With more than a billion active users, Instagram is the second-most used social media platform, next only to Facebook. This is where the importance of Instagram stories for business comes in. Instagram appeals mainly to millennials and Gen Z, and brands are using it to increase awareness, generate more leads, drive website traffic, and increase conversions.
One feature of Instagram that every business must use is Instagram Stories. Here’s a detailed guide to how you should use Instagram Stories in 2020.
Instragram stories for business: How to upload an Instagram Story?
If you’re new to Instagram, and you don’t know how to use the Instagram story feature, follow these simple steps.
Tap the camera button icon on the top left corner of the Instagram home screen. You’ll enter the Instagram Stories Camera mode.
Here, you can either take a photo by tapping the capture button or hold the capture button to record a video. In addition, you can also use this section to go live and use effects like Boomerang, Superzoom, Rewind, Hands-free, Stop motion, and more.
Once you’ve captured your photo or video, you can edit it using the Stories’ editing features, such as adding light effects, stickers, or doodles.
If you’re happy with your edit, click on the “Send To” button and upload your Story. If not, then click on the “X” icon on the top left corner to discard your Story.
Instagram stories for business: How to create an Instagram story strategy for your business?
If Instagram is a part of your brand’s social media marketing, Instagram Stories is a place where your brand should show up. While platforms like Snapchat Facebook also offer stories feature, Instagram is the place where people engage the most.
A robust Instagram Stories strategy in place can help you attain more followers and grow your reach. At the end of each Story, state what’s next. Also, have a clear call to action to ensure your audience knows what to do after watching your Story.
You can ask them to swipe up and visit a URL. Or, you can ask them to reply to the Story. Instagram Stories also allows you to conduct QnA sessions and polls.
Why should you use Instagram Stories?
Why do brands use Instagram Stories? How can Stories benefit your brand? Let’s find out.
Interact with your audience
Instagram Stories allow you to interact with your audience and also reach a new one. While Instagram Stories show up on the feed for 24 hours, they are discoverable. So, people who don’t follow you can also see them. This allows you to reach a new audience and express your ideas.
Once your Instagram account hits 10k followers, you can add swipe-up links to your stories. It makes it easier to drive traffic to your website or landing page. However, make sure to be creative and use aesthetic photos and videos in your Stories.
Repurpose your content
Repurposing your content is one of the best ways to strengthen your brand’s reputation, engage your audience, and encourage them to convert. If you have a piece of content on some other platform that worked really well, you can recreate the content and share it as an Instagram Story.
This way, you’ll never run out of content to post on social media. However, make sure not to use the exact same content. Be creative and tweak it as per your audience preferences.
Maintain visibility with Instagram stories for business
Your Instagram Stories will appear at the top of the feed of your followers. And they’ll appear right on the top of the feed until your followers watch them. This is a great way to enhance transparency as your followers may not always be able to catch up with your regular posts on Instagram.
Stories also have a great feature of linking to posts. So, if you have published a new post on Instagram, you can link to it in your Story and tell your followers that a new post is out.
You can use Stories to show some behind-the-scenes videos and images. By doing this, you can give your followers a taste of how you do things. You can make a video of your team working, or take a selfie during the break and post it. And marketing psychology suggests that people are less interested in what you do but more in how and why you do it.
Instagram Stories allow you to leverage the power of real-time marketing. You can create an Instagram strategy focused on the current, relevant topics and receive immediate feedback from customers. In addition, going live during an event or sale can encourage your audience to take action.
Instagram Stories Ads
Instagram offers an Instagram Stories Ads feature to all business accounts. This option allows you to create Story ads based on targeting and reach capabilities. Story Ads are a great way to increase brand awareness and attract more followers without being pushy or salesy.
Instagram users love Stories
Lastly, Instagram users love stories. Since its launch in August 2016, more than 300 million Instagram accounts have used Stories. Moreover, more than one-third of viewed Stories come from businesses. So, Instagram Stories can be a great way to build your brand.
Some Instagram Stories mistakes to avoid
Instagram Stories can go a long way in increasing brand awareness and attracting new customers. But if done wrong, Stories can taint your brand reputation and turn off your followers. Here are a few common Instagram Stories mistakes you should avoid.
Publishing inconsistent content
Consistency is the key to success when it comes to Instagram Stories. And consistency isn’t confined to how many times you post Stories, but also the voice and tone you have. Every brand has a voice, and it should abide by it no matter what. Most brands lose track of their voice when using stories, which can be confusing for your audience.
Duplicating your content
Stories are a great way to drive your followers to your website or newly uploaded posts. But if that’s all you do with Stories, your followers will lose interest. Try to be creative, repurpose your content, and share appealing visuals.
Not optimizing your Stories
Tagging locations in Instagram Stories or using relevant hashtags can help you appear on the “Explore” pages of Instagram. Not utilizing these features means you’re missing out on additional views and exposure from people who are not following you but might be interested in your content.
Not checking the requests section
When someone you don’t follow replies to your Instagram Stories, their messages will go in a separate “Requests” folder. Some of these messages might be irrelevant, but some may be worth checking out. If you’re not checking your requests folder at all, you might miss out on growth and networking opportunities.
Not making use of the latest tools
Instagram continuously receives regular updates, and with each update, you get new tools and features. If you don’t use these new resources, your audience will soon lose interest in your brand. So, be sure to stay up to date with Instagram updates and new features.
Instagram Stories are paving new opportunities for businesses to engage with their audience. If you want your brand to succeed on Instagram, having an Instagram Stories strategy is a must. And don’t forget to keep in some common mistakes discussed above.