5 powerful Instagram Stories tips to guide your business
So you feel like your Instagram account needs boosting and you just can’t get through to making it trendier and more accessible to the public. If you haven’t already been using the Instagram stories feature, you are missing out big time.
Why use Instagram Stories?
Instagram stories are a great way to connect to your audience at a much faster pace.
You might have found that your posts are getting less exposure than they used to. You’re right! The new Instagram algorithm is making it harder for your posts to show up on your followers’ feed. Basically, your post will only get truly seen if it has lots of engagement within a short period of time of posting. That’s why the stories feature where stories are chronologically put and get equal viewing are the way to go.
For your followers, your Instagram Stories are always right there on top of the screen, giving you an advantage. Now, the more stories you add, the more people will tune in. They are even great for directing your followers right back to your feed.
2. Highlight away!
Right at the forefront of your profile, your highlights are your profile statement pieces. Labeling and branding them gives your followers a closer, more detailed look into your brand without having to idly browse through your feed.
3. Show off your creative edge!
On the other hand, you might also have noticed that fans are leaning more towards checking out your stories than your feed by default.
There is a lot of buzz around Instagram stories, increased by all the creative and entertaining ways people are using them. Similar to internet memes, Instagram stories are a way for people to show off their creative skills in a medium that both folks and brands use. That’s why fans expect more from brands in that department. They want more content, presented in a fun way with a creative flair. If your brand has lots of personality or has not yet explored that side, now is your chance.
Check out the Okhtein brand Instagram account, for instance. Okhtein is an Egyptian bags brand that has gone international in no time and their Instagram reflects that.
On taking a look at their stories highlights, you get to understand their brand more as well as their personality and tone. Here’s a look into their CELEBRITIES highlight where they show off bold colors while they display celebrities wearing their signature bags.
Here’s another look into their SHOP OKHTEIN, where again they utilize bold colors with lots of details.
Now, 5 tips to guide your business through Instagram Stories
Strategize your Instagram Stories
Your Instagram Stories should definitely be included in your Instagram Marketing Strategy. It is become an essential part of the Instagram experience. With high posting frequency, utilizing both your feed and your stories, you can reach more than just your followers and really grow your brand on Instagram.
First, build your goals. You can determine them using these questions:
Am I selling a product or service?
Do I want to share my expertise?
Audience feedback is my goal!
Do I need a connection and a trusting relationship with clients?
Am I encouraging clients to sign up for offers, promotions or coupons?
Next, determine what and how you are going to post your Instagram stories.
For instance, if you are selling a product or a service, you can share a Contest or Giveaways story, or maybe show off your products in a New Arrivals, Best Sellers or Collections story.
If you are sharing your expertise in a particular field, you can build a How To or a Tips and Tricks story where you show off your knack on that topic.
If you are trying to build a trust-based relationship with your followers, you could share a BTS story where you show your followers your more personal side, or even some Client testimonials to show off your interactions with other customers.
Once you have figured out your goals, it is all easy sailing from there.
2. Plan, post and review!
Make sure your Instagram stories are planned out along with your regular Instagram feed. Categorizing your stories into series and pillars helps immensely in keeping an organized Editorial Calendar and giving your followers something to look forward to weekly or monthly.
Here are some examples of Instagram story series or pillars:
Ask me a question.
BTS or A day in the life.
Testimonials or reviews or feedbacks.
Product showcase – New arrivals, best sellers, collections.
Sales, promotions, coupons.
Contests and giveaways.
How to or tips and tricks.
Polls and surveys.
3. Mix n’ match
Start by picking out the kind of story you would like to publish.
A type in story is where you insert a text over a background using various fonts and modes.
A live video where fans can watch and give their instant feedback. This kind of story is optimal for a company event, a tutorial, a Q&A and maybe even a new products showcase. It’s really up to you.
Photos are never out of style, but the way you present them should always keep up with the trends. The key here is not to be afraid to experiment and try all the different options. You can add text to your photo with different kinds of pens and colors. You can add emojis, gifs and stickers to spice up your photo. And don’t forget to pick out the perfect filter, obviously.
You can go for the Boomerang, which is one of the trendiest kind of stories, mainly because of its playfulness. But be sure that your message is clear through the boomerang, not just dizzying your audience.
Next, there is the Superzoom option, which has a variety of different sounds and modes to try. Just click the music note on your screen to shift between them. This option is also super playful and works best for product showcasing and testimonials. But you can find many other ways to use it creatively that suits your brand.
The Focus feature basically allows you to take incredible portraits, but you can use it on products as well. You can use it to highlight your main objective of the story so that everything else blurs back behind it.
The Rewind option remains to be used the less by brands, although we feel it has some great potential. The Rewind option allows you to play videos in reverse. What a great way to impress your fans when used creatively!
Hands-free is less of an option and more of a tool for you. It basically allows you to shoot a video without keeping your finger on the screen, giving you more freedom.
4. Brand your Instagram Stories to glam
Branding your Instagram stories is essential because you don’t want your stories to be all over the place, while your feed is super neat and branded. A helpful tip for that is to create a color palette for your backgrounds and texts, just to make everything more cohesive.
5. Boost engagement and reach more people
Tag other brands that you have partnered with, in turn they will repost you or retag you, introducing you to their audience. This will help you grow your account through getting followers and fans through other profiles. Moreover, you could partner with influencers in your market niche to market and highlight your products and services.
Regularly post testimonials and reviews from fans and tag them, so that they repost and share with their friends, giving you new followers.
Follow trending hashtags on Instagram and include them in your story. This can potentially get you on a spot on the Explore page.
Redirect your followers
Encourage engagement by linking your followers to external content on your website or your Youtube channel or more using the Swipe Up feature (This only works if your account is a business account containing over 10k followers). This can be extremely beneficial if you want to drive traffic to a specific part of your brand at a certain time.
Engage with your followers
Use polls and the new Ask me a question feature, or simply include a CTA (Call to Action) asking them to share your story with their friends or sending your story to an interested friend.
This is a great way to raise engagement as well. Talk to your fans and engage with them in real time. This gives a really human side to your brand and encourages fans to speak up and connect with you. Make sure that you pre-announce going live on your Instagram feed to ensure your Live gets seen. Furthermore, you can also repost it as a story for fans who missed it.
Don’t be reluctant to try and fail. Instagram stories only last 24 hours (unless you choose to highlight them), remember?