Find out how you can use Instagram Stories to reach new audiences and drive conversions with our top tips.
Instagram Stories are a fun feature on the Instagram app, which allow users to post a slideshow of images and video clips that only exist for 24 hours. The idea is that people can build up a ‘story’ of their day in snapshot moments, with content that doesn’t necessarily have to be as aesthetically pleasing as the images you would want to post on your grid.
500 million people use Instagram daily and the Stories format is set to become the primary social sharing feature, overtaking Instagram newsfeed posts.
With frequent changes to the Instagram algorithm affecting post-performance and reach, Instagram Stories and their ‘unavoidability’ are a great way to reach your audience directly. Full of fun, customisable tools to make your Stories a more interactive platform, they’re a great way to engage directly with a business.
With social users able to share your stories to their friends as messages, the onus is on you to create content that they want to share. Share breaking news announcements, a first look at a new product, a discount code, or just a brilliantly entertaining video clip. Spread brand awareness through your audiences extended networks to encourage new followers and organic growth.
One example of easy-to-share content are wallpapers. Travel brand, STA Travel releases monthly mobile calendar graphics for their followers to screenshot and use. If you create wallpaper content, be sure to include your brand logo or Instagram handle in there for brand awareness!
Tagging other Instagram accounts in your stories means they can add your slide to their own story, potentially massively increasing the reach of your post, depending on their audience size. Being featured in accounts with your target audience will give your brand credibility with a free, word-of-mouth brand mention!
Be selective about who you tag though, don’t include people who aren’t actually trusted or relevant – you don’t want to look spammy. Ideally, select accounts you have a relationship with and who would find your content useful for their audience. You might find that there are plenty of nano-influencers who already follow your brand who are more appropriate to include. Instagram is all about communities, so grow yours, through theirs.
Such a simple one but vitally important! Always be sure to tag your location on your Instagram Stories as a great and easy way, to get more views of your posts. If you tag a popular location, this means your story will be added to a curated feed of content all with that same location tag. That means, when someone searches for your location, your story will be at the end of their fingertips.
Similarly to location tags, hashtags are a great addition to your story. And just like the location tag, they’ll be added to a curated feed of content available in the explore page on Insta.
Do some research on your hashtags first and pick relevant and niche phrases to ensure your story is in the most specific place it can be for optimum interest from the viewer.
Stories are great for engaging your audience as you have the option to customise each slide with text, graphics, polls, emoji sliders and question boxes. All of these features allow your audience to interact with your brand directly, for example they could ask you when a new product is coming out, or express their opinions through a poll. Making them feel involved and listened to helps to prom
ote brand loyalty and direct responses between a brand and a user bridges the gap of a follower simply feeling like they’re being marketed to.
Instagram Stories also allow you to add a ‘swipeable’ website link into each slide (if you have over 10,000 followers or a verified account). So, if you want to take your audience directly from fan to customer, drive your followers straight through to an online product store, newsletter signup, or a booking link for an event all via an Instagram story.
If you’re a restaurant, provide treatments or sell tickets you can also let your followers book directly through the app. This is saves your followers clicking through to another page and is also great for small businesses who might not have a separate website. If you have a profile on websites like Eventbrite, Treatwell or Bookatable you can link through to these directly, or there are various other methods like via your Facebook Business Page.
To enable this feature simply click on edit profile, then contact options and click on add an action. You should then see a list of the various booking options.
If you really want to reach new people, and quickly, you can get your Stories in front of lots of non-followers through paid advertising on Stories. The most important thing to remember is to create an ad that contains:
Stories adverts can be 3 slides long so make sure it’s well-designed and ‘clickable’ for maximum impact.