Marketing with Stories on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat: How Consumers and Marketers Are Using This Creative Format

Marketing with Stories on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat: How Consumers and Marketers Are Using This Creative Format

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WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report analyzes consumer usage of stories on social platforms, explores marketing and advertising opportunities and provides examples and best practices.

Executive Summary

Facebook is making a major push for stories across all of its apps, betting that consumers and marketers will gravitate toward this form of ephemeral communication. Stories are a creative playground, an enticing way to reach mobile-savvy young people and the latest twist on influencer marketing. But while they have been a hit on Instagram and Snapchat, few Facebook users have taken to them so far.

Are users watching stories on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat?

Hundreds of millions of social users across Instagram and Snapchat are using stories on a daily basis. However, usage is less common outside of the Gen Z/millennial generations, and Facebook hasn’t cracked the code yet.

What are marketers doing with Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat stories?

Many marketers are now using stories for organic (unpaid) marketing on social platforms. Paid advertising opportunities are growing quickly, and stories are also becoming a vehicle for ecommerce and influencer marketing.

Which social media platforms are most popular for story marketing?

Instagram is now the platform of choice. Fewer marketers are using Snapchat, and Facebook is far behind. Stories on Messenger and WhatsApp will also be an option for marketers.

Why should marketers use the story format?

They are mobile-friendly, video-centric and full-screen. Story ads can be cheaper than feed ads because there is less auction competition right now, and the platforms are actively encouraging trial. Some marketers also report better engagement with stories vs. feed ads.

What are the challenges to creating stories for brands?

Story creative isn’t as easy to execute as it looks, and the vertical format is still new for some marketers. For marketers with reach objectives, the feed may outperform.

KEY STAT: The number of daily story users tops 400 million worldwide for Instagram and WhatsApp, while usage on Facebook and Messenger is lower. However, all are ahead of Snapchat’s total user base.


  1. Executive Summary
  2. How (and Why) Stories Took Off
  3. Four Ways Marketers Can Use Stories
  4. Best Practices for Marketers Using Stories
  5. Key Takeaways: What’s Next for Stories?

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