by Lucy Render-Kaplan | Featured Contributor
Instagram stories can be gold for marketers looking to reach a higher number of people on one of the fastest-growing social platforms. Stories keep viewers on the platform longer, meaning that brands have the opportunity to keep a captive audience on their page longer. Not only that, but Stories beat the dreaded Instagram algorithm! This is because they appear on feeds in chronological order. Engagement rates are higher and are seen by more people than photos and videos posted to your Instagram feed, so you’re missing out if you’re not already creating Stories.
Here are some of our tips on how to best take advantage of Instagram Stories:
Users can add interactive polls to their Stories. This is a great way to get your audience more engaged and hear their thoughts on any topic. Do you want to launch a new product? Or are you looking at choosing between two possible flavors for an existing product? Throw up a poll and get your target audience to weigh in.
- Instagram Takeovers
These are great for growing your following quickly. You can either take over another Instagrammer’s account, or have an influencer take over your account for a short period of time. (we recommend under 24 hours). This is a great way to work with another influencer where you both can benefit and expand both of your audiences. Make sure to choose your influencer carefully – align with someone that works in your niche and will help contribute to your overall marketing goals. Done well, it will build authenticity and connect you to a whole new set of followers who then will engage with your brand.
- User Generated Content
Along the same lines of Instagram takeovers, you can increase engagement and followers by utilizing UGC (user generated content). When people mention your brand, you can hit “Add to your story” and post their content in your Stories. This way you can mention your followers and make them feel part of your brand story. People like to be acknowledged and a simple tag of their profile in your story can go a long way.
- Repurpose Your Blog
The best thing about blogs is that you can find ways to share the same content in a myriad of ways. Instagram Stories offer you a great opportunity to utilize blog posts and turn them into little mini articles. The most obvious examples here would be how-to articles and recipes. You can break them down into a few slides that you can visually display with voiceover or text layover in your stories.
This is easy to do.
First, choose your topic. Then use Canva or another graphic design app to create the images to accompany your Story. Then, upload the images in sequence and your story is created! Don’t forget to include a call to action at the end, to truly engage your audience. It’s always important to let people know what you would like them to do next. Perhaps it’s visiting your website – utilize the swipe up feature to take viewers there directly once they’ve watched your Story.
- Create Exclusive Offers
If you are looking for sales, Instagram Stories can move consumers through the purchasing funnel quickly. Here’s our secret tip: Create a story that has a special offer. Add photos or videos clearly showing what the offer is and let viewers know that in 24 hours, when this story disappears, so does the offer. When people feel that they have to act fast to get something, it intrinsically increases the value of the offer. Add a CTA (call-to-action) within the story letting people know to visit the link in your bio to claim the offer or you can have viewers swipe up to a landing page where they will claim the offer.
There are as many ways that brands and marketers can use Instagram Stories to their advantage as there are people using them. These are just the tip of the iceberg to get your creative juices flowing! How likely are YOU to interact with or be motivated by other’s Stories? Do you check for new Stories regularly? What brands have you seen making the most of Stories?