Social media marketing continues to evolve by providing us with different methods to create and share content.
While it might seem that these new ways of sharing content are more suited to personal accounts, they are in fact a great tool to grow your business and achieve your marketing goals.
Did you know there are 1 billion+ Instagram accounts active every single month with half of the users using stories? In fact, 62% of respondents surveyed said they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories.
Instagram is not dead
There can be some real snobbery about Instagram, with many believing that the platform is past its best. However, Instagram has become one of the most innovative platforms incorporating multiple fun techniques other than posting to a regular feed such as Instagram Stories.
What is an Instagram Story?
An Instagram Story is like a quick presentation using a combination of vertical photos and videos listed at the top of the screen. Each individual ‘story’ lasts for a maximum of 10 seconds which disappears after 24 hours; however, users can choose to feature them on the top of their profile. These are called Story Highlights.
Why should you use Instagram Stories as a business?
Well, as technology has evolved, more and more people are using social media channels to research brands and their products and services. Unfortunately, with the whole world posting to social media, gaining exposure for your content on Instagram is getting harder.
Did you know that only 10 per cent of your general posts get through to your followers? The Instagram algorithm is continuously changing and adapting based on new data, impacting user engagement and lessening the impact of your content.
Instagram Stories provides the perfect platform for brands to creatively display products and services as well as interacting with consumers. The introduction of Stories ads for brands is also telling in terms of the selling power of Stories’.
- Quality = More Engagement
The quality of your Instagram feed is key for your engagement. When putting a post together, the strategy behind it can be time-consuming but necessary. However, with Stories, they allow you to reap all the benefits of real-time creative marketing without disturbing the quality of your feed or profile with mediocre content.
- Fresh on the mind
Stories give you the opportunity to post more frequently with ‘taster’ content helping boost brand awareness. They are also the first thing that you see when opening the app. Lasting for 24 hours at the top of your target audience’s feed, they don’t disappear amongst other profiles due to the ever-changing algorithm like regular posts.
- Become more discoverable
Using Instagram for business, you will have at some point tried to direct your audience to a particular webpage from your posts. You will know that this is only possible via your profile bio. However, with Stories, you can add links to your content once you reach more than 10,000 followers.
How to use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories include engaging features such as the Questions Sticker, Polls and ingenious creative touches such as Music, Gifs and challenge making Stories truly one-of-a-kind in terms of content across social media platforms.
- Select the camera icon in the top left corner to access the Instagram Stories camera
- a) Tap the white circle at the bottom of the screen to take a picture
b) Or you can press and hold the white circle to record video
c) Or you can select the square gallery icon on the left to use pre-existing visuals
At the side/bottom of the screen, you can choose a format to experiment with: Type, Music, Live, Boomerang, Superzoom, Focus, or Hands-free.
Big brands which have used Instagram Stories effectively
The truth is, creating Instagram Stories can be a pretty fun and easy way to increase brand awareness and engagement. For some inspiration, we have compiled a video, including big brands that have mastered the Instagram Story feature. Although they may be larger companies than yourself, all of them have are possible strategies that could be easily adapted to work for smaller companies.