Instagram Stories are posted by more than 300 million people every day. Those “stories” are a feature of the Instagram platform that creates photos and videos which disappear 24 hours after being posted.
These are great news for the millions of business profiles on the platform because, on average, 1 in 5 Stories gets a direct message. And when a person contacts your business on Instagram, that’s a potential customer right there.
Instagram is an excellent source to showcase products and make customers feel included in “behind the scenes” aspects of your business. A new feature allows people to shop through the Stories, thanks to a partnership with Shopify. Read more about this here> . Merchants simply tag products in a post that will allow users to click to buy without closing the app.
As said, once you have uploaded a ‘Story’, your content will disappear after 24 hours. So while the photos and videos you publish to your profile will forever be found by anyone willing to look for them, your Stories are ephemeral and only visible for a limited time. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. That gives you an opportunity to be more playful and informal with your marketing content – should you wish to be.
Instagram, of course, is simple. It’s so simple that half a billion people use it every month to create, express to themselves, and connect with others. And all those people generate a tremendous amount of content—95 million posts per day—which can make it difficult to stand out, especially as a business. Most users are millennials – teenagers and young adults of which many don’t even have a Facebook profile.
Companies that tend to use Instagram Stories to make announcements are keeping their followers apprised and in-the-know, which is valuable to fans and brand advocates. Whether your business has made an acquisition, hired a industry influencer, or launched a new product, breaking the news via an Instagram Story will reinforce the notion that people who watch your content are well-informed consumers.
Business owners should also take into consideration that Instagram’s staple “feed” which showcases permanent photos is still important. Ultimately, this means deciding which content deserves the urgency of the Stories and permanency of the traditional feed.
However, those who use clear, simple stories activate the brain, are making it easier to recall information. The best Instagram Stories are just that—stories. Use the feature’s slideshow format to piece together an experience with a beginning, middle, and end. This will increase your content’s completion rate. It’ll also help people remember your message.
The audiences of social media want the brands they follow to provide them with valuable information and/or entertainment. Value is telling your followers how to do something that makes life easier or better (i.e., information). Value is making your followers feel something (i.e., entertainment). If you can do these things, consistently, your audience will come back, spread your content and eventually buy.
Instagram Stories offer plenty of features that enable its users to look at things differently, think outside-the-box, and be creative. Use these features fearlessly—and your audience will take notice, rewarding you with attention, engagement, and action.
Another good tip is that Instagram Stories allows users to post existing photos and videos from your camera roll as long as that content was created within the last 24 hours. (You can also hack this 24-hour rule by opening your content in an editing app and then re-saving it, which will make it appear new to Instagram and, therefore, uploadable).
This functionality gives you a chance to plan your Stories ahead of time—instead of producing them on the fly—which makes it easier to create content that’s more engaging, compelling, and meaningful.
One of the most important elements of your Story is a CTA, or call-to-action, since it tells people what to do next. As a brand, the last thing you want your viewers to do is nothing. On the contrary – you want people to engage with your content, to like it, share it, and comment. Or, perhaps, you want people to take a more committed action, like making a purchase. Whatever it is, it probably won’t happen unless you ask for it, explicitly, either in the caption or the post itself.
Instagram Stories are here to stay. At least for the foreseeable future. That’s why every business should be leveraging the platform’s massive popularity to find more advocates and customers. And as long as you’re using it, you might as well make the most it.
Are you looking for more tips or do you need hands-on help with managing your Insta account? Talk to us now.