How to use Instagram Stories for Marketing Your Business
Instagram is a great place to boost your business’s social media presence and attract new customers. If your small business is already on Instagram, then you should be adding Instagram Stories to your social media marketing strategy!
What are Instagram Stories?
Instagram Stories are Instagram’s versions of Snapchat’s disappearing content. Users can take photos or videos then add text, filters, or stickers directly in the Instagram app. Once the content is posted, other users have 24 hours to view the content before it is deleted. These posts are shown in a slideshow format both on the home page of Instagram and users’ profile pages. The key difference between Instagram Stories and Snapchat is the context in which users view content on each platform. Users typically expect more raw content on Snapchat than they do on Instagram Stories. A major advantage that Instagram recently implemented was the ability for users to highlight their Stories and display them on their profile pages. The highlighted Stories will then be displayed until the user decides to delete the highlights.
Why use Instagram Stories?
We manage Instagram as well as other social platforms at Social Media LV. See our packages here! Nearly 50 percent of brands and business already on Instagram are utilizing Stories for their social media marketing. Stories make it easy for your current followers to find you on the home page. Even if the Instagram algorithm has ranked your posts lower on your followers’ feeds, posting Stories will guarantee that you will always appear in the bar above users’ main feed with other Stories. When someone starts viewing a Story, all of the Stories in the bar will play consecutively until the viewer either swipes away from Stories or views all of the new Stories.
Stories posted by businesses make up one-third of the most viewed Stories on Instagram. If you are looking to organically grow your small business’s Instagram following, Stories make it much easier for other users to find your page. Instagram Stories appear in the app’s Explore tab, allowing other users to view your Stories. This increases the discoverability of your account.
This Instagram feature also boasts some pretty impressive engagement. One in five Stories receives a direct message from its viewers. About 70 percent of Stories are watched with the sound on. People are listening to Stories and responding to them!
How are Instagram Stories created?
The basic features of Stories are quite user-friendly, and they are available to all Instagram users.
To post a Story:
- Access the Instagram Stories camera from your Instagram home by tapping on the camera icon in the top left corner of the screen or swiping right.
- The camera screen will present several options: Live, Normal, Boomerang, Hands-Free, Superzoom, Rewind, and Stop-Motion. Swipe the bottom of the screen to choose a camera feature. You may also choose your flash options and whether to use the front or rear camera. The box in the lower left corner allows you to choose a picture from your phone.
- Use the center button to capture a photo, video, or Boomerang. Swipe left or right to choose from different filters.
- Instagram Stories editing features will allow you to enhance your capture. You can choose from text, different brushes for drawing, and stickers. Edit your capture as you wish. Be creative!
- If you make a mistake, you can undo drawings. For text and stickers, hold down and drag to the trash icon to delete. Tapping on the X icon in the upper left corner deletes the entire post.
- If you are happy with your image, you may save it, add it to your story, and send it to an individual or group on the bottom of the screen.
- Congratulations! You’ve posted your first Instagram Story!
How can businesses utilize Instagram Stories?
A great way to pump sales is to use the slideshow style of Stories to your advantage. Tell a story to show off your products! Use multiple images to build anticipation, then direct viewers to your profile or website. But don’t just focus on taking photos directly in the Instagram app. Utilize Instagram Stories’ ability to upload photos from outside the app. Create unique, branded content that people can instantly recognize as yours when they’re tapping through Stories.
Don’t forget to switch it up once in a while! Incorporate different perspectives and different kinds of content once in a while. If your business has multiple employees, encourage your employees to do a Story take over. You want your Story to have both variety and consistency so viewers keep watching!
Stories can also engage your viewers. Give your audience to opportunity to reach out and interact with you. You can do this simply by inviting your viewers to DM you. However, you can also use the polls sticker to get feedback from your audience. This allows them to get involved with a poll and see how other people responded.
You still have questions? Feel free to contact us!