Marketing

How Brands Can Take Advantage of Instagram Stories

Most brands want to get followers on Instagram, increase engagement, and ultimately earn conversions. There are many strategies for achieving these objectives, but as of late, one of the most effective is the use of Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories lets you stay at the top of users’ feeds—literally. It’s a great way to use real-time marketing to put yourself out there and have a little fun doing it. Best of all, it can offer a significant boost to your engagement. According to Brandwatch, engagement on Stories is up to at least 25 percent compared to the rest of your account.

When you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, hop onto Instagram Stories to post some content. Here are a few strategies for making the most out of it.

Use Polls

About a year after the integration of Instagram Stories, the popular platform introduced a new feature to Stories that allows users to run polls, a fantastic way to get your audience more engaged, particularly if you’re trying to generate interest around a certain industry topic or a product/service you sell.

A poll serves a double benefit for your Instagram account. While you can buy cheap Instagram likes, polls can organically increase engagement. Consumers can’t resist responding to a compelling poll, and more engagement means better rankings according to Instagram’s algorithm.

Secondly, it provides valuable insights for your business. “By having the opportunity to get your audience’s two cents on a point or decision, you could save your brand time, money and energy,” argues Pius Boachie of Adweek.

Boachie also recommends using Instagram Insights to track engagement so you can see the effectiveness of a poll. Use the information to improve polls used in the future.

Be an Active Participant

“Just like physical posts on Instagram, it is really important to stay active when uploading Instagram Stories because let’s face it, we’ve all caught ourselves spending waaaaayy too much time clicking through the Instagram Stories of the people you follow,” says Kennedy Murray of Scrunch.com, underscoring the fact that the average user spends 28 minutes per day on Instagram Stories.

She also highlights the need to post often to the platform. “Stories will expire after 24 hours so make sure you’re uploading at least one story every 24 hours so you can remain in everyone’s story reel,” she says.

The expiration date really works in your favor. You don’t have to worry about posting only the highest-quality photos and videos to Stories because it will disappear. Just let the natural, raw footage take the stage. It humanizes your brand and opens the door for unparalleled engagement. Reserve the good stuff for your profile where your content will be immortalized.

Share Positive News in Your Industry

Something that users love about Instagram is the positivity of the platform. There are fewer arguments and negative news stories and a lot of motivational images. Take advantage of this metric, which is obviously driven by user demand, and share positive news stories in your industry.The New York Times is a great example of this. Their Instagram Stories feed is primarily composed of positive news stories. They also save a few of these stories to a “Good News” tab on their profile page. Their posts are all about happy endings, and they generate impressive engagement.

“The New York Times is able to take the fun format of Stories and make it their own, without sacrificing the ability to deliver well-researched, insightful, and informative news articles to their readers,” says an AdEspresso article.

Try this with your own feed and note the uplifting feedback you receive as a result.

Go Live

Live video is an Instagram trend almost as popular as Instagram Stories. Live video gives users an unfiltered, uncut view into the lives of the people behind their favorite brands.

This experience can be a little intimidating. There’s no editing before you post a video, and since your followers receive a notification when you start recording live, you can’t escape having an audience. However, you need to get over your fears and put yourself out there. It’s one of the best ways to generate engagement and enhance your use of Instagram Stories.

Live content is huge for attracting viewers. The more people who watch, the higher your posts will rank in the Top Live videos section. Remember that live videos posted to Stories will disappear within a day, so don’t sweat it and have fun!

Showcase Products in Use

If you’re a brand selling products or services, Instagram Stories can showcase how those products might be used in a practical setting. It helps customers visualize how they might personally use a product and will increase their likelihood of making an impulsive purchase.

  1. Crew is a good example of using Instagram Stories to feature their latest products. They post not only images of models wearing their clothing, but also influencers. Customers can easily swipe up to make a purchase or view product pages.

Don’t forget to add a compelling call to action with each post of this nature. You don’t want users to swipe past an image or video without realizing it’s an advertisement.

Make Content Exclusive

Part of the reason that users like Instagram Stories is the exclusive feeling. It seems as if friends and brands are talking directly to them in their videos and captioned images. Why not take advantage of that to promote your brand?

“Stories can be a great way to showcase a special offering or sale each week and influence your followers’ purchase intent. When you create a new Story, your followers will receive an alert in their home feeds, giving you a nice way to boost awareness around a special offering and make it feel exclusive for their eyes only,” suggests an article from Marketing & Growth Hacking.

Exclusive content is just one of many benefits of using Instagram Stories for the advancement of your brand. You can read about all the advantages of the feature, but the best thing you can do is try it for yourself. After applying these tips and seeing your engagement skyrocket, you’ll understand why today’s top marketers are prioritizing the use of Instagram Stories.

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