love for themselves?

3. Nordstrom Rack

The managers of the Nordstrom Rack account went behind-the-scenes on their holiday shoot. While the models joyfully bounced around, teenage shoppers ran to their parents, begging for an advance on their monthly allowances.

Everyone knows Nordstrom stands for quality, but seeing the clothes in action takes them beyond #goals to #mustbemine. By the time the professional photos from this BTS shoot hit stores/catalogs (and the clothes hit the racks), shoppers will feel a kinship to the models, excitement for the new season and, most importantly, trust in the brand.

4. Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones fans love their merch, and the managers of the Game of Thrones Instagram account plan to take that fact straight to the bank.

The Game of Thrones audience, ruled by forever-nerds, will leap at any piece of merchandise that may raise them above the hoards of wine-drinkers-who-know-things. By sharing links to merchandise clearly made by small-fry super-fans, the brand shows a ton of heart. This Instagram Story is another great example of a brand profiting from knowing and serving their audience. They even have the clever hashtag #reptherealm.

5. Crossfit

Crossfit is attempting to serve an international audience from one account, and that’s no easy feat. Yes, a lot of brands do it, but Crossfit isn’t promoting a product; they are promoting a lifestyle. Going international, covering all those lifestyles (which include a variety of cultures and traditions) is tough.

I won’t congratulate Crossfit on the quality of their photography/videography because, frankly, I think they can do better. However, I do commend the brand on staying so true to brand and utilizing their resources.

The brand made use of Instagram Live (later shared to their Instagram Story), user-generated content, and influencer marketing, all in one story, which is pretty incredible. Their Instagram content also covers their brand pillars of food, fitness, community, and jockish humor.

6. Taco Bell

Say you are dating a nice boy and want him to remember you even when he is chillin’ on the porcelain throne. What do you do? Take a super cute selfie, and make it his phone’s background photo without his permission. Duh. Unforgettable.

That’s all Taco Bell is asking: to be unforgettable, by way of phone backgrounds everywhere.

This sort of engagement is pretty common. Many brands prompt users to capture the perfectly proportioned Instagram Story images to later use as extraordinary phone display images (and Snapchat Stories). With a phone background like this, friends of the Taco Bell fan will likely see a tenfold increase in instances of, “Want to go to Taco Bell?”

Thanks to Instagram Stories’ many features, from live video to links, there is more than one way to skin a cat. As a marketer, you must experiment to learn how to best skin your particular cat (ew). In other words, when brands really kill it on Instagram Stories, it’s a result of understanding and serving the needs and wants of their audiences, as with any other social platform. Often brands simply optimize their already finely-tuned Instagram content to fit the new medium. Other times, they use the on-the-go temporary publisher to give the audience a look behind-the-scenes, into the soul of the brand.

In short, if you are confident your team produces content that captivates, engages, and serves your audience, begin testing out that content on Instagram Stories. You’ll be happy you did.

Get a weekly dose of the trends and insights you need to keep you ON top, from Jay Baer at Convince & Convert. Sign up for the Convince & Convert ON email newsletter.


The Top 3 Most Important Elements For An Instagram Ad

The Top 3 Most Important Elements For An Instagram Ad

With 15 million business profiles on Instagram (up from 8 million in March 2017) we can say that the social network owned by Facebook is one of the biggest mobile go-to places for everyone who wants to build an online image of a business.

But there is more to it! As marketers, we are also interested in the numbers that show us the power of the tool or marketplace we want to use, right?

Now let me clarify a few things that will help you understand the power of Instagram:

  1. 80% of the users on Instagram follow a business – this seems like a great place to create a great bridge between your brand and your potential customers.
  2. 60% of people say that they discover new products on Instagram – because brands understand what their audiences want, need to know, how to connect with them and what kind of content to share with them.


How to Set Up a Creative Facebook Cover Video

Have you thought about using video in place of your Facebook cover photo? Are you looking for creative examples? In this article, you’ll discover how to use a Facebook video cover on your Facebook page. Why Use a Facebook Cover Video? When users visit your page, your Facebook cover photo is one of the first

This post How to Set Up a Creative Facebook Cover Video first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle


LinkedIn Updates, New Facebook Ads, and the New Facebook Design

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Michael Stelzner, we explore LinkedIn updates with Erik Fisher, new Facebook ads with Amanda Bond, the new Facebook design,

This post LinkedIn Updates, New Facebook Ads, and the New Facebook Design first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle


LinkedIn Updates, New Facebook Ads, and the New Facebook Design

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Michael Stelzner, we explore LinkedIn updates with Erik Fisher, new Facebook ads with Amanda Bond, the new Facebook design,

This post LinkedIn Updates, New Facebook Ads, and the New Facebook Design first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle


The Perfect Blog Post Length and Publishing Frequency is B?!!$#÷x – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

The perfect blog post length or publishing frequency doesn’t actually exist. “Perfect” isn’t universal — your content’s success depends on tons of personalized factors. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand explains why the idea of “perfect” is baloney when it comes to your blog, and lists what you should actually be looking for in a successful publishing strategy.


the perfect blog post length and frequency

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about blog posts and, more broadly, content length and publishing frequency.

So these are things where a lot of the posts that you might read, for example, if you were to Google “ideal blog post length” or “ideal publishing frequency” will give you data and information that come from these sources of here’s the average length of content of the top 10 results in Google across a 5,000-keyword set, and you can see that somewhere between 2,350 and 2,425 words is the ideal length, so that’s what you should aim for.

I am going to call a big fat helping if baloney on that. It’s not only dead wrong, it’s really misleading. In fact, I get frustrated when I see these types of charts used to justify this information, because that’s not right at all.

When you see charts/data like this used to provide prescriptive, specific targets for content length, ask:

Any time you see this, if you see a chart or data like this to suggest, hey, this is how long you should make a post because here’s the length of the average thing in the top 10, you should ask very careful questions like:

1. What set of keywords does this apply to? Is this a big, broad set of 5,000 keywords, and some of them are navigational and some of them are informational and some of them are transactional and maybe a few of them are ecommerce keywords and a few of them are travel related and a few of them are in some other sector?

Because honestly, what does that mean? That’s sort of meaningless, right? Especially if the standard deviation is quite high. If we’re talking about like, oh, well many things that actually did rank number one were somewhere between 500 words and 15,000 words. Well, so what does the average tell me? How is that helpful? That’s not actually useful or prescriptive information. In fact, it’s almost misleading to make that prescriptive.

2. Do the keywords that I care about, the ones that I’m targeting, do they have similar results? Does the chart look the same? If you were to take a sample of let’s say 50 keywords that you cared about and you were to get the average content length of the top 10 results, would it resemble that? Would it not? Does it have a high standard deviation? Is there a big delta because some keywords require a lot of content to answer them fully and some keywords require very, very small amounts of content and Google has prioritized accordingly? Is it wise, then, to aim for the average when a much larger article would be much more appreciated and be much more likely to succeed, or a much shorter one would do far better? Why are you aiming for this average if that’s the case?

3. Is correlation the same as causation? The answer is hell no. Never has been. Big fat no. Correlation doesn’t even necessarily imply causation. In fact, I would say that any time you’re looking at an average, especially on this type of stuff, correlation and causation are totally separate. It is not because the number one result is 2,450 words that it happens to rank number one. Google does not work that way. Never has, never will.

INSTEAD of trusting these big, unknown keyword set averages, you should: A. look at your keywords and your search results and what’s working versus not in those specific ones.

B. Be willing to innovate, be willing to say, “Hey, you know what? I see this content today, the number one, number two, number three rankings are in these sorts of averages. But I actually think you can answer this with much shorter content and many searchers would appreciate it.” I think these folks, who are currently ranking, are over-content creating, and they don’t need to be.

C. You should match your goals and your content goals with searcher goals. That’s how you should determine the length that you should put in there. If you are trying to help someone solve a very specific problem and it is an easily answerable question and you’re trying to get the featured snippet, you probably don’t need thousands of words of content. Likewise, if you are trying to solve a very complex query and you have a ton of resources and information that no one else has access to, you’ve done some really unique work, this may be way too short for what you’re aiming for.

All right. Let’s switch over to publishing frequency, where you can probably guess I’m going to give you similar information. A lot of times you’ll see, “How often should I publish? Oh, look, people who publish 11 times or more per month, they get way more traffic than people who publish only once a month. Therefore, clearly, I should publish 11 or more times a month.”

Why is the cutoff at 11? Does that make any sense to you? Are these visits all valuable to all the companies that were part of whatever survey was in here? Did one blog post account for most of the traffic in the 11 plus, and it’s just that the other 10 happened to be posts where they were practicing or trying to get good, and it was just one that kind of shot out of the park there?

See a chart like this? Ask:

1. Who’s in the set of sites analyzed? Are they similar to me? Do they target a similar audience? Are they in my actual sector? What’s the relative quality of the content? How savvy and targeted are the efforts at earning traffic? Is this guy over here, are we sure that all 11 posts were just as good as the one post this person created? Because if not, I’m comparing apples and oranges.

2. What’s the quality of the traffic? What’s the value of the traffic? Maybe this person is getting a ton of really valuable traffic, and this person over here is getting very little. You can’t tell from a chart like this, especially when it’s averaged in this way.

3. What things might matter more than raw frequency?

  • Well, matching your goals to your content schedule. If one of your goals is to build up subscribers, like Whiteboard Friday where people know it and they’ve heard of it, they have a brand association with it, it’s called Whiteboard Friday, it should probably come out once a week on Friday. There’s a frequency implied in the content, and that makes sense. But you might have goals that only demand publishing once a quarter or once a month or once a week or once every day. That’s okay. But you should tie those together.
  • Consistency, we have found, is almost always more important than raw frequency, especially if you’re trying to build up that consistent audience and a subscriber base. So I would focus on that, not how I should publish more often, but I should publish more consistently so that people will get used to my publishing schedule and will look forward to what I have to say, and also so that you can build up a cadence for yourself and your organization.
  • Crafting posts that actually earn attention and amplification and help your conversion funnel goals, whatever those might be, over raw traffic. It’s far better if this person got 50 new visits who turned into 5 new paying customers, than this person who published 11 posts and got 1 new paying customer out of all 11. That’s a lot more work and expense for a lot less ROI. I’d be careful about that.


One aside I would say about publishing frequency. If you’re early stage, or if you were trying to build a career in blogging or in publishing, it’s great to publish a lot of content. Great writers become great because they write a lot of terrible crap, and then they improve. The same is true with web publishers.

If you look at Whiteboard Friday number one, or a blog post number one from me, you’re going to see pretty miserable stuff. But over time, by publishing quite a bit, I got better at it. So if that is your goal, yes, publishing a lot of content, more than you probably need, more than your customers or audience probably needs, is good practice for you, and it will help you get better.

All right, everyone. Hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Whiteboard Friday. We’ll see you again next week. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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How to Optimize Your Facebook Ads: A Proven Approach

Want to improve the performance of your Facebook campaigns? Wondering how to successfully test and fine-tune your Facebook ads? To explore his process for optimizing Facebook ads, I interview Azriel Ratz. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy

This post How to Optimize Your Facebook Ads: A Proven Approach first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle


How to Find Out What Keywords Are Relevant to Your Business

How to Find Out What Keywords Are Relevant to Your Business

Keyword research is everything for the average business. This article describes how to go about it.

The right keywords can bring the right people to your business—and by investing your time in keywords research, you can identify popular search terms your customers are using and learn more about what goes on in their mind. Try putting yourself in their shoes and you’re one step closer to finding terms that can get you ranked in search engines.

If you’re still in the first stages of figuring out how to get discovered in search results, this article will help you as it outlines the top ways to find relevant keywords to your business. You can then implement these keywords into your website and campaigns to attract the right kind of visitors and leads.

1. Brainstorm first

Start first by writing down the list of terms and phrases that your target customers are most likely to use.


Facebook Live Tools: An Essential Checklist for Creators

Wondering what tools and desktop software you need to produce a Facebook Live show? Looking for a guide to tech setup and pre-show production? In this article, you’ll discover how to manage the technical side of a Facebook Live show. #1: Gather the Equipment You Need for Your Live Broadcast During any Facebook Live show,

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle