Instagram is a platform like no other, having grown so much since its debut in 2010. With over a billion registered accounts from celebrities, businesses, and everyday people alike, everyone is on Instagram nowadays. This has made Instagram Story marketing a great way to grow your audience online.
Instagram was bought by Facebook in 2012 and has changed and added so many features since. One of them is Instagram stories. Aside from having a feed where users can post pictures and videos that don’t expire, Instagram launched its Stories feature in 2016. This feature enables users to upload photos and videos with a variety of stickers, text, and background colors. Similar to Snapchat, these stories expire after 24 hours. This feature added to the way businesses can market and grow their audience on Instagram. This article will explain how to use Instagram stories for brands and get your name out there even more.
Instagram Story Marketing
Instagram story marketing is a great way to grow your audience by making them feel engaged and that you value their opinions. Here are some numbers as to why you should build a marketing strategy around Instagram stories. As stated above, Instagram has one billion registered accounts and about half of those users are using stories to engage with their favorite brands. And about 62% of those people say they’ve become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in their Stories. With these numbers, businesses have jumped at using stories to bring awareness to their brand. In addition, as of 2020, about 4 million brands use stories to advertise and that number is only going to continue growing. These numbers speak for themselves and endorsing your brand on Instagram stories should be at the top of your to-do list.
Get Started with Instagram Story Marketing
The very obvious and first step to use Instagram stories is to make an Instagram account. After you have managed to make an account, upload a profile picture, and write a great bio, you are ready to take on posting your first story. Your Instagram Story is published separately from the photos and videos found in your feed. They are easy to use and get started with, but there are hidden tools that can make your stories more creative and engaging. Here are the steps on how to make and use Instagram stories for your brand:
- Open the Instagram app on your phone and tap your profile picture near the upper left-hand corner. Alternatively, swipe right on the home screen to open up the camera.
- Choose a filter by swiping right and left at the bottom. You’ll be able to preview each filter live.
- Capture a photo or video using the camera.
- Alternatively, skip the two previous steps and swipe up on your screen to browse your gallery. Choose an existing photo or video.
- Add stickers, time stamps, or GIFs to the Story.
- Once you’ve finished editing your photo or video, tap Your Story to share it with all of your followers.
Instagram Story Features
- Stickers: Stickers are a fun way to add creativity to your story. You can access these by clicking “Create,” then tapping the smiling sticker icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. There are location, hashtag, poll, and selfie stickers that all help boost engagement.
- Use the pen feature: This feature lets you draw or write on your story. Tap the pen icon in the upper right-hand corner to begin drawing. In addition, you are able to adjust the color and thickness of the pen to however you like.
- Mention other Instagram accounts on your story: Instagram allows you to mention 10 accounts per story. Begin to tag the account with the “@” symbol and then type out their account name. The person will then be notified that they were mentioned and can add the story to their story. This is a great way to get your account out there for other people to follow.
- Add music to your story: Once you have taken a picture or video, tap on the music icon and add a song. Make sure the song isn’t muted so your followers can hear your favorite music along with you.
- Go live: Going live on Instagram is a fun way to bring your followers along with you during your daily activities. This feature also allows you to interact with your followers in real-time, with them asking questions and you being able to answer right away.
Instagram Stories for Brands
Knowing how to post an Instagram story is one thing, but knowing what to post to endorse your brand through stories is another vital thing to know. When starting Instagram Story marketing, remember to keep in mind that stories are more casual, and there is less pressure to post a perfect picture. Knowing your brand and message is the first step and sticking to it is key. Your audience is another important factor to know when posting these stories because that is who is buying the service or product. If you want to stop your followers from swiping past your Stories, you’ll need to make sure to catch their attention. Here are some tips below to begin endorsing your brand on Instagram stories and keep your followers from swiping past them:
#1: Nail Your Brand’s Visual Identity
Stories are one of the best tools to use in order to engage with your customer, and you can make that engagement great with visuals. Nailing your brand’s visual identity is one of the ranking factors Instagram takes into consideration when you want to land your story on the Explore Page. It is also key to building a relationship with your audience. Your brand should be recognizable right off the bat. Consistency is key, so using the same colors, fonts, and keeping your brand the same will not only make everything look great, it will bring in more followers as well.
#2: Use Multiple Fast-Paced Scenes, Especially in Video Stories
Keeping your stories at a fast pace will keep users engaged and not bored. The time images show on stories is 5 seconds long and videos last 15 seconds. You may think it’s a short amount of time, but people lose focus if what they are looking at is dragging. Keep your stories short and different. Change the angle, picture, or even background color to keep your audience engaged.
#3: Provide Value
One of the keys of Instagram Story marketing is to provide your audience with value and give your audience what they didn’t even know they needed. Brand your stories in a way that earns you meaningful clicks. This is why knowing your audience is so important. Keep in mind what your brand can bring to your audience and make the best content possible.
#4: Be Creative
Instagram Story marketing gives users a lot of flexibility to post the content that they want. People usually post content that is happening right at that moment such as funny and authentic moments. This gives brands the ability to make content that is as authentic as they can get to build a connection with their followers. Having the perfect aesthetic does bring your brand awareness but having your customers be able to engage and be involved by the use of polls and the questions feature will bring in higher conversion rates.
How to Use Instagram Stories for Business?
With all of the information provided above, we can see there are multiple tools Instagram offers for businesses to use, and a really important one being Instagram Story marketing. Below are some ways you can use Instagram stories for business:
- Demonstrate your product: The perfect way to show potential customers your product is on stories. Post short clips or a long video displaying what your product or service does and how it can help customers in their daily lives. Always remember to fit your video to Instagram dimensions before uploading to keep everything from looking messy and unprofessional. The dimensions for Instagram Stories are 1920px high and 1080px wide, with an aspect ratio of 9:16.
- Promote a company event: Stories is a great way to bring awareness to an event your company is having. Let your followers know the date, time, and location with a nice graphic.
- Preview a video, post on your blog and feed: This can also get your feed or any other content great exposure to your followers. You will also be able to see who clicked on the story to see your video or blog post.
Statistics don’t lie and the numbers show that Instagram Stories are a great tool to bring more customers and sales in. Endorsing your brand with Instagram stories is a great thing to implement into your marketing strategy. If you need the assistance of a social media manager to help hone your Instagram strategy, contact us at SEO Design Chicago today!
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