Brands, small businesses, and agencies are taking to Instagram to market their products and/or services and increase engagement with mobile-centric customers. But there's absolutely no doubt that Instagram marketing fosters more than those two.
The social platform has become a go-to for businesses irrespective of the industry or niche...and for impressive marketing reasons.
However, there's one missing piece of the puzzle that most businesses—even large global brands—forget to include in their Instagram marketing strategy: a success story.
Not to worry if you haven't considered this great marketing tool. Let's talk about what a success story is, why you should craft one, and how to submit it to the right Instagram team.
What is a success story?
While the term carefully explains itself, Merriam-Webster defines a success story as an individual or entity that has achieved either "wealth, respect, or fame" or "a goal."
How wonderful does that sound? Yes, very wonderful.
But that's just the literal meaning. In this context, a success story is a piece of document that details the successes a business has achieved over a period of time.
Success stories are directed to potential customers as marketing content to convert them to paying customers. They also serve as proven results of a particular platform, tool, or strategy ... and that brings us back to Instagram.
The folks at Instagram, through understanding the perks of a success story, have a dedicated page to celebrate businesses that have driven proven results with Instagram. From brand awareness and user engagement to lead generation and increased sales, Instagram wants your story to inspire others to take action.
Why submit a success story to Instagram?
The answer to that 7-word question is a bit more comprehensive than most people expect. But to save us time, below are just 3 pointers that explain why you should publish your success story for the world to see.
- Brand Awareness: Instagram publishes success stories on a dedicated webpage and its IG page, which translates to more attention once you are featured. This would expose your brand to customers that are unaware of your brand and products/services, and even those that are aware of your brand but haven't figured out what you can offer them.
- Affirmation: Sometimes, prospective customers are not entirely sure about your products or services. Whether it's because of their skepticism, your (ineffective) buyer's journey, or your (unimpressive) reputation, a success story on the official Instagram page will set all doubts loose. This serves as an affirmation that your products or services are valuable according to IG standards and worth a try.
- Proven Results: Success is attractive, and the Instagram community generally swears by this principle. (In fact, Instagrammers are more likely to interact with posts that have been liked, viewed, commented on, saved, and shared by a large number of people than posts with low engagement.
Similarly, the algorithm updates enable posts with high engagement to rank better in Feed and Explore.) Having a success story is synonymous with having achieved a business goal. With your success story outlining the effectiveness of Instagram as a marketing platform, potential and existing customers would be attracted to these proven results, thereby increasing leads, sales, and more. Businesses could also be attracted to your achievements, and approach you for partnership, affiliation, etc.
How to submit a success story to Instagram
If Instagram itself were to ask you why you're marketing your business on the platform, what would be your answer?
Is it the fact that other businesses are generating leads, spiking conversion rates, and maximizing sales thanks to Instagram marketing? Are you attracted to the increased user engagement, brand awareness, consumer perception, customer satisfaction and other marketing metrics that come packaged with it—if done right? Are you simply building a social presence to the fore of a bigger business picture?
Regardless what your answer is, the ultimate goal of brands that market on Instagram isn't complete without a great success story to back it up. That's why Instagram wants you to use its business features and marketing tools and record impressive results, and then use your story to inspire others to join the Instagram business community.
1. First Note
Needless to say, a success story represents proven successes. So if your business has not achieved its Instagram marketing goals, you don't need to submit a success story...yet. Instead, you should first define an Instagram strategy, and then achieve your goals by recording impressive results with IG business features, marketing tools, or ads. In other words, you have to be a successful client of Instagram before writing and submitting your success story.
After you've become one of Instagram's successful clients, the next step is to write the success story and move on to submission.
- Visit this webpage to access the story submission form.
- Fill in the required details accordingly, which includes your name, email address, business name, Instagram business account, website URL, and location.
- For the box that'd contain your story, detail your business (plus the products or services you offer), business goals (i.e. why you opted for Instagram ads or marketing), and proven results of your achievements (e.g. awareness, engagement, and conversion). Also, make sure your text is completely free of errors and mistakes; employ impeccable language and accurate results. For the advertising product(s) used section, list every advertising product of Instagram you have used (e.g. Stories ads, carousel ads, and video ads). You can also upload up to 5 attachments, with a maximum of 500 KB per attachment.
- Tick the box (which affirms that you might not receive a return response from Instagram), and then hit the Submit Story button. (The thank you page will load after the submission has been successful.)
Pro-Tip: There are five business goals recognized by Instagram: online sales, in-store sales, app promotion, brand awareness, and lead generation. It's highly advisable to include at least one of these in your story.
3. Last Note
Sadly, there is no official guide pertaining to the submission of your success story to Instagram. So, we have no idea how Instagram determines which story to feature or not. But with the steps listed above, the appropriate team will receive and review your success story and respond if your story is feature-worthy.
P.S. As expected, this is exclusively for Instagram business accounts. Keep in mind that Instagram will review the submission and contact you if the team decides to feature your story on the IG website or account. If extra information is needed, a member of the team will inform you. If you do not receive a response soon, simply reevaluate your story and re-submit when you've achieved set goals.
Success story vs. case study
Even though these two marketing terms are relatively close, their meager differences can be linked to their primary purpose. While success stories outline the success(es) of your business, case studies outline your success in dealing with your customers.
As explained earlier, a success story represents the successes a business has achieved so far (sometimes with respect to proven results of the particular strategy or platform used). On the other hand, a business case study is an in-depth and detailed examination of the business' success in dealing with a certain customer/client.
Case studies focus on telling prospects how valuable your products and/or services are by showing them that your business has excelled in the past. They also lead to insights that turn prospects into paying customers.
For instance, your Instagram success story is a case study for Instagram to tell prospects how valuable Instagram ads and marketing have driven real results in the past.
If you like the idea of a case study, check out Neil Patel for 8 proven tips to help you craft great case studies. (The 7-years-old article is very insightful, well-detailed, and not yet outdated.)
When all is said and done, a success story is just one of many marketing tools you should exploit on Instagram. We've looked at a number of questions and concepts surrounding success stories, so put on your writing cap and craft an amazing success story to turn prospects into customers. When you're done, submit and wait for Instagram to showcase your success to the world. Cheers!