Use Instagram Stories To Improve Social Media Leads
By now, you’re probably well aware that Instagram is a great social media marketing platform. Businesses of all kinds have been posting photos and videos to advertise their products and services practically since the platform went live in 2010, and it has only gotten bigger since then.
One of the most popular features to be added in recent years is Instagram Stories, which are essentially collections of photographs that can be displayed as a slideshow to tell a story. The stories show up on your followers’ feeds and disappear in 24 hours. It’s a feature that is almost identical to those found in Snapchat and Facebook, and marketers have naturally taken notice of it.
There are roughly 300 million active members who use Instagram Stories, and a third of the most-viewed stories have been posted by businesses. Over half of the stories posted by businesses end by bringing users to a page that allows them to shop for products, while others direct them to a blog post that explains more about what a business has to offer. Others still will bring users to other social media pages to increase traffic across multiple platforms.
In any case, Instagram Stories can be excellent marketing tools for brands of all kinds. Here are just a few ways that you can use them for your own business.
Going Behind The Scenes
One of the most fascinating uses of Instagram Stories is to bring users behind the scenes of a particular business or organization to see how things are run. Users can see how particular products are made or to showcase the creative process of a movie or TV show. NASA has even gotten in on the act with their Instagram account by providing behind-the-scenes footage and additional background information with their Stories.
In short, Instagram Stories provide users with the chance to learn more about some of their favorite brands and organizations. Even organizations that technically have nothing to sell can benefit from these stories as long as users want to learn more about them.
Speaking of learning, Instagram Stories are often used to present how-to tutorials to users. Granted, tutorials are nothing new to the Internet; you can go to places such as WikiHow and similar websites and learn how to do just about anything. However, there’s just something about how a tutorial is presented as an Instagram Story that makes it that much more appealing and useful.
Tutorials that are presented as Instagram Stories are easy to access and even easier to follow, providing almost instant gratification to anybody who wants to use them for an art project or for assembling a product that they’ve recently purchased. Just about any brand can use Instagram Stories in this way, but those such as Etsy that are geared towards arts and crafts have been the most successful at it so far.
Anybody who has a more creative Instagram account should definitely keep this in mind.
You might not think that an Instagram Story would be the ideal way to break news about your business. After all, the format lends itself better to a sequential story that unfolds over a series of photos and videos, not to inform users about a recent development. And yet, many brands have used Instagram Stories for that very purpose.
If you have new line of products that is just rolling out, an Instagram Story can be used to briefly discuss every new item in that line. You can even use the format as an excuse to get creative and tell a story about how your new products came to be in a way that takes people behind the scenes of your business. Instagram users love content like that, and they will remember you and your Instagram Stories when it is time to do any shopping.
Listicles practically rule the Internet now, and for good reason. People love receiving and processing information that is presented to them in an organized fashion, even if they aren’t completely aware of it. Since Instagram Stories are essentially slideshows, they are perfect for presenting a listicle about your business and anything it may have to offer.
Your listicle doesn’t even need to explicitly be about your brand; just about anything that can be tied to what you have to offer can be made into a compelling list that will attract new users and drive traffic to your homepage.
Question-and-answer Instagram Stories are great if you want to bring multiple perspectives to a given topic. They also allow brands to interact more directly with their followers by addressing some of the more common questions that they are asked. Think of this as an FAQ presented in a more pleasing and engaging format, one that can even be used to address some of the more pressing issues that might be tied to your brand.
Acknowledging Your Customers
If you have a brick-and-mortar location for your business, you can take photos of some of your employees and even your customers and include them as part of an Instagram Story (with their full permission, of course). It can be a great way to acknowledge all that they have done for you and your brand. It’s all a part of making them feel appreciated, which can go much further than any promotion if it is handled correctly.
Getting the Most Out of Instagram Stories
We may have covered some of the ways that Instagram Stories can be used by a business, but you still need to know how to work this fun feature into your Instagram marketing campaign.
First of all, remember that these are supposed to be stories and not just slideshows. There should be a narrative flow to the photographs and videos. Second, anything you post needs to feel authentic. Instagram is meant to be a social platform, and users can tell when a Story is little more than a calculated marketing tactic.
Finally, get creative. There are countless stories that you can tell with a series of images, so feel free to play around with what you have to come up with something fun and engaging. Your goal might be to improve your brand’s social media value, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun in the process. See what you can come up with for your next Instagram Story. With a little experimentation, you’re bound to come up with something that your followers will love.