What Are Instagram Stories?

Automotive Instagram Stories is a great Automotive Marketing option that allows dealerships to capture and post images and videos in a slideshow format. The content is available for only twenty-four hours from the time of posting. Stories also allow for the addition of text, drawings, GIFs, time stamps, location stamps, and more fun features that automotive dealers can utilize!

According to TechCrunch, Instagram Stories usage has soared to more than 550 million daily active users. That’s impressive because it means one-third of Facebook’s 1.57 billion daily users are posting or watching Stories each day.

Here are some Instagram stats that show the power of Stories:

  • 60% of millennials watch and post Instagram Stories on a daily basis
  • One-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from business accounts
  • 70% of Gen Z-ers watch and post Instagram Stories on a daily basis
  • Instagram Stories accounts for roughly 1/3 of Instagram’s sponsored content and growing

Instagram Automotive Marketing

So potential customers are watching Automotive Instagram Stories, which is obviously good to know. But how can you, as a marketing manager for an automotive dealership, effectively incorporate Stories into your social media game? Glad you asked, here are some thought starters!

How to Post an Organic Story

To avoid redundancy, we will outline how to post an Automotive Instagram Stories on Instagram only placement, but know that you can easily post the same Story on Facebook by selecting a special sharing feature (more on that later).

First, let’s set up the scene. Maybe the newest truck just hit your lot, and you want people to know about it. This is a great opportunity to share an image or video (or both) of the new vehicle on your Story! Here’s what you need to do!

Open the Instagram Application

You can post a Story either from the Instagram news feed or from your profile by clicking on your profile picture with the + icon.

Automotive Instagram StoriesTake the Photo or Video (or select one from your photo library) to post on your Story.

From here, you can add text, emojis, or anything else you think would help give context to your Story. To post the image or video on your Instagram Story, just click your profile picture in the bottom-left corner of your screen.

Adding content to your Story means once you post, it will be available for your followers (and non-followers, if you have a public profile) to view immediately. There is an option to post this same Story to Facebook by selecting the Send To button in the bottom-right corner of your screen, then Sharing Options under your Story, it will then show on Facebook as well.

From here, you can decide if you want to either share this particular Story to Facebook once or set it up so that all of your Stories are automatically shared with the Facebook Story platform in the future.

When to Post Organic Stories

Organic Story posts are great opportunities to showcase your dealership’s culture with “behind the scenes” moments — promoting events, showcasing employees, and sharing anything else your followers would enjoy seeing!

Organic Stories are not the place for only posting photos of your inventory. Your followers know you sell vehicles, and while that’s important, they want to see the faces behind the vehicles.

Reach More Auto Leads Through Story Advertising

Posting organic content on Facebook and Instagram Stories is great for maintaining a good brand reputation among your current followers. But what about people who don’t follow you? How can you get potential leads to view your Story content?

If you already advertise on Facebook, the answer to getting more leads through Stories may be a lot simpler than you think.

Under the Stories section in the ad set level of your Ads Manager, select the Story placements you’d like to include in your ad targeting.

Based on your targeting (either through Custom Audiences, Special Ad Audiences, interest-based targeting, or a combination of all three), Facebook will show your Story ad to people who might be qualified to see it with the word Sponsored in the top-left corner of the ad.

Before you go wild adding the Facebook and Instagram Story placement to all of your car dealership Facebook ads, it’s important to be aware of some of the Story ad limitations.

Instagram Automotive Marketing

The Story placement provides a different experience for a user than viewing an ad within the news feed placement, so we recommend editing your ads to accommodate the different placements. Story ads, in particular, remember:

Story ads disappear quickly (usually after 5-10 seconds)

Use minimal text — just enough that users know what your ad is about.

Story ads are not available when your campaign objective is set to “Catalog Sales.”

Unfortunately, this means that dynamic retargeting ads are not available on the Story placement (yet).

Image Ratios Matter for Stories Ads

The image you are using for your news feed ad may not be the right proportion for a Story ad. Preview how the ad looks in the Story placement; if necessary, crop the image, or select a new image to fit the aspect ratio requirements.

Measuring Automotive Instagram Stories

You posted the Story, but did it deliver the results you were hoping for? There are a few different ways to measure Story results.

Organic Stories

The more detailed steps to accessing organic Story insights for both Facebook and Instagram are outlined here. Generally, within the analyzation tool, you’ll find metrics including:

  • Unique Story opens
  • Page visits
  • Exits
  • Replies
  • Forward taps
  • Backward taps

Instagram Automotive Marketing

Paid Stories Results

Similar to how you analyze Facebook ad metrics that matter for your dealership, you can analyze the same results for Facebook and Instagram Story ads.

To see Story stats in Ads Manager, select the Breakdown menu in the top right, and click Placement.

Here, you can see how your ad performed on the Facebook news feed, Instagram feed, Audience Network, Stories, and any other placements you’ve selected.

Pro Tip – Use Carousel Ads

Three-card carousels are a great way to highlight multiple products or collections. Each card can feature a specific product or group of products with call-to-action (CTA) buttons (like “Shop Now”) that linked through to the relevant product pages on your eCommerce website, where visitors can purchase the items.

Pro Tip – Use Collection Ads

This format makes it easy to showcase a range of products in a way that users can easily discover, browse and purchase them. Creatives start with an enticing image or engaging video on top, and feature several product images underneath. The format allows a full-screen Canvas experience with multiple tabs that showcase different groups of products. Tapping on individual products can take users that product’s detail page on your website.

Ways to Take People Behind the Scenes

  • Shine a spotlight on your people. Whether it’s the business owner, company employees, your customers or your brand advocates, leverage the power of the human element to wow your audience.
  • Show them what makes you tick. Do you have a special office environment, manufacturing process or support an important social cause? Use it to show and tell how you stand out from the competition.
  • Highlight your products or services. Use interesting storytelling and great visuals to showcase your offerings and generate interest with history, methods, events that show your uniqueness and authenticity.
  • Give them a sneak peek. Creating or building something new and different? Partnering with a special or well-known partner on a project? Tell your audience about it with compelling visual content.

Conclusion

In the end, a great Instagram Story ad compels the user to act quickly,

You can achieve this through clear text directions; delivering a slew of lovely products in rapid succession; creating a sense of intrigue and mystery to elevate your brand; using keen narrative techniques, or simply making everyday moments more exciting with Boomerang loops and other video editing tools.

When plotting your Instagram Stories strategy, it’s a good idea to take a look at some great examples of successful Instagram ads and to be aware of these common Instagram ad mistakes brands make (and learn how to stay clear of them).

You have a range of creative tricks at your fingertips to take advantage of this fast-evolving and increasingly popular ad format to distinguish yourself for better results.


Shawn Ryder

Shawn Ryder

Shawn Ryder has over fifteen years in the automotive industry. Having worked with a training company in the early 2000s for a number of years, focusing on manufacturers and dealer groups. I then transitioned an automated digital marketing company for a couple of years focusing specifically on automotive dealerships. At that point decided best to work in a dealership for real experience, so I worked at a dealership selling vehicles for two years to understand the retail world. For the last three years has worked with dealers on digital marketing and growing traffic, leads and sales for the retail dealership.

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