The option of running ads are increasing everyday, but so is stagnation of said ads. With Google Ads, you have to pay increasing larger amounts to get your ad to the top spot, and every business, big and small is already making full use of Facebook. No big surprises there.
That’s why we thought we’d bring you up to speed to the newest and arguably most fun way to share content online, via Instagram stories. If you already have an established presence on Instagram, that is a great bonus.
What are Instagram Stories?
Fleeting, disappearing content, initially created by Snapchat, a social network based on this kind of content, stories were eventually incorporated by Instagram. At its simplest, Instagram stories can work as a slide show to share pictures and videos with your followers. The content disappears after 24 hours, so it’s a great chance for brands to be a little informal with their content.
But it’s much more than that. Stories, on Snapchat and Instagram allow for a great deal of customizability, allowing you to use Augmented Reality (AR) in videos, create polls, use wonderful filters and picture effects and so much more, all through your mobile phone.
To keep this post simplified, we’ll be focusing entirely on Instagram stories.
Are Instagram Stories Viable?
A perfectly acceptable question. The general misconception is that Instagram is a great hub for angsty teenagers who love to share memes, cat pictures and memes of cats. That cannot be more further away from the truth.
Top Dog Social Media did a study about businesses on Instagram, and their findings are encouraging. About 80% of Instagram users follow a brand, and only 48.8% of brands are on Instagram. Couple that with the fact about 75% of Instagram users take action after looking at an advertisement. But more on that later.
Bottom line is, Instagram is a great place for businesses to share content, and Instagram story is one such way to gain access to larger audiences.
Now let’s take a look at how you can use Instagram stories to promote your business.
Show a Behind the Scenes Look
Instagram stories are all about informal, fun content as discussed earlier. A great way to capitalize on this is showing behind the scenes content in your story. Want to let your customers in on the secret of your awesome Thai food? Make little video snippets of your chefs at work.
If you run a podcast, or create content on YouTube, you can use this this chance to share an exclusive behind the scenes look of the equipment you use, with pictures and video snippets.
While we’re on this topic, let’s talk about hashtags!
Use Hashtags in Stories
Using hashtags in your story are not a compulsion, but it helps potential customers not affiliated with your page to find it.
With this in mind, it’s crucial to use hashtags on your stories sparingly, and only when you’re sure the hashtag corresponds with your “brand voice”.
Use Polls to Gather Interest
Polls are a nifty way to gauge audience opinions about a certain topic, and it’s something that guarantees audience engagement. Plus you get to know your audience a little better.
Check out this guide to learn about using Instagram story polls.
It’s important to keep two things in mind when using polls.
- Don’t use polls just because you can. Use polls when you’re sure
- Your page audience is interested in answering the question.
- The question is related to your brand and products.
- Polls disappear 24 hours after they’ve been posted. Remember to post polls results way ahead of this.
When using polls, it’s a good idea to turn on push notifications. That way, you’re notified whenever anyone votes.
Use Instagram Story Ads
Before doing this step, make sure to upgrade your Instagram account to a business account.
Once you have a business account, you’re ready to post some ads.
Instagram Ads are great for showing off a new product or discount offer to a much wider audience, and it also allows you to directly send your audience from the story to your website, without your Instagram bio acting as a middle man.
Luckily, we can give you a headstart in creating Instagram Story ads.
The ad templates above are in the Instagram story format. All you need to do is pick an ad, customize it with your content, download and use.
Try Something Creative
Marketing is all about trying out different things to create user engagement.
One such way to use Instagram Stories is to use This or That stories, which asks users a set a things to chose from. Exactly as the name suggests, you choose either “this” or “that” option. Users can answer by replying to the story.
Like polls, this method can also be used to better understand your audience, and this in turn helps you create content that resonates with them.
Onward to Stories
Now it’s your turn to try your hand at stories. Don’t fret it though! Stories are all about informal, personal anecdotes that individuals and brands alike share.
The rules are few and opportunities for new ideas are plenty.