6 Powerful Ways You Can Use Instagram Stories to Build Your Business
In 2016, Instagram stories launched and gave marketers an entirely new way to engage their audience. Currently, with over 500 million daily users, Instagram stories are a great way to engage your current customers. In addition to entertaining your existing audience, you can also utilize Instagram stories to attract new ones, as 62% of people say that they have become interested in a brand or product through Instagram stories. By engaging your current following, attracting more potential customers, and getting real-time feedback from your audience, you can utilize this exciting Instagram feature to build your business on the fastest growing social media platform.
Deliver Special Offers
The first way Instagram Stories can benefit your business is with its 24-hour viewing-window. Since Instagram stories vanish after 24-hours, your business can offer special offers and sales for a day through this feature. For example, your business can post an exclusive ‘today only’ coupon code on your businesses’ Instagram story.
Not only does posting a coupon on Instagram stories make sure that the code is advertised for 24 hours only, but it also creates a sense of urgency and exclusivity to your audience. This makes your audience feel as though they may miss out if they do not take advantage of your deal soon.
Similarly, you can also have audience members reply to your stories for exclusive offerings. If you create a post that requires your audience to message your account for a code directly, your brand will create another opportunity for engagement as well as a deeper relationship with your audience. Ultimately, these tactics help not only garner audience engagement but can also aid in boosting your business’ sales’ and following.
Showcase Special Behind-The-Scenes Footage and Announcements
Since Instagram Stories are instant, you can also use them to share announcements or rare behind the scenes footage of your business. Does your business have a new product they are about to launch? Build hype using Instagram Stories to showcase small pieces of the new product, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of your business creating the product.
For example, if you are a beauty brand, you can post the swatches of a new unreleased eyeshadow shade to get your audience base curious about that new mysterious color. Similarly, you can post the mixing of the makeup formula in the lab, the packaging process, and insider warehouse views to create a unique look at how much effort goes into your beauty brand.
Sharing this insider footage helps build a relationship between your company and your audience as it humanizes your brand and makes your viewers feel as though they are a special part of it.
Gain More Engagements With a Guest Host
Influencer marketing + Instagram Stories = the perfect combination. Gain more interest in your account by allowing a popular influencer relevant to your brand to be a guest host on your Instagram story. Not only does this provide exciting new content for your current audience, but the guest host’s following will be interested in your Instagram account as well.
This means your business will attract new followers–or should I say new potential customers–to your brand with minimal effort on your creative team’s part. Just make sure that your guest host is relevant to your brand and will connect appropriately with your audience.
Link to Your Offers Directly
While the ‘external links’ feature is only available for accounts that have 10,000 followers or more, those that have access should take advantage of it. With this feature, businesses can post direct links to offers, products, articles, and more at the bottom of their stories, which can help viewers easily connect to your brand’s website.
Your business should make the most out of this feature by including call-to-actions in your story posts, such as “swipe up to buy now,” so that the viewer is prompted to visit your website.
Post and Respond to Questions
If your business wants to build an active community and encourage customer interaction, this next feature is the perfect option for you. The ‘ask a question’ feature on Instagram Stories is a fantastic way for your business to engage your audience members directly.
Additionally, this feature allows both the company to ask questions to their viewers and also provides the option for viewers to ask the business their own questions.
By asking questions and posting responses, brands show that they care about their audience’s opinions. This positions the brand as reliable, caring, and communicative–qualities that any business would want to be known as.
Use Analytics to Determine What Works (and What Does Not)
Once you utilize all of these incredible Instagram techniques, you will also want to see how well they performed. Luckily, Instagram Stories makes that easy by having its own analytics page, which clearly outlines views, tap-forwards, exits, link clicks, and interactions with your business’ stories.
If you see that many of your viewers pressed ‘forward,’ ‘exit,’ or ‘next story’ on one of your posts, you will know that the post is not as engaging as it should be, which can help you adjust your methods in creating future Instagram story posts.
Conversely, if you notice that one post gained a few new followers or had many interactions with questions and polls, you can generate more stories similar to those successfully engaging ones in the future.
Ultimately, Instagram Stories are a marketing weapon in attracting new followers and creating quality engagement with your audience. By having direct conversations and posting exclusive content, your company will be able to generate a genuine, unique relationship with your following, which will thus help expand your brand and build your business.