Businesses try to promote themselves in many ways and the options grow all the time. A lot of the time, that means using the power of different social media platforms to spread brand messages organically, while others might rely on more traditional types of “word of mouth” marketing. In either case, you’re trusting that your products and services are good enough that people want to share your messaging. And, people love stories because they build emotions and resonate with people. In this post, we discuss 3 ways you can use Instagram Stories to promote your business.
It’s tough trying to get your business’s name out into the world, but it’s certainly not impossible. The best thing that you can do is just learn what works best for you and your business and just go from there.
Using Instagram Stories to promote your business’s products and services is a relatively new strategy for building that all-important emotional connection with customers and prospects. For business, Instagram allows brands to establish a captivated audience willing to learn more. With the rapid increase in the number of people watching Instagram stories every day, the ephemeral nature of Instagram Stories makes them a useful business tool. However, not all businesses use Instagram Stories to their best advantage. Let’s discover 3 easy ways to use Instagram stories to promote your business.
Using Instagram Stories to promote your business
Maybe you’re familiar with Instagram, but you’ve never used Instagram Stories. For those who aren’t familiar with Instagram Stories, they are a relatively recent update to the Instagram platform. Launched in 2016 (so not all that NEW), Instagram Stories already has more than 500 million users daily, according to Buffer.
Unlike your other Instagram uploads, Instagram Stories contain videos and images that disappear after 24 hours. These stories appear at the top rather than in the feed for users and have advantages such as allowing polls, links (if you have a verified account or more than 10,000 followers), and ask for feedback in the form of questions.
Below are some specific types of stories you might want to share to promote your business.
Instagram Stories provides a great opportunity to share company announcements. This might include introducing new products, personalizing staff members that connect with customers, such as customer service personnel, or other general updates. Businesses can even tease an announcement by hinting at an upcoming promotion that piques people’s interest and keeps them watching a story for longer. To accompany the announcement, businesses should consider posting some behind the scenes footage of the company at work. People love getting that insider’s look at stuff that doesn’t normally earn a place on the main profile grid.
Sharing announcements make followers feel as if they are privy to insider information and, in turn, they’re more likely to engage with the brand, learn more, or buy products. You schedule updates to Stories ahead of time to help convey the human side of a business and to boost brand awareness and engagement in the process. You can also use an Instagram story scheduling platform to post a corresponding image on your feed as a call to action to let your followers know that an announcement will be made in an upcoming story.
Make Your Stories Interactive
It is no secret that in order to get ahead in the competitive world of social media, your Instagram posts need to encourage engagement from your followers. Polls and question stickers are an instant way to make your stories more interactive. Instagram polls offer a modern alternative to customer questionnaires and allow you to harvest information from your audience with the tap of a screen. Examples of using polls include market research, customer feedback, as well as having fun with your followers, so be a little daring and give them a whirl.
Additionally, question stickers give your audience the opportunity to ask questions about the brand. Building a community and encouraging customer interactions starts a conversation and creates a buzz. Questions allow a business to speak directly to their followers and show you care about the opinions of your customers, which helps establish a brand as reliable, human, and approachable. Over time this translates into customer loyalty. Similarly, reaction sliders allow brands to gauge how much their followers like a product.
Consistency Is Key
Consistency will make or break your Instagram Stories. Whereas Instagram Stories are often more laid back than posts on other social media channels and platforms, they still must fall in line with your overall brand feel, look and voice. At a glance, followers must clearly understand they are watching a story curated by your business. Fonts, colors, filters, and any relevant brand hashtags must be integrated into a cohesive strategy across your imagery on various platforms so your online presence maintains a unified style.
If you post stories often and provide great content, more people will follow and interact with your brand. Consistency keeps your audience close and facilitates engagement. Furthermore, unlike regular Instagram posts that are subject to the Instagram algorithm, you don’t get penalized for posting too many Instagram Stories. That being said, because of the way people watch Instagram Stories, by tapping through posts, it is important to limit the number of stories you post to a number that fits in with the expectations of your followers.
Ultimately, businesses use Instagram stories to create a behind-the-scenes look that makes viewers feel like they get an inside look at the company and its world. Instagram stories, when used appropriately, drive engagement, build brand awareness, and even make sales.
Instagram stories are a useful tool for online businesses. Check out this blog post for 3 quick tips when using Instagram for e-commerce.
Need marketing help to support business growth?
We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies. Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get the 1st chapter of our book on digital marketing analytics – FREE, or contact us for more information on hiring us.
Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.