If you’re on any social media channel, regardless of which one, you’ve probably noticed the rate at which things change. Things like algorithms, rules, layouts and trending posts and stories are always switching things up to keep us on our toes. Some of the changes we’ve seen on social media are fantastic and some are just a pain. But SOME have become really amazing marketing tools, like the Instagram story.
While the story isn’t exactly new (it launched in August 2016), realizing the marketing power behind it is. Think back to your IG account in 2016…did you even really notice stories? Shout out to you if you did and started using them right away. But if you didn’t, you’re not alone. It took most people quite a while to notice them, learn how to use them and better yet, learn how to use them for marketing! But now, they are an amazing marketing tool and over 500 million people are using them DAILY.
So What is The Instagram Story?
When you go to the homepage of your feed (mobile or computer) you’ll see a row of little circles. The circles will have the profile photo of everyone you are following if they are using their stories. If you tap those circles, you’ll be able to see a solid flow of everyone’s stories.
Like the Snapchat stories, the IG ones disappear after 24 hours. But in December 2017, they added the “highlights” feature, which allows you to save your stories under awesome little organized headings above your regular feed.
The Instagram story has a ton of really cool features that allow you to create fun, engaging content that is so different from your regular posts. The features allow you to add .gifs, stickers, fun text, emojis, overlays, interactive buttons like questions or surveys, filters and more to each story post.
You can post a video, a live, a photo, a .gif, a boomerang or collage and then use all the features we mentioned above to jazz things up and make your story stand out. Your story will then show up in the story feed of those who follow you and you’ll have a chance to show off some really great content.
What Should You Post In Your Stories?
The beauty of the instagram story is that you can post absolutely anything you want. Brands and businesses that are using the story feature daily (which you should) are using them to show things like…
- Behind the scene of your brand/business
- Quick tips
- Poll taking
- Story telling
- A day in the life
- Ask questions
- Spark conversations
- Show bloopers
You should be using the stories for basically anything and everything that you want to get out to your followers. It’s the chance to really connect with them, show them who you are as a business, show off your team and connect with everyone on a different level.
The instagram stories you post don’t have to be directly related to your brand, product or service. Try sharing favourite recipes, a new coffee hack you’ve discovered, bloopers from a video filming or even your pets. These are all things that make your followers feel like you’re a brand they can truly trust.
Much like the rest of social media, stories are flooded with so many other users so be sure to make your stories stand out. Take full advantage of the features, watch some YouTube videos if you’re stuck for ideas or just have quite mastered posting a story yet and you’ll be on your way to creating awesome stories in no time. Once you get the hang of it, it’s not hard to do.
How Do Instagram Stories Benefit Your Business?
If you’re not already using this tool in your marketing strategy, you are seriously missing out. It’s been proven that Instagram stories boost engagement and drive sales. It gives you the chance to humanize your brand, build trust, show the true you, get feedback from followers and spark conversations. Instagram offers up a fun and interactive series of stickers for stories that do more than just make your story look good. By using the stickers to their full potential, you can figure what your audience wants, you can learn about their pain-points, wants, likes and dislikes and more. Instagram story stickers include polls, questions, hashtags, @ tags to tag a fellow partner, and other important CTA buttons that encourage your audience to engage.
To them it’s just a fun way to interact with a brand, but to you, it’s an important marketing tool.
If you haven’t jumped on the story bandwagon yet, we have one question…WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Seriously. Start posting stories every day, and watch your engagement increase and your following grow. The more you post, the more confident you’ll get with it and the better your stories will be. Search the web for some inspiration, use tools like Canva to help with design and layout if you’re looking for a new idea and JUST DO IT.
At Blackbear Social Media, we love to use our stories for all things fun and engaging. But we understand it’s a learning curve too and that’s why we teach it in our one on one training sessions. You will get a hands-on lesson in using your stories to their full potential and we’ll show you all our best tips and tricks to use this marketing tool the right way.