Instagram Stories are a fun and interactive way to grab people’s attention and entice them to learn about your business. We live in a world where we reject advertising almost by instinct at this point; so looking for alternative methods to reach your audience is the way to go.
Think about how you “Skip Ad” on YouTube videos or even go as far as paying companies so they don’t market to you, like a premium account on Spotify. We need to look beyond advertising and become savvy marketers to find alternative ways to market our businesses.
Get Discovered with Instagram Stories
One of the most beneficial aspects of Instagram Stories is that anyone can discover your posts; even people who don’t follow your business account on Instagram can find your Stories. It’s an incredible way to attract new customers. Moreover, Stories have an addictive design; once you view something from someone in your feed, you can click through and go on to another Story rather than exiting. What’s more, most people do!
Businesses are actively using Instagram Stories. In addition, half of the companies on the platform have created at least one Story in the last month. You may wonder how disappearing content (Stories disappear after 24 hours) can build your brand and business. Well, Instagram users have proven their desire to engage with brands via Stories. More than half a billion people are using Instagram Stories every day, and businesses are also posting one-third of the most viewed Stories on the platform.
Connect with Your Customers
As a business, you can easily use this platform to create special offers or even flash sales specifically for your Instagram followers. This can drive direct business to your company. In addition, you can track the analytics to see what worked and where you can improve for future Stories. This sense of exclusivity can make your followers feel special; it can also ensure they will keep an eye on your social feed so they don’t miss your next Instagram Story exclusive. The real key to success in Stories though is doing as the name implies . . . telling stories. Think about creating real moments and connect with your audience. Consider behind-the-scenes Stories that make viewers feel like they are getting an inside look into your business as well as the photo industry. Moreover, quick in-store demos can transform into Instagram Stories that you can now share with your online audience.
Furthermore, there are interactive elements built into the app. These elements allow you to easily include hashtags, @mentions and interactive stickers. The interactive features are a great way to create engagement with your viewers.
Make It Personal
One of the best ways to create successful Stories is to get personal with the content. While your other social accounts may have a consistent and perhaps more structured feel to them, use Instagram Stories as a way to connect on a different level. They can be a bit more unpolished, offering a behind-the-scenes look at how your business runs. You can convey whatever is happening in your store on a given day in a quick video on Stories. Did a famous photographer stop by for a demo? Did you get new products? Maybe you remodeled the shelves in a section of the store to better serve your customers. All of these events can translate into a Story for the day. In addition, planning specific content that’s delivered in a more casual tone can fill your days with incredible Story content.
Are you creating a tutorial on YouTube about a new product or service? Do a quick behind-the-scenes video as well to post as an Instagram Story. That can go up right away, even live, as you are shooting the tutorial. Entice people to come back to see more live clips as the shoot progresses and eventually visit your YouTube channel when you announce the full tutorial is ready for viewing.
Did a couple of your best customers just walk through the door? Ask them to do a quick testimonial or review of your business; share that Story. Give people the history behind how your company got started. Turn the camera on yourself and share some insights into your goals for your business. This personal format is what Stories is all about. Camera shy? You can simply use text on a colored background to talk about your store’s mission.
Instagram Stories have resulted in people viewing content for longer than they anticipated and going on to view more, as they are simply a click away. By adding a personalized touch to this form of engagement, you can interact with your audience in a more relaxed format as you build your business.
If you need help getting started, Instagram offers some great how-to tips for creating your own Instagram Stories. Visit here.