These days, no self-respecting marketer can neglect Instagram in their promotional strategy. However, many marketing specialists don’t realize that there is much more to it than just mechanically posting pictures and videos at regular intervals. One of the more creative ways to drive sales is Instagram stories – ephemeral content that lasts only 24 hours and disappears forever after that. At a glance, it may seem that spending time and effort to create content with such a short lifespan is a terrible waste – however, according to statistics, it is not true, as stories grow 15 times faster than feeds.
But how does one use Instagram stories to improve the online reputation of one’s business? Let’s take a look at some of the most effective approaches.
1. Keep the frame number limited
Theoretically, you can use as many frames as you want in your stories, but you should take into account their readability. The percentage of people who are going to read a story plummet dramatically as the number of frames grows: almost 70 per cent will read a story 2 to 10 frames long, but this value drops to 55 per cent after 20 frames. In other words, to increase the outreach you should use as few frames as you can.
2. Use shoppable stories
For a long time, the only way to drive sales directly on Instagram was to add product links directly to bios, which was cumbersome and inefficient because it called for too many extra moves on the part of a follower. Shoppable posts changed this situation – now one can be redirected to a landing page with an opportunity to make a purchase directly from a product image. However, many don’t realize that the same can be done with stories: you can either add links to different landing pages for different products from every image or dedicate the entire story to promoting a single product using multiple images – it’s your call!
3. Use polls
A good way to engage your audience through the stories is polls – it is a quick, entertaining and vivid way to ask them for their opinion and motivate them to participate in your community. In addition to attracting the attention of your readers, this way you can get a host of valuable information you can later analyse to develop a solution on how to further drive traffic and improve sales. Although polls won’t improve your sales directly, it is a perfect way to attract the attention of your audience – they have been reported to triple engagement metrics for stories.
4. Promote new products
Overfilling the timelines of your followers with constant promotions is a surefire method of getting them to unfollow you. However, doing promotions occasionally is something completely different, and using stories for that purpose is quite a viable solution. Another advantage of this format is that it allows you to go into more details concerning your product – you can even upload a video tutorial explaining how to use the new product to get your audience interested in it.
5. Team up with a social influencer
Partnerships with social influencers work because they utilise the power of social proof. People see that a product is willingly promoted by somebody they trust and feel more inclined to buy it. If you use influencers in your marketing, you don’t even have to post your own stories – you simply should ask the influencers you work with to promote your brand through their stories. This way you can greatly expand your outreach in a short period of time because this tactic doesn’t limit your reach with your existing audience but taps into the audiences of the influencers.
6. Show your team
One of the main purposes of Instagram marketing, in general, is to give your business the much-needed human touch. And one of the best ways to do this is to show the people behind the brand so that your audience can see the faces of those who create your products instead of just the corporate logo. This helps in creating connections between your clients and your company.
There is a number of reasons why Instagram stories are so effective in driving sales:
- They are more authentic, as they showcase events in real time and add a human touch to your brand;
- They create a sense of urgency. The best way to attract people’s attention to content is to make it obvious they will lose access to it after a set amount of time;
- They are an excellent way to repurpose other types of content (e.g., long-reads, blog posts, etc.). As stories appear only for a short duration, the fact that you reuse the same content multiple times won’t be as obvious, and you can always add some more current details to keep it more relevant;
- They attract more attention. Usually, they appear in a separate feed, and you see them whether you have already watched them or not.
In other words, if you still neglect Instagram stories in your marketing efforts, now it is high time to change your strategy.
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