(Originally published Jul 17, 2019)
Have you found yourself wondering if adding Instagram Stories to your marketing would be worthwhile? Well, we’re here to give you a newsflash – it most definitely is.
For anybody who does already use Instagram, you’ll be very aware of how easy it is to click on your friends story… 17 minutes later you’re still sat there enthralled in the reel of images and videos without even realising you’ve now forgotten to get off at your bus stop, and now you have to walk home.
And, if you aren’t quite sure what it is, it’s a free and effective tool that gives your business a channel to show your creativity – what’s not to love?
What is an Instagram story?
A simple, yet effective method of showing a snippet of your day quickly and easily – hence the popularity of the feature.
You can share a video or a picture. If you add a few, then it will become a slideshow for your viewers.
The story stays live on your Instagram page for 24 hours and is shown by a red circle being placed around your picture at the top of the screen. Yes, the top!
As we all know, the Instagram algorithm can play havoc with your feed, so this gets some content out and beats the dreaded algorithm.
You can add your story to your main page if you like. This will then be shown in the Highlights section – for instance, you could use this to keep a reel of images and videos from an event you had, or for a new product launch.
Your Highlights will stay on your page for as long as you wish. All you need to do is choose a name for the Highlight, and a cover photo that will show up under your Instagram bio.
But what are the key stats that matter I hear you ask?
1. 500 million users post a story every.single.day. This is a huge potential market for your business, and with more businesses than ever using the platform, you don’t want to get left behind…
2. 1 in 4 people in the millennial and Gen-Z generations use stories to look for products and services they’re interested in
3. 15-25% of people will swipe up on a link (sending your stories watcher to a page of your choice e.g. a link to a specific item)
4. 1/3 of the most viewed stories are from businesses – meaning… they work!
5. 83% of Instagrammers say they discover new products and services on Instagram – can you afford to miss out?
How can you use stories creatively?
Brands are using Stories to interact with potential customers in increasingly clever ways. We’re going to outline a few of the easiest ways you can use Stories:
1. Behind the scenes for humanising your business
Potential customers like to see what’s going on behind the scenes. It shows your personality and puts faces to the brand – something people value.
You can easily share company announcements from new staff to new products, to packing up some products and what you get up to in the office.
Ultimately it keeps people updated and interested in your business.
2. Utilising the poll / quiz feature
Brands are tapping into the features Instagram have created to drive interaction with their followers.
You can use it to ask as a very simple example:
What’s your favourite colour (to inform decision making when producing new products).
Simply, whichever answer receives the highest number of votes would be good to go with – not only because the audience has chosen it, but because it shows you value your customers interactions.
You can use the quiz feature to ask:
What would you like to see us create next?
This gives the audience a broader way to communicate with you, and a way for you to gain more answers!
3. Add your location to maximise your reach
Quite simply, this will drive the discoverability of your stories.
When you tag your location, your story is then shown in the story for that place. People who watch the story e.g. Cardiff will have access to your story, even if they don’t follow you.
It will ultimately drive impressions and it may lead to people clicking on your Instagram page and becoming a potential customer.
4. Using the countdown sticker
Have an exciting new product launching?
Maybe you’re launching your new website or rebrand…
The countdown sticker is the perfect way to build excitement.
5. Competitions – everybody loves a freebie!
An Instagram story is the perfect way to create a buzz around a new product / service.
The 24-hour time limit gives people interested in entering a sense of urgency, and they will more than likely take the actions to enter as soon as they see it, in comparison with a competition with a longer time span.
If you have a competition running on your other social media channels or website, you can use Instagram stories to promote it.
Take a picture or video of the prize, use the location tag and add some hashtags to maximise reach!
6. Q&A’s to show you know your business and sector
If you’re an expert in your area, why not host a Q&A session on your Instagram Stories?
Sharing your knowledge in order to help others is appealing!
Ask questions before hand using the questions feature e.g. What would you like to know about?
You can then go away and prep some answers ready.
We hope this has persuaded you that Instagram Stories are a valuable tool for your business. And, why not give it a go? It’s free and millions of businesses are reaping the benefits….
If you would like to speak to one of the Adventure Digital team, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org – we welcome your questions and are always happy to have a chat!