What You Need to Know About Instagram Stories for Business

by Jun 9, 2020Content Strategy, Marketing

With over 500 million daily active users, there are numerous ways to utilize Instagram Stories for business. Users sign up on the popular platform to see and interact with content and Instagram is constantly creating new ways for users to do so.

Since their creation, Instagram Stories have become an extremely popular feature. They allow businesses to create an online brand and interact with customers in a unique way.

Therefore, learning how to drive users in with Instagram Stories can be extremely powerful, and allow you to create more conversions for your business.

Even if you don’t have a large audience, Stories provide many ways to engage with your customers and increase your followers.

What Are Instagram Stories?

Instagram Stories launched in August 2016 as a way for users to share content that vanishes after 24 hours. This feature allows users to share multiple photos and videos that appear in a slideshow, or reel, format. Instagram users also have the option to add their own text, emojis or doodles to add extra personalization. 

Stories appear on the top of a user’s news feed on the main screen, as well as on their discovery page. Additionally, with the new Instagram algorithm, many businesses have created Instagram Stories ads to appear in both locations as well as within a user’s feed.

Creating Instagram Stories is very easy! 

In order to add a Story to your business’ profile, tap the camera icon in the top left of your main screen, or swipe right on your Instagram feed. At the bottom of your screen you have the option to take a photo or video within Instagram, swipe to record a short Boomerang, or add a filter.

How Do I Utilize Instagram Stories for Business?

Instagram suggests that users spend roughly 50% more time in the app because of the Stories feature.

Additionally, Instagram explains that not only are people watching the Stories, but they are staying longer in the app to interact with them. This means that they are proving to be a crucial aspect of reaching and interacting with your target audience. 

Instagram Stories are designed to inhabit the entire screen of the user’s device, leaving no room for distractions. This lack of disturbances creates a sense of closeness between the user and your Story, which generates more positive communication and interaction. 

With over 500 million users watching Instagram Stories daily, how do you guarantee you are producing content users want to see? How do you keep your target audience engaged and willing to interact with your brand?

1. Keep Content Consistent

While Instagram Stories provide a unique way to advertise your business, you need a plan. In order to maximize their impact, you need to ensure that content is always being produced and shared with followers.

While this may seem like a daunting task, there are many ways to interact with your followers on the platform from highlighting new posts, to adding interactive questionnaires and quizzes inside your Stories.

A little creativity and you’re on your way to a successfully consistent Stories campaign.

Another way to keep your content coming is to have a reliable schedule. A popular way to create a posting schedule that is not obnoxious is by creating a weekly series.

This allows your followers to expect to hear from you on a set day, while giving them a way to connect with you and your brand. Topics for weekly series can range from answering specific questions to behind the scenes content.

2. Be Short & Sweet

Even though many people spend an additional period of time on Instagram to look through Stories, there are some unspoken rules that exist. One main reason that users will stop scrolling through a Story is because of its length. 

When a user clicks to view a Story the line of dashes at the top of the screen will show how long the Story is.

For many viewers, if there is an abundance of dashes, they will not click through them all or will skip through them. Therefore, aiming for a Story that is no more than ten posts per day is a good limit to set.

This may seem like a large step at first, but as you improve your storytelling skills you should be able to decrease the amount of posts you need.

3. Utilize Story Highlights

A great way to extend a Story’s 24-hour life is by adding it to an Instagram Stories Highlight. These appear on your profile and allow users to revisit select Stories for as long as you want them available.

Highlights provide your business with another way to stand out from your competitors, as they offer you the opportunity to be creative with your brand. Instagram allows all users to specify and customize the Highlights included on their profiles.

This means that you can make previous Stories easier to find while keeping your overall profile consistent. In order to get the best results, make sure you organize and update your Highlights regularly. 

4. Increase Your Chances of Discovery

A goal you should have for your business on Instagram is to increase the size of your audience. Fortunately, the Instagram app has many features that are a simple and effective way to market your business for better visibility online.

  • Location stickers help your business receive more local exposure. By including your location on Stories your audience will know where you are currently, the location of your office or where certain events will take place. Additionally, users that search for your location within Instagram will now have the ability to find and view your Stories, even if they are not followers of your business’ Instagram account.
  • Hashtags have proven to be one of the most effective social media features. By using hashtags that are connected to your brand, or that are popular, they can help users find your business. Like location stickers, users are able to search specific hashtags and view your Stories.
  • Brand awareness and promotion is a crucial aspect of any successful social media campaign. A quick and easy way to do this is by simply resharing Stories, Instagram posts or content that your business is mentioned in. When resharing content onto your own Story, you can add your own piece of information and logo.

5. Drive Traffic to Your Website

Instagram Stories are a great way to interact with customers, so why not let them play a role in your social media marketing to drive leads for your website? Increasing website traffic through Instagram Stories can be as simple as promoting a specific landing page or blog post. 

Whenever you have a new service that you are offering or new content released, don’t be afraid to share that news with your Instagram followers! The best way to do that is to create a Story that informs your followers about the new content and add a link to that landing page on your website.

What Makes a Good Instagram Story?

Users that follow your Instagram are already interested in your business’ services or content, but it is crucial that you keep them engaged. This begins and ends with creating posts that are interesting and make them look forward to your Stories.

Although it can be intimidating to create content frequently, it is important to keep in mind that there are many options here! Once you have created multiple Instagram Stories templates it becomes much easier to create and plan content.

Run Promotions

Running promotions that are unique to your Instagram Story are a great way for your marketers to get creative. Additionally, it provides another reason for people to want to follow and interact with your business’ Instagram account. 

Aside from running a discount, promotions are a great way to find other ways to encourage customers to buy your product. Stories provide a great way for you to highlight your customers and celebrate how they are interacting with your products. Promotions not only allow your followers to feel included but increase the likelihood they will want to interact with your brand online.

Go Behind the Scenes

Some of the things you may consider to be normal may be fascinating to your followers. Users love to see what your business does behind the scenes and how things work… use this to your advantage! 

Users love to see what your business does behind the scenes and how things work. Click To Tweet

Create a list of things that you do on a daily basis for your business that may benefit your customer to know. This may include software or programs that you use, how you make a product or even aspects of your company’s culture.

Allowing these Stories to range in subject matter from highlighting employees and their work to product creation opens up a new way for your followers to connect to your business. This can lead to super fans who support not only your business, but your message and operation too.

Ask & Encourage Questions

The Questions sticker is another great tool within Instagram Stories. This makes it possible for viewers to ask and answer questions to personally engage with your company. Instagram also allows users to share answers they have received on their Story to engage with viewers further.

The questions you receive will provide insight into what your business needs to clarify and will help outline what other content would be beneficial for your brand.

Encouraging questions will help you build a community, and showing that you care about your customers’ opinion solidifies your business’ public image as reliable.

How to Know if It’s Working

Discussing a social media strategy can be relatively simple, but in the end, it is all about results.

The most obvious way to distinguish if your Instagram Story efforts are working is to see how many users are viewing your Stories. Does that number remain constant or grow over time? 

Have these viewers followed your accounts, as well? Have they been engaging with the interactive aspects of your Stories? 

Fortunately, the brilliant minds behind Instagram have created Instagram Business Insights for businesses in your exact situation.

What Are Instagram Business Insights?

Instagram Business Insights is an analytics tool built into the platform for users to evaluate their Instagram marketing and how they are reaching their target audience. This tool provides information regarding your followers’ demographics and actions, and makes it easy to see how your content is performing. 

The most important step is making sure you have a business account. Once you have confirmed the type of account, Insights can be found in three different places. 

  1. To access the data from your profile page, click the bar graph icon in the upper right corner of your screen.
  2. To access the data for a specific post, click on the post and then click “View Insights” in the bottom left corner of the post.
  3. To access the data for a Story, open your Story and click on the usernames that appear in the bottom left corner.

How Do I Utilize Insights on Instagram Stories for Business?

You are able to view Insights for both individual and multiple Stories. The Insights provided allows you to view which users have seen the posts, total impressions as well as reach, replies, swipes away and clicks on stickers and tagged accounts.

Taking time to review and analyze the Insights will define how to best utilize Instagram Stories for your business. The data provides a beneficial look into the content that is resonating with your target audience, as well as the content that is not as popular. Moving forward, your Stories should be based on previous Stories that generated the most interaction.

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To Wrap This Story Up

With the amount of people using Instagram as their social media platform of choice, it is a no-brainer that you should integrate it into your social media strategy.

Fortunately, Instagram Stories is a great way to market your brand and connect with your target customers for free. It provides a service similar to native advertising, yet it’s at no cost outside of any put into content creation.

By understanding how to utilize Instagram Stories for business and following some of these tips you can create more conversions, no matter how many followers you have.

Instagram is always adding new features, so it is advantageous to stay updated when a new one is added. It may be the next best tool for marketing to your audience!

Found this article helpful? Share it! You may also be interested in our articles on planning a social media strategy and social media automation.

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