David Koller, Negosentro | Running an online business is getting more complex as new technologies arrive and marketing strategies evolve. In order to get ahead of the competition, an inspiring entrepreneur has to adapt quickly, learn about latest trends, and successfully communicate with their target audience.
It is pretty clear by now that social media platforms are the best place for reaching new customers, and utilizing them is the key to success. One of those game-changing apps is, of course, Instagram. After a few years of building your Instagram profile and uploading high-quality content, it is time to get focused on the latest feature: Instagram Stories.
This new option offers you to upload something relevant to your business, which will be seen by your customers in a slideshow format. The offers and announcements you make via Instagram stories will be deleted after 24 hours, so you should go and share something that is happening in real-time. This feature is designed to compete with Snapchat and provide Instagram users with a space for raw sharing. During the last few years, Instagram became very popular among business owners, since it offers a great platform for advertising startups.
Why should you go with Instagram stories?
Instagram introduced stories in August 2016, and its success is undisputed. Just in a few months, this feature got to 150 million daily users. Its competition, Snapchat, got there after six years. Approximately 30% of all posts on Instagram stories are related to business. It is good to know that almost 70% of stories are viewed with the sound on, which is much better than its silent competitor, Facebook.
Another reason why you should advertise your business via Instagram stories is the popularity of the app. Namely, Instagram has more than 600 million users who share 95 million videos and images, and like 4.2 billion posts daily. You don’t need to think twice and wait, because every second brand is utilizing Stories, and you should be amongst them.
How to use Instagram Stories features?
Start from the Filters
You are already familiar with the feature since you probably used it in one of your past posts. Once your photo or video is done, go ahead and swipe left or right to see all the options. You won’t be able to see the name of the filter, or change its intensity, as you used to on regular Instagram posts.
Add some text
The next step toward trending Instagram Story may share a piece of mind with your audience. You’ll just need to tap anywhere on the screen and text editing options will appear. Decide on alignment, colors, size, and hit the „Done“ button.
Use some stickers
You can’t really engage the online audience without emojis. Instagram Stories offer a variety of stickers you can use to make your content even better and much more appealing. In addition, there is an option for customizing your stickers, so you can add the location, weather and time to your story.
This feature will provide you with an option to create your own GIF-like clip that loops in perpetuity. You just need to go to Instagram Stories camera, and change the settings from „normal“ to „boomerang“.
Another great feature is Instagram’s version on live-streaming. If you want to say something to your followers, just swipe right from the feed, and the Stories camera will engage. After it’s up, you’ll need to toggle to the „live“ option and tap „Start Live Video“.
Mentions are included
Instagram beat Snapchat by adding an option where you can mention other people in your Story. This is another reason why Instagram is getting more and more users, while Snapchat is falling behind. Mentions work pretty much the same as the original Instagram posting, so it won’t be hard to master it.
What are the best practices?
If you want to attract some new followers and improve your sales, you’ll really need to put some effort in story creation. Avoid posting a random photo or boomerang, but think about the story you want to tell and make sure it has consistency and natural flow.
Give your best to make your Instagram Story exciting and engaging in order to get your followers interested. Don’t worry about editing, since Stories shouldn’t be as polished. It is better if they’re raw since the main purpose of this new Instagram feature is to share something that is happening in the very moment you’ve posted it. Feel free to unleash your creativity and don’t be afraid to experiment.
Of course, the golden rule of digital marketing is to provide your audience with some real value. You should do this on all other social media platforms as well, and Instagram Stories is not an exception. You’ll need to create content that will make your customers come back for more.
Make sure to fully utilize all features available. In order to remain fresh and interesting, you’ll need to combine different types of posts, so go ahead and use everything: videos, photos, text slides, and Boomerangs.
How to use Instagram Stories for marketing?
The best way to educate potential customers about your service or products is to take some time and create some how-to content. If you look at other social media platforms, you’ll see that people like tutorials and Instagram Stories is no different.
Show something exclusive
A lot of people will be very happy to see how you conduct the business, and who are the people behind the brand. Use Instagram Stories to show your audience the atmosphere in your office, and introduce them with some of your co-workers. People like to see faces behind the business, and this move can really boost your brand awareness.
Make a list
Lists are so popular in online space, and you should get on this train as well. Almost all articles on the web are in the form of the list since people easily digest this type of content. Think about creating a fun listicle in one of your future posts, with a great photo in the background.
Offer some answers
You probably have the Q&A section on your website, and it would be great if you use some of those Q&As in your Story. Another way to educate your audience about your product or service is to organize an interview or a panel where you can discuss an interesting topic while streaming it live via Stories.
Communicate with your audience
Instagram Stories isn’t meant to be a one-way street. You should be using your posts to engage followers in conversation, so you can get some feedback, and see what you can do in order to improve and meet all needs of your customers. Ask them about your products, and don’t be afraid of answers. The feedback you get through Instagram Stories can really help you to improve your business.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to utilize Instagram Stories if you are a business owner. It is needless to say that Stories are one of the best online spots for marketing, and the number of people using it is getting higher daily. Make sure to create intelligent, fun, and engaging content if you want to increase the number of your followers. The wider audience you reach, the better your business will perform. Of course, keep up with the latest technology trends, and be fast, so you can get ahead of the competition. The online marketing strategies will continue to change, so you should be aware of these changes in order to prosper.