Do you want to run a Instagram Stories Campaign, but not too sure of where to start, or get it going? We have put together some steps to help you through the process.

Step #1: Work Out Your Campaign Goals

Most people start the planning process of an Instagram campaign by defining their target audience, but we think it is key to start with your actual campaign goals.

That’s because the goals you set will often influence the type of campaign you run, as well as the metrics you use to track your success.

It’s important to spend some time really breaking down what you’re hoping to achieve whether that’s increasing brand awareness, promoting new products to driving ecommerce sales, or something else entirely!

Once you’ve determined your campaign goals, it’s a good idea to put some thought into your key performance indicators (KPIs).

Your Instagram Stories campaign should eventually tie back to numbers, so make sure they’re measurable!

For example, if you’re planning to promote a new product, then set a goal for how many units you want to sell during the campaign. If it’s a lead generation campaign, set a goal for how many emails you want to collect.

The more you can tie your stories campaign back to measurable results, the better.

And don’t forget about your Instagram engagement metrics!

While your campaign might have nothing to do with engagement and everything to do with making sales, setting goals for the number of likes, comments, views, and shares you receive is still important!

With your campaign goals set, it’s time to define your target audience.

Keep in mind that depending on the goals of your campaign, your target audience could be very broad (and include users who don’t currently follow you) or it could be a narrow subset of your followers.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you get on track: 

  • What kinds of content do they engage with?
  • Do they prefer photo-based stories or videos?
  • What stickers do they engage with the most?
  • What hashtags do they use and follow?
  • What communities are they a part of?

Once you can nail down your campaign goal and your target audience, you’ll have solid foundations to help plan and execute the rest of your campaign!

Step #2: Set a Timeline for Your Campaign

Is your Instagram marketing campaign tied to a real-life event, like a conference, in-store sale, or holiday? Does it coincide with a product launch?

Unless your campaign is tied to a larger event or a long-term awareness campaign, it’s best to set a fairly concise timeline — usually a week at most.

That said, it really depends on the focus and goal of your campaign. Some campaigns need strict deadlines (like contests and giveaways) while others can be a little more open-ended.

TIP// Be careful not to let your campaign go for too long — otherwise, you risk losing momentum!

If your campaign is tied to a specific date, let that act as your starting point and then build your timeline backward from there. This will give you a clear idea of how much lead time you’re working with and the potential scope of the campaign.

Plan your campaign at least a month before launch.

This involves building a strategy and brief, storyboarding the concept, designing the creative (including pre- and post-launch creative), and scheduling all of it in advance.

You may want to think about a launch timeline that runs something along the lines of:

  1. Pre-campaign hype: teasing or promoting the campaign before the launch
  2. Launch day: your day-of campaign content
  3. Post-campaign follow up: keeping the conversation going after the initial excitement has died down (user-generated content, customer reviews, etc.)

By breaking it down per day, or pre- and post-launch, you’ll be way more organised in your approach. And it can also help you think of creative ways to promote your campaign and drive as much engagement as possible.

Step #3: Decide on Your Strategy & Creative Direction

Now that you have your campaign goals and timeline locked in, it’s time for the fun part: what will your campaign look like?

It may sound like a fancy marketing term, but having an overall creative direction is what will separate your campaign from your other day-to-day stories content, it’s what’s going to make it stand out.

Confused on where to start? There are four elements to your strategy and creative direction you need to think about.

Nailing down the concept behind your campaign. 

This is essentially the overall “big idea” that underpins your campaign content and messaging.

Your concept can be as simple or as in-depth as you like, but it should always tie back to your campaign goals.

For example, if your campaign is about promoting a new product launch, your concept should be focused around driving as many sales as possible (via Instagram’s product stickers, swipe-ups to your website, clicks on the link in your bio, etc.).

Second, you need to define the overall visual style of your campaign. This should include a colour palette, some inspirational imagery, a design style guide, or design templates that will work across your social channels.

If you already have a stories branding kit with your colour palette, fonts, and filters all defined, kudos to you! If not, it’s a good idea to build one out so that your stories campaign stays on-brand and matches your overall aesthetic.

Third, you need to outline your campaign message and editorial style.

This will help you fine-tune your content and make sure how you’re introducing, explaining or selling your product throughout the campaign remains consistent.

It’s a good idea to nail down a couple of terms or core messages you want to tie through each of your campaign assets.

Finally, it’s a good idea to establish what Instagram Stories features you’ll be using to promote your campaign.

For example, if your Instagram Stories campaign is centred around a time-sensitive giveaway, you could use Instagram’s countdown sticker to build interest.

Or if your campaign is about collecting user-generated content (UGC), you can use the hashtag sticker.

If you have the time and resources, incorporating AR effects into your campaign it could be a great way to drive even more traction.

Step #4: Create a Storyboard for Your Campaign

Before you get out your camera and start snapping a bunch of photos and videos, it’s a good idea to create a storyboard of your campaign to map out the details and make sure it all flows together.

Not sure what a storyboard is? It’s a visual representation of how your campaign will roll out from beginning to end. Think of it as a comic strip version of your campaign with notes about what’s happening in each individual story.

Step #5: Create Your Campaign Assets & Prep Your Content Calendar

Once you have your strategy, creative concept, and storyboard nailed down, you now get to create the actual assets for your stories campaign!

Your campaign assets would be things like photos, videos, graphics, GIFs, or anything else you’re planning for your social media campaign — of course, what assets you need will vary heavily depending on your concept and the scope of your campaign.

For example, if your campaign is about promoting a contest or giveaway, you’ll likely be creating photos and videos with the actual product, possibly some lifestyle shots, UGC, illustrations, and more.

As we said, this part of the planning process varies greatly, but the most important thing is that you are sticking to your creative direction and creating high-quality content for your social channels.

Step #6: Schedule Your Instagram Stories Campaign

Once you have all your content and assets, it’s time to put everything together and plan out your social media content calendar!

While you may have an official “launch” day, you might want to have a different timeline for social media or different launch “phases”.

When you’re planning your social media calendar, it’s also worth thinking about the lifespan of each piece of content — especially since Instagram Stories only last for 24 hours. Basically, you need to think of ways to keep your campaign top of mind!

Will you be posting new content every day? Every few days? What’s the optimal frequency to drive as much engagement as possible?

Step #7: Promote Your Instagram Stories Campaign

Once you’ve created and published the content for your Instagram Stories campaign, you want to get the most eyes on it as possible. And that’s where promotion comes in.

Beyond actually posting content to your feed, you need to build a strategy to promote it with hashtags, influencers, stories stickers, and more.

#1: Build Hype for Your Campaign with Instagram Stories Countdown Sticker

If you’re promoting an upcoming occasion (like an in-store sale, product launch, or event), you can add a sticker that counts down to a date and time that you set.

Your followers can then subscribe to your countdown event, which will send them a reminder when the time is up and your countdown is complete. So it’s a great way to build buzz around your campaign!

If your campaign is centred around a product launch, you can also use Instagram’s new product launch sticker, which works very similarly to the countdown sticker.

It includes a product launch tag in-feed that lets people set reminders for the launch date, preview product details, and buy as soon as a product is available without leaving Instagram.

#2: Partner with Relevant Influencers to Drum Up Excitement

Another great way to promote your Instagram Stories campaign is to work with influencers. The goal is to find relevant influencers, bloggers, or photographers who have a large social following and a strong engagement rate on their posts.

You can even work with a handful of influencers and have them post about your campaign on their channels. This gives you exposure to their audience, and it’s an easy way to get more people involved in your campaign.

#3: Create a Campaign Hashtag

We discussed this a little bit earlier, but even if you aren’t running a giveaway or UGC-style campaign, it’s almost always a good idea to create a branded hashtag to promote your Instagram marketing campaign.

The key here is to think about your brand identity and what message you want to convey, and then coming up with a creative hashtag that sums all of it up. The more creative, the better!

Step #9: Track & Measure Your Instagram Stories Campaign Success

Time to check in on those goals and measure them!

Success looks different for every brand and business, but you should spend time reviewing how successful your campaign was and how it tallied up against your goals.

You can track your brand awareness KPIs, like engagement rate and impressions, along with leads, signups, and ecommerce purchases. But you’ll also want to take a holistic look at how your campaign performed and where you could improve for next time.

For example, you can glean insights about your followers’ preferences and what content resonated best with them, what medium they liked most, and what channel performed best.

And that’s it!

Instagram Stories campaigns are an incredible way for brands and businesses to increase their brand awareness, grow their social following, and drive more sales — and they’re super easy to execute!

All it takes is some good planning and a little bit of creativity and you can easily run your own campaign.

So give it a go and start putting together your instagram stories campaign, and let us know how you went!