Instagram Stories first graced our phone screens back in 2016. Stories has grown increasingly popular, with the short video format being used by both individuals and businesses alike to grow their followings and quickly engage and interact with their communities. Instagram Stories are an easy way to share and discover content and for businesses to generate brand awareness and sales.
What are Instagram Stories – A Quick Recap
In the past we’ve mentioned using Instagram Stories but as a quick recap or if you are new to using Instagram for business, Stories are essentially short video clips that disappear after 24 hours. Stories are a fun, easy and immersive way to share content using video and for users to quickly find the content they’re interested in.
Instagram Stories rivals Snapchat, and comes with a USP of using only vertical video (think portrait mode, not landscape). You can use these short videos to promote your brand or business by sharing information about yourself, your products or services. Your followers are alerted that you have uploaded a Story by a coloured ring appearing around your profile image which they can then tap on to view. Although Stories disappear after 24 hours, it is possible for this content to be copied and saved.
Organic Stories are those seen by your own followers, however, you can also use ads in Instagram Stories to promote yourself, increase brand awareness or as part of a targeted marketing campaign. Stories can also be the perfect opportunity to entice your customers into a call to action – with links through to your website or specific products available within the body of the video itself.
Why Should You Use Instagram Stories in Business?
Instagram claims a large shift in consumer choices and habits since the launch of Stories stating that 1/3rd of all of the most viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses. In addition to being free of charge, they’re pretty quick and easy to create and in their simplest form all you need to do is simply point, shoot and upload your video and wait for the views to roll in. On the other hand you can be as creative and innovative as you want, seeing Stories as a platform for customers to find, interact with, and discover content they love which can hugely strengthen your customer relationship.
5 Impressive Instagram Story Ideas
- First Impressions – Share an introduction to your company. Your brand motto, your mission statement, your story of the idea behind the business. Show your customers where your business started, describe the journey that you’ve taken to get where you are now and all the interesting landmarks along the way.
- Introductions – This is your opportunity to tell people about yourself, your team, your volunteers and employees. Use your platform to introduce anyone who works with and for you and their greatest accomplishments and why they’re so amazing at what they do.
- FAQ – Answer any frequently asked questions and think about including a description of your business processes. This way you can signpost your customers to exactly where they need to be, it helps them understand your brand and also highlights that you understand their pain points too.
- Storytelling – Tell your customers a narrative about your brand. Grow their knowledge of how you work, what you love and any behind the scenes info including up and coming sneak peeks or product launches they can look forward to.
- Demonstrations – Performing product demonstrations should be a no-brainer but often gets overlooked as sometimes it’s easy to fall under pressure to be creative. Sometimes simple is best and allows the opportunity for you as a small business owner to outline the problem your product or service is solving and what that can mean for your followers.
Instagram Stories – Extra Tips
Utilise content from elsewhere. Use your brand assets (if you don’t have a brand style guide – get one!) so that viewers identify certain colours or filters with your business. Use photos from your every day such as your morning coffee or taking the dog for a walk. See every occasion as an opportunity to connect with your community by sharing a little something about yourself and the business to personalise the brand to engage with your followers.
Instagram Stories can also be created and scheduled ahead of time using tools such as Canva and Planoly. Canva has a ton of different types of Instagram Story templates including cover images. You can easily drag and drop your own product images into the templates and then simply upload to Instagram when you’re ready to show off your designs. Plus, remember to archive your important Instagram Stories and add them to a highlight reel for users to refer back to in the future.Instagram Stories are an easy way to share and discover content and for businesses to generate brand awareness and sales. Read our 5 Impressive Instagram Story Ideas you can do today. Click To Tweet
Instagram is an extremely versatile platform for social media marketing, with Instagram Stories being a fun and easy way for businesses to interact with their followers. Be sure to include Stories within your marketing plan going forward.