When you pick up your phone, what do you check first? Chances are it’s either Facebook, Instagram or Youtube. Indeed, according to this study by We Are Social, these are the social media giants that most users are drawn to. Fewer people each day pay attention to the “traditional” media and prefer to consume the news, entertainment and, as a result, advertisements from social media.
So if you’re interested in effectively advertising your products to the wide audience, you’ve got to look in the direction of one of the biggest platforms. It comes as no surprise, but the app of choice for many businesses is Instagram.
Instagram, with its staggering user base of 1.35 billion as of 2023, is a powerhouse in the social media world. This number is expected to climb to 1.44 billion by 2025, making it an invaluable platform for content marketing. A key feature of Instagram that businesses and individuals alike are leveraging is Instagram Stories. This guide delves into the intricacies of Instagram Stories and how you can utilize them effectively in 2023.
They are highly visible, appearing first at the top of your feed, they are addictive, making users tap forward almost automatically, and they are the best way to promote on Instagram. A study done by VidMob shows that 25% of Millennials and Gen Zs browse Instagram Stories while making a purchasing decision. Those are the generations that become the target demographic for the brands, and at the same time, they are most indifferent to the TV, magazines and other classic places of visual advertisement.
That’s why as much as 36% of all businesses use Stories for advertisement, and it is highly probable that the number will grow further up in the next few months.
Maximizing the Impact of Your Instagram Stories
Creative Content: Since Stories are temporary, they provide a perfect canvas for creativity and experimentation. Use this space to post behind-the-scenes content, quick updates, or fun, interactive posts.
Engagement Tools: Instagram offers various tools within Stories to boost engagement, such as polls, question boxes, and quizzes. These tools are not only fun for your audience but also provide valuable insights into their preferences and opinions.
Highlight Key Stories: While Stories are fleeting, you can preserve select ones by featuring them as Highlights on your profile. This is ideal for content you want to remain accessible, like how-to guides, testimonials, or featured products.
Promotional Strategies: Stories can be a great way to promote products, events, or offers. The use of countdown stickers, for instance, can build anticipation for a product launch or special event.
Story Ads: For broader reach, consider investing in Instagram Story ads. These ads appear between user stories, providing a seamless way to reach potential customers who might not be following you yet.
Analytics: Utilize Instagram’s analytics to understand the performance of your Stories. Metrics like views, replies, and exits can help you refine your strategy and content.
Consistency and Timing: Regular posting keeps your audience engaged. Pay attention to when your audience is most active to maximize views and interactions.
Interactive Live Sessions: Going live on Instagram Stories can significantly boost engagement. Use live sessions for Q&A, product reveals, or just to connect with your audience in real-time.
Cross-Promotion: Use your other social media platforms to direct traffic to your Instagram Stories. This can be particularly effective if you have a following on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
User-Generated Content: Encourage your followers to create content related to your brand and feature it in your Stories. This not only fosters community but also provides authentic content for your brand.
How to use Instagram Stories for business
For a regular user, the wide array of marketing tools offered by Instagram can be overwhelming. Don't worry though, because WiserBrand got you covered - we’ve prepared a list of the most useful strategies for you to use and get exposure.
1. Make Instagram Stories that look good
While advertising on a highly visual platform, we must never underestimate the effects of a good image - or a bad one. Make sure your Story grabs attention from the get-go, and the quality of the finished content is high - no one wants to look at a shaky image of the product in a half-dark room. It’s best to provide the same professional touch for the story as for the regular Instagram post. Remember, it can be as effective for your business, so give it attention to details it deserves.
2. Apply regular social media marketing strategies to Instagram Stories
Engaging with your audience can much more easy and effective through Stories - it’s a perfect platform to post all kinds of announcements, discussions, polls, and quests to gather feedback. With just one tap, your potential clients can signal their thoughts, wants and needs - all of which can be used by your analysts to make the offer more appealing.
Hashtags, location stickers, and links work just as great (if not better) in Stories as in regular posts - just remember to make them subtle.
Do you prefer posting collaborations and promotions? Instagram stories are a great place to put them up! The "Swipe Up" feature will take your client right to the promotion page, and mentioning your collaborator will gain your user's attention.
However, as with regular Instagram content, there’s little you will be able to execute effectively without a content plan - and we’ve got some ideas for you.
3. Instagram Stories for business
Show them how your product is made
Everybody loves the "behind-the-scenes" videos, that’s why reality shows are so popular. But not only is it entertaining, but it will also capture the attention of potential buyers and make them feel like they've got an exclusive insight. Even more importantly, when people can see what goes into the making of a product or service, it elevates their trust and makes them feel included. It’s a very powerful way to promote on Instagram.
Highlight limited-time offers
Use the ephemeral nature of Instagram Stories to your advantage by promoting time-sensitive content like sales, special offers, or giveaways. This creates a sense of urgency and encourages viewers to act quickly.
Engage with polls
Polls are a fantastic way to interact with your audience. Place a poll sticker in your story with a simple question related to your brand or product. This not only increases engagement but also provides valuable feedback.
Interactive Q&A sessions
Utilize question stickers to encourage your audience to ask questions about your brand or products. This direct line of communication can foster a stronger connection between your brand and your audience.
Educate with quizzes
Incorporate quiz stickers to educate and entertain your audience. This interactive format can be a fun way for your audience to learn about your products or services and see how their knowledge stacks up against others.
Create exclusive chat groups
With chat stickers, you can host small, intimate group chats directly through your stories. This feature allows for deeper engagement and can be used for special announcements, feedback sessions, or community building.
Showcase products with shoppable tags
If you have a business account, use product stickers to tag items in your stories. This can directly lead viewers to your online store, making it easier for them to make a purchase.
Invest in Story Ads
Utilize Instagram story ads to reach a broader audience. These ads can be targeted based on demographics, interests, and behavior, ensuring that your content reaches the most relevant audience.
Go live for real-time engagement
Live sessions are a powerful way to connect with your audience in real time. Use these sessions for Q&As, behind-the-scenes looks, or just to chat with your followers, providing a more personal touch.
Preserve content with highlights
While stories are temporary, you can preserve select stories on your profile as highlights. This is particularly useful for content that you want new and existing followers to view long-term, like tutorials, testimonials, or product information.
By implementing these strategies, you can transform your Instagram Stories into a more engaging and effective tool for your business. Remember, the key is to be creative, interactive, and responsive to your audience's preferences and feedback.
Brands on Instagram stories
Don’t take our word for it - check and see that big players are all switching to Instagram Stories for business promotion. From the beauty giant Sephora to one of the best educational channels National Geographic - most huge brands are using stories for their social media marketing campaigns to promote products and ideas. And they are not lazy about it either - as the number of daily posts falls, the number of stories recorded grows each day.
All of this clearly shows that Instagram Stories are essential for business promotion, especially to the younger audience, which is becoming the biggest buying demographic. Stories are easy to tailor to your brand’s unique aesthetic. They offer a wide range of possibilities for entrepreneurs on Instagram for advertising, receiving feedback and getting the most of your business. There’s no question as to why people use Instagram stories for business, and, hopefully, we’ve helped to answer how to properly use them. Apply this knowledge wisely, and you’ll get a social media marketing tool like no other.
And if you ever get lost in all the intricacies - remember that Wiserbrand SMM specialists will be happy to assist you in mastering Stories.
We will gladly show you the full potential for promoting your business and sales attraction that lies in the sensible advertising campaign for Instagram. We are prepared to offer guidance, assistance, content ideas and many more for your company to bloom.
Head of Marketing department
As a Digital Strategist, I help companies grow their business online.
Here share my expertise, ideas, and best practices on Ecommerce marketing initiatives, branding, SEO, conversion and many more.
If you want to stay connected, follow me on LinkedIn.