With over one billion active accounts, Instagram has become one of those sites that every business needs to focus on. Instagram have reported that 80 percent of accounts follow at least one business, so users are not just looking for interactions with friends, family, and celebrities. Businesses using the platform effectively have proven they can reach audiences that might previously have been out of reach.
One of the best methods for attracting these audiences is with Instagram Stories. These short video clips might not seem like much, but they are a valuable addition to your marketing arsenal. Used in the following way, Instagram Stories can increase engagement and help to cultivate a targeted following:
Instagram makes it easy for followers to ask questions, allowing you to create some interactivity. You could host some occasional sessions answering questions, making it broad or focused around a theme. You can add to the entertainment factor of these sessions by posting images and videos to accompany your answers.
Post User-Generated Content
Users of your services will often post content and tag your brand. Posting this to your own feed can help build a community feel to your brand and also encourage others to post their own tagged images. User-generated content helps followers feel they are involved, rather than simply being marketed to.
Use Live Video
Instagram Live is the streaming video element of Instagram Stories. You can record a live video, engaging with followers who are watching. A live video could be a lighthearted conversation, a tour of your facilities, a product unveiling, or an event. Live videos are great for engagement and can also be viewed later on by people who missed it.
Add a Call to Action
A call to action (CTA) on Instagram Stories can link to an external URL or an IGTV video. Users, though, have a small link at the bottom of the story, so it can be easily missed while scrolling. Use a CTA telling people to swipe up for more content, letting people know briefly what to expect or why they should visit the link.
Lists have long been a popular content option for blogs, but they can also be used as a group of stories. You can create a theme based on the industry you are in and then run down the list as individual stories. Avoid making the list too long, though, as the format suits shorter content.
Introduce New Services
Launching a new service can be done via Instagram Stories, giving people a quick look before the official launch marketing material. Using a story encourages people to continue watching in the future, with the expectation that more exciting content will follow. You can also gauge responses using the format, making any necessary tweaks based on the initial feedback.
Create a Tutorial
Instagram Stories can be used for quick tutorials that don’t require too much detail. If you are in the food industry, for example, you can showcase a simple recipe that users could follow along with. You don’t need to add too much depth, just focusing on making the sequence of images or videos engaging.
A fun use of the format is to let someone control your account for a short amount of time. Clothing or makeup brands often let celebrities or influencers post content during a live event or launch. As a service business you can let your customers do the talking for you.
Social media as a whole is an important way of promoting your brand and interacting with followers. Instagram has proven to be a vital part of this promotion, with numerous brands significantly increasing their growth through this single channel. Instagram Stories are an increasingly important part of the process, offering quick content and clickable links. It is possible for businesses to get this aspect of social media wrong, but when you get it right you can improve your engagement levels very quickly.