The continued rise of stories and vertical video

A New Year, Shifting Priorities

What does 2019 bring? Out with the old — in with the new(ish)

First up — the Stories format (think Instagram, Facebook and yes, even Snapchat if you’re working with a teen population)

But don’t just take it from us… Take it from the experts

“Embrace stories.

‘Stories are the future,’ Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg explained on a recent quarterly earnings call.

The Stories format on Instagram and Facebook is growing 15x faster than feed content — Stories consumption will soon surpass feed content consumption.

But don’t think like a marketer. Think like a storyteller.

Focus on people’s real experiences — put the spotlight on your audience and showcase their success stories.” — Mari Smith, Facebook Marketing Expert

What You Can Do Now: Keep your stories updated

Create a plan for how often you will post a story each week and stick to it. Research shows that Millenials and Gen Z-ers keep up more regularly with stories, writing the newsfeed off their radar.

Don’t forget to harness the power of Instagram Story Highlights which allow you to keep your short-lived content alive indefinitely.

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Be True to Yourself & Own Your Digital Space

Be authentic and own your presence.

You are the expert of your area. Your audience is coming to you because they want to know more-- so show them.

Show them the people behind the scenes, share their stories. Share the stories of your biggest participants.

The more real you can be, the more authentic you will appear. And in today’s age-- authenticity is everything.

What you can do now: Utilizing multiple forms of media like audio, video, photo, and keeping it raw will keep you relevant.

Take advantage of the human factor and include YOU in the stories.

Have you received a lot of questions about your event or program? Take the time to answer them on Instagram Story, or try creating a teaser to hype up your event.

Being authentic also includes reposting user generated content correctly.

Overall reach will always be important, but focus on creating real and transparent content that your users will want to share.

In 2019, you may need to change the way you measure due to the rise of dark social. Instead of users sharing content publicly, they’re choosing to do it privately (think saves and shares versus tagging and posting).

Instead of posting their own updates, users are more likely to share content with their network. It will also be important to note number of shares in analytics, especially within Instagram, as we are seeing an increase in this passive form of engagement. Keep your eye on saves as well, because that shows your audience wants to go back and see that content again.

Viewers retain 95% of a message when they see it in a video and only 10% retain when they see it in the text.

  • 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter
  • 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
  • 87% of online marketers use video content.

It’s estimated that in 2019 — video will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic.

So it’s time to take video content seriously.

Video carries power that photos and graphics don’t always have. It offers a unique perspective that can captivate your audience and drive your message home. But remember — the “traditional” 16 x 9 landscape video is out. Vertical and square are in.

Focus on creating content that your audience appreciates. Do “How to” stories work well for you? Is your audience engaging more on Facebook posts that include videos? Have you tried account “takeovers”? Keeping up with the demands of your audience will help you maintain a consistent engagement through 2019. Tracking your analytics is key to finding that understanding.

It may even help you see that what you thought was your strongest platform has shifted.

Sometimes, we get stuck in the same routine or hear feedback from others on what platforms we need to be on rather than using analytics to guide conversations about what is working and what isn’t.

Take a look at your social media plan, your data, and the capacity of your team. Use this time before the semester kicks back up to to re-evaluate, re-vamp and re-energize your strategy.

Need help? Reach out to our team at or visit our Youtube Channel to see our NAU Social Series

Let’s kick axe this new year!

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It’s always a great day to be a Lumberjack! Join the conversation and share your #NAU story.

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