With over 2 billion active users worldwide and rising, Instagram is quickly becoming one of the top social media platforms. To challenge its rival Snapchat, Instagram just recently released its story function. The Instagram story highlights allows certain content to stay visible for only 24 hrs, much like Snapchat’s story function. However, with Instagram being dominated by brands/businesses, the story function is becoming a marketing powerhouse. In this article, we will go over exactly how to use Instagram stories for marketing.
When it comes to marketing on Instagram, stories are often overlooked in favor of Instagram posts. However, stories can be a powerful marketing tool, especially for businesses trying to connect with a younger audience.
With stories, businesses can give their audience a behind-the-scenes look at their products or services. They can also use stories to run quick polls or surveys, which can help gather valuable customer feedback. In addition, stories are a great way to drive traffic to a website or landing page. When used effectively, Instagram stories can be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes.
Why Does My Business Need This?
You’re probably asking yourself why you need to spend so much time creating engaging content that will erase in 24 hrs. The reason is that this creates a consistent basis for your followers to check your account. Not only do Instagram stories increase follower engagement, but they:
- Active Users – Instagram Reported 500 million daily story users
- Relaxed Content – No one is going to expect a masterpiece. Instagram Stories allow for less formal content; all you need is some inspiration and creativity.
- Giveaway/Coupon – Increase traffic to your products by showcasing coupon codes that are only available for 24 hours. Creating giveaways is a great way to increase views if you want to develop serious heat for your story.
- Links – Instagram recently added the feature to add links to your stories’ content. This means you can drive traffic to your newsletter, youtube channel, or product all in one swift maneuver. With a large following base, you could generate serious traffic.
- Testing Ground – With the ability for users to directly message from the story, brands can get direct feedback about possible products or services. This type of feedback is exactly what you need to create the best user experience.
- Brand Image – Show off the personality of your brand. Use the Instagram Story function to showcase your staff, locations, current projects, and anything else you can think of that will give your brand a voice. Now followers have an emotional connection with your brand.
They will know who you are and what your like through the content you share with them. Make sure to create the right image for your brand.
Are Instagram stories good for marketing?
With over a billion monthly users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms. And with the introduction of stories, businesses have a new way to reach out to potential customers. While some may think stories are just a fad, they can be highly effective for marketing purposes. Here are three reasons why:
First, stories are highly engaging. Their eye-catching visuals and fun format make them more likely to hold someone’s attention than a traditional post.
Second, stories are very shareable. If someone sees an interesting story, they are more likely to share it with their friends than something they see in their feed.
And finally, stories offer businesses a chance to be creative with their marketing. With features like filters and hashtag sticker, businesses can create unique content that stands out from the rest.
So, if you’re looking for a new way to reach potential customers, don’t write off Instagram stories just yet. They might be your best bet.
How do you integrate Instagram stories into your marketing?
You can integrate Instagram stories into your marketing in a few different ways. One way is to use them to promote your brand or product. You can do this by creating short, engaging videos (photo or video) that show off your product or service in a creative way.
Another way to use Instagram stories is to share behind-the-scenes content with your followers. This can give them a peek into your company culture or show them how your product is made. You can also use Instagram stories to drive traffic to your website or blog by including links in your stories.
Integrating Instagram stories into your marketing can help you reach a wider audience, promote your brand or product, and drive traffic to your website or blog. Get creative with how you use them, and you’ll see the benefits in no time!
How to Use Instagram Stories for Marketing
Instagram stories are quickly becoming a brand’s dream tool. Connecting with followers and driving traffic almost instantaneously is truly powerful. However, just like posting, you cannot spam your stories with promotions or offers. Instead, it would be best if you created an organic and natural story, using appropriate times to promote.
Get Creative With It
Instagram Stories allow brands to showcase their personality. Much like Snapchat, Instagram has given you features and filters so that you can draw and edit your content all from the app. In addition, Instagram has come out with add-ons such as boomerang, hyper-lapse, and layout. But then, creativity does not have to stop there.
Instagram has access to your camera rolls, so any image you have recently uploaded to your phone will be available to upload to your story. Simply swipe up when in the story function, and your last 24 hrs of photos will appear.
This allows photo editing apps outside Instagram, such as Canva or Phonto. Instagram also allows 15 sec of video to be uploaded to your story. A lot can be done in 15 sec; what will your brand do with yours?
Invite Viewers Behind the Scenes
Instagram stories may be temporary, but their connections with the audience are not. Creating quality stories that show a real behind-the-scenes look at your business is key to humanizing your brand. Gary Vaynerchuck (@garyvee) is an inspirational entrepreneur. His account is full of motivation, inspiration, and quality content, and he is driven to invigorate young entrepreneurs. Gary applies these same values to his story. Gary’s personality is the image he sells, so he is never afraid to step in front of the camera or talk to his 2.1 million followers.
It’s All About Timing
Instagram’s algorithm is constantly changing to keep the explore page as organic as possible. The algorithm also makes it very easy for your post to get lost in the viral social nebulous that is Instagram. However, the Instagram Story function enables you to rise to the top of the news feed for your followers.
In addition, the fewer people they follow that use stories, the higher your story will rise in the news feed. Post at peak engagement times; this will ensure that your story gets the highest number of views possible. Like a post, however, the older they are, the farther down the list they go.
To stay at the top of the story feed, you must post consistently throughout the day. Posting new content puts you right back at the top of the feed and keeps the traffic on your story constant.
Another Avenue for Content
Continuously posting content on your account drives users away. They become numb or sometimes annoyed by your content. Luckily, Instagram Story allows for an alternative avenue for content. Spacing your account’s post between the actual feed and story timeline enables constant posting without desensitizing the audience.
It would help if you did not worry about over-posting your stories. Stories are a unique way to share creative content. Also, users can skip skip a story by tapping it. Stories allow for the sharing of quick and creative content.
The newly released Instagram Live function allows for real-time sharing of videos. Like Facebook Live, Instagram Live enables users to watch videos and engage with the accounts in real-time. However, the live video does give you less control.
One advantage of Live Video is that it notifies your followers when you have started one. Also, the story icon changes to a distinct look. Because Instagram Live Videos happen infrequently, Instagram has pulled out all the bells and whistles to notify followers when one is occurring.
Live videos are typically a very interactive format. The account user should respond and acknowledge the followers engaging with them. Many brands use Instagram Live for contests, giveaways, hosting Q&A, live tutorials, and much more. But in all these instances, users will be engaging and expecting responses.
When it comes to driving traffic from Instagram to your website, there is little you can do. Previous to the new Instagram Story Link feature, accounts could only showcase their website in the profile bio link. This made it incredibly difficult for brands/businesses to generate traffic to other locations. With Instagram Story Links, accounts can convert and drive traffic in one function.
Accounts can start generating traffic to their Youtube Channel, Facebook Groups, websites, products/services, and so much more! Accounts have gotten creative with their Story call to action. Examples above use phrases like “Swipe Up,” or another popular one is “Link in Bio’. These CTA’s are vital to have the user take action. Like CTA’s in Captions, having these same principles applied to Instagram Stories for marketing will drastically increase traffic and leads.
Do Instagram Stories boost followers?
There is no easy answer regarding whether or not Instagram Stories help boost followers. While they may give you more visibility and a chance to connect with potential new followers, it is ultimately up to each user to decide whether or not they want to follow you based on the content you share.
You may find more people inclined to follow you consistently post exciting and engaging stories. However, if your stories are boring or lackluster, you probably won’t see much difference in your follower count. Ultimately, it is up to you to experiment and see what works best for you and your page.
Instagram is becoming a massive social media superpower. The social media platform has over 500 million monthly active users and is growing yearly. While Snapchat only has mere 150 million active monthly users, it would behoove your brand to learn Instagram Stories for marketing first. Instagram Stories have become a social media marketers’ dream.
This function gives an avenue for alternative content and the ability to drive traffic to multiple locations. But it allows for the humanization of a brand or business.
The 24 hr timeline gives a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the brand/business. This short glimpse is all that is needed for followers to start creating an emotional connection with your brand. However, to become a master of Instagram Stories for marketing, you have to dive in!
The only way to understand what content your audience engages with is to test! Keep in mind that content is very brand dependent. Look to influencers in your niche for helpful ideas if you get stuck. But remember to be creative!
The content lasts only 24 hrs, so this is the perfect place to experiment and test new ideas! This is your brand’s chance to showcase its personality. Start putting time and energy into creatively telling your brand’s story. Do you have some Instagram Story Secrets?
Leave a comment explaining how you have come to master Instagram Stories for Marketing and what methods you involve in your marketing campaign.
August 2022 updated