With millions of people using Instagram Stories every day, it is no surprise that they are a significant part of any brand’s digital marketing strategy. Research shows that a large portion of Instagram users are likely to buy a product or service they see on the platform. And 58% of users say they develop an interest in a product they see in stories. About half of these users will actually visit the website to make a purchase!
With such stats, it’s natural that any business would benefit significantly from stories as part of their marketing campaigns.
What Are Instagram Stories?
One of the common questions we hear is how do you get more followers on Instagram. While there are many strategies to grow your followers, the IG stories feature is the most powerful one.
Insta stories are similar to posts you make on the platform, with some exceptions. One, stories will disappear after 24 hours, unlike your posts that will remain on your profile until you delete them yourself.
Stories are vertical, full-screen photos and videos that don’t actually show up on your profile but are shown in the stories bar at the top of the app. You can also see someone’s story if you don’t follow them by tapping on the stories icon on their profile.
Stories come with several tools to make them more interactive. You can add text to stories and use stickers, polls, and filters that can make your photos and videos stand out.
Why Are Instagram Stories Such a Powerful Tool for Businesses?
Instagram stories are fun and engaging for the regular user. And this amplifies when it comes to businesses that need engagement and creativity to thrive.
Instagram stories are an incredible way to build your customer base and improve your connection with your existing customers. Instagram stories have been around since about 2016, and since then, their popularity has shot up. In fact, the number of posts made for feeds has declined ever since stories showed up, and stories have been increasing.
Stories provide businesses a way to make a more authentic connection with their consumers. As human beings, we all want to have a more personal connection with the brands we support. Stories are one way for businesses to capitalize on that. Since they only last for 24 hours, they are a perfect way for brands to post content that requires minimum production effort or cost. At the same time, they’re engaging and fun for viewers.
Stories are also great for starting conversations with consumers, gauging their interest, and collecting real-time feedback, while at the same time humanizing your brand.
With all these benefits, and so many active users who use Stories, any business that doesn’t take advantage of this feature would miss out on potential buyers.
How Do Instagram Stories Work?
IG stories have a lot of options that you can explore. How to use Instagram stories? How do you get insights from them? These are all questions to ask, but first, let’s look at how to make a story, to begin with.
How to Post A Story on Instagram?
Posting a story is straightforward.
Start off by opening the Instagram app. At the bottom of the screen, choose the story option from the menu. You can switch to the front or back camera by tapping on the switch camera icon next to the capture button. Take a picture or a video, or swipe up if you want to use photos or videos that are already in your gallery.
On the left side of the screen, you will see some options to play around with different formats for your stories. These include the Boomerang option, which lets you capture videos in a loop, Layouts which enables you to make a collage, and much more.
Once you’ve selected the image or video, you can add a caption by tapping on the screen.
You can also schedule your Instagram stories by tapping on the arrow next to the publish button. Currently, stories can only be posted from mobile devices.
How to Check Views?
To check how many people have seen your story, all you have to do is tap on the Your Story icon that appears at the top of the screen. A number on the bottom left will let you know how many people have seen your story. Tapping on this number will also give you a list of people who viewed it.
If 24 hours have passed and your story is no longer live, you can still head over to your profile and view your insights.
How to Boost Engagement With Instagram Stories
There are many ways you can use Instagram’s story options to improve how much consumers interact and engage with your brand.
Stickers are a fun and easy way to make your stories more engaging and interesting for your viewers. Many kinds of stickers are available on the app, some of which are explicitly designed to boost engagement!
You can use poll stickers to provide your audience with an easy way to engage with your brand. Polls are simple to answer but deliver a lot of meaningful insights. As a business, you can use poll stickers to get feedback, provide your consumers a sense of community, and let them feel that their voice is being heard.
The questions stickers are similar since they encourage interaction in the same way. On top of that, they give your audience a chance to provide personalized responses! You can use it to gather feedback or even just ask fun questions to make your consumers feel more comfortable engaging with your brand. You can even respond to users directly through DMs.
Similar to the default stickers that Instagram offers, and very useful, are the product stickers! You can drive sales from your stories by tagging your products, which is a very easy way to push conversions simply by having people view your stories.
This feature is only available for accounts with more than 10k followers but is a great strategy to drive conversions. To go to a link, viewers will have to swipe up on the screen, so it is a good idea to accompany such stories with fun, eye-catching GIFs or videos that will make viewers want to swipe up. You can add links to any type of content – stores, a blog post, anything!
Unfortunately, this feature is still unavailable for accounts with less than 10,000 followers. But you can still add links to your bio and add a caption to your stories, encouraging your viewers to head over and click it!
If you want to boost your follower base, we recommend you learn how to grow your Instagram followers in 2021.
There are plenty of organic ways to drive engagement and sales on Instagram, but you also have the option to use IG story ads. Not only is this a powerful way to showcase your brand, but it also helps build awareness for your products with an already engaged audience. Remember that about 75% of Instagram users take action after viewing an Instagram ad, so if these are not part of your digital marketing strategy already, it makes sense to add it now!
Countdowns are a great way to build hype around a product, especially if you keep teasing it to your audience, and Instagram now lets you do that too! Countdown stickers help create a buzz around your product even before its launch. This creates excitement among your followers for the release. And they are more likely to make the purchase when the product eventually launches.
You can make this sticker even more useful if you remind your audience to tap on it, which will send them a reminder notification for the end of the countdown.
Going live on Insta stories is an incredible way to boost your engagement instantly. By going live, you can show your audience what your brand is doing in real-time. This can be great for events or just Q&A sessions where you engage with your audience. Live sessions will also capture your followers’ attention by sending them a notification if they’re using the app. As such, it is a good idea to use your insights and go live when you know a large portion of your audience is online.
Although this may seem fundamental and generic, don’t underestimate how much organic growth you can have with a consistent posting schedule! Posting more stories means more views often, which encourages the algorithm to put you first on the stories bar and gives you a greater chance of having your posts viewed.
The best part is that not only are stories easy to post, to begin with, but you can also simply schedule them for later. That means you can prepare many stories in one sitting and schedule them for posting automatically! Don’t plan too far for the future, though, because we know you want to stay on trend with your content!
Highlights allow you to extend your story’s life and give them more visibility. Consider adding a story to your highlights, so it stays visible on top of your Instagram profile, right under your bio, and works just like a story, except, it lasts until you delete it!
But then you may ask, what’s the difference between highlights and a feed post? Well, feed posts don’t have all the above options like using a hashtag sticker and formatting. And sometimes, you may not want to add clutter to your business Instagram account. For this, highlights are a perfect way to share your posts permanently while taking advantage of all the benefits of stories and keeping your profile pristine.
With all these simple tips and tricks, you can quickly build your audience and encourage engagement from your existing followers. Instagram stories are among the simple yet brilliant ways to share everyday things with your consumers and present your brand to them in the best and most compelling way.
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