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The percentage of Gen Z and Millennials who consume Stories on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook is large and growing (check out our recent State of Social Video report to see just how quick!). Naturally, Stories poses an attractive opportunity for advertisers looking to make an impact with these younger audiences. 

So how are marketers supposed to know what content will resonate as a Story? It’s crucial to understand why Gen Z and Millennials choose Stories in the first place.

For Younger Audiences, Self Expression Beats Perfection.

We asked Gen Z and Millennials to unpack their decisions to share via Stories instead of, say, in feed or a direct message. Their answers revealed huge implications for marketers looking to better understand how this mindset can help brands connect with this hard-to-reach audience in the places they communicate most.

 Stories are a place for self-expression rather than perfection.

Thanks to the structure of Stories, where posts are only available for 24 hours and there is no “like” feature, users are free to post organic, in-the-moment content. This behavior points to a shift in how young people are becoming wired to use social media—they are becoming less interested in seeking social affirmation through their posts.

“It just feels more free to use as you aren’t being directly judged for what you post, so you can be yourself.” State of Social Video respondent

This means that, in order for marketers to generate successful campaigns on Stories, they will have to keep pace with this shift. Content will have to feel less produced, effortless, and far more focused on the silly, imperfect nature of Stories. Blending in will allow for seamless integration into the Stories experience and, therefore, return higher performance results.

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