Since the launch of Instagram Stories in August 2016 it has become a popular and engaging feature for Instagram’s 1 billion+ users worldwide.
In 2020, on average 1 in 3 Instagram Stories posted leads to a some type of engagement making it one of, if not the, best marketing tool for community interaction.
The popularity of Instagram Stories has been one of the factors attributed to the decrease in engagement on feed posts as user behaviour evolves. However, consistently posting to both Stories and your feed is widely believed to significantly benefit your account when it comes to the Instagram algorithm.
Why are Instagram Stories a great tool for businesses?
Not only are Instagram Stories fun, fast and creative, they allow you to connect with your community, and potential customers, on a whole new level.
The ability to creatively engage with your audience is what makes this feature so popular amongst both users and businesses.
With a whooping 500 million + Instagram Story users worldwide, you are sure to find your target audience through this channel.
Top tips for businesses
1. As consumers expect more authentic content from businesses, use Instagram Stories to get candid and ‘real’ with your audience. Authenticity is key right across social media and Stories are no exception.
2. Show your audience the people and personalities behind the brand. Stories are the perfect outlet to humanise your brand and build the relationship between your team and your customers.
3. Good stories have a beginning, middle and an end. Take some time to plan out your Stories and use text or narration to link your clips together to form a story that will keep your audience engaged from start to finish.
4. Use Instagram Stories to boost your engagement. Stories allow you to interact through a number of easy to use features such as; questions, polls, quizzes, direct messages and many more. These features allow businesses to gather useful market research and customer feedback in real time.
5. Create Instagram Story highlights. Instagram Stories have a 24 hour lifespan, however, saving your Stories to categorised highlights allows this content to live on until you choose to delete them.
5 great Instagram Story content ideas for businesses
1. Q&A and FAQ (Be sure to save a FAQ highlight for easy reference to your most common questions).
2. Market research and customer feedback. Use polls, invite direct messages, ask questions to get real time information from your most engaged customers.
3. Behind the scenes. Show your community something they have never seen before.
4. Meet the team. Getting up close and personal (but not too personal) with your team helps create trust and build relationships between your business and customers.
5. Quick easy tips and tricks. Give your audience valuable content that helps, educates or inspires.
3 ways to get your Instagram Stories viewed by more people for FREE
1. Hashtags. You can add up to 10 hashtags to each story. However, be wary not to overload your images or videos just for the sake of it. Select a few relevant hashtags and work them seamlessly into your creative. The incentive to add hashtags is because when users search for a hashtag on Instagram, it will deliver both results from the feed AND stories, giving you extra exposure for your business. Note - all tags have to be visible to the eye or they will not be recognised by Instagram and will not be shown under the hashtag story.
2. Location tags. The same idea as hashtags applies here to location tags. Get seen under location searches by tagging the relevant location in your Instagram Stories.
3. Tag relevant businesses and/or people. If you are working with other businesses or personalities, be sure to tag their accounts in your Stories and encourage them to share these with their own audiences - once again giving you more views on your Stories and extra exposure for your business.
I’m convinced, now where do I begin?
Jump in and have a play. Consider starting on your personal Instagram account to get a feel for the feature before you switch over to your business account. The more you use Instagram Stories the more confident and creative you will become.
If you need more strategic advice for how to implement Instagram Stories into your marketing plan, contact us for a chat.
Owner & Marketer