More than 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day. And, a third of the most-viewed Stories come from a business account. With stats like these, it’s clear the Stories platform provides a great space for brands to maximize reach, build brand loyalty, and generate new customers.
Advertising with Instagram Stories is also a great way to give your brand a voice and help humanize it by discussing relatable topics or current trends. Since Stories disappear after 24 hours, there’s a lot of opportunity to be experimental, spontaneous, and transparent.
As you plan your creative content, here are a few things to incorporate into your Instagram Stories marketing strategy.
Stories have many interactive features specific to the format that aren’t available for Feed Posts, and experimenting with these can really help differentiate you from the competition. These interactive elements bring people closer together by allowing them to directly participate in your shared expression or announcement—and they help encourage conversation both on and off the platform.
Remember, these sort of add-ons really entice users to watch longer. By gaining and keeping their attention, you become a brand that goes beyond focusing on just sales or conversions—instead, you can build an audience connection and create a community with an ongoing relationship.
Examples of interactive features include:
- Polls: Polls are great for engagement, and an awesome way to conduct market research and build your content strategy. A good example of this is showcasing your product catalog and boosting visibility of a product line. What do your users like? Which products are their favorites? From here, you can incorporate their answers into your paid media strategy and showcase similar products that your customers really want to see!
- Instagram Stories Stickers: Instagram Stories Stickers are an excellent way to draw viewers into fun conversations, and can help with making your content look less static or boring. Examples of these are location-based hashtag stickers, questions, or GIFs. Adding a location-based hashtag sticker to your brand’s Story helps your business get seen by people searching within your local area. Furthermore, it makes your brand’s story more visible to people in your area. Your Story may show up in the suggested Stories content of other local Instagrammers!
- Instagram Story Links: If you have a verified account or you’re running a business profile and have more than 10,000 followers, you can add a ‘swipe-up’ link to your Story. This gives you the opportunity to maximize reach to your website by driving traffic to the product page, and leverage Instagram Stories as a direct selling tool. When you link within your Story, it creates a much smoother customer experience by bringing people directly to the referenced site, rather than having to navigate to the bio before visiting the URL.
2. Instagram Story Highlights
Unlike regular Instagram Stories that vanish after 24 hours, Instagram Stories Highlights can live permanently on your profile (you can always delete or edit by tapping and holding your Story Highlight). Your highlights live front and center on your Instagram profile—meaning they’re essentially prime real estate, and perfect for helping new visitors who are discovering your brand to learn what your company is all about.
This can be a great opportunity to display your evergreen content, such as customer testimonials or reviews, as well as how-to tutorials and product displays. Displaying any event experiences or brand collaborations will also bring more transparency to your business and will make people feel like they were part of those milestones.
With that said, it’s also the perfect place to direct your community of followers to your most valuable and interesting content!
3. User-Generated Content
This is when you encourage your fans to post pictures or videos with your content and re-post them as part of your brand’s story. With user-generated content, you give your fans the opportunity to tell your narrative. As we’ve seen, this helps in making fans feel happy and honored to be part of your brand’s messaging. When people see content from actual customers, it increases your brand’s credibility, and anyone discovering your brand will view your content as more genuine and trustworthy. User-generated content helps your most loyal customers become your biggest brand advocates, effectively building communities around your products and services.
Instagram’s Biggest Benefit
We hope you’ll take full advantage of the features above to help improve your brand’s engagement and relationship with both followers and prospects! Instagram’s ability to bring people together is its biggest value-add, and something all brands should be leveraging.
Want to learn more about developing a successful marketing strategy with Instagram Stories? Watch our joint webinar with Facebook today.