For any business that’s looking to build their brand’s online image, Instagram is the best place to start. The numbers are nothing short of impressive – there are 1 billion monthly active Instagram users, with 800 million Instagram users following business profiles and 400 million users viewing Instagram Stories every day. If you still have not started using Instagram Stories to promote your brand, today is the best time to start.
Instagram Stories was introduced in August 2016 and, since then, has become one of the most popular features of the app. With this feature, Instagram users are able to capture and post related images and videos, and add filters, text, emoticons, stickers, and drawings to their story. Posts made on Stories only last for 24 hours, and business have been using this feature to promote their offers while maintaining a nice grid of photos on their profile page.
So, how do you use Stories to promote your brand? Read on and take down notes:
Use Stories to Tell Your Story
Stories is a great way to show Instagram users your journey as a brand and invite them to join this journey. When posting on this feature, the more real you are, the better. This means posting raw, uncut photos and videos, such as candid photos and behind-the-scene footages.
A great example would be Aston Martin, posting casual videos taken by Max Verstappen himself and photos of him being interviewed on its Instagram Stories, giving users a more realistic peek into what’s going on with the brand’s endorser outside of photoshoots.
Use Instagram Story Ads
When the Instagram Stories ads feature was launched in January 2017, it was limited to big brands like Nike, Netflix, and Airbnb. Two months later, it made the feature available to businesses of all sizes. Similar to TV ads, you need to tailor your Stories ads to quickly catch the attention and interest of your audience. Keep in mind that photo ads last only 10 seconds, while video ads last for 15 seconds. Strong visuals and a clear message are key.
For photo ads, make sure that you use bright, bold photos that clearly reflect your brand image. Keep your message simple and straightforward. It is important for the users to know who you are, what you do, and how you can help them in less than 10 seconds. And don’t forget to give your audience an effective call-to-action.
Add Tags and Links to Your Story
Adding direct links and tags on your Instagram Stories is one of the amazing ways that your business can leverage on its users. Verified users can add the “Swipe Up” or “See More” button at the bottom of the screen to drive their followers to links leading to their website. Daniel Wellington does this to link to the promo page of their website and increase their sales revenue on certain holidays, such as their Black Friday Deals before Thanksgiving Day. Right now, though, this feature is only available to business profiles which have at least 10,000 followers.
Adding tags, on the other hand, have no requirements. You can add relevant geotags and hashtags to increase your exposure. By adding geotags, you improve the chances of your business getting discovered in location-level stories. When you tag your location in your Story posts on a regular basis, Instagram users who are checking in on that particular spot will be able to see your post.
As for hashtags, adding your brand’s hashtags, such as those created for your promos or products, is an effective way to drive your followers to the collection of posts relevant to these tags and learn more about your promotions and offers.
Highlight Your CTAs
When writing your call-to-action (CTA), it is important that you draw the eyes of your viewers towards it. The best way to do so is to highlight your CTA by using big, bold lettering or adding a bright, colorful doodle beneath your CTA so that it stands out, such as the case in this story posted by Pnwonderland inviting its viewers to follow them on Facebook.
Engage Your Followers with Polls
Adding interactive polls to your Instagram Stories not only serves to give you a better grasp of you’re your followers prefer, it also moves the users to engage with your brand, which is a good way to get them to feel their connection with your business. Plus, polls are a quick, fun way to do a survey.
All you need to do is tap on the Sticker icon (the square with a face) at the top of the Story screen and choose the Poll sticker option. Type in your question in the text field. The default answer options are “yes” or “no”, but you can edit these to give your followers other customized options, such as “black” or “white”. For some brands, this might be a better way to get survey responses than email surveys, which only have a 30% response rate.
Run Regular Instagram Takeovers
An Instagram Stories takeover is when an influencer or business temporarily “takes over” your Instagram account to offer your followers a fresh perspective about your brand. This practice is a win-win for both you and your partner, with both of you benefitting from each other’s followers by inviting them to view your story. That being said, you need to choose your story host wisely, one whose image or brand is aligned with yours. Before the takeover, discuss your objectives with your host to ensure that the stories that they post would help you meet your objectives.
Instagram Stories is a great feature for engaging with your followers and promoting your brand. There is so much to like in this dynamic and fun feature, and we guarantee that using this to connect with Instagram users would be as enjoyable to you as it is for them. Take note of the many ways you can take advantage of this feature, apply them on your business account, and see your followers (and paying customers) grow!