Instagram Stories may seem like just another photo-sharing feature, but Stories are actually a versatile and incredibly useful marketing tool. Many brands, online stores, and individuals are utilising Instagram's Story capability to spread the word about their various products and services. Here are some tips on curating a successful Instagram Story to help you get the most out of this new trend.

A behind-the-scenes look at Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories give you the ability to let your followers in on what goes on behind the scenes. Stories' structure of timed photo and video displays allow you to film and instantly share sneak peaks of upcoming projects and products. They show followers what you are working on in a more personal manner. This not only helps to drive interest in what's next but also helps potential customers become familiar with your brand and put you in a front-of-mind position.

Gain feedback instantly

Instagram Stories include several Q&A and polling tools. Utilising these features can enable followers to share their thoughts and feedback with your brand in quickly and easily. This can be used to both gauge consumer thoughts and feelings to help you shape your future products and marketing and to interact with your customer base in a fun and casual way.

Instagram stories poll:

Instagram takeovers

It is undeniable that social media influencers greatly contribute to Instagram's marketing power. One way that brands and influencers can collaborate outside of brand partnerships and sponsorships is through an Instagram Story takeover. A takeover describes when an influencer will control a brand's Story for a day, posting to the Story about products and their own experience with the brand. An influencer Story takeover has some of the same merits as positive customer reviews but has the added benefit of possibly bringing in more potential leads through follower-counts. Influencers have their own large follower-bases, and when they take over a brand's Story, it showcases the brand to these followers, giving your business a wider reach.

Depending on your business, you could also hold a employee or customer takeover. Employee takeovers are another way of giving followers a behind the scenes look at your business. The employee takeover can show customers a different side of your business. A customer takeover is quite similar to an influencer takeover, but can be in collaboration with any customer or client, regardless of their follower-count. While influencers or customers with a large following have wider reach, a regular customer comes across as trustworthy to others. The customer can use the takeover to share their positive experiences with your business as well as discuss their favourite products.

Including links

Perhaps one of the most useful marketing features of Instagram Stories is the ability to link websites. If you want to direct more traffic to your business website, online store, or blog post, then it is important to include a 'swipe up' link on your Instagram Story. A Story featuring a link should include a simple call to action. It should advertise your product and offer the customer an easy way to find what they are looking for. Instagram Story links are simple for customers to use; they can access everything in-store with just a simple swipe up motion on a link that is right in front of them.

Swipe function on instagram stories

Post and notification promotions

When trying to create a comprehensive Instagram account for your business, it is important to keep your Stories and posts in sync. A simple yet effective way to gain more views on your new posts is to promote them on your Story. This can be done by prompting your followers to head over to your profile and look at your latest post. Promoting your posts ensures that your followers are less likely to miss them, lest your content gets lost or scrolled past in their busy feeds.

Instagram also has a feature specifically designed to notify your followers when you upload. Instagram Stories are a useful way of prompting your followers to sign up for these notifications. By using Stories to promote both your posts themselves and your post notifications, you are linking your Story to the rest of your Instagram marketing.

Conclusion

Stories are not limited to Instagram, with other social media platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook also featuring similar capabilities. With the use of Story-based marketing, you can boost your reach and post interaction across a number of platforms. Since their integration, stories have gained great popularity and are just as regularly used as other forms of posting and messaging. By making use of Instagram Stories' full potential, you can create a comprehensive social media marketing experience for your business.

References

Neil Patel: https://neilpatel.com/blog/instagram-marketing-tips/
Sked Social: https://skedsocial.com/blog/17-creative-instagram-story-ideas-for-igtv-and-your-business/
GettingGrowth: https://gettinggrowth.com/instagram-story-ideas/
Tech Crunch: https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/03/instagram-stories-mimic-polly-with-new-polls/
A Medium Corporation: https://medium.com/@mikemurphyco/240-instagram-stories-how-to-create-swipe-up-links-to-igtv-ededc50d4519

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