The Benefits of Instagram Stories
Nowadays, everything that happens in our lives is documented on social media- what food we’re eating, what song we’re listening to, what film we’re watching, where we’re going, and who we’re hanging out with.
It is understandable, why Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram take the internet by storm. According to Hubspot, though Facebook has twice as many monthly users as Instagram, an image published on Instagram gets more engagement than the one posted on Facebook alone. This is because a single image on Instagram can communicate much to viewers in just one look.
Instagram Stories is a feature that Instagram introduced in August 2016 that allows users to share moments and activities through photos or videos in a slideshow format that will disappear in 24 hours. Similar to Snapchat and Messenger Story, we get to share a portion of our day through the stories and get a glimpse of others’. Unlike photos and videos on your profile, stories appear in a line at the topmost part of your feed.
Compared to when it was released, Stories now has a lot of features and elements. Now you can use filters, create a boomerang, add GIFs, polls, quizzes, and questions. You can also highlight the story, so it stays permanently on your profile. Through hashtags, mentions, and location tags, people can now discover your content without having to go directly to your profile. It has become very interactive for the user and their audience. With all these said, Stories can help in increasing the engagements and value of your brand’s profile. Publishing short stories has helped with growing brand awareness.
Here are 6 benefits of using Instagram stories for your business:
1. Demonstrate your product.
Instagram Story is an effective platform for a quick demonstration and easy sharing of your brand and the products you offer to your audience- without being too pushy about it. It’s concise, and you can play around with it to make it engaging or merely pleasing.
Whether your product or service is simple and self-explanatory, or complex and sensational, Instagram Story is perfect for creatively showcasing what your product/service has to offer or how to use it. It’s then up to your business to come up with a marketing strategy on how to utilize a 15-second clip to its maximum functionality.
For example, if you’re an owner of a local café that sells flat whites, cold brew, espresso, and even pastries, find a way to make your specialties stand out from your competitors. Learn a few tricks on product phone photography. You can also showcase the process of coffee-making through your stories step-by-step.
As another example, if your company sells diving gear, it’s best to demonstrate how to use the gears and how well-built your products are through action shots or videos of divers using your product while diving. In a way, let them experience what it’s like to not miss out on your product. Show the full potential of your product, and how it’s worth every penny of what your customers pay for.
2. Maintain Visibility in Your Followers’ Feeds
With Instagram’s new algorithm, it’s challenging to maintain visibility in your audiences’ feeds. Instagram has limited the number of times you pop up on your follower’s feed because only those they’ve interacted with or those that seem of interest to them will be visible. Those they’ve associated with repeatedly will appear first. The more stories you post, the more your content pops up on their feed.
Posting one to seven stories a day helps with maintaining a higher completion rate. Completion rate is the number of times your audience plays your story from the first story to the last. It is most likely that if you have one to seven stories, your followers will view all your stories.
3. Connect with Your Target Audience
Though most of the active Instagram users are Millenials, it’s best to keep your followers from every age group engaged with your stories. Aside from being interactive as you can get with your stories, you also have to maintain commitment in giving your best effort to engage your audience consistently.
With the new features, you can now set up polls, ask questions, or have your followers ask you questions and tag people. Setting up polls increases audience interaction. It’s a quick way to see what your followers like and not. With the “ask me anything” feature, it’s an excellent opportunity to let your audience know more about your brand. Let them get up close and personal. Additionally, since you can mention influencer’s, businesses, and other brands on your story, you increase the chance of making your account more visible. Accounts you mention on your story can re-post the story on their account- therefore, widening your scope.
Use these features to share content that humanizes your brand and show transparency. Also, stories can be used as teasers before a product launch and to share promos for the services you offer.
4. Drive Traffic to Your Website
Your websites need as much traffic as they can get. Help increase your site’s traffic by attracting viewers with your stories, redirecting them to your site.
If you reach 10,000 followers on Instagram, you can use the “Swipe Up” feature to immediately redirect your followers to your website in one swipe. Add inviting call-to-action stickers on your story to make them eye-catching. Based on a study conducted by Facebook, the products or brands on Instagram stories capture the interest of 1 out of 3 users. In 2017, Instagram released a shopping feature for stories where you can tag your product on your story so your audience can access it immediately by tapping on the tag.
5. Instagram Offers the Ability to Post a Variety of Content
With Instagram Stories, you have the liberty to post whatever and however way you want. Though you can curate your stories to be in-line with your branding, you don’t have to worry about having these stories ruin your aesthetic since they disappear in 24 hours. If you have strong branding, you may opt for keeping a consistent color and font theme on every story.
Whether you are releasing a new line of products, having a promo, or having games on your stories, you can experiment with your stories however you like- put stickers, add questions, draw on photos, create a quiz, and even add music. Keep your content fun and fresh by thinking outside the box, so your followers will be excited to wait for more. You can share sale of the week if you sell gears or goods, you can also post fashion inspirations or a look-book if you sell clothes, or you can also post about your highlights, promos, and deals for the week.
If you run out of ideas for Instagram stories, repurpose your content to save time while driving traffic to your site. If you have a post on other websites that is doing well, recreate them and post them on your story.
6. Help You Grow Your Business
A business’ should always prioritize its growth as a brand. Instagram is an excellent platform for strengthening brand awareness and recognition because it has some features that can help your brand reach a wider audience.
When you upload stories on Instagram, include location tags on your story- especially if you have a physical store- to be discovered easier. Non-followers can find your stories when they look through the stories on the location you tagged. You can also mention other businesses or even fans of the brand to be discovered by others. Though this process is not a proactive way to gain more followers, it increases the involvement of other brands/people with yours. Tag profiles that are relevant to your story. If you’re reposting content, credit the original poster. But keep in mind not to tag too many people in one story because some people find this off-putting, therefore generating fewer engagements.
An essential feature that can surely help your business grow is the hashtag. Tagging is used to categorize the content, and Hashtags can help expose your content to users beyond your followers that are interested in the topic being tagged. The chances are high that with Hashtags, you can gain more followers, increase engagement, and strengthen your image.
Today, Instagram has exceedingly grown from merely existing as a photo-sharing platform to being a platform utilized for businesses, influencers, and advertisers. With over 500 million active users daily, it is no surprise that your customers and even competitors are now using Instagram.