Do you use Instagram marketing for business? Perhaps you’ve noticed the new way to tell your brand’s story on this social network called Instagram Stories. Unmistakably similar to Snapchat, Instagram Stories allows users to share intimate moments through posting multiple streams of photos and videos to create their unique story for the day. The goal is to encourage even more visual content shares to Instagram’s current 95 million daily uploads!
The beauty about this added feature is that it opens doors for marketers to leverage yet another platform to create brand awareness, build follower relationships, promote their message, and further engage their audience. Before sharing how to use Instagram Stories in your social media marketing strategy, here’s a little more about Instagram Stories and what it entails:
What are Instagram Stories?
Photos and videos posted in Instagram Stories show up in a slideshow format separate from the content on your profile grid or Instagram feed. Just like Snapchat, the content is ephemeral so it vanishes after 24 hours. The ultimate advantage to Stories is the ability to post visual content continuously without it interfering with your business page or your followers feed since Stories are accessed from a different space.
Users are able to view various Stories from accounts they follow located in a bar at the top of their home page feed. When there is new content posted in Stories, the account profile photo will show a colourful ring around it. One of the differences between Stories and Snapchat is that new Stories in the home feed are sorted by who you interact with most; not according to the time Stories have been updated.
Another advantage to Instagram Stories is that you are able to see exactly who has watched your story, allowing you to monitor who is engaging most with your content. You can also add a bit of personality to your content and make it unique by using text and drawing tools
5 Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Social Media Marketing:
#1 Take Your Followers Backstage
Similar to live-stream video platforms like Periscope and Facebook Live, Instagram Stories provides an avenue to take your audience behind-the-scenes to events once shut off to the public. You can elaborate on your recent posts using video or multiple images, sharing moment-by-moment details to give followers a more in-depth look, further increasing engagement and humanizing your brand.
#2 Host an Instagram Contest
A sure way to get your fans involved in your social media content is by hosting a contest. Create some buzz around your brand using Instagram Stories by encouraging followers to send direct messages responding to your Stories’ content to potentially win a prize. Make it a regular event to keep them clicking on your profile and engaging with your Stories.
#3 Share Your Brand’s Story
Instagram Stories is the perfect platform to tell your story and how your business seeks to solve the problems and issues concerning its market. Use Stories as an outlet to showcase more of your brand’s personality and culture. Share the “why” behind the name and the motivation that drives your business to be bold. Storytelling is a powerful technique for fostering relationships and keeping followers engaged with your brand!
#4 Promote Upcoming Events and Product Launches
Instagram Stories can serve as an added outlet to your overall social media marketing strategy in creating awareness about new products and events. Because Stories’ content disappears after 24 hours, each day is an opportunity to promote your next big thing. It will never get old, you won’t overwhelm your followers’ feeds, and it creates an expectancy amongst your followers to keep coming back to you for more fresh, relevant content.
#5 Extra Content Creation & Curation
If your social media marketing strategy includes sharing content on Stories daily, you’ll have to create a lot of content. Good thing you have the option to download your Stories’ content for later use. These can serve as content for future marketing campaigns or just to post on your other social media sites. It’s a great way to build up a ‘vault’ of engaging content. Schedule these content pieces into your social media management tool so you’ll never run out of topics to share with your audience.
Instagram Stories is an amazing platform for sharing your brand’s story, connecting deeper with your followers, and promoting your marketing messages to expand content reach. The key is to use a few of these tactics, test, and discover which approach resonates best with your audience and ramp up from there.
For more online and social media marketing strategies that align with your business goals and accelerate your results, contact us at McAllister Marketing to schedule a consultation. We are a full service branding and inbound marketing team that specializes in helping you attract, convert and retain more customers.